All stories by Joel Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Monday, February 26, 2024

Jelly’s Last Jam (New York City Center Encores!) by Joel Benjamin

Does the New York City Center Encores! new production of "Jelly’s Last Jam" hold up against the original Broadway production (1992-1993) which starred Gregory Hines (Tony Award), Savion Gl…

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Twyla Tharp Dance: Winter Season 2024 by Joel Benjamin

Like her masterful Sinatra solo for Mikhail Baryshnikov, “Brel” takes Cornejo from a strolling meditating figure (“Quand On N’A Que l’Amour”) to an anguished lover (“Ne Me Quit…

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Friday, February 16, 2024

White Wave: 2024 SoloDuo Dance Festival by Joel Benjamin

The host company, WHITE WAVE Young Soon Kim Dance Company ended the short, well-run program with the longest work, the three-part “Eternal NOW.”  It also had the most complex costumes, …

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Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the First World War by Joel Benjamin

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT) is presenting “an innovative re-interpretation of a classic, combining live performances with puppets” at the resourceful Theater for …

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Once Upon a Mattress (New York City Center Encores!) by Joel Benjamin

Of course, in true American musical theater form the elegant Princess has been transformed into the bedraggled and uncouth Winnifred (Foster, in her best goofy guise, proving her talent know…

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

Compagnie Hervé KOUBI: “Sol Invictus” by Joel Benjamin

This hotbed of virtuosity, indeed, made his troupe one gorgeous community of physically exuberant and fearless citizens.  Whether he communicated any deeper existential or human truths prob…

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Friday, January 19, 2024

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE: Winter 2023-24 Season by Joel Benjamin

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, the Brooklyn-based dance company founded in 1985 is back at the Joyce Theater presenting two works by Brown showing off the exuberance, sensuality and technical bri…

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Monday, January 15, 2024

Prayer for the French Republic by Joel Benjamin

Harmon meticulously fuses the domestic ups and downs of this bright, well-educated extended family with the overwhelming and unavoidable social upheavals that surround them whether it’s th…

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Friday, December 29, 2023

Momix: Fall 2023 Season by Joel Benjamin

How the ten dancers of Momix create so many beautiful and mysterious images is a credit to artistic director Moses Pendleton and his associate Cynthia Quinn who, along with the dancers, crea…

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The Gospel According to Chaim by Joel Benjamin

There are few issues that raise the ire of the religious as a member changing religions.  Apostate is the mildest term used for such a person. Mikhl Yashinsky’s "The Gospel According to C…

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Friday, December 22, 2023

Rachel Bloom: Death, Let Me Do My Show by Joel Benjamin

Dressed in a glittery, silver suit—costumes by Kristin Isola—Bloom immediately takes control of an audience who already admire her from her standup comedy and her bitterly funny TV show,…

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Monday, December 11, 2023

Export Quality by Joel Benjamin

Through a technologically astute production and fine acting, their intertwining stories unfold in a dramatic tapestry that reveals the sad business of mail-order brides.  Using an intricate…

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Thursday, December 7, 2023

An Axemas Story by Joel Benjamin

Despite its fairy-tale plot, Axemas isn’t really suitable for children because of language and sexual situations, but everyone else will find something amusing in this rag-taggle productio…

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Monday, December 4, 2023

Mind Mangler: A Night of Tragic Illusion by Joel Benjamin

"Mind Mangler: A Night of Tragic Illusion," starring the genial, but daffy, Henry Lewis, is part of the “gone wrong” franchise by Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields: "Peter Pan Goes…

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Friday, December 1, 2023

‘Til Death by Joel Benjamin

The secrets revealed seem more contrived and clichéd and take away from the moving story of Mary’s battle with cancer.   Nick behaves badly.  Lucy has a drug habit and Jason questions …

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Monday, November 27, 2023

Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) by Joel Benjamin

Director Matthew “Motl” Didner manages to make what might have been just a well-staged concert of moving songs into a dramatic whole with a deep feeling for the ebb and flow of emotions …

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Sunday, November 19, 2023

Scene Partners by Joel Benjamin

It takes an artist of the stature and extraordinary talent of Wiest to keep Caswell’s fragmented play from flying off in all directions as it veers from reality to fantasy and from flashba…

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Friday, November 17, 2023

Harmony by Joel Benjamin

The musical "Harmony," the lovechild of pop music greats Barry Manilow (music) and Bruce Sussman (lyrics and book), has opened at a time when anti-Semitism has peaked once again and lessons …

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Thursday, November 2, 2023

Boris Charmatz: Somnole by Joel Benjamin

Far less mystical that he would have us believe, "Somnole" nevertheless is Charmatz’s honest exploration of his stated theme, although self-indulgence reared its ugly head too often.  The…

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

King of the Jews by Joel Benjamin

How does a Holocaust-themed play land with such emotional impact as Leslie Epstein’s "King of the Jews" at the HERE Theatre?  Based on his novel of the same name, "King of the Jews" is a …

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Room with a View by Joel Benjamin

The dancers performed their dystopian tasks with great dedication and the occasional display of actual technique.  They were all good-looking and clearly into what they believed was an icon…

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

HopeBoykinDance: States of Hope by Joel Benjamin

The spine of the work wasn’t the choreography or dancing, but the lines spoken by the dancers as they walked about the stage; however, since the lighting by Crawford was shadowy and the da…

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Sunday, October 22, 2023

Scrambled Eggs by Joel Benjamin

Sometimes good intentions do not have the best results—at least in theater. Such is the case with "Scrambled Eggs" at the Gene Frankel Theatre.  Presented to bring immediacy to the issue …

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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Melissa Etheridge: My Window by Joel Benjamin

Melissa Etheridge is a bona-fide superstar.  So, why is this artist, used to appearing in huge venues, “slumming” in a Broadway theater with a capacity of less than 800? Let’s not loo…

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Saturday, October 14, 2023

The Great Divide by Joel Benjamin

Does it matter how autobiographical Amy Crossman’s "The Great Divide" at the HERE Arts Center is?  A production of the Boomerang Theatre Company, "Divide" is Crossman’s one-person play …

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Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Fall for Dance 2023: Program 5 by Joel Benjamin

The immediate impression of "Gira" was of the semi-circle of lights designed by Gabriel Pederneiras and Paulo Pederneiras (the Grupo Corpo artistic director) and their somber illumination of…

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Friday, October 6, 2023

Fall for Dance: Program 3 by Joel Benjamin

The Houston Ballet, Julie Kent and Stanton Welch, directors, opened the program with Welch’s genteel "Clear" to music by J.S. Bach.  Originally staged on American Ballet Theatre, the Hous…

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Monday, October 2, 2023

Fall for Dance Festival 2023: Program 1 by Joel Benjamin

Ballet BC, the Canadian-based modern ballet company, began the program with 'The Statement," Crystal Pite’s witty take on a boardroom meeting, a corporate boardroom meeting full of intrigu…

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Bettinger’s Luggage by Joel Benjamin

An alternate title for Albert M. Tapper’s Clifford Odets-esque "Bettinger’s Luggage" might be "The Flood." In Tapper’s period piece, a flood destroyed the eponymous shop, an event arou…

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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Zoetrope by Joel Benjamin

Clearly, "Zoetrope" often becomes difficult to follow for non-Spanish speakers.  The dearth of realistic sets makes knowing which location is which confusing, despite the occasional descrip…

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Monday, September 18, 2023

Tripping on Life by Joel Benjamin

Shaye tells of a pot and drug-addicted couple who are totally disgusting parents to a two year old.  That’s just not acceptable even though it is told as a funny hippy-dippy anecdote. Eve…

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All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards