Subtle British comedies of sex, morality and class like Mary Broome rarely wash up on these shores without the name George Bernard Shaw attached to them. But thankfully the beachcombers of the Mint Theatre Company, specialists in providing sturdy mountings of the once popular/now obscure, came across this 1911 Allan Monkhouse curiosity that hasn’t been seen in New York since 1919.
The title character (played with noble reserve by Janie Brookshire) is the finest maid ever employed by the exceedingly proper Timbrell family, who quietly confesses in the first scene that she is pregnant by the master’s devilishly irresponsible bachelor son, Leonard (Roderick Hill). In what may seem a surprising move, the family patriarch, Edward (a gruffly domineering Graeme Malcolm), sympathizes more with the help and insists that his son marry her and accept an annual allowance or be cut off from the family wealth. Leonard, who fancies himself as a writer (though an unproductive one), accepts the offer, as does Mary, who does have a gent in her life but would not think of asking him to take her now.
Despite the play’s title, it is Leonard who is the central character, and while a British audience of one hundred years ago might have found him more entertaining and sympathetic than a modern audience of yanks would, Hill, under director Jonathan Bank, skillfully gives Leonard some degree of naïve sincerity to go with his glib humor. If not exactly likeable, he’s not completely abhorrent.
The four talkative acts (delivered in less than two hours) have only a slight plot developing from the marriage and turns mostly into an evening of class-conscious quipping. A slight reminder of how much better Shaw was at this sort of thing arrives with the entrance of Mary’s very Alfred P. Doolittle-ish father. Douglas Rees gives a heartily amusing performance as the self-described radical with socialist leanings; a dingily attired horse-drawn cab driver being driven from his income by the new motorized taxis.
But if the play proves less than satisfactory, it still receives the traditional Mint treatment in a handsomely acted production. Set designer Roger Hanna provides the impression of stately home with a slight touch of modern commentary when an imposing collection of family portraits is used for a very funny sight gag.
Photo of Janie Brookshire and Roderick Hill by Carol Rosegg.
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Posted on: Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 02:53 AM Posted by: Michael Dale
When it comes to the subject of transracial adoption, it would be nice to think that any child is better off with two loving and supportive parents of a different race than with nothing permanent at all, but in Bennett Windheim’s challenging play, Normalcy, which deals specifically with the issue of white parents adopting black children, there is a passionate argument presented that claims such an act will inevitably cause serious damage for the child.
At its best, Normalcy is the kind of play that will make people uncomfortable, in the best possible sense, and stimulate discussion; excellent traits for a new piece. Theatre East’s Off-Off Broadway production is nicely mounted by Benard Cummings (especially good work by set designer Lea Anello for creating numerous locations on what must be a modest budget and to Scott O’Brien for the uneasy moodiness of his score.) but the play, at this state, is an admirable and ambitious work in progress.
Advertising slogan exec Peter (Judson Jones) and his fashion journalist wife Sarah (Aleisha Force) insist they are not rich as they entertain his father and her mother at their Sag Harbor summer home. A retired high school teacher, Peter’s outspoken father, Jules (Harvey Guion), is never at a loss for comments about how his son’s profession contributes nothing to society. Sarah’s mother Marta, who is described by the playwright as being “of vague European descent” (Mary Ann Hay complies with a strong, but vague, accent.) takes an elitist view of her daughter’s profession. (“I do not understand how so many people are interested in fashion they cannot afford and celebrities they will never meet. That’s very American.”)
Unsuccessful at several expensive attempts to conquer their fertility problem, Peter and Sarah announce that not only do they intend to adopt, but specifically that they plan to adopt a black child. The hints of their well-meaning but naïve white liberal guilt motivating this choice are evident throughout the play, but when Peter finally explains the long-ago event that set him on a path of making up for the sins of his forefathers, it plays like an unrealistic cliché.
The play picks up significant steam when the couple meets with social worker, Catherine (Darlene Hope), a black woman who encounters August Wilson-loving, Langston Hughes-appreciating white couples like them every day. Her job is to find suitable homes for countless underserved black children and she is ruthless in her determination to make sure these prospective parents will be prepared for what’s to come. (“But there will be that word you would never ever use, never ever permit in your house, coming out of the mouth of your adopted black son and testing your liberal Upper West Side sensibilities. Now what do you do?”) Like the majority of prospective adoptive parents, Sarah and Peter are looking for an infant, but Catherine expertly plays on their insistence that they want to make a difference for a deserving child and convinces them to spend time with a seven year old boy with attention deficit disorder, as he would be available immediately. We never see the child, but the playwright develops sympathy for him through the conversations of others.
There are broad hints of sexual and romantic tension between Peter and his young black assistant Solonge (Sarah Joyce), who he keeps referring to as Sally, but that subplot never gets fully developed.
Windheim goes for the jugular in the second act when Aiesha (Lisha Mckoy), a guest speaker in front of an audience of white couples hoping to adopt black children, explains how she, a black woman, grew to hate the well-meaning, loving and supportive white couple that adopted her and made it impossible for her to develop a racial identity. (“My awareness of being African has always been on a theoretical level.”) Whether you agree with her position or not, her monologue contains the evening’s best writing and Mckoy delivers it for its full, harsh impact.
The other actors are not as fortunate. Although the acting ensemble does respectable work, the characters are mostly underwritten types. The story carries little emotional punch because the go-getting Sarah and the burnt out Peter are rarely seen relating to each other as a couple.
Most of the scenes in the two-and-a-half hour play can use some trimming, as the characters tend to have conversations that go off in extemporaneous tangents. Perhaps doing so will help streamline focus on the main issue, which is where Normalcy shows potential to be truly exciting.
Photo of Darlene Hope, Aleisha Force and Judson Jones by James M. Wilson.
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Posted on: Friday, September 14, 2012 @ 10:49 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 9/9/12 & Theatre Quote of the Week
"The curtain will never go down on New York City." -- Broadway-related commercial airing shortly after 9/11
The grosses are out for the week ending 9/9/2012 and we've got them all right here in BroadwayWorld.com's grosses section.
Up for the week was: CHAPLIN (18.8%), MAMMA MIA! (6.0%), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (5.8%), PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (5.5%), EVITA (5.1%), PORGY AND BESS (4.1%), NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (4.0%), SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK (3.7%), CHICAGO (2.7%), JERSEY BOYS (1.8%), ONCE(0.9%),
Down for the week was: BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL (-10.5%), WICKED (-8.7%), MARY POPPINS (-6.0%), NEWSIES (-5.5%), ROCK OF AGES (-3.5%), WAR HORSE (-1.6%), THE LION KING (-0.5%), GORE VIDAL'S THE BEST MAN (-0.2%),
Posted on: Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 03:31 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking
Before a grade-school backdrop depicting heathery hills, a pair of confused theatre-goers struggle with an outdated map of Broadway while an offstage chorus sings, “Brink of doom, Brink of do-om,” and before you can say “Come ye to the spoof,” the cast of Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking is promising that, “Just like Jesus and Judy Garland, we’re resurrected again.”
Gerard Alessandrini's ever-updated madcap revue satirizing the current Broadway musical scene has had other hiatuses since the show was first conceived in 1982, but the recent three-year absence seemed to mirror the emptiness that was felt in the New York theatre community when The Fantasticks was forced to close, before having the original production remounted uptown at the Snapple. Like the Jones/Schmidt musical, Forbidden Broadway feels like an indispensible part of this town, like the Empire State Building… or at least Marie’s Crisis.
What began as an intimate nightclub entertainment featuring a company draped in formal wear has evolved through the years into a loud, wacky stage show boasting comical costumes and frequently vicious celebrity impersonations. But the basics have never varied; two men, two women and a piano player gleefully making bloody carnage of Broadway’s hits through Alessandrini's clever and critical parody lyrics. And while a great love for the theatre is always prevalent, the material can get somewhat nasty when the author addresses those who soil the stage with what he considers to be inferior artistry or overly commercial crassness.
This time around the strongest venom seems reserved for Book of Mormon writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone (Bobby Lopez got a free pass, I guess.), depicted as a pair of smarmy punks who thumb their noses at the Church of Sondheim to cash in on vulgarity (“And I believe / That ancient Jews like Richard Rodgers didn’t write very good musicals.”), with enough left over for Evita’s Elena Roger, described as having an “utter lack of star quality” and hoping that New York audiences would think she’s Chita Rivera. (“And if ever it goes too high / I distract you and flash my thigh / And use my thin soprano.”)
Roger is mimicked by Jenny Lee Stern, who is just smashing in her many celebrity aliases. While certainly not the first Forbidden actress to portray Bernadette Peters, her imitation of the star’s voice at this stage of her career (“In Stephen’s ears / I’m still on key a lot.”) is both precise in its vulnerability and loving in its presentation. She tackles familiar FB targets like Patti LuPone and Sutton Foster with aplomb and is hilariously deadpan as Cristin Milioti. But perhaps her most interesting turn comes in a very straightforward, non-comical impersonation of Judy Garland singing lyrics critical of Tracie Bennett’s over-the-top End of The Rainbow portrayal. (“You made me loony. / I wish you hadn’t done it. / I wish you hadn’t done it.”)
Opposite her LuPone and Roger is Marcus Stevens as an attention-hungry Mandy Patinkin desperately emoting through roles he’s outgrown (“My boy Bill / Should be forty by now…”) and a hip-swiveling Ricky Martin playing Broadway to pay for his kids’ braces and school supplies. His most impressive bit of hilarity is a copy of Matthew Broderick’s unique mannerisms in “Nice Song If I Could Sing It.”
His Kelli O’Hara in that bit is Natalie Charlé Ellis, lamenting the star’s lack of comedic chops (“The laughs are on a roll / But not with me.”), but that’s no problem for her, as evidenced by her Tony-greedy Audra McDonald and musically-challenged Catherine Zeta-Jones. (“Send In The Hounds”)
Scott Richard Foster is the rocker specialist, with his highlights including an angsty Steve Kazee, an out-of-control Stacee Jaxx from Rock of Ages celebrating the less-refined side of Broadway (“We filled this city with NASCAR shows”) and a frustrated Bono, who, in an especially inspired move, sings a certain, very appropriate Guys and Dolls duet with Ellis’ Julie Taymor.
Another inspired moment has Stephen Sondheim expressing his “Agony” from watching the Central Park production of Into The Woods while Donna Murphy echoes the sentiment for having to perform in a tree costume. (Hmm… “Someone In A Tree” might have been a nice choice for that spot.)
Longtime Forbidden Broadway director Phillip George keeps the show at its usual brisk and silly pace and music director David Caldwell, also a vet of the show, provides the peppy on-stage piano accompaniment. For fifteen years the brilliant Alvin Colt costumed the show before his death in 2008. One of his classics, The Lion King’s Rafiki, accessorized in plastic spoons and Disney souvenirs, remains with the show. Philip Heckman’s new designs are less cartoonish than his predecessor’s, but still charming and effective.
As can be expected with any production of Forbidden Broadway, some bits are more smile-inducing than laugh-out-loud funny (The Annie routine stretches its one joke too thin and the spoof of Norm Lewis’ octave-jumping, melody-changing performance in Porgy and Bess doesn’t quite hit its mark because the singer doesn’t seem to be instructed to do enough of what the lyric is describing.) but the production is always so meticulously mounted and executed that even during slower moments there’s always the feel of something very funny about to happen.
Smash and Newsies also figure in the mix, as do revived routines spoofing Wicked and Jersey Boys, but the new Bring It On seems to have been egregiously overlooked. Perhaps it will leap into the proceedings after one or two recently closed shows have been axed. Same goes for the upcoming Chaplin.
The new entry is billed as a limited run. Let’s hope it’s the same kind of limited run Newsies had planned.
Photos by Carol Rosegg: Top: Jenny Lee Stern and Scott Richard Foster; Bottom: Marcus Stevens and Scott Richard Foster.
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Posted on: Friday, September 07, 2012 @ 12:06 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 9/2/12 & Theatre Quote of the Week
"There is an art to playing the straight role. You must build up your man but never top him, never steal the laughs."
-- Margaret Dumont
The grosses are out for the week ending 9/2/2012 and we've got them all right here in BroadwayWorld.com's grosses section.
Up for the week was: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (26.1%), CLYBOURNE PARK (6.5%), WICKED (5.7%), GORE VIDAL'S THE BEST MAN (5.4%), PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (3.8%), CHAPLIN (3.6%), EVITA (3.1%), BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL (2.6%), PORGY AND BESS (2.1%), ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (1.9%), SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK (1.6%), ROCK OF AGES(0.9%),
Down for the week was: MARY POPPINS (-8.8%), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (-5.8%), MAMMA MIA! (-4.3%), ONCE (-2.2%), JERSEY BOYS (-1.2%), CHICAGO (-0.9%), NEWSIES (-0.2%), WAR HORSE (-0.1%),
Posted on: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 @ 02:16 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 8/26/12 & Theatre Quote of the Week
“Humor is reason gone mad.”
-- Groucho Marx
The grosses are out for the week ending 8/26/2012 and we've got them all right here in BroadwayWorld.com's grosses section.
Up for the week was: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (9.2%), CLYBOURNE PARK (8.4%), GORE VIDAL'S THE BEST MAN (6.0%), PORGY AND BESS (3.1%), SISTER ACT (2.8%), ROCK OF AGES(1.1%),
Down for the week was: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (-14.3%), MARY POPPINS (-8.6%), PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (-6.4%), SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK (-5.6%), MAMMA MIA! (-4.6%), BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL (-4.1%), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (-2.9%), WICKED (-2.6%), EVITA (-2.0%), CHICAGO (-1.0%), JERSEY BOYS (-0.9%), ONCE (-0.7%), WAR HORSE (-0.7%), NEWSIES (-0.2%),
Posted on: Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 07:31 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Bring It On: Blithe Spirit
Reviewing mindless fun can be dangerous terrain. In the first half of the last century magnificent wits like P.G. Wodehouse and George S. Kaufman wrote the books for mindlessly fun musical comedies showcasing scores by the likes of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and the Gershwins that invented a new sophistication in American music and lyrics. The plots may have been silly, but the mindless fun of 1920s and 30s (Of Thee I Sing, Anything Goes, The Boys From Syracuse for starters) was often literate and inventive.
But nowadays, it seems common for “mindless fun” to be used as an excuse for less-than-inspired writing mounted and designed with lots of professional polish and performed with talent and gusto. And when those mean ol’ New York theatre critics suggest that the material could stand to be a bit stronger, they’re chastised with the claim that their lack of enjoyment comes from an inability to just kick back and have fun. Or even worse, someone will say, “It’s just a musical, not Shakespeare.”
The artists who wrote the bit of mindless fun now playing at the St. James, Bring It On, have previously been responsible for three of the brightest musical theatre offerings Broadway has seen in this young century. Tom Kitt is the Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning composer of Next To Normal, an audacious musical about a family dealing with one member’s bipolar disorder. Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Tony for his music and lyrics for the Pulitzer finalist In The Heights, a musical that applied traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein techniques to a contemporary story set in a Latino community of Washington Heights, with a score utilizing the sounds of a beautiful mosaic of cultures. Jeff Whitty’s Tony-winning book for Avenue Q united a score full of novelty and satirical songs into a very human story told in the form of a television show that teaches twentysomethings the realities of post-college life in the style of Sesame Street. And while Amanda Green has no Tony or Pulitzer to her credit, her career as a lyricist has displayed a talent for the kind of breezy intelligence you’d expect from the offspring of Adolph Green.
The news that this quartet has collaborated on a new Broadway musical should be a huge deal. The further news that the score to their musical involving two very different high schools will be split by having Kitt and Green write for the predominantly white school and Miranda write for the predominantly black and Latino school should be credited as a bold and innovative move. And yet Bring It On, though not a bad show at all, is not a particularly interesting one. That said, it’s probably exactly the musical its creators intended it to be and will most likely be greatly enjoyed by the audience it’s intended to please.
The title comes from the 2000 film depicting the world of competitive high school cheerleading, but the story is new; though familiar and predictable. Perky Campbell (Taylor Louderman) achieves the first half of her dream of becoming cheer captain of white, upper middle class Truman High and leading her squad to victory at the nationals, but a sudden redistricting of her neighborhood has her transferred to urban Jackson High. Also redistricted is the chubby and gregarious Bridget (Ryann Redmond), who finds that the qualities that regulated her to outcast status at Truman make her popular with the cool kids at Jackson, but Campbell’s attempt to fit in by suggesting she help create a squad for the cheer-less Jacksonians is seen as a patronizing attempt by the skinny blonde white girl to help the underprivileged minorities. Instead of a cheer squad, Jackson has a hip-hop dance crew, led by the tough, but emotionally guarded Danielle (Adrienne Warren), the slang-spewing Nautica (Ariana DeBose) and the confident and sassy transsexual La Cienega (Gregory Haney). (In the upbeat world of Bring It On, La Cienega seems completely accepted by the entire student body and the worst abuse Campbell suffers is being called “Cream of Mushroom” and “Chicken Noodle.”)
Meanwhile, back at Truman, the popular diva Skylar’s (Kate Rockwell) role as new cheer captain is endangered by shy sophomore Eva (Elle McLemore), who turns out to be an Eve Harrington with lots of school spirit. (But she’s never referred to as an Eve Harrington in the script. This is not a Douglas Carter Beane musical.)
Eventually Campbell earns the trust of her Jackson schoolmates and they do form a squad to compete against Truman. I suppose I’m not giving too much away by revealing that the losing team loses because they stayed true to themselves and played by their own rules (instead of, um, the rules of the competition) so really, everybody wins.
Close to every member of the Bring It On cast is making his or her Broadway debut, which can be expected when the show demands the kind of specialized cheerleading skills required. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, making his Broadway debut as a director, keeps his cast flying and flipping through their numerous routines, which are fun to watch, but after initially introducing the styles of the competing schools, do little to keep the story moving. And perhaps the need for people who can execute the routines is the reason why much of the cast seems to be lacking in the acting and performing departments. Whitty’s book seems sufficiently funny but much of the company plays their broad-stroke characters without the details needed to bring out its comic potential. Nobody’s bad, but expect more raw talent and youthful enthusiasm than stage savvy.
Kitt’s pop rock melodies get overshadowed by the more interesting urban mix composed by Miranda, but Green’s lyrics – when they’re not overwhelmed by the hyper-active staging – contain some smart comic gems. (“My name is Skylar, I rep the Bucs with pride / I’m probably too cool for you, so friend request denied!”) A second act rouser that has Eva celebrating her killer instinct stands out as a refreshing blast of old school musical comedy. (“I’m the girl to beat, the high school queen! / Seniors kiss my ass and I’m just fifteen!”)
No doubt the amount of room needed for the twisting leaps and high kicks is the reason David Korins’ set consists primarily of easy-to-move projection screens, where video designer Jeff Sugg supplies some clever moments. If nothing else, this will be known as the first Broadway musical to have scenes take place as video-projected Skype conversations.
Photos by Joan Marcus: Top: Adrienne Warren and Taylor Louderman; Bottom: Ariana DeBose, Ryann Redmond and Gregory Haney.
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Posted on: Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 03:21 AM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Playing With Fire
The latest addition to the growing genre of stage adaptations of plays by the great masters that scale their sources down to a collection of indecipherable scenes that are just trying their darndest to be erotic is Playing With Fire, The Private Theatre’s environmental/multi-media combo that is rumored to have something to do with August Strindberg.
I could use up a paragraph explaining the plot of the evening’s same-named source – an 1893 comedy of a love and sex triangle – but really, none of it is the least bit recognizable in Royston Coppenger’s clichéd stylized adaptation featuring language that has the actors continually sounding like they’re speaking in italics.
There’s no program, so it’s hard to tell which of the 14 actors is playing who, especially since they all take turns during the performance in playing the piece’s six characters. Let’s just say there’s a lot of talk about sex and love alternating with scenes of seduction and a good deal of clothes-on dry humping. For the record, the only nudity I caught was one bare breast, but there are lengthy periods of under-the-clothes fondling accompanied by very heavy breathing.
But where Playing With Fire succeeds nicely is in creating a fun, atmospheric environment well-suited for enjoying a cocktail or two. The Box, a venue known for its late night erotic vaudevilles, is a lovely jewel box, looking like a miniature one-balcony opera house. The least expensive tickets give you one drink and standing room at the back bar and at the higher end there’s table service up front that includes a bottle of champagne. Although there’s a stage, director John Gould Rubin places the action all over the space so nobody gets a full view of everything, but video designers Ian Brownell and Raj Kottamasu have four camera operators following the actors so that the entire piece is visible on monitors.
With composers Kwan-Fai Lam and Sam Kindel supplying a techno soundscape and Bronwen Carson providing some frenetic, sexed-up choreography, there’s always something to grab your attention, either on the screen or inches away from you. And at merely an hour long, Playing With Fire manages to sustain a flame bright enough to get you through the closing credits.
Photo by Lilly Charles.
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Posted on: Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 02:52 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
So it was just announced that top shelf musical comedy performer Leslie Kritzer will be joining the cast of NEWSical on the same night Perez Hilton joins the cast. I wonder… Will this nationally known entertainment blogger be so impressed by the audaciously funny girl with the thrilling belt that he starts mentioning to his countless readers how sublime she’d be starring in a certain Fanny Brice bio-musical? (With him as Nick, of course!)
Posted on: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 @ 04:31 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Feminine, Without The Mystique
Watching Phyllis Diller on TV when I was a kid, I didn't really get what she was doing (beyond being funny), but in an era when women were required to be of a certain level of attractiveness to be on television, Phyllis Diller embraced the fact that by unrealistic media standards she was unattractive and sexually undesireable and made herself the butt of her humor. She showed herself as a happy person who was comfortable with the way she looked and maybe that helped other women who didn't fit that mold feel happy with their own looks. She didn't hide the fact that she wore wigs and got a face lift; she owned it. And in doing all that she achieved something higher than being considered attractive and sexy. She was beloved.
Click here for the latest example of how Eve Ensler is, quite simply, one of the most important writers of my lifetime.
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Posted on: Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 10:55 PM Posted by: Michael Dale | Leave Feedback
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 8/19/12 & Theatre Quote of the Week
“People came (to Hello, Dolly!) expecting me to do my shtick, but I played it straight.”
-- Phyllis Diller
The grosses are out for the week ending 8/19/2012 and we've got them all right here in BroadwayWorld.com's grosses section.
Up for the week was: WAR HORSE (14.1%), END OF THE RAINBOW (10.4%), GHOST (5.9%), CLYBOURNE PARK (2.9%), BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL (2.6%), PORGY AND BESS (2.4%), THE LION KING (1.1%), EVITA(0.7%),
Down for the week was: SISTER ACT (-8.1%), PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (-6.6%), SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK (-6.5%), NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (-5.6%), CHICAGO (-4.7%), WICKED (-4.1%), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (-3.9%), GORE VIDAL'S THE BEST MAN (-3.7%), MAMMA MIA! (-2.6%), ONCE (-2.4%), JERSEY BOYS (-1.5%), ROCK OF AGES (-1.2%), MARY POPPINS (-0.9%), NEWSIES (-0.1%), ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (-0.1%),
Posted on: Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 07:21 PM 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.