All stories by Joel Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Monday, January 24, 2022

Di Froyen (The Women) by Joel Benjamin

The New Yiddish Rep’s (David Mandelbaum, artistic director) production of the Yiddish language "Di Froyen (The Women)" is a bittersweet, anger-inducing portrait of modern day Chasid women …

SOURCE: at 08:23PM
Friday, January 21, 2022

Addressless: A Walk in Our Shoes by Joel Benjamin

Turning the plight of New York City’s homeless into a game is an iffy proposition to say the least.  At best, the audience for the theatrical effort, "Addressless: A Walk in Our Shoes," l…

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

I Just Want to Tell Somebody by Joel Benjamin

He used the gimmick of preparing to perform the very show he was performing for his audience in the Cabaret Theater of the Theater for the New City; but by the end of his fascinating and gru…

SOURCE: at 01:45PM
Friday, December 10, 2021

Parsons Dance: Fall 2021 Season by Joel Benjamin

Parsons’ first work on the program was the tour de force solo “Balance of Power” performed by the phenomenal Zoey Anderson.  Clad in Barbara Erin Delo’s brilliantly colored tight co…

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Monday, November 22, 2021

Diana, The Musical by Joel Benjamin

If you are a Princess Diana completist, "Diana: The Musical" will satisfy your needs along with the deeper Spencer and The Queen and all the innumerable documentaries about this ill-fated fa…

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Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Bronx Babe by Joel Benjamin

When Sonny Marie Lee stepped onto the stage of the Actors Temple Theatre as the eponymous "The Bronx Babe" I thought she was putting the audience on, acting the stereotypical, Noo Yawk accen…

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A Turtle on a Fence Post by Joel Benjamin

Unfolding from a stand-up comedy routine—“A prisoner walks into a bar…!”—and set in a comedy venue designed with ingenuity and style by Walt Spangler, Turtle veers from hokey to ho…

SOURCE: at 12:07PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Caroline, or Change by Joel Benjamin

"Caroline, or Change" is an important musical, more now than in 2004.  It should be seen.  The Roundabout production, though somewhat flawed, still communicates the complicated relationshi…

SOURCE: at 11:41AM
Friday, November 5, 2021

Swan Lake Rock Opera by Joel Benjamin

Now there’s "Swan Lake Rock Opera" created by Mirit Shem-Ur (book and lyrics), Tsedi Sarfati (director and dramaturge) and Sharona Pick (music production and additional music).  The show …

SOURCE: at 08:59AM
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Lucinda Childs’ “Dance” at The Joyce Theater by Joel Benjamin

Before the dancers appeared live, "Dance" commenced with a burst of Glass’ iconic, pulsating music—here pre-recorded, originally performed live—and a still from LeWitt’s original vid…

SOURCE: at 03:26PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New York City Center’s 2021 Fall for Dance Festival: Programs 1 and 2 by Joel Benjamin

The final work on Program 1 was its finest.  A.I.M. By Kyle Abraham presented its director’s “Our Indigo: If We Were a Love Song,” a deeply moving paean to the darker meanings of love…

SOURCE: at 12:23PM
Monday, October 11, 2021

1-2-3 Manhunt by Joel Benjamin

DiMurro writes with an acute sense of the rhythm of New York speech and its old-school jargon, helped by director William Roudebush’s complementary sense of timing, not to mention four exp…

SOURCE: at 12:54AM
Sunday, October 3, 2021

Denishawn: Dances by Ruth St. Denis & Ted Shawn by Joel Benjamin

The dances on this program are perfect examples of the Denishawn aesthetic which combined what was then exoticism with impeccable theatricality.  The Denishawn troupe was very much of its t…

SOURCE: at 12:43PM
Friday, October 1, 2021

Between the Bars by Joel Benjamin

Benjamin Viertel directs "Between the Bars" brilliantly finding the balance between theatricality and reality.  Each character emerges as distinct and multidimensional, even the guards who …

SOURCE: at 12:41AM
Monday, September 27, 2021

The Wayward Daughter of Judah the Prince by Joel Benjamin

It is to the credit of the entire cast—dressed in Anthony Paul-Cavaretta’s period tunics and flowing robes—that Lackey’s sometimes over-the-top dialogue lands credibly. Two other ele…

SOURCE: at 08:24PM
Saturday, September 25, 2021

Ragamala Dance Company: Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim by Joel Benjamin

As the opaquely complicated plot played out on the stage, the three lead dancers (Ranee, Aparna and Ashwini Ramaswamy) took turns displaying impeccable Bharatanatyam technique:  feet adorne…

SOURCE: at 07:54PM
Thursday, September 16, 2021

My Mother’s Severed Head by Joel Benjamin

Sadly, these promises aren’t kept in this mishmash of plots and characters that never quite meshes into a viable whole; it remains an unsteady comedy/fantasy never morphing into a smooth-r…

SOURCE: at 12:08PM
Monday, September 6, 2021

Roles and Rules of Comedy by Joel Benjamin

"Roles and Rules of Comedy," six short comedic bits of fluff written and directed by Harold Dean James is a character-driven view of contemporary New York City.  Presented at the elegant Pl…

SOURCE: at 05:34PM
Friday, August 20, 2021

BAAND Together Dance Festival at Lincoln Center by Joel Benjamin

It’s unlikely that New York City will ever see these five troupes sharing a stage again.  This was a festive occasion despite being uneven in tone and not particularly representative of a…

SOURCE: at 12:41PM
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

George M. Cohan Tonight! by Joel Benjamin

It is definitely worth a gander for both its subject matter and its performer, the disarming and immensely talented Jon Peterson who also adapted the one-man play from Chip Deffaa’s origin…

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Two Noble Kinsmen by Joel Benjamin

Hamilton Clancy, the artistic director of The Drilling Company, joins forces with his assistant director Karla Hendrick to stage The Two Noble Kinsmen in a modern-dress version that makes th…

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Charmed Life: From Soul Singing to Opera Star by Joel Benjamin

She gets to sing everything from the Patsy Kline classic “Crazy,” “Respect” (made famous by Aretha Franklin), and “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess to generous, beautifully acted …

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Friday, July 9, 2021

Fruma-Sarah (Waiting in the Wings) by Joel Benjamin

In what might just be the best stage role of her career, Jackie Hoffman plays the multi-faceted Ariana in E. Dale Smith’s "Fruma-Sarah (Waiting in the Wings)" at Nancy Manocherian’s the …

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Friday, July 2, 2021

Aporia: “Icarus and Amina” by Joel Benjamin

The Icarus of Icarus and Amina is a poster of Henri Matisse’s brilliantly colorful abstraction of that Greek mythological character who soared too close to the sun, and Amina (Sidney Carut…

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Friday, June 25, 2021

Audience (The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre) by Joel Benjamin

Havel’s Audience represents CAMT’s first foray into modern Czech literature having previously staged imaginative productions of folk material.  This visit to contemporary theater, unfor…

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sloppy Bonnie: A Roadkill Musical for the Modern Chick by Joel Benjamin

Written by Krista Knight and Brinegar, Sloppy Bonnie follows its title character (played with irresistible zest by Amanda Disney) as she lays waste to everything and everyone in her path, le…

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Monday, May 31, 2021

New Chamber Ballet: “Sea” & “Sun” by Joel Benjamin

“Sea,” according to Magloire’s program notes is “loosely inspired by the movement of waves.”  Five dancers—Anabel Alpert, Megan Foley, Amber Neff, Rachele Perla and Alison Tatsu…

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Sutton Foster: “Bring Me to Light”  by Joel Benjamin

Sutton Foster, one of the shining lights of New York City’s currently dimmed theater scene, glowed in Sutton Foster/Bring Me to Light.  Her voice and interpretations were the richest they…

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Ephrat Asherie Dance: “Odeon” by Joel Benjamin

Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, the artistic director of the effervescent Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) has absorbed the disciplines of a number of dance forms:  hip-hop, breaking, Latin-American…

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Monday, March 29, 2021

The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/Special Guest by Joel Benjamin

Aguirre manages to have written a play that doesn’t feel like a play thanks to his interpretation of the main character.  He doesn’t overdo the emotions, letting the songs carry that we…

SOURCE: at 01:53PM
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Jericho by Joel Benjamin

"Jericho" has a great deal going for it.  It is directed by Marsha Mason and features Jill Eikenberry.  These two formidable theater artists’ participation promises quality which is evid…

SOURCE: at 12:35PM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre