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98 posts categorized "THEATRE REVIEW"

Aug 14 2017
6-PACK — Jackie Pulls A Joan + Man Arrested For Plotting To Bomb Oklahoma City + WHEN PIGS FLY Again! + Sessions Gets What Domestic Terrorism Is + Biz Leaders Abandon Trump + Demonstrators Pull Down Monument To Confederacy! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 9.23.10 PMJackie Hoffman of Feud is pulling  Joan Crawford, phoning all her Emmy rivals, offering to accept on their behalf in the eventuality that any of the other women win:

Is this Laura Dern, Miss Laura Dern? Bruce! Bruce Dern. Are you taking all of Laura's calls? Oh, you work for her.

Keep reading for this and some other hot links including Jeff Sessions using the phrase Trump never, ever will ...

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HOLE 'Nother Level: New Andy Halliday Play Opening In NYC Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 3.23.45 PMQuinn Coughlin (Images via Theater for the New City)

Theater for the New City presents Up the Rabbit Hole by Andy Halliday in NYC. Previews begin September 21. Keep reading for more ...

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Aug 01 2017
Hummer Camp: A Review Of CAMP WANATACHI Comments (0)

8205ad3d6e7b1a3ec746320f6cd33853_f4804Last night, I caught Camp Wanatachi: In Concert, an official selection of the 2017 New York Music Festical (NYMF) — and I'm so blessed that I did!

Keep reading for my take on this weird and wonderful story of girls discovering who they are at Christian camp ...

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Jul 27 2017
Waiting For You: A Review Of THE WAITING GAME Comments (0)

IMG_6583I had the pleasure of seeing Charles Gershman's The Waiting Game, directed by Nathan Wright, at 59E59 last night, as part of the East to Edinburgh preview of plays heading to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Short — just an hour — it is the mercurial story of two men battling for the moral high ground after the lover they shared, Sam (Ibsen Santos), has long been on life support following a drug overdose. Keep reading for a full review of the sexy gay play ...

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Jul 14 2017
Your Place Or Ours?: A Review Of AFTERGLOW Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 11.32.09 PMBrandon Haagenson & Patrick Reilly: What's missing from this picture? (Imagesvia AfterglowThePlay.com)

Afterglow, S. Asher Gelman's emotional play about polyamory, is ironically titled; Aftershock would be more like it, considering how things go when its central couple splinters following a no-holds-barred threesome with a new pal.

Josh (Brandon Haagenson) and Alex (Robbie Simpson) are a privileged married pair, Josh a director so successful his husband wouldn't have to work if he didn't want to, and Alex an industrious would-be chemist. They've paid a surrogate to carry their presumably perfect baby because they think they're genetically gifted, or so they joke ... or so they say they joke. At one point, Josh says to his husband, “We're young and hot,” in the context of wondering why they don't have even more sex than they already do, and he also marvels at how he's in the best shape of his life.

It's hard to love these guys immediately.

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Jun 30 2017
Hedy First — A Review Of HEDY!: THE LIFE & INVENTIONS OF HEDY LAMARR Comments (0)

Hedy-lamarrHedy & Hedy (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

I was able to catch HEDY!: The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, written and performed as a one-woman show by Heather Massie, here in NYC last night.

The show  — playing tonight at 5:15 p.m. — benefits the Intrepid Sea, 5904c5e51400002600a9c946 Air & Space Museum's GOALS for Girls Program, which is fitting since its subject is a Hollywood beauty icon who is becoming more properly known for her incredibly important frequency hopping invention.

In the show, Lamarr addresses the captive audience, narrating the story of her life in Austria, rise to fame in Hollywood, her many marriages, and — most importantly — a bit about how her WWII-time invention would go on to become the basis for so much of what we use today, including cellphones, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and many military applications.

As Hedy tells it, her invention could have ended WWII without nuclear weapons had the U.S. taken it seriously at the time. Instead, the government waited until the invention was theirs to use — with no compensation for Lamarr or her co-inventor George Antheil.

HEDY! is an informative piece, albeit one that lacks sufficient drama. Too often, it feels like a Wikipedia entry brought to life. It works best when Massie, who captures Lamarr's kooky grandeur and cerebral air, jokes with the audience, and pokes fun at herself. Was the real Lamarr so convivial? I don't know. But she was definitely ahead of her time.

Check it out here.

 
Jun 20 2017
BROADWAY BARES: STRIP U Makes The Grade! Comments (0)

DSC03923_newGone to the dogs! (All live images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)

As always, enjoy my report on Broadway Bares, and feel free to chime in with names for anyone I failed to ID. All my Facebook pics are here. Thanks!

Broadway Bares, the annual, one-night-only, two-shows-only burlesque event that raises cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, was back for a 27th installment on June 18, accepting thousands of new students in a revue entitled Strip U. It raised a total of $1,568,114 for the cause.

No SAT, no shade: Strip U was the kind of baby-got-back-to-school experience that promised to keep *Scanyou up many sleepless nights in the future — and not with nightmares about forgetting your locker com or being late to class.

140+ Facebook Pics from Bares Here!

Overall, this show — directed by Nick Kenkel — was the apple of my eye among recent installments of Bares, an impressive return to form that passed with flying colors while demonstrating its mastery of diversity (race, age, body size, gender) and of the core skills that make these shows so much fun in the first place (dancing, humor, exhibitionism).

Tons More Broadway Bares Posts Here!

The only area in which this Bares could be called lacking when graded on a curve against the best ones of all time was star power, a commodity that has been on the wane for years. But who needs big-name stars when the show has so many homegrown stars, (anatomically) gifted hoofers more than capable of owning the stage? (Okay, it would've been fun to see Bette Midler's girls. But we've seen them before.)

Giphy-3Locky Brownlie goes for extra credit!

We arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom two hours early for the midnight show, putting us right near the front of the amorphous line of young gay guys in aggressively cute shorts pretending they didn't even try with their outfits and enough drooling daddies that the show's traditional placement on Father's Day was, as always, humorously literal.

Keep reading ...

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May 20 2017
Like A Burning FLAMER — A Review Of ETERNAL FLAMER: THE BALLAD OF JESSIE BLADE Comments (0)

17903775_10101961736012424_5871730220147555357_n(All images via Tommy Jamerson)

Most fun I've had in a theater since the time I lip-synched in drag as Samantha Fox and my high school crush came up behind me and groped my “tits” — Eternal Flamer: The Ballad of Jessie Blade, a play by Tommy Jamerson, directed by Alex Acevedo.

The comic play, very much in the Charles Busch/Andy Halliday tradition, takes place in, on and all 18582048_10102022967504024_2535222910111656157_n over the '80s, following the titular young, cock-eyed (shut up) optimist (a bubbly, committed Brian Piehl, picturedl) who makes his way to NYC to try to become a famous dancer with Muffy Diver (butch-on-command Billy Berger-Bailey). He's in for a rough coming out, having left behind his childhood crush (effortlessly funny James Tison) only to find himself the target of a revenge bang at the, er, hands of sexy, sleazy Billie Panache (red-hot Joseph Swaggerty, who looks like C. Thomas Howell had a baby naturally with that other dude from Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

18447608_1480110208707585_4288840887319591908_nSwaggerty — I know it's funny, but can we pause for a moment to be aroused?

You see, Jessie has been rejected by Muffy, so he's shaking his moneymaker as a stripper in a club run by drag queen with a secret The Madam (Dominic Sellers), and since Jessie's her new pet, her ex, Billie, decides to use his penis in the same way Taylor Swift and Katy Perry (wait, who? this is the '80s ...) use music.

18556158_10102022962289474_6517306296632452825_nPiel & Baumann — skit happens

The ensemble cast in this production — for which exactly zero of the performers would ever need to be told, “Go broader!” — complements Jamerson's mostly clever, always funny writing. There are no weak links, so I'd be remiss without mentioning my friend Marc Patlan's hysterical Joan Crawford-meets-Eartha-Kitt-meets-Tammy-Faye-Bakker Momma Blade, the first OMG performance of the night; Egbert Bernard's scenery-chewing (he swallows it, too) Rudy; and maybe my favorite in a group of favorites, the hysterical Ty Baumann, whose '80s receptionist Monica (as well as other background characters he steps into) was spookily perfect. I've seen a lot of theater featuring people who went on to do big things, and he gave me that tingling feeling. That, and the guy next to me kept fingering me. I was in jeans.

See this when you can, because this piece will pop up again somewhere; our obsession with the '80s — like The Madam's secret condition — never goes away, it just gets worse.