Author Archive

It’s Christmas Eve in Washington

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

ACivilWarChristmas Paula Vogel’s patchwork Civil War tale is epic in length but not scope  The holiday season is often a time of reflection, but Paula Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of How I Learned to Drive, has squinted back a bit further in time than most. Vogel’s new work, A Civil War Christmas, currently staged in [&hellip
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Criminal Act: David Mamet’s ‘The Anarchist’ is a Waste of Time

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Joan Marcus One can only assume that actresses with as much clout and freedom of choice as Patti LuPone and Debra Winger signed into The Anarchist, the new play written and directed by David Mamet that opened last night at the John Golden Theatre, sight unseen. How else to explain why two such notably discerning talents ended [&hellip
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Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream Quieter Than Norbert Leo Butz in ‘Dead Accounts’

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Picture 5 Actor steals slim ‘Dead Accounts’ Dead Accounts, is, for better or worse, best known as that “Katie Holmes” play, since it is largely the presence of its tabloid favorite star that finally led the show to Broadway after a decent reception in Cincinnati. But very quickly it is double Tony-winner Norbert Leo Butz who emerges [&hellip
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Murder Most Mundane

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Joan Marcus. Murder Ballad, now playing at Manhattan Theatre Club’s City Center space at Studio II, formerly home to the Pearl Theater Company, isn’t just a whodunit – it’s a whodunwhat. For this slim rock opera, conceived by Julia Jordan and scored by Julianna Nash, keeps its audience in suspense as to not just which character is [&hellip
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This Land is Bore Land: ‘Giant’ Aims High but Falls Short

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Joan Marcus. One hates to write anything negative about a show like Giant. Book writer Sybille Pearson has maintained the progressive themes from Edna Ferber’s classic novel, and musician Michael John LaChiusa has, in typical fashion, crafted character-centric songs rather than hollow showstoppers. Michael Greif, a director known for leading rich musicals as varied as Rent and [&hellip
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‘Christmas’ is a Sweet Gift for All

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Carol Rosegg. An ever-growing subgenre has emerged within the movie adaptation umbrella constantly covering Broadway: the holiday movie adaptation. In addition to Elf and White Christmas, both making return engagements this season, A Christmas Story, The Musical, the earnest adaptation of the cult film that grew into a yuletide tradition, has arrived for a limited engagement at [&hellip
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Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Chris Bennion. Carolee Carmello gets the star treatment she deserves in an underwhelming new musical Life stories are a tricky business. Every individual weathers enough ups and downs to have their own experience merit the telling – but that doesn’t mean that all lives translate to cogent dramatic arcs. Aimee Semple McPherson, however, one of the more [&hellip
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Adults Acting Out: A Murky ‘Mother’ Leaves Many Unanswered Questions

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Monique Carboni There is a difference between complicated and convoluted, though it can be tricky to adhere more toward the former than the trappings of the latter. One merely involves the involvement of multiple entities occurring beneath the surface at the same time, some of which having a direct effect on others. The other throws these variables [&hellip
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Dance Hall Daze: Great Cast Helps Revive Edwin Drood

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

Photo by Joan Marcus. Sandwiched in-between he monolith musicals that stormed their way from the West End to Broadway throughout the 1980s (Evita, Cats, Les Miserables, etc.) was a different kind of British import, one that was, in fact, given new life by an American. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a 1985 Public Theater production, was musicalized and adapted [&hellip
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Site of the Times: Lee Camp’s Moment of Clarity

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Books, NY Press Exclusive

leecamp1 Comedian’s new book sheds humorous insight on the state of the world Comedian Lee Camp has finally released a book version of Moment of Clarity, his clever web series of political rants. Published in both paperback and e-book formats, Clarity anthologizes 90 of the smart humorists best position pieces and adds in twenty never-before-seen photos [&hellip
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