All stories by Jonathan Kalb on BroadwayStars

Friday, December 9, 2022

The Blackest Raisin: “A Raisin in the Sun” at The Public Theatre by Jonathan Kalb

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, as anyone reading this knows, is a cornerstone of American drama. It’s the first play by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway (in 1959), the…

SOURCE: at 03:14PM
Friday, October 14, 2022

The 90-Minute MacGuffin: “Four Saints in Three Acts” by Jonathan Kalb

The opera Four Saints in Three Acts’ astonishingly successful run on Broadway in 1934 was the most celebrated avant-garde theater triumph of its age. With a libretto by Gertrude Stein that…

SOURCE: at 02:10PM
Sunday, September 4, 2022

More Morisseau: “Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morisseau by Jonathan Kalb

Skeleton Crew is Dominique Morisseau’s best play so far. It’s the most streamlined work in her celebrated Detroit trilogy, more tightly plotted, surprising, and moving than either Detroi…

SOURCE: at 08:02AM
Saturday, August 13, 2022

Honey, I’m Home! — Robert Icke’s “Oresteria” by Jonathan Kalb

If nothing else, you have to admire the chutzpah of Robert Icke’s Oresteia, which tries to collapse the 8-hour, 3-play action of Aeschylus’s monumental Oresteia—a founding work of West…

SOURCE: at 05:39PM
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Leveling Effects: Matthew Spangler’s Adaptation of “The Kite Runner” by Jonathan Kalb

Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel The Kite Runner is a vividly descriptive and often gripping tale of guilt and expiation, class conflict, and wrenching refugee experience, set mostly in Afghan…

SOURCE: at 02:43AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Post-Factual Theater: “MJ” at Neil Simon Theatre by Jonathan Kalb

On the way to a play one day in early 2019, I climbed out of the subway at 8th Avenue and 44th St. and was stunned to see a massive, multi-story billboard with no writing on it, just a black…

SOURCE: at 06:38AM
Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Unmanly Griefs: Robert Icke’s “Hamlet” by Jonathan Kalb

The first ten minutes of Robert Icke’s 3 ¾-hour Hamlet had me worried. Icke is a British directing star, known for contemporized takes on the classics, but the only other production of hi…

SOURCE: at 06:33AM
Saturday, July 2, 2022

Pandemonium Magic: “The Hang” at HERE by Jonathan Kalb

Taylor Mac is one of those magi of pandemonium who knows how to breach the defenses of people like me who don’t surrender easily to orgiastic theatricality. There’s something about Mac�…

SOURCE: at 02:24AM
Friday, July 1, 2022

Cut From Different Cloth: “Intimate Apparel” at Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater by Jonathan Kalb

I went to the new opera Intimate Apparel because the 2003 play it was made from is one of my favorites by Lynn Nottage. Cards on the table, I’m no opera fan in general but rather one of th…

SOURCE: at 02:24AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Black Second-Act Problems: “Black No More” by The New Group by Jonathan Kalb

In my time as a critic I’ve noticed on numerous occasions that musicals rooted in political satire always have second-act problems. They come out of the gate identifying a specific breed o…

SOURCE: at 07:50AM
Saturday, June 11, 2022

Frenemies and Freedom: “Confederates,” Signature Theatre by Jonathan Kalb

Dominique Morisseau is aware that most of her fans see her as a predominantly naturalistic playwright with a sharp comic tongue and a sharper social conscience. She says so in an intro note …

SOURCE: at 01:45AM
Thursday, June 2, 2022

Missing Mason Jars —”Take Me Out,” Second Stage by Jonathan Kalb

Walking out of the spiffy new production of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, my canny friend Tom, who was seeing the play for the first time, offered this quick take: “really interesting…

SOURCE: at 11:17AM
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Learning Curve—”How I Learned to Drive,” Manhattan Theatre Club by Jonathan Kalb

Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive is, famously, the play that blew the lid off the subject of pedophilia in the theater. At its premiere in 1997 it was startlingly fresh and shocking—…

SOURCE: at 08:58AM
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Static Electricity: Beckett at Under the Radar by Jonathan Kalb

“Static” is one of those words from which most artists recoil. It’s typically used for something felt to be listless, inert, and boring. In fact, physical stasis is an artistic tool, o…

SOURCE: at 09:51PM
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dollhouse: Innovative New Plays for A Traditional Set Piece by Jonathan Kalb

An oddity of this theatrical season to ponder as we bid farewell to 2019:  In two current New York productions model houses—gorgeous, meticulously constructed, doll-size edifices that spl…

SOURCE: at 11:15PM
Saturday, December 21, 2019

“Judgement Day”: Illusions of Grandeur by Jonathan Kalb

Two years ago, the British director Richard Jones brought a stunning production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape to the Park Avenue Armory that set a new bar for theatrical use of that …

SOURCE: at 11:32PM
Thursday, December 12, 2019

“History of Violence” and How Your iPhone is a Culprit by Jonathan Kalb

First of all, don’t be put off by the pompous, academic title. Thomas Ostermeier’s extraordinary History of Violence, adapted from a much-discussed 2016 novel by the 27-year-old French …

SOURCE: at 02:53AM
Friday, November 15, 2019

“Reparations” at the Billie by Jonathan Kalb

James Sheldon’s Reparations is a new play about racial grievance, guilt, and retribution in America that, oddly enough, is both very smart and completely sincere. What I mean by that is t…

SOURCE: at 12:15AM
Sunday, November 10, 2019

New Rapp: “The Sound Inside” by Jonathan Kalb

Adam Rapp is a polarizing playwright. After bursting onto the scene in 2001 with Nocturne — a long, moving monologue by a man who accidentally kills his sister and then reinvents himself a…

SOURCE: at 12:42AM
Friday, June 6, 2014

Offense-Defense by Jonathan Kalb

(This post is part of the 2014 TCG National Conference: Crossing Borders {Art | People} blog salon, curated by Caridad Svich.)  Not long ago, malicious hackers and an unrelenting ba…

SOURCE: Theatre Communications Group at 01:52PM