Category Archives: Professional

A blazing performance as Nina Simone in “Little Girl Blue”

My memories of seeing Nina Simone perform in Philadelphia and Atlantic City jazz clubs in the late 1950s/early 60s are soft-focus, because, well, do the math. What does remain sharp, though, is how her singing affected those of us fortunate … Continue reading

Blog, Professional, Regional

“Ain’t Misbehavin'” at Westchester: The Joint Is Jumpin’

To describe a play or musical as ‘dated’ might indicate that the piece is no longer relevant by virtue of evolved social or moral standards. (You won’t see Neil Simon’s play about the battered alcoholic Gingerbread Lady any time soon.) … Continue reading

Blog, Professional, Regional

A walk on the farce side: “Noises Off” at Two River Theater

One can imagine the Two River Theater staff meeting to select a catch-phrase for their “Noises Off” advertising campaign. It is fitting that they settled on “One of the funniest plays ever written,” because, well, honesty is the best policy. … Continue reading

Blog, Professional, Regional

“King Hedley II” Reigns at Two River Theater

In the play running through December 16 at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, a 35-year old African-American woman defends her decision to terminate her pregnancy in an impassioned speech. “I ain’t raising no kid to have somebody shoot … Continue reading

Blog, Professional, Regional

“Annie” gets a makeover (with Andrea McArdle aboard)

With a few minor (and one not-so-minor) modifications, producers Andrew De Prisco and Jess Levy and director/choreographer Al Blackstone have given “Annie” a fresh appearance without sacrificing its Depression-era flavor or its sentiment. Fortunately, they haven’t monkeyed with the terrific … Continue reading

Blog, Professional, Regional

“Phantom” in Westchester (not that one, the other one)

While some introductory background is a de facto requirement in a review of the “Phantom” musical that does not append “of the Opera” to its title, be advised upfront that the production at Westchester Broadway (Dinner) Theatre in Elmsford, NY … Continue reading

Blog, Professional, Regional