All stories by Jan Simpson on BroadwayStars

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Annual Idiosyncratic Fall Theater Preview by Jan Simpson

--> Between you and me, I’m a little reluctant to list the shows I’m most looking forward to this fall.  That’s because my picks for past seasons have turned out to be…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:23AM
Saturday, September 7, 2013

"First Date" Fails to Sweep Me Off My Feet by Jan Simpson

--> Lots of people seem charmed by First Date, the first musical to open in this new Broadway season.  And I wish I could have been too.   Because I admire the fact …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:20AM
Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Labor Day Salute to the Talent-Spotters by Jan Simpson

--> Labor Day has snuck up on me this year because it’s been a busier summer than usual. Some publications have asked me to write about theater-related subjects and instead of …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:35AM
Saturday, August 24, 2013

This "Harbor" Offers No Sanctuary for the Poor by Jan Simpson

--> We need more poor playwrights.  I don't mean bad writers or even those who are living hand-to mouth for the sake of their art but people who have grown up in families that had …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:18AM
Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Tale of Two Summer Evenings in the Park by Jan Simpson

There’s a certain magic about seeing a show in Central Park, no matter what the show is.  I’ve seen two there over the last couple of weeks and although not crazy about either, I’…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:05AM
Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Pains of Summer Festival Fatigue by Jan Simpson

We theater lovers used to beg for things to see in the summer.  And so we got festivals. Lots and lots of festivals. Maybe too many festivals.   There’s the New York Music…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:18AM
Saturday, August 3, 2013

Shifting into Summer Vacation Mode by Jan Simpson

Theater slows down in August. Or at least I do.  So while I’ll continue seeing a few shows, I’ll only be writing about them here once a week, instead of the usual twice, until somet…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:48AM
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Nobody Loves You" is Silly...But Loveable by Jan Simpson

Just like the TV reality shows it lampoons, the new musical Nobody Loves You, now playing at Second Stage Theatre through Aug. 11, is silly and yet enjoyable at the same time. The playwri…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 07:29AM
Saturday, July 27, 2013

Why "Me and Jezebel" Isn't for Me by Jan Simpson

We're all obsessed with celebrity these days and almost everyone (me included) has a story to tell about an encounter with one. Writer Elizabeth Fuller’s was with the movie star Bette Davi…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:36AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin" Fails to Face Up to Its Consequences by Jan Simpson

Comeuppance for the financial scoundrels who bilked people out of their savings and helped wreck the broader economy is once again a hot topic.  In “Blue Jasmine,” the new Woody All…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:35AM
Saturday, July 20, 2013

“Choir Boy” Tries to Sing Too Many Notes by Jan Simpson

Choir Boy isn’t a musical but the best thing about it is the singing. Now playing at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s studio space at New York City Center through Aug. 4, this ambitious work…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:12PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Explorers Club is a Delightful Discovery by Jan Simpson

I'm back and I bring news of something light and breezy and perfect for summer theatergoing. Because it would be hard to find a more buoyant offering than The Explorers Club, the airy comedy…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 07:55AM
Saturday, July 6, 2013

Turning on the Ghost Light by Jan Simpson

My husband K and I are off on our first big vacation in a long while and so there will be no new posts here for the next couple of weeks.  Which is why you're now looking at the ghost l…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:00AM
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Theater Books for Summer Reading 2013 by Jan Simpson

Summer is my favorite time of the year. And one of the things I love about it is sharing this annual list of books for theater lovers to read at the beach, under a tree or, perhaps like me, …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:00AM
Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Sontag: Reborn" is as Original as Its Subject by Jan Simpson

My mother gave me my first diary when I was eight years old and I continued to keep a journal into my 30s, thinking, I’m now chagrined to confess, that I might one day be famous and so sho…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:44PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"The Comedy of Errors" Gets Lots of Laughs While "The King’s Man" Gets At the Dark Stuff by Jan Simpson

Given a choice between Shakespeare’s comedies and his tragedies, I’ll line up on the side of the serious stuff almost every time. Which is why I was nervous when I set off to meet my the…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:21AM
Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Charles Ives Take Me Home" Loses Its Way by Jan Simpson

  Maybe if I’d had a better sense of who Charles Ives is, I'd have had a better time at Charles Ives Take Me Home, the new play that is running at the Rattlestick Playwright…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:11AM
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"3 Kinds of Exile" Wanders All Over the Place by Jan Simpson

Playwright John Guare has given us many enjoyable nights in the theater with such works as The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation and A Free Man of Color (click here to read my …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:01AM
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How Almost Everyone—Particularly Viewers and Theater Lovers—Came Away A Winner From this Year’s Tony Awards Ceremony by Jan Simpson

The question is the same every year:  should the Tony Awards be a celebration for Broadway insiders and their fellow travelers (like me) or should the televised ceremony be basically a …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:23AM
Saturday, June 8, 2013

Highs and Lows of the Season’s Biggest Shows by Jan Simpson

Off-Broadway shows usually come and go more quickly than big main-stem Broadway productions (unless those productions are duds or feature big Hollywood stars who sign up for limited runs or …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:29AM
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

“Far From Heaven” is Too Aloof To Love by Jan Simpson

Nostalgia for the 1950s, the childhood years of the baby boomers, will probably hold strong as long as the boomers do.  But, as the TV series “Mad Men” has shown, ruminations about …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:00AM
Saturday, June 1, 2013

“Basilica” is Blessed with a Young Guardian Angel—and One Terrific Performance by Jan Simpson

Anyone with even the slightest awareness of the young pop star Justin Bieber and his recent antics knows that the mix of celebrity and adolescence can be a toxic combination.  So it’s…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:35AM
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Farewell to—and Final Lament for—"Smash" by Jan Simpson

“Smash,” which ended its two-season run on NBC this past Sunday night, was like that friend you’re embarrassed by and are always thinking you should drop because she just doesn’t kno…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 07:29AM
Saturday, May 25, 2013

"Murder Ball" and "Bull" Are the Lastest to Get Up Close and Personal with Their Audiences by Jan Simpson

For years now, the sociologist Richard Florida has been preaching that young people in what he calls the creative class don’t want to just sit back and be fed their culture, they want to g…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:52PM
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Russian Nights with "Natasha" and "Nikolai" by Jan Simpson

Who knew that Russians would be so hip this spring? The Encores! series just finished its season with a production of Rodgers and Hart’s gangsters-and-Russian ballet musical On Your Toes. …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:09AM
Saturday, May 18, 2013

Applauding A New Trend: Playbill Extras by Jan Simpson

It’s another can’t-find-time-to-blog weekend for me but rather than turn the ghost light on yet again, I’m going to give a brief shout out to a new trend I've noticed: the fancy insert…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 07:54AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Lucky Guy" Showcases Good Guy Tom Hanks by Jan Simpson

Even if Nora Ephron hadn’t written it and Tom Hanks weren’t starring in it, Lucky Guy would probably be a hit.  For the play, now running at the Broadhurst Theatre, tells the story …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:13AM
Saturday, May 11, 2013

"The Call" Tries to Say Too Much by Jan Simpson

Performers who’ve made their name in musicals often jump at the chance to show that they can do straight dramatic roles as well.  In just the past year, Norbert Leo Butz and Nathan La…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:10AM
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why "Here Lies Love" is So Totally Lovable by Jan Simpson

Let me make two things clear right at the beginning of this post. The first, as regular readers know, is that I hate audience participation. The second is that I absolutely loved Here Lies L…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:57AM
Saturday, May 4, 2013

Barbara Cook and a Real New York Evening by Jan Simpson

Even if you were born and raised in New York, as both my husband K and I were, you've probably had fantasies of living “the real New York life.” Of course the definition of what that is …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 07:59PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Taking Time Out for Tony Talk by Jan Simpson

You don’t even have to be a theater lover to know that the Tony nominations were announced yesterday. There were, as usual, the fairly predictable nods. Hollywood heavyweight Tom Hanks got…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 07:56AM

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