Do We Have to Love ‘Slave Play’?

When the a sign adorning the theater marquee announces that the play inside “demands to be seen”; when the critical praise includes adjectives like “challenging,” “shocking” and “explosive”; when you take your seat and the first thing you see onstage is a mirror reflecting the audience right back at you; when the work in question … Continue reading Do We Have to Love ‘Slave Play’?

Derren Brown Mesmerizes Broadway. How?

Derren Brown’s Secret, the new one-man show from London starring the popular British mentalist/magician, presents a conundrum for theater critics. It is the most riveting, literally mesmerizing show on Broadway. And yet no one can say much about it. Everything is a potential spoiler.  But allow me to do just a little spoiling. Brown’s main … Continue reading Derren Brown Mesmerizes Broadway. How?

‘The Secret Life of Bees’: Sweet Redemption

I have not read Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees, nor seen the (less successful) 2008 movie, so I came to the new off-Broadway musical based on her story without any preconceptions. I also came fresh from seeing Fairview, Jackie Sibblies Drury’s much acclaimed, stylistically adventurous, aggressively woke exploration of racial … Continue reading ‘The Secret Life of Bees’: Sweet Redemption

A Good Year for the Tonys, Unless You’re Glenda Jackson

I try not to get too excited or outraged over the Tony Awards. But a few thoughts on the nominations announced earlier this week: First, they’re a sign that Broadway is thriving. I remember lean years when there were barely enough shows to fill up the four nomination slots for Best Musical. (In 1995 the … Continue reading A Good Year for the Tonys, Unless You’re Glenda Jackson