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Reviews - Musicals

Aladdin
Aladdin Four Stars
The most vibrantly colourful of all Disney Theatrical's offerings to date (NYTG); Relentless razzle-dazzle (NY Times); Rollicking and endearingly over-the-top (NY Daily News); Doesn’t quite catch lightning in a bottle (NY Post); The show's ebullient comic spirit should make it a popular hit (Hollywood Reporter) more...


Anastasia
Anastasia Three Stars
Anastasia is a perfectly crafted Broadway musical fairy-tale that is going to run forever (NYTG); “Anastasia” may well tap into the dewy-eyed demographic that made “Wicked” such an indestructible favorite of female adolescents. Those without such nostalgic insulation are likely to find this “Anastasia” a chore (NY Times); Anastasia is the richest and fullest family show to hit Broadway in years (Time Out); Sumptuous fairy tale of a musical (Variety) more...

Avenue Q
Avenue Q (Off-Broadway)
We may all be wondering how the hell we got to this point in our lives and constantly questioning what our purpose is? But for now, I’m happy that a single evening’s purpose is well spent just to sit back, laugh and rejoice at the marvel of this modern-day musical (NYTG) more...

Bandstand
Bandstand Three Stars
Cott and Osnes positively crackle and the ensemble work is spectacular in every way (NYTG); An openhearted, indecisive new musical (NY Times); Well-meaning mishmash of a musical (NY Daily News); The show defies you not to be moved by its valiant band of brothers (Time Out); Earnest and often-entertaining musical (Variety) more...

Beautiful
Beautiful
Make(s) you feel good (NYTG); Friendly, formulaic bio-musical (NY Times); Only occasionally resurrects the bubbly verve and energy of those glorious songs (NY Post); If you go to "Beautiful" for the songs, you'll probably have a great time. Just don't expect anything more (Record) more...

Bella: An American Tall Tale
Bella: An American Tall Tale (Off-Broadway) Three Stars
There is so much talent on the stage. But the staging is static, and the book and the plot are confusing, juvenile, and don’t accomplish Ms. Childs’ lofty ideas (NYTG); Sprawls in so many directions — with changes in tone to match (or mismatch) — that it collapses into inertia (NY Times); Bella's a winner, all butts about it (Time Out); Kirsten Childs’ high spirits are infectious (Variety) more...

The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon
Bowls you over (NYTG); Pleasure-giving musical (NY Times); Blissfully original, irreverent, outspoken and hilarious (NY Daily News); A hit (NY Post); Hysterically funny and tunefully irresistible (NY1) more...

A Bronx Tale
A Bronx Tale
This is a production that attempts to serve many masters (NYTG); It delivers reliable pleasures with polished professionalism and infectious energy (NY Times); Packs some tasty ear candy and fine performances, but it’s as conventional as it gets and could use a surprise or two (NY Daily News); Formulaic but entertaining crowd-pleaser (Hollywood Reporter) more...

Cats
Cats Three Stars
Cats is pure spectacle... shimmering, leaping, booty shaking spectacle (NYTG); The overriding spirit of the revival appears to be the familiar motto: Don’t mess with success (NY Times); Lively yet enervating (NY Daily News); Quaint and unsubstantial (Associated Press) more...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Four Stars
An eccentric, entertaining and at times dazzling production of a timeless story audiences will take to heart, especially children (NYTG); Big but tentative show (NY Times); A middle-of-the-road musical with a pale score, a flavorless book and a dearth of eye candy that could have at least made it a spectacle (NY Daily News); The uncanny darkness of Dahl’s imagination has been lightened and brightened in helmer Jack O’Brien’s mechanized production (Variety) more...

Chicago
Chicago
All you need is a live band on stage, intoxicating the auditorium with that jazz-infused score from the genius that is John Kander and Fred Ebb and sprinkle it with that Bob Fosse-style choreography, and before you know it, you’ve razzle dazzled ‘em! (NYTG); Chicago still glitters hypnotically! It remains the best adult entertainment in town and still bubbles with the joy of performing! (NY Times); The spirit of Fosse's genius never leaves the stage (Variety) more...

Come From Away
Come From Away Four Stars
The cast is beautifully directed and choreographed... They are a marvel to watch (NYTG); Big bearhug of a musical (NY Times); A big-hearted and crowd-pleasing musical about compassion and community in the wake of 9/11 (NY Daily News); A modest, earnest, life-affirming musical (Variety) more...

Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen Five Stars
Required viewing (NYTG); The marvelous young actor Ben Platt is giving a performance that’s not likely to be bettered on Broadway this season... gorgeous heartbreaker of a musical (NY Times); The show's so satisyfing it deserves a thank you note (NY Daily News); Thrillingly modern and moving (Time Out); An incomparable performance that ranks among the finest in years (NY1) more...

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day Four Stars
Erasing the estimable Bill Murray in the audience’s memory is no small task — unless you are Andy Karl (NYTG); Dizzyingly witty new musical (NY Times); Groundhog Day is a delirious reinvention with its own defiantly unique personality (Hollywood Reporter); As musical theater performers go, you couldn’t ask for a more personable fellow than Andy Karl (Variety) more...

Hamilton
Hamilton Five Stars
'Hamilton' is a magnificent tapestry where all the elements of theatre are called upon to be their very best (NYTG); 'Hamilton' makes us feel the unstoppable, urgent rhythm of a nation being born (NY Times); With 'Hamilton,' Broadway is officially the coolest place on the planet (NY Daily News); A phenomenon (NY Post) more...

Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly! Five Stars
Nostalgia-infused, perfectly-crafted Broadway revival (NYTG); Exceedingly bright and brassy revival (NY Times); Hello, blockbuster! (NY Daily News); Midler hasn’t appeared in a Broadway musical in almost 50 years. It was worth the wait (Time Out); A match made in heaven! (NY1); This deluxe revival of Hello, Dolly! is about as good as it gets, crowned by star casting that fits like a glove (Hollywood Reporter) more...

Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots Four Stars
You are smothered in a good time (NYTG); A shameless emotional button pusher (NY Times); A high time (NY Daily News); Likable but heavy-handed (NY Post); Relentlessly tedious (Record); Blissfully entertaining (NY1) more...

The Lion King
There is simply nothing else like it (NY Times); Julie Taymor's staging of Disney's The Lion King is a marvel, a theatrical achievement unrivaled in its beauty, brains and ingenuity (Variety) more...

Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon Four Stars
The story packs an unavoidable emotional punch, even if you do see it coming, largely due to the performance of Ms. Noblezada... There is little question that this new production of Miss Saigon has produced yet another bona-fide star (NYTG); This eventful, sung-through production out of London, directed by Laurence Connor, feels about as affecting as a historical diorama, albeit a lavishly appointed one (NY Times); This is a most worthy revival, and now, minus the controversy, fans are free to re-live the thrill (NY1) more...

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Three Stars
This is a visual spectacle that you rarely see on Broadway. Without the spectacle, however, the story does not stand up (NYTG); Who would have guessed that Dave Malloy’s gorgeous pop opera would land on Broadway with all its signal virtues intact, and in some ways heightened? (NY Times); Bold and affecting and a welcome addition to the Great White Way (NY Daily News); A luscious, 360-degree immersive experience that feels like being smothered in velvet (Variety) more...

On Your Feet!
On Your Feet! Four Stars
The result is a perfect 10. Fun, tears, greats songs and dancing (NYTG); Half-formulaic, half-original and undeniably crowd-pleasing musical (NY Times); Predictable but entertaining (NY Daily News); A fine addition to the ranks of jukebox musicals (Associated Press); A solid crowdpleaser (Hollywood Reporter) more...

The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera Five Stars
The Phantom of the Opera remains a stunning production that engages the ear, the eye and the heart (NYTG); A tour de force... as extravagant of imagination as of budget (NY Times); A spectacular entertainment (NY Daily News); A piece of impeccably crafted musical theatre (NY Post); Staged with brilliantly organized flair by Harold Prince (Variety) more...

School of Rock
School of Rock Five Stars
Fads in education may come and go, but School Of Rock ought to be in session for a long time to come (NYTG); Youth, it would seem, is rejuvenating (NY Times); 'School Of Rock' is a rock solid hit! (NY1); A double jolt of adrenaline and sugar (Time Out); Crowd-pleasing, upbeat musical...with a wondrously rebellious spirit and a superb cast (Associated Press) more...

Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard Four Stars
A 40 piece on-stage orchestra giving glorious voice to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score (NYTG); It is a show that exists almost entirely to let its star blaze to her heart’s content (NY Times); Glenn Close is ready for her close-up in “Sunset Boulevard” — and then some (NY Daily News); Glenn Close makes a triumphant return (Variety) more...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd (Off-Broadway) Five Stars
Sweeney Todd is as good as a musical gets, as good as theater gets, and a great reminder that, no matter how tempting, meeting injustice with wanton revenge will rarely give lasting satisfaction (NYTG); The Tooting Arts Club’s deftly, uh, executed stunt of a show, which originated in London, delivers on its ingenious, if limited, objective (NY Times); Intimate, inventive and as in-your-face as it gets (NY Daily News) more...

Waitress
Waitress Three Stars
Waitress is a musical that will leave you fahklempt, because of Sarah Bareilles’ sublime music, but seriously unsatisfied with the decision to overstuff this story (NYTG); Agreeable if unexceptional (NY Times); From score to casting, book to staging, everything comes together with a deceiving ease (NY Post); A tasty slice of pie for those with a sweet tooth (Hollywood Reporter) more...

War Paint
War Paint Three Stars
We also witness the extraordinary talents of Ebersole and Lupone. To hear them sing is to listen to the heavens break open and put down pure gold. Never mind that the music itself is not up to the grace of the voices that deliver it (NYTG); Ms. LuPone and Ms. Ebersole ...are strategically deploying the knowledge and craft of a combined eight decades in musicals to make us believe that the show in which they appear is moving forward, instead of running in place in high heels (NY Times) more...

Wicked
Wicked
Impeccably oiled entertainment machine (NYTG); Lavish, ambitious and problematic (Associated Press); Satisfying (USA Today) more...

Reviews - Entertainment

Derren Brown: Secret (Off-Broadway) Five Stars
If you like your brains scrambled, or over easy, or poached or any way other than the way you usually carry them around, Derren Brown is the fella for you (NYTG); Enthrallingly baffling one-mentalist show (NY Times); It will be hard not to be at least a bit bowled over (Time Out) more...

Gazillion Bubble Show (Off-Broadway) Four Stars
Just another bit of clever entertainment for little ones, the kid in everyone suddenly emerges... Bring the whole family to see this delightful show (NYTG) more...

Star Ratings
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Reviews - Plays


Animal Animal
(Off-Broadway)
Three Stars
Thanks to a talented cast, crisp direction by Gaye Taylor Upchurch and some poetic touches by the playwright, the gambit mostly pays off (NYTG); The play, directed with clinical focus by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, has the virtue of allowing us to sit within touching distance of Ms. [Rebecca] Hall as she plumbs the depths of toxic unhappiness (NY Times); Hall delivers a gripping performance in this gimmicky, manipulative drama (Hollywood Reporter) more...

Cost of Living Cost of Living
(Off-Broadway)
Five Stars
Cost of Living is perfection... It reawakens my belief in the poetry of theater and highlights its purpose as the critical eye on our human existence (NYTG); A gripping Manhattan Theatre Club production (NY Times); Structurally flawed but deeply moving nonetheless (Hollywood Reporter) more...

A Doll's House, Part 2 A Doll's House, Part 2
Five Stars
A Doll's House, Part 2 is a stupendous creation in nearly every way (NYTG); Smart, funny and utterly engrossing new play (NY Times); Compact and provocative comedy (NY Daily News); Modern in its language, mordant in its humor and suspenseful in its plotting (Time Out); Bristles with tension, provocation and unexpected subversive humor (Hollywood Reporter) more...

The End of Longing The End of Longing
(Off-Broadway)
Three Stars
The End of Longing is a well-intentioned homage to hope (NYTG); A synthetic play that mostly points out just how much better “Friends” was written (NY Times); Perry's comic chops are more impressive than his playwriting skills (Hollywood Reporter) more...

The Government Inspector The Government Inspector
(Off-Broadway)
Two Stars
There are two delicious reasons to see Red Bull's The Government Inspector. The first is Michael Urie (no surprise there) and the second is Arnie Burton, who should be employed everywhere (NYTG); Generates the kind of collective enthusiasm in its audience that you associate with home-team football games (NY Times); Humor is doled out generously (Time Out) more...

Indecent Indecent
Five Stars
Beautiful and emotionally shattering new play (NYTG); “Indecent” is, above all, decent, in the most complete sense of the word. It is virtuous, sturdily assembled, informative and brimming with good faith (NY Times); Heart-stirring and haunting play (NY Daily News); A memorial that feels like a blessing (Time Out); Riveting backstage drama (Variety) more...

The Little Foxes The Little Foxes
Four Stars
Directed with style and precision by Daniel Sullivan, this is a crisp evening of deceit and calculation (NYTG); Nimble, exhilarating revival (NY Times); Under Daniel Sullivan’s sure-handed direction, the show satisfies no matter who’s playing Regina — more or less (NY Daily News); Richly satisfying (Time Out); A production as classy as it is smart (Hollywood Reporter) more...

The Lucky One The Lucky One
(Off-Broadway)
Four Stars
Milne has written with a sensitivity all the more affecting for its touch of autobiography (NYTG); The play doesn’t have quite the punch of the Mint’s best rediscoveries, but it has enough to convey why Milne was a successful playwright before he became better known for those enduring children’s stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and friends (NY Times) more...

Oslo Oslo
Four Stars
Dense and compelling (NYTG); Thrilling production... directed with a master’s hand by Bartlett Sher (NY Times); This show flows in near-cinematic fashion and pulls you in so tight that time recedes (NY Daily News); Besides turning an historic event into high-brow entertainment, 'Oslo' is impressively even-handed (NY1); Unequivocally fascinating (Variety) more...

The Play That Goes Wrong The Play That Goes Wrong
Four Stars
There is NOTHING wrong with The Play That Goes Wrong. Unless you got something against laughing (NYTG); My audience, for the record, roared as loudly as the crowds at any wrestling match (NY Times); A comedy that comes up short with laughs and overstays its welcome (NY Daily News); It's like a stand-up routine consisting only of punch lines (Time Out) more...

Present Laughter Present Laughter
Five Stars
If you assume that Kevin Kline is perfect for Noel Coward, you assume correctly - and then some (NYTG); It’s high time we were reminded again of what a great physical comedian Kevin Kline is (NY Times); The production is in fine feather (NY Daily News); Talk about a match made in heaven. Kevin Kline was born to do Noel Coward (Hollywood Reporter); Kline relishes the comic challenge in this snazzy production (Variety) more...

Somebody's Daughter Somebody's Daughter
(Off-Broadway)
Three Stars
In general I was impressed with Ms. Hutchinson’s insight into and understanding of the Chinese-American experience in Somebody's Daughter (NYTG); Ms. Adrales tends to encourage larger-than-life performances, which can be engaging, though also a little exhausting (NY Times); Hutchinson’s engaging drama leaves you questioning the scripts that women are still too often heir to (Time Out) more...

Sweat Sweat
Five Stars
Leaves us thirsting for more (NYTG); It marks the belated Broadway debut of Ms. Nottage, a justly acclaimed dramatist of ambitious scope and fierce focus (NY Times); Broadway plays don’t get much more topical than 'Sweat' (NY Daily News); Sweat communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair and violence, there's humor and abundant humanity (Time Out); Mercilessly realistic production (Variety) more...


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