All stories by Justin Hayford on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

All That He Was plucks the heartstrings by Justin Hayford

A musical about the darkest days of AIDS shows its student-effort roots, but provides a stirring score. A little more than two decades ago, composer Cindy O'Conn…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Now and Then loses its place in time by Justin Hayford

The stakes are too low in this musical about the life span of a gay relationship. Three versions of lovers Daniel and Greg—in their 20s, 30s, and "50s and olde…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM

The Spitfire Grill runs on corn by Justin Hayford

American Blues Theater’s production finds some honesty amid the musical cliches. Boy, oh boy, the residents of tiny Gilead, Wisconsin, need some hope. Good thi…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Ada and the Engine is more mechanical tool than finely calibrated dramatic device by Justin Hayford

The gears keep spinning, but we never get anywhere. I suppose it would be difficult not to make a mechanical engine the central metaphor of any play about Ada By…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The D&D-Shakespeare mash-up Love’s & Labour’s is raw, messy—and endearing by Justin Hayford

Odd's Bodkins has created a highly idiosyncratic production steeped in quirky earnestness. Dungeons & Dragons' 45-year history has had its volatile moments. …

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

In Life on Paper, Jackalope once again turns straw into gold. by Justin Hayford

Gus Menary's ensemble transforms Kenneth Lin's mechanical script into a warm, nuanced production. Playwright Kenneth Lin's got nothing on Frank Capra. In this ga…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bloomsday transcends its preposterous plot with nuanced musings on age and regret by Justin Hayford

It should be a trainwreck, but it's not, just so long as you put your intellect on hold. A stranger walks up to you. They know your name, where you've been, wher…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Ionesco’s Killing Game gets too busy with the dying by Justin Hayford

There's not enough room in this scattershot world for ideas to deepen. Eugène Ionesco's Killing Game, first produced in 1970, will always be relevant—which pa…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

In Mad Hip Beat & Gone, two teens split Nebraska to find their bliss by Justin Hayford

Steven Dietz's historical drama starts strong but gets "tangled up in roads." Unhelpfully prolific American playwright Steven Dietz never met a promising idea he…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Gamergate-inspired drama Non-Player Character doesn't bother to challenge audience assumptions by Justin Hayford

It provides all the answers to the central dilemma that you'd expect. Red Theater has achieved its admirable goal to "ask dangerous questions theatrically" in th…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Friday, March 22, 2019

Refuge Theatre lifts Hands on a Hardbody out of complete banality by Justin Hayford

"If you want something," they sing, "keep your hands on it." Based on S.R. Bindler's 1997 documentary of the same name, this 2012 Broadway musical focuses on an …

SOURCE: at 07:00AM

Detour Guide isn't sure where it's going by Justin Hayford

Karim Nagi takes his audience on a tour of the Arab world beyond Aladdin. At the beginning of this discursive one-man show, a Silk Road Rising/Stage Left coprodu…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Thursday, March 14, 2019

The final 15 minutes of Dutch Masters are devastating by Justin Hayford

But Greg Keller’s script takes way too long to get there. In his 2018 one-act, actor and writer Greg Keller creates a relationship between two young men so poi…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM
Friday, October 7, 2016

Dave Maher, high-concept mischief-maker, revives his Coma Show this weekend by Justin Hayford

As a performer, comedian Dave Maher is a high-concept mischief-maker. During his recent six-week stint at the Annoyance, he spent one night intentionally shirking his responsibilities, setti…

SOURCE: at 12:19PM
Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: A Retreat From the Edge by Justin Hayford

In Detroit, Lisa D'Amour pulls back where she should push.

SOURCE: at 05:58PM

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