With three different directors placing their marks on the material during its pre-Broadway tryouts and two actors who were not quite up to the vocal demands of the dramatic score playing the leads (Shirley Booth and Melvyn Douglas), Marc Blitzstein (music and lyrics) and Joseph Stein's (book) Juno, based on Sean O'Casey's Juno And The Paycock, limped into the Winter Garden in March of 1959 following high expectations (West Side Story had been ousted from the theatre to make room for it) and quickly closed up shop two weeks later.
But a failed musical isn't necessarily a bad one and while Juno is by no means an underappreciated classic, it's still an admirably ambitious piece that contains enough moments of true musical theatre beauty to warrant a concert production under more favorable circumstances. The Encores! adaptation by David Ives restores some of the material which seemed to have been cut because of the stars' vocal limitations, but respectfully makes no attempts to improve upon the shows flaws; most stemming from awkward clashes between the warring factions of musical comedy and folk opera. The work of director Garry Hynes, fully accomplished in Irish drama but making her musical debut, may be a bit static at times, but her commitment to presenting harsh stage pictures of the violence of the era gives the evening a raw authenticity. It's a beautifully sung and solidly acted look at a later work by one of musical theatre's most richly dramatic composers and an early creation of one of its most accomplished in the difficult field of bookwriting.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in adapting Juno And The Paycock is that, like much of O'Casey, the play is not especially plot-driven, a vital element in the kinetic art of musical theatre. Set in the working class tenements of Dublin in 1921, the musical opens with a stirring choral anthem of survival, "We're Alive," during which the perpetual violence in the streets during The Troubles spills onto the musical stage in a manner in which even post-West Side Story audiences were unaccustomed. With the Irish Civil War as a constant background presence, attention turns to the home of the Boyle family, where mother Juno (Victoria Clark) is both bread baker and bread winner while her irresponsible husband, "Captain" Jack (Conrad John Schuck), spends most of his days at the pub with his buddy, Joxer (Dermot Crowley). Daughter Mary (Celia Keenan-Bolger) has been turning down the romantic advances of her shy friend Jerry (Michael Arden) but soon finds herself courted by lawyer Charlie (Clarke Thorell) who comes with news of an inheritance for the Boyles. Meanwhile, young Johnny Boyle (Tyler Hanes), who lost his arm during the fighting, is suspected by the IRA for having betrayed a dead comrade.
Though playing the title character, and the one with the most responsibility, Clark has little to do plotwise other than act as the strong, sturdy maternal figure, which she does with aplomb. And though she sings with a hearty richness throughout, it's not until her final "Lament" that her impressive dramatic chops are fully on display. Keenan-Bolger has a touching sincerity in her ballad, "I Wish It So," where she longs for love to enter her life and when she and Clark entertain house guests with the pretty "Bird Upon The Tree," it's a lovely vocal highlight.
Choreographer Warren Carlyle's highlight is a dramatic ballet led by the one-armed Johnny; a nightmarish fantasy danced exquisitely by Hanes with one arm tucked in his shirt, leading a male ensemble of similarly one-armed Johnnys. Shuck makes for a boisterous and rousing Jack and Arden is sweetly charming in his one ballad, where Jerry begs Mary for "One Kind Word."
The original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett, Hershy Kay and Blitzstein sound lush and detailed with Eric Stern conducting the thirty-piece orchestra. Even in a flawed musical like Juno, hearing a rarely performed score by one of the greats played with a respect for the authentic sound of Broadway is an enriching experience.
Photo of Conrad John Schuck and Victoria Clark by Joan Marcus
Posted on: Sunday, March 30, 2008 @ 12:35 AM Posted by: Michael Dale
The Drunken City: The Big Appletini
You know those very annoying packs of young drunkards you run into around 3am or so while wandering the bar-stuffed streets of the Lower East Side or the West Village, trying to find the nearest open pizza joint or Gray's Papaya in a quest to carbo-absorb the evening's alcoholic intake? The kind that insists on merrily prancing the pavement with their voice volumes set to 11 and their wits set at 3rd grade, so excited to be partying in the city? Adam Bock wrote a whole play about them! Well, maybe not a whole play… is ninety minutes a whole play? But in any case, you know something… Once you get to know these annoying brats, they're actually kinda fun to be with. At least when the things they say are written by Adam Bock and Trip Cullman directs the way they say them.
Their new romantic comedy at Playwrights Horizons, The Drunken City, is about the truths that escape our mouths when alcohol loosens inhibitions and you're in the safe company of a stranger you assume you'll never see again. It's the night before Marnie's (Cassie Beck) wedding and she and her bridesmaids – the also-engaged Linda (Sue Jean Kim) and the recently disengaged Melissa (Maria Dizzia) – are wandering about some fictitious part of Manhattan near Baxter and 2nd (????) happily loaded up on beers and shots. (word of advice: woman in bar wearing wedding veil = free beers and shots) They encounter Eddie (Barrett Foa) a tap-dancing dentist (John Carrafa choreographs his foot-work) and his buddy Frank (Mike Colter), whose dating slump since his last girlfriend dumped him is celebrating its one year anniversary.
After the usual formalities ("We're drunk!" "Whoo-hoo!" "She's getting married!" "You're cute!") Frank and Marnie impulsively start kissing. Though she tells her friends she's just getting a little innocent action before the knot is tied, the pair suddenly slips off to get some privacy. A quick phone call brings a sober voice, Marnie's employer/friend, a former marine and current baker named Bob (Alfredo Narciso), into the mix. While Marnie, who has taken shelter in a church with Frank, starts confessing doubts about her future with the man she is steadily growing less intent on marrying, Melissa and Linda frantically try to get their friend safely home while Bob and Eddie have taken the introductory steps into their own mating dance. Hurtful things are said, drastic measures are taken and with the morning hangover comes the responsibility of trying to mend the evening's wounds.
If the play turns out to be not especially deep, the evening is still atmospheric and flavorful; thanks to Bock's knack for writing in a heightened language that sounds natural and Cullman's talent for quirky realism. The funny and frisky and cast, anchored by Beck's struggle to think clearly through the fog of intoxication and effervesced by Foa's innocuous charm, is an amusing and empathetic ensemble.
Though the production values may be modest, David Korins (set), Matthew Richards (lights) and Bart Fasbender (sound) create a terrific blurred representation of late night Manhattan with a reflecting black background blinking random rectangular colors. And during those moments when one might say the earth moved; let's just say the earth moves.
Photo by Joan Marcus: Maria Dizzia, Cassie Beck, Sue Jean Kim and Barrett Foa
Posted on: Friday, March 28, 2008 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Vote For America's Greatest Living Stage Actor
Last time we discussed America's great ladies of the stage but our newest poll invites you to vote for America's Greatest Living Stage Actor. Vote for one of the five selections or write in your own choice, as I'm sure many of you will.
Posted on: Thursday, March 27, 2008 @ 02:20 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Straight Up With A Twist: The Heterosexuality That Dare Not Speak Its Name
How's this for weird… On Sunday night I saw a show where a straight guy spoke for an hour and fifteen minutes about how people mistake him for gay because of his interests and not once did he mention anything about musical theatre. Not once! If nothing else, I give Paul Stroili points for not using the most obvious cliché.
And I also give him and his solo show, Straight Up With A Twist, points for coming up with a handy new label, "Renaissance Geek," which he uses to describe "the botched attempt to romanticize the straight male." Botched because nature's attempt to create a male who can attract a female with his sensitivity, taste in fashion and knowledge of fine wine has resulted in the kind of guy who is offered permanent residence in the friend zone while brutish, sports-obsessed, artistically inept males are favored for dating and procreation.
And though Stroili is in fact happily married to a woman who says he's like a gay friend she can have sex with, he calls himself (and me too, despite my interest in sports) one of the "men who know the wrong things."
After a brief introduction which brings up historical examples proving that Renaissance Geeks date back to the caveman era (they were the cavemen who know that you could drag a woman by her hair easier if it was in a French braid) Straight Up With A Twist (directed by Bill Penton) becomes primarily a collection of brief monologues about Paul told by those who knew him as the boy who lost interest in Cub Scouts once he finished building the spice rack. It's an amusing collection of characters (his gruff mom, his soft-spoken Italian father, his guido brother, confused gym teacher, etc.) and he plays the assortment well, but the trouble is that his material isn't especially funny. Jokes about young Paul's ability to fold fitted sheets, his ineptness at t-ball and his belief that Kate Jackson is the hottest of Charlie's Angels because she got the best set of cheek bones would grow tiresome quickly if Stroili wasn't such an engaging actor.
He's even more ingratiating as himself, and though his audience participation quiz show is cute ("Which NFL team's colors can also be described as sea foam and cantaloupe?"), Straight Up With A Twist is most appealing when the actor/writer simply talks about his experiences without dishing out the punch lines and just gives it to us straight.
Photo of Paul Stroili by Ken Howard
Posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 @ 03:02 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Replies: 1 - Click Here
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 3/23 & Algonquin Round Table Quote of the Week
"There's less to this than meets the eye." -- Tallulah Bankhead
The grosses are out for the week ending 3/23/2008 and we've got them all
right here in BroadwayWorld.com's grosses section.
Up for the week was: PASSING STRANGE (23.2%), A CHORUS LINE (21.8%), XANADU (17.4%), CHICAGO (15.5%), LEGALLY BLONDE (14.3%), GYPSY (14.2%), AVENUE Q (13.7%), CURTAINS (13.3%), MAMMA MIA! (11.4%), THE LITTLE MERMAID (9.2%), SPAMALOT (8.1%), HAIRSPRAY (8.0%), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (7.6%), GREASE (6.8%), SPRING AWAKENING (6.6%), MARY POPPINS (5.9%), RENT (5.9%), AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (5.0%), THE SEAFARER (2.5%), THE LION KING (2.2%), SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (2.1%), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1.9%), JERSEY BOYS (0.4%), NOVEMBER (0.1%),
Down for the week was: THE HOMECOMING (-4.6%), SOUTH PACIFIC (-2.4%), THE 39 STEPS (-2.0%), IN THE HEIGHTS (-0.9%),
Posted on: Monday, March 24, 2008 @ 04:47 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Hooray For What! & Steel Magnolias
You wouldn't expect a 1937 Broadway musical that satirized American profiteering from wartime rumblings in Europe and was written to showcase the unique comedy talents of "The Perfect Fool" Ed Wynn to be especially playable in the year 2008, but The Medicine Show, on their tiny stage way out west on W. 52nd Street, do a bang-up job with Hooray For What!
With a bouncy score by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg (which introduced the hit, "Down With Love") and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse that frequently detours into jokes and comedy bits that have little to do with the story, Hooray For What! is typical of the kind of lively political and social satire that emerged from a Broadway that needed something fresh and contemporary in order to compete with talking pictures and movie musicals. A night out at big hit like Of Thee I Sing, I'd Rather Be Right, Pins and Needles or Hooray For What! was a bit like attending a taping of Saturday Night Live. And as it turned out, the world outside of Times Square was providing new spoof-worthy targets daily.
Ed Wynn played Chuckles, a rather silly chemist from the All-American town of Sprinkle, Indiana, whose experiments create various gasses to control the worms inhabiting his apple orchard. Hearing of his success ("This gas has been known to revive the dead. We have a bid on it from the Republican Party."), ambitious local boy, Breezy, builds a munitions factory in Sprinkle. Certain that ammunition sales will skyrocket because The League of Nations has called for a peace conference, Breezy and Chuckles head for Geneva where everyone wants the formula for his new death gas, but Chuckles keeps that secret hidden and would much prefer to sell them his brotherly love gas. War breaks out, of course ("They're shooting anyone in uniform! On the casualty list are 4,000 doormen."), but soon all comes to a ridiculously comical resolution.
Coming from a time when few musicals were thought of as lasting works worthy of publishing and preservation, Hooray For What! was pieced together from various archival sources by Medicine Show producers Barbara Vann and the late James Barbosa prior to their first production of the show in 1983 and the company is certainly to be commended for their efforts in restoring a part of our musical theatre heritage. And though the singing and dancing skills in director Vann's mounting are generally of the beginner level, the production is loaded with enjoyable performances by a cast that bubbles with musical comedy brio.
With a shock of Brillo-textured red hair, a chirpy, nasal voice and a sunny face as comically expressive as Harpo Marx, Mike Lesser turns in a rip-roaring performance as Chuckles without a whiff of Ed Wynn. He's especially funny when reacting to the audience's lack of response on occasions when dated jokes about forgotten subjects fly over everyone's head. Also a hoot, playing the boss' romantic interest, is the daffy Beth Griffen, whose child-like speaking voice and awkward grace occasionally lets loose with a wildly pseudo-Wagnerian soprano. James Eden is full of capitalist smarm as Breezy and Adrienne Hurd scores plenty of laughs as a vampy, multi-accented spy so publicity conscious she has a press agent.
Joel Handorff's set and Uta Bekaia's costumes may be budget-conscious but they strike a cheery chord and while Dieter Riesle's choreography leans towards the basics, he and music director Jake Lloyd (on piano) has the winning company performing with spunk and enthusiasm while director Vann keeps the comedy brisk and neatly-executed.
Hooray for what? Hooray for Medicine Show!
Photo by John Quilty: James Eden, Beth Griffith and Mike Lesser
Robert Harling's 1987 comedy/drama, Steel Magnolias, is one of those plays with an effectiveness that sneaks up on you. The entire first act, set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana (Where the credo is, "There is no such thing as natural beauty."), is packed with solid laughs from start to finish ("When it comes to suffering she's right up there with Elizabeth Taylor.") with only hints of the plot that will take firmer shape after intermission. And when that plot turns tragic, you come to realize that through the laughter, you've invested emotionally in the six southern belles who meet every Saturday to get their hair done and talk about recipes, beauty pageants and neighborhood gossip. Then just when one of the characters exposes the open wound of her grief in a heart-shattering scene, Harling dares to toss in a joke. It's a good one. And though it doesn't make everything better, it starts the healing. And that strength to joke while facing your worst heartache is part of what Steel Magnolias, now getting a top-notch production at The Paper Mill Playhouse under the direction of Karen Carpenter, is all about.
The story begins on the wedding day of Shelby (Kelly Sullivan), a young diabetic woman who has been warned by doctors that her body is unlikely to hold up if she ever became pregnant. Though her groom has assured her that he's okay with her condition, Shelby has her reasons for considering taking the risk. Her mother, M'Lynn (Monique Fowler), has brought her to Truvy's to make her hair just right for the big day. And though the bride may seem to take girlishness to its ridiculous extremes at times (A lover of pink, Shelby has chosen "bashful" and "blush" as her wedding colors.) she also carries a fierce determination to make her life what she wants it to be. The two actresses do a marvelous job of playing the difficulties in adapting to the changes in their mother/daughter relationship.
Playing the salon's other regulars are Kelly Bishop, who quips the play's sharpest zingers as the mayor's widow, Claree, and Beth Fowler (no relation to Monique), who makes the crotchety Ouiser one of those people you love despite her perpetually dour disposition.
With the play's four scenes spread out over the course of two and a half years, it's Kate Wetherhead's Annelle, the newly trained hairdresser, who makes the most drastic character changes, going from a frightened new girl in town in a bad marriage to a confident woman whose source of confidence makes the others uncomfortable. A versatile actress who excels at realistic comedy, Wetherhead makes the transitions smooth and believable.
If there's a misfire, it's Carpenter's decision to make Charlotte Booker's Truvy seem a spoof of Dolly Parton, who played the role on film. Hair and wig designer Mark Adam Rampier and costume designer David Murin, who give a spot-on realism to the 1980s styles of the other ladies, present Booker in a flamboyantly large blonde wig and splashes of gaudy neon colors. Not really digging into the earthy soul of the woman, the actress seems out of place among the others.
Set designer Hugh Landwehr provides a busy but homey atmosphere for Truvy's garage turned salon and pushes the lip of the stage over the theatre's orchestra pit, helping the audience to connect with this intimate play in the large auditorium.
"I'd rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a whole lifetime of nothing special," says Shelby. Paper Mill's Steel Magnolias is two hours and twenty minutes of wonderful.
Photo by Gerry Goodstein: Kelly Sullivan, Kate Wetherhead and Charlotte Booker
Posted on: Monday, March 24, 2008 @ 03:25 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: Comedy Tonight!
Though Tennessee Williams' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof certainly has its share of humor, mostly of the tragicomedy variety, you wouldn't expect a revival of the play to be the laff riot of the Broadway season. But this production has been mounted by Debbie Allen, who may be a neophyte when it comes to stage drama, but has an impressive resume when it comes to directing television sitcoms (from serious comedy like A Different World, to lighter fare such as Everybody Hates Chris). The night I attended, the vocal audience was lapping up her swift-moving production, which often sacrifices tension and dramatics for the sake of comic timing, like thirsty kittens. And while it was fun to be among people who were so into what they were seeing – and I'll certainly take this one over the lethargic Broadway mounting of four years ago – I found the evening emotionally hollow. Despite large patches of good work from her cast, Allen's production as a whole, while entertaining, lacks urgency and bite.
A big problem is the low-impact performance of Terrance Howard, making his stage acting debut as Brick, the former college football star who has turned to alcohol, can't communicate with his parents, won't sleep with his wife and feels responsible for the suicide of a guy who was, at the very least, his best friend. His subdued performance is nearly void of intensity, rarely showing signs of the man's suffering and complexity, particularly in scenes with his wife, Maggie.
Maggie, "The Cat," hooked the well-off Brick to escape poverty but fears her childless marriage will diminish their inheritance when family patriarch, Mississippi plantation owner Big Daddy, who is stricken with cancer, passes away. At first, she's played with perky sexiness by Anika Noni Rose, who gives the appearance of being in her early 20s. The opening scene, where Maggie is preparing herself for Big Daddy's birthday party while chatting away to the disinterested Brick, earns laughs for the contrast of her pep and his sullenness but barely registers as relationship development. But as the play wears on you can see Maggie's inner wheels moving as she attempts more mature, womanly methods to secure her future.
James Earl Jones' vocal and physical command of the stage makes him a natural for Big Daddy and his boisterous bellows and hearty laughter, convinced he's cheated death, are savored with extra relish in the cruder language of Williams' revised text. Phylicia Rashad, also an actress of tremendous vocal and physical command, seems less of a natural as the doting bulldozer Big Mama, but her adoring loyalty to her unfeeling husband is communicated with tragic pathos. Giancarlo Esposito's Gooper, Brick's crafty and manipulating brother, is excellent.
Having William H. Grant III's lights fade into solo spotlights when characters have monologues is neither particularly effective nor distracting, but the cheap-looking moon and fireworks lit onto the sky look completely out of place compared to the realism of the rest of the physical production. In fact, they made me laugh.
Photo of Anika Noni Rose by Joan Marcus
Posted on: Thursday, March 20, 2008 @ 01:30 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Play The 'In The Heights' Fortune Cookie Game!
Ya know, I was thinking how "In The Heights" is one of those phrases you can stick at the end of any fortune cookie message. Try it the next time you're having Chinese food.
Wealth is coming your way... In The Heights!
You will meet a handsome stranger... In The Heights!
Your lucky numbers are 23 18 72 54... In The Heights!
Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 @ 01:41 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
The Seagull: Art Isn't Easy
Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, as anyone who has ever committed suicide will tell you, is a comedy. Maybe not as reflective a comedy as set designer Santo Loquasto's mirrored floor would suggest, but Russian director Vlachesalv Dolgachev's new production at Classic Stage Company neatly balances the humorous with the somber and, despite a few stumbles along the way, turns out to be a rather enjoyable and swift-moving three hours and fifteen minutes.
A fine cast is headed by Dianne Wiest, appropriately divalicious as Irina Arkadina, the narcissistic stage star so delusional she sees her son's 18-year-old actress girlfriend, Nina (Kelli Garner) as competition for roles. "I could play a girl of 15 with no trouble at all," she says with a fluttery prance, then grabs her back in pain when nobody's looking.
Nina is indeed competition, but it's for the attention of Trigorin, the popular, if uninventive novelist. (A running gag has him jotting down interesting phrases people say, figuring to use them someday in one of his stories.) Alan Cumming plays the role as the kind of quiet intellectual that attracts women by appearing deep.
As Arkadina's overly sensitive son – a writer of experimental, abstract plays – Ryan O'Nan gives Konstantin the proper amount of youthful angst. He and Garner nicely make the transition from giddy love-struck kids to disillusioned adults.
A terrific supporting cast includes the silver-voiced David Rasche as the unflappable Dr. Dorn, Bill Christ as the gregarious and loquacious manager of the estate where the play is set (Wiest's silent reactions to his loud and lengthy opinions on Russian theatre are priceless.) and Annette O'Toole as his exasperated wife. Marjan Neshat, as their daughter Masha, whose moods are as dark as the black clothes she always wears, and Greg Keller, as the awkward suitor she eventually settles for, nicely set the tragic-comic tone of the play in their opening scene where he tries to connect with her bleak soul.
Atop the reflecting pool of a floor (in CSC's newsletter Loquasto says the director wanted to make the presence of the estate's lake constant) there's a combination of appropriately worse for wear set pieces and Suzy Benzinger's period costumes are attractive and character defining.
The production's main problem seems to be Dolgachev's inability to make the large cast move about naturally on the small stage, which is surrounded by the audience on three sides. Stage pictures get a little cramped as actors try to avoid furniture and the portable outdoor stage used for Konstantin's play always seems to be in some audience members' sightline. But the actors play the intimacy of the space well, making this an often captivating and, yes, frequently funny production.
Photo by Joan Marcus: Christopher Jones, Marjan Neshat, Alan Cumming, Annette O'Toole, Dianne Wiest and David Rasche
Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 @ 02:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 3/16 & Algonquin Round Table Quote Of The Week
"Repartee is what you wish you'd said." -- Heywood Broun
The grosses are out for the week ending 3/16/2008 and we've got them all
right here in BroadwayWorld.com's grosses section.
Up for the week was: CHICAGO (18.3%), SPAMALOT (16.8%), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (16.8%), RENT (16.7%), HAIRSPRAY (16.6%), LEGALLY BLONDE (15.7%), GYPSY (15.4%), COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA (14.8%), THE LITTLE MERMAID (13.6%), CURTAINS (13.3%), MARY POPPINS (12.2%), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (11.0%), MAMMA MIA! (10.0%), AVENUE Q (9.5%), THE LION KING (8.6%), A CHORUS LINE (8.3%), XANADU (7.7%), THE 39 STEPS (6.8%), SOUTH PACIFIC (6.3%), PASSING STRANGE (5.6%), SPRING AWAKENING (5.4%), THE SEAFARER (4.7%), NOVEMBER (2.9%), GREASE (2.3%), JERSEY BOYS (2.2%), WICKED (2.2%), SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (1.3%),
Down for the week was: IN THE HEIGHTS (-10.2%), AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (-9.1%), THE HOMECOMING (-0.3%),
Posted on: Monday, March 17, 2008 @ 03:44 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Hey, Parade Magazine... Do You Go To The Theatre Much?
Those frequent playgoers at Parade Magazine have determined that Glenn Close is America's Greatest Living Stage Actress. Completing their top ten, in descending order, are Julie Harris, Cherry Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Martha Plimpton.
Now, I don't want to suggest that any of these ladies aren't extremely accomplished, but when it comes to versatility, craft and having an extensive body of stage work I think they may be missing a name or two (or eight) that discriminating playgoers like BroadwayWorld readers might prefer.
Whaddaya say, dear readers. Who are America's top ten greatest living stage actresses?
Posted on: Monday, March 17, 2008 @ 02:10 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
About Michael: After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in
dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular
audience participation murder mysteries (try
improvising with audiences after they?ve had two hours
of open bar), Michael Dale segued his theatrical
ambitions into playwriting. The buildings which once
housed the 5 Off-Off Broadway plays he penned have all
been destroyed or turned into a Starbucks, but his
name remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who
wrote the official play of Babe Ruth's 100th
Birthday?" He served as Artistic Director for The
Play's The Thing Theatre Company, helping to bring
free live theatre to underserved communities, and
dabbled a bit in stage managing and in directing
cabaret shows before answering the call (it was an
email, actually) to become BroadwayWorld.com's first
Chief Theatre Critic. While not attending shows
Michael can be seen at Shea Stadium pleading for the
Mets to stop imploding. Likes: Strong book musicals
and ambitious new works. Dislikes: Unprepared
celebrities making their stage acting debuts by
starring on Broadway and weak bullpens.