131 posts categorized "THEATRE REVIEW"

Aug 09 2019
Palliative Masculinity: A Review Of SEA WALL/A LIFE Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2019-08-09 at 3.09.59 PMSpecial Playbills from opening night (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

In Sea Wall/A Life, a pair of one-man monologues directed by Carrie Cracknell that opened Thursday, Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal take turns bringing to life two unlikely men for 2019 — men with hearts, men whose brand of masculinity is not intrusive or poisonous, but is instead open and reflective. They are good guys, they are good husbands, they are good sons, and they are imperfect, which makes them even better. Their humility invites the audience to mourn the holes in their souls, created by loss, and to celebrate the dense, sensitive parts unmarred by the voids.

Sea Wall (by Simon Stephens) finds Sturridge holding listeners rapt with a story of a young dad who is happy to have not “it all,” but more than he ever dreamed. It is staged in a simplistic way that nonetheless reminded me of a spare Dalí landscape, filled with clues and foreshadowing. His performance is slightly flat, if charming, but it suits the character, who might be reciting his life's greatest tragedy from within PTSD.

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May 03 2019
Celebrate Pride With THE CHER SHOW Comments (0)

1204_Cher1-1000x725Block delivers the gutsiest of the Chers, the one who'll stick with you. (Image by Joan Marcus)

Not being a big fan of jukebox musicals, I didn't rush out to see The Cher Show on Broadway. But being a big fan of Cher, I couldn't resist forever, and made the pilgrimmage this week.

Teal_wicks_as_lady_stephanie_j._block_as_lady_micaela_diamond_as_babe_and_the_cast_of_the_cher_show_on_broadway_-_photo_by_joan_marcus_1445r-embed_2018I was able to quickly snap out of my disdain for the form thanks to powerful and perfectly calibrated performances by the women playing Cher as a hippie teen called Babe (Micaela Diamond), as a mid-life superstar called Lady (Teal Wicks) and as an ageless goddess and eternal fount of wisdom called Star (Stephanie J. Block).

Though it was a little confusing at first seeing and hearing them interact throughout, as opposed to one aging out of the narrative and being replaced by the next, it was ultimately an effective device — Cher as her own muses, with a big assist from Mama Georgia Holt (Emily Skinner).

The songs are beautifully sung and used in sometimes surprising ways, and no “Heart of Stone” is left unturned — they even explore Cher's backing vocals on some of Phil Spector's '60s hits. If there is a stand-out, it has to be the elaborate “Dark Lady” tango. Some of Cher's biggest solo hits of yore can take on the vibe of novelty tunes, but “Dark Lady” is made both timeless and current, and is embodied in a show-stopping performance led by dancer Ashley Blair Fitzgerald that is worth the price of admission all by itself.

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Mar 10 2019
All In The Framing: A Review Of DADDY Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 12.15.35 AMDaddy queerest (Image via The New Group)

Daddy, written by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Danya Taymor, begins as if it will be a bit of theatrical confection, a trendy, goes-down-easy play along the lines of The Blue Room adapted by David Hare or Up for Grabs by David Williamson.

And with a title like Daddy, who could blame you for thinking you were about to see something self-impressed by its cheekiness?

But as the play develops, it steadily matures, even as its central character, a young, black, emerging artist named Franklin (Ronald Peet) who is shacking up in the luxury digs of a much older, one-percenter art dealer (Alan Cumming), steadily regresses into a juvenile state.

In short, there is nudity, as you've been told, but this is not Naked Boys Singing.

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Mar 09 2019
Prepare For Take-Off: A Review Of MEMBERS ONLY BOYLESQUE Comments (0)

IMG_1544*****Mandrake (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

I spent Friday evening with a group of mostly-naked men who were only too happy to be ogled — you know, a typical date night.

IMG_1561Twinky Boots reveals twink booty.

Not really, but Members Only Boylesque — which is available for future booty calls on April 5, May 31 and June 14 at 10 p.m. at the Laurie Beechman Theatre — is definitely worthy of an entry in your little black book ...

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Jan 09 2019
Locker Room Flasher + Gay Hustler Goes Straight + Chris Pratt's Dad Bod + Trump's Wall Fail + R. Kelly Sinks Deeper + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Universal appeal.

BELOW: Trump's wall fail, jock flashed under his towel (another one!), gay hustler goes straight and more ...

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Dec 08 2018
Forever Hold His Peace: A Review Of DANIEL'S HUSBAND Comments (0)

-X0SuR7gA boy and the band (Images by Carol Rosegg)

My friend Brett Ross attended a performance of Daniel's Husband at the Westside Theatre (407 W. 43rd St.), where it's playing through Sunday, December 30, and had much the same reaction I did — it is a great play not to be missed, and one he said had changed his mind about the importance of same-sex marriage.

No mean feat for a confirmed bachelor!

Featuring the same cast from the 2017 production I reviewed, the show is a must if you're in NYC.

 My original review below ...

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Nov 10 2018
Bernstein's Killer Pleads NOT GUILTY + Trump To California: Drop Dead + Trump's Illegal A.G. Once Maliciously Prosecuted Gay Dem + Teddy Geiger Engaged + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Moore! Moore! Moore!

BELOW: Keep reading for Trump's attack on California, Blaze Bernstein's alleged killer pleading not guilty, how Trump's fake A.G. is anti-gay, Madonna's $30K movie prop and more ...

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Nov 08 2018
Anti-Social Media: A Review Of LURED Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.40.46 PMDmitry, a schoolteacher stripped of everything — played by John DiMino(All images by Ashley Garrett via LuredThePlay.com)

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community, chances are you've heard of the unimaginable persecution of gay men in Russia in recent years. Most shockingly, several years ago, neo-Nazi groups began attracting men with promises of sex via hookup apps, only to brutalize them on video to destroy their lives and teach them the lesson that homosexuality is a diabolical western plague.

In Frank J. Avella's revelatory play Lured, playing now through November 25 at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., NYC), this grotesque violation of humanity is dramatized in an ingenius way that contextualizes the trend while never flinching from portraying the depravity.

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