The Encores! transfer of Into the Woods opened at the St. James Theater to absolute rave reviews. The simplicity of the staging allows for the hilarious and heartbreaking performances from this star-studded cast to shine and Sondheim's wonderful score to soar. The critics are in full agreement on this one; you'd be a fool to miss this mounting of Woods.
The stage musical adaptation of the film Mr. Saturday Night that just opened at the Nederlander Theater is exactly what you'd expect. Billy Crystal turns in the kind of stellar live performance only he can in a so-so show with a pleasant score. Light on drama and heavy on punchlines, fans of Crystal will go home happy and the production is likely to run as long as he headlines.
Critics are heaping boundless praise on the newly opened Broadway version of A Strange Loop. The bold and highly original production, which wow'd audiences Off-Broadway in 2019 and took home the Pulitzer last year, has lost none of what made it extraordinary on its journey to the Great White Way. In fact, the change to cast professional-newcomer Jaquel Spivey as Usher has critics applauding even more loudly than before. Entertaining, brash, heartfelt and uncomfortable, A Strange Loop is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and at the top of most best-of lists for this season.
It's hard to compete with Streisand. And though all of the critics give Beanie Feldstein accolades for her effort, they universally find that her child-like, strained and physical comedy-reliant performance doesn't live up to the original, nor does it make up for the mostly lackluster score (with the exceptions of a couple notable songs) and terrible, episodic script (that Harvey Fierstein's doctoring did not help at all). Director Michael Mayer simply did not tap the right people or figure out the right approach to make this show work. And ultimately, is this musical worth reviving at all without a Streisand at the helm?
Yikes. Critics did not care for The Little Prince at all. The Parisian transfer that just opened at the Broadway Theatre was panned for pretty much every element; the worst offenders: boring narration by Chris Mouron, a pre-recorded atmospheric score, outright ugly costumes, lackluster projections and uninspired acrobatics and dance. Not engaging enough for children or enough of a wow for adults, performances reportedly had folks leaving in droves at intermission. If you can hang on, the second half is better than the first (with the best bit coming during curtain call); but the consensus is the two-hour runtime of this production is roughly two hours too long...
Paradise Square, a musical ten years in development, just landed on Broadway with an overwrought thud. The dancing by Bill T. Jones and a powerhouse performance by Joaquina Kalukango are almost enough to save the show; but ultimately the simplistic moralizing storytelling and written-by-committee score are simultaneously too much and too little.
The Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster-led revival of The Music Man opened with a set of "meh" reviews this Thursday. Though well polished and featuring all of the proper elements and people, the critics agreed that ultimately the spark is just missing from this revival and it feels dated, dry and two dimensional. Read the review roundup below.
By all critical accounts, the script felt so redacted and PR-forward in presenting Michael Jackson as victim that the show ultimately feels hallow and feckless, despite the appeal of the music, stunning costumes, powerhouse performances, and iconic choreography.
Reviews are out for Flying Over Sunset, the latest from James Lapine, and critics were largely underwhelmed by the trip. Though the performers and tech all wowed, the story was ultimately too heavy-handed, heady and flat, leaving critics bored and wanting more. Looking for something new and different? This definitely delivers there. But perhaps in a way no one was looking for...
Critics have weighed in on the latest Broadway opening, and with the exception of the New York Times, all came out yelling: "Go see this show!!!" Though they all agree than Katrina Lenk, the Tony-winning Actress from The Band’s Visit, doesn't quite step up to fill the shoes of the regendered lead either vocally or emotionally, the wonderful music, ensemble and design behind this production make up for her performance, and combine to make it a marvelous production none-the-less. Patti LuPone delivers a career toppling turn as Joanne, and with a couple notable exceptions, the gender-swapping worked far better than critics had feared. They found this sharp reconception of a Sondheim masterpiece surprising, exciting, moving and well worth a trip to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater.