Stars draw the crowds on Broadway these days, but seldom has shrewd casting created such an instant must-see as Steve Martin's new comedy Meteor Shower. The big attraction is a pair of acclaimed TV comedians making their Broadway debuts: Keegan-Michael Key, co-creator of the superb sketch-comedy series Key and Peele, and Amy Schumer, who has … Continue reading The Stars Don’t Align for “Meteor Shower”
I don't want to say anything bad or disrespectful about The Band's Visit, the new musical that has just opened on Broadway after an acclaimed off-Broadway run last winter. Adapted from a little 2007 film about an Egyptian police band that winds up, by mistake, stranded in a forlorn little Israeli town, the show is … Continue reading “The Band’s Visit”: Is “Nice” Enough?
Can a theater be the reason a play doesn't work? I'm starting to think that about the Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center. With its cavernous space, thrust stage and semi-circular, steeply raked seats, the place is fine for big musicals (The King and I, South Pacific), but tends to overwhelm smaller, more intricate plays. I … Continue reading Greed Is Not So Good (on Broadway)
My reaction to the new Broadway revival of M. Butterfly, I'm afraid to say, is a giant shrug. When David Henry Hwang's play made its Broadway debut in 1988, it was a startling, even daring, effort to make sense of the strange but true story of a French diplomat in China who had a years-long … Continue reading “M. Butterfly,” Earthbound
About 20 minutes into Time and the Conways, J.B. Priestley'a 1937 play now being revived by the Roundabout Theater Company, I was feeling the way I imagine John Osborne and the "angry young men" of British drama must have felt in the 1950s: Enough of these well-mannered, well-made plays about the rarefied concerns of the … Continue reading “Time and the Conways”: Give It Time
I just finished a busy weekend of filmgoing at the Hamptons International Film Festival. This annual Hamptons ritual — which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year— has always struck me as a bit of a superfluous stop on the film-festival circuit. It overlaps with the higher-profile New York Film Festival, just a hundred miles to … Continue reading Cruising the Hamptons Film Festival
Broadway's fall season doesn't immediately inspire me. Several of the most high-profile new shows come from people whose work I've not been crazy about in the past. But I'm always looking for surprises, and here are six upcoming shows that might provide some: Meteor Shower (opening Nov. 29): Steve Martin's new play, first staged last … Continue reading The Fall Season: Six Shows I’m Looking Forward To