All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Friday, September 27, 2019

Broadway Review: The Height of the Storm. Tricky plotting, or just a trick? by Jonathan Mandell

The same playwright who gave us The Father with a demented Frank Langella and The Mother with a depressed and possibly deranged Isabelle Huppert now offers us…dead Jonathan Pryce and Eil…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:03PM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: It’s all very removed and reserved in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, now back on Broadway. by Jonathan Mandell

There was a huge line to see the fourth Broadway production of Harold Pinter’s 1978 play about an adulterous triangle.  The enthusiasm, I had assumed, was because the cast includes the mo…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:03PM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Bat Out Of Hell The Musical Review: Loud, Long, Messy…and Sexy. by Jonathan Mandell

Bat Out of Hell is a frequently enjoyable jukebox musical running at New York City Center through September 8, using the muscular rock opera anthems from singer Meat Loaf’s trilogy of bes…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:48AM

Sea Wall/ A Life Review: Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal Talk Modestly About Life and Death by Jonathan Mandell

It’s not at all baffling why these two modest monologues by different playwrights were yoked together into a single show at the Public Theater earlier this year. There’s an even simpler …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:48AM
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Broadway dims its lights tonight for Hal Prince, January 30, 1928 – July 31, 2019 by Jonathan Mandell

Harold Prince died this morning at 91 years of age after a brief illness, in Reykjavik, Iceland. There will be no funeral, but a celebration of his life is planned.   The lights of all Bro…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:24PM
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Broadway Bounty Hunter Review: Annie Golden as Actress Turned Badass by Be More Chill’s Joe Iconis. by Jonathan Mandell

The actress Annie Golden (mute Norma in Orange Is the New Black)  stars as the actress Annie Golden, who exchanges the humiliations of auditions for the thrills of a career kick-boxing dan…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:54AM
Friday, July 19, 2019

The Bacchae Review: Euripides Tragedy Becomes Harlem Entertainment by Jonathan Mandell

What would Euripides say about the liberties being taken with his tragedies in New York? Medea, one of his last and most-produced plays, has been turned into the harrowing tale of an undocum…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:18PM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Toni Stone Review: The first black woman professional baseball player by Jonathan Mandell

Toni Stone was the first woman to play big-league professional baseball. She succeeded Hank Aaron playing second base for the otherwise all-male Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American Lea…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:54PM
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Who SHOULD win the 2019 Tony Awards Sunday night and why by Jonathan Mandell

This was an adventurous year for Broadway, with several unconventional works that seemed a more comfortable fit Off-Broadway or even Off-Off Broadway. This is a welcome development, albeit a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:36PM
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: Revisiting The Ferryman on Broadway now with its American cast by Jonathan Mandell

The Ferryman, a feast of Irish storytelling in a breathtaking mix of genres, opened on Broadway seven months ago, and since then it’s gotten nine Tony nominations, best play awards from th…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:12PM
Friday, May 17, 2019

Enter Laughing The Musical review. ridiculous, terrific – far funnier than it should be. by Jonathan Mandell

Comedian Carl Reiner called his comic novel Enter Laughing, because that is the first stage direction that his 17-year-old main character is given, at his first ever-audition, and he makes a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:48AM
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Happy Talk Review: Susan Sarandon as Marin Ireland’s matchmaker in Jesse Eisenberg’s sour play by Jonathan Mandell

From the moment Susan Sarandon makes her entrance in Happy Talk, Jesse Eisenberg’s latest play, it is clear her character Lorraine is extravagantly self-absorbed to the point of delusion. …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:18PM
Monday, April 29, 2019

All My Sons Review, Tracy Letts and Annette Bening bring star power to Arthur Miller’s tragedy by Jonathan Mandell

Nobody applauds when Annette Bening first appears on stage in All My Sons, the third Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s 1947 tragedy, the playwright’s first hit play. This is  because …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:07AM
Friday, April 26, 2019

Ink Review: Rupert Murdoch inside story, another ‘how we got where we are’ lesson by Jonathan Mandell

Ink recounts how Rupert Murdoch, newly arrived in London from Australia in 1969, bought the Sun, “a stuck-up broadsheet that…never once made a profit,” and in a year’s time made it a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:53PM
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tootsie Review: Santino Fontana as Difficult Actor Turned Beloved Actress, Updated by Jonathan Mandell

  Tootsie, the musical adaptation of the 1982 movie comedy about a difficult actor who becomes a beloved actress, begins bravely with an opening number in which bubbly ensemble members sing…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:18PM
Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review of Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus with Nathan Lane by Jonathan Mandell

Gary is a mess, deliberately so. Written by the downtown provocateur Taylor Mac making his Broadway debut, it stars three of the best comic stage actors in America as three minor characters …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:00PM
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hillary and Clinton Review: Timing’s off for Hnath’s latest with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow by Jonathan Mandell

Hillary and Clinton is exactly the play we do not need right now,  a well-acted but irrelevant middlebrow entertainment starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow as the presidential candidat…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:30PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Hadestown, Broadway review. Hot! Hot! Hot! by Jonathan Mandell

On Broadway, as Off, Hadestown is a hell of a musical. But it’s changed. When it opened Off-Broadway three years ago, Anais Mitchell’s  concept album had been turned into an inventively…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:39PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

‘Burn This’ Review: Adam Driver and Keri Russell rant and dance in Lanford Wilson’s 1987 play by Jonathan Mandell

Can a Star Wars villain and a Soviet spy find love, sex and happiness together on Broadway? That’s the question we’re primed to ask in the first Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson’s 19…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:30PM
Thursday, April 4, 2019

King Lear Review: Glenda Jackson in must-see if imperfect Shakespeare by Jonathan Mandell

As King Lear, Glenda Jackson enters with a casual swagger, giving off a scent of power that’s lasted a lifetime.  But Lear is portrayed by an 82-year-old woman, lean and light and, at 5…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:30PM
Friday, March 22, 2019

Kiss Me Kate Review on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

The most exciting moment in this fourth Broadway production of Cole Porter’s backstage musical riffing on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew comes at the top of Act II, when the cast …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:02PM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

White Noise Review: Daveed Diggs as voluntary slave in Suzan-Lori Parks illuminating new play by Jonathan Mandell

Leo (Daveed Diggs) makes an outrageous request of his best friend Ralph (Thomas Sadoski) in Suzan-Lori Parks’ bizarre, disturbing and in some ways brilliant new play, White Noise, at the P…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:00PM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Be More Chill on Broadway review. by Jonathan Mandell

Somebody wrote “NYC Loves BMC” in chalk on the sidewalk outside Broadway’s Lyceum Theater, the new home of Be More Chill, the high energy, high decibel pop-rock musical that stars Will…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:58PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

True West Review: Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano fight and switch in Sam Shepard Broadway revival. by Jonathan Mandell

In the first Broadway revival of Sam Shepard’s 1980 play, Ethan Hawke portrays Lee, a drifter, a drinker, and a thief who disrupts the life of his younger brother, Paul Dano’s Austin, an…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:36PM
Monday, January 28, 2019

Rent remembered: The young stars who created the roles, and Allen Ginsberg’s reaction to Rent’s bohemia by Jonathan Mandell

In the month before Rent opened Off-Broadway in January, 1996, Idina Menzel was singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings” at a bar mitzvah at Leonard’s of Great Neck for the thousandth time;…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:48PM
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Choir Boy review. Broadway newcomers in Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s powerful, fresh coming-of-age play by Jonathan Mandell

Pharus Jonathan Young is black, gay and gifted, like the playwright who created him, Tarrell Alvin McCraney, best known for the Oscar winning film Moonlight. McCraney is making his Broadway …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
Monday, January 7, 2019

4.48 Psychosis review. An operatic version of Sarah Kane’s final play by Jonathan Mandell

Playwright Sarah Kane killed herself at the age of 28 shortly after writing her fifth play, which offers a harrowing taste of what it’s like to live with, and die from, depression.  Now t…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:18PM
Saturday, December 8, 2018

Review: Network, Chayefksy’s prophesy of ‘fake news’ gets a strong performance from Bryan Cranston by Jonathan Mandell

Nobody can do a nervous breakdown like Bryan Cranston. As Howard Beale, long-time network news anchor gone mad, he sits in front of the camera, unable to speak, his face a dramatic repertoir…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:06PM
Friday, December 7, 2018

The Cher Show Review: glitz, hits and highlights by Jonathan Mandell

The Cher Show, the new Broadway jukebox musical that offers a whirlwind tour of the music, life and six-decade career of the entertainer and self-proclaimed  “goddamn Goddess Warrior,” …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:54PM
Friday, November 16, 2018

Thom Pain (based on nothing) review. by Jonathan Mandell

Like a boxer faking out an opponent, Michael C. Hall as Thom Pain plays tricks on the audience: “Now I think would be a good time for the raffle,” he says at one point, then shortly afte…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
Thursday, November 8, 2018

American Son Review: Kerry Washington in Racial Nightmare on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

While anxiously waiting in a Miami police station for word of what happened to her son Jamal, an educated African-American woman named Kendra (Kerry Washington) talks with her estranged whit…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:42PM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
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