Coming Late to ‘West Side Story’

Critics and audiences are all over the map on the new Broadway revival of West Side Story, staged by avant-garde Belgian director Ivo Van Hove. Some find it a striking reinvention of the beloved 1957 Leonard Bernstein-Jerome Robbins-Stephen Sondheim musical. For others, it’s a confusing desecration. My own reaction is complicated by a somewhat embarrassing … Continue reading Coming Late to ‘West Side Story’

‘Judgment Day’: The Show of the Year

Just when I was about to give up hope for serious theater in New York, after sitting through overpraised trifles (The Sound Inside), overwritten behemoths (The Inheritance), and boringly au-courant political plays (Heroes of the Fourth Turning), my faith was restored by the most exciting theater event of the year. It’s Richard Jones’s new production … Continue reading ‘Judgment Day’: The Show of the Year

‘Jagged Little Pill’: A Songbook Show to Savor

The real test for a jukebox musical — those shows that mine a rock artist’s song catalogue and use them to embellish a newly concocted story, often the artist’s own biography — should be whether it works for an audience that doesn’t know the songs. Shows like Jersey Boys, The Cher Show and Beautiful: The … Continue reading ‘Jagged Little Pill’: A Songbook Show to Savor