All stories by Matt Wolf on BroadwayStars

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Looking Back, Watching Stars as They Rise in Britain by Matt Wolf

Streamed productions from the archive of the Royal Shakespeare Company show the development of some top-rank British performers.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Theatre Unlocked 2: A starry premiere and musical revival alongside Greek tragedy where it began by Matt Wolf

Empty playhouses caught on camera and an online 'Merchant' complete a typically varied week of theatrical fare Theatres will begin gently unlocking their doors as we head into August. In the…

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Theatre Unlocked 1: George Floyd remembered, a classic transformed, and a call to action re climate change by Matt Wolf

A Broadway legend in concert lends musical buoyancy to this week's ever wide-ranging theatrical array We're easing out of lockdown, haircuts are being had, and the theatre continually shape…

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 13: Early Lloyd Webber, vintage Rattigan, and a Dame or two in conversation by Matt Wolf

Medeas past and present conjoin across a characteristically eclectic theatre week Stop the presses! For the first time in nearly four months, The Arts Desk can point to the first of several…

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Theater Review: 'Staged' and 'Talking Heads' by Matt Wolf

“Staged,” a six-episode sitcom, and “Talking Heads,” a remake of a group of vaunted monologues, show what good can come of a bereft theatrical scene in Britain.

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 12: An American rarity, a British savoury, and fresh Apples by Matt Wolf

Nigel Slater is back, as is Richard Nelson's Apple family for a second time via Zoom Can this weekly lineup really now be three months old?  As we move towards at least some degree of rela…

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 11: Shakespeare-as-rave, a starlit Old Vic, and, yes, those singing nuns by Matt Wolf

Some celeb-heavy revivals and a kids-friendly showstopper feature amongst this week's lineup Might we be nearing light at the end of the lockdown tunnel? It definitely seems that way, with t…

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 10: Epic plays from the National Theatre and Broadway alongside voices raised in protest by Matt Wolf

The state of Britain then and now gets a look-in, as do animals in human form As lockdown continues, National Theatre at Home has announced its final sequence of plays, and several of the v…

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Theatre Lockdown Special 9: Alan Bennett revisited, and so is Oz by Matt Wolf

THEATRE LOCKDOWN SPECIAL 9: Alan Bennett revisited, and so is Oz Some familiar titles, a 1913 rarity and a show in which the audience plays its part The government may occupy shifting sands…

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Heard Any Good Plays Lately? by Matt Wolf

Caryl Churchill and Simon McBurney are among the British theater talents contributing to “The Lockdown Plays,” a series of new works you can listen to, but can’t see.

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Theater Lockdown Special 8: A film star plays tough, and several familiar titles are examined anew by Matt Wolf

Tom Hiddleston reminds us of his stage roots, as does Christopher Walken as Captain Hook As we continue into a third month in lockdown, the arts continue to suggest ever-changing worlds beyo…

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 7: Party politics and a Broadway titan or two by Matt Wolf

Early James Graham joins various Broadway legends, Irving Berlin and Jerry Herman amongst them The live-ness of theatre seems further away with every passing week, but at least the art form…

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 6: A prolific playwright, a timeless play, and speeches galore by Matt Wolf

A popular American star vehicle and 'Alice in Wonderland' minute-by-minute figure among the cultural bounty during the week ahead Can we really be entering a third month in lockdown? Indeed…

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Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now, Yesterday and Tomorrow by Matt Wolf

Online broadcasts of some of the composer’s greatest hits put the spotlight on a 50-year career.

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 5: A solo show for the ages, Ibsen refreshed, and yet more frolicsome cats by Matt Wolf

From a much-traveled one-man play to a continent-spanning National Theatre premiere, the theatrical week offers plenty so savour No one can accuse the gods of streaming of failing to cast a…

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 4: Little-known Lloyd Webber, prize-winning Shakespeare, and starry David Mamet by Matt Wolf

In an ever-busy week, the Donmar and Finborough join the online bustle Has anyone else noticed how fulltime this streaming thing has become?  Those who were of a mind to (and who never sle…

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 3: Mary Shelley twice over, Europe writ large, and one day more for a mega-musical by Matt Wolf

Sonnets galore also form part of another busy week amidst bizarre times Time is moving in mysterious ways at the moment. It's been possible over the last month or so to mark out the beginni…

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To Restart After Lockdown, Theaters Need to Think Small by Matt Wolf

Theatrical extravaganzas could be a long time returning. But until then, there are plenty of great plays with tiny casts.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 2: Birthdays aplenty, songs of hope, a starry quiz - and more by Matt Wolf

Sondheim's and Shakespeare's natal days feted. Plus a chance to match wits with a knight and a dame As lockdown continues, so does the ability of the theatre community to find new ways to t…

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Theatre Lockdown Special 1: Starry podcasts, late-career Shakespeare, a celebrity basement - and more by Matt Wolf

Theatre buffs have no shortage of scintillating options during our ongoing shut-in The lockdown has been extended, but here's the good news: each week whereby we are shut inside seems to br…

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Twelfth Night, RSC/Stratford-upon-Avon online review - inventive but underfelt by Matt Wolf

Kara Tointon leads a concept-heavy, Victorian-era Shakespeare update Twelfth Night is rarely long-absent from the British stage and nor is it in our current climate of streaming aplenty. Th…

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Monday, April 13, 2020

Flowers for Mrs Harris, Chichester Festival Theatre online review - a warmly open-hearted weepie by Matt Wolf

Musical adaptation celebrates British pluck, coupled with luck 18 months or so after it opened in Chichester, Flowers for Mrs Harris launches a sequence of streamed productions from the Wes…

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Closed Theaters Are Nothing New. The Good News Is, They Reopen. by Matt Wolf

London’s playhouses have been shuttered before, by plagues and war for instance, but they have always returned as strong as ever.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre online review - a major play about the miners by Matt Wolf

Beth Steel award-winner makes for muscular, eerily apposite fare The talk is of an “economy in ruin [with] unemployment through the roof”: a précis of Britain in lockdown? In fact, thi…

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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre online review - a mind in mesmerising meltdown by Matt Wolf

Stephen Rea rivets once again in David Ireland play One of the most blistering stage performances in recent memory gets a renewed lease on life with the streaming of the 2019 screen version…

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Wild, Hampstead Theatre online review - timelier than anticipated by Matt Wolf

Mike Bartlett's 2016 play chimes with our topsy-turvy times “The whole world is just tilting at the moment,” we’re told near the end of Wild, the Mike Bartlett play from summer 2016 …

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sondheim at 90: adults will listen by Matt Wolf

The composer-lyricist has left an indelible legacy Here's an irony worthy of the work of Stephen Sondheim, an artist who clearly knows a thing or two about the multiple manifestations of th…

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Last Nights on London’s Stages, Before the Lights Went Out by Matt Wolf

While the city’s theaters were still open, several plays seemed to have relevant messages for our troubled times.

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Friday, March 13, 2020

Love, Love, Love, Lyric Hammersmith review - a stinging revival by Matt Wolf

Mike Bartlett play remains as buoyant and biting as ever The Beatles lyric that gives Mike Bartlett’s terrific play its title dates to 1967, which also happens to be the year in which the…

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

On Blueberry Hill, Trafalgar Studios review - superb acting, specious plot by Matt Wolf

Sebastian Barry two-hander offers rich acting opportunities for two of Ireland's finest Some wondrous acting is sacrificed on the altar of an increasingly wonky plot in On Blueberry Hill, t…

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Friday, March 6, 2020

Daniel Monks on Starring in London's The Seagull with Emilia Clarke and Why He's an Ali Stroker Super Fan by Matt Wolf

Daniel Monks electrified London at the end of 2019 playing the title role at the Donmar in Teenage Dick, Chinese-American writer Mike Lew’s teasingly titled play that transposes Shakespear…

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