All stories by Maya Phillips on BroadwayStars

Friday, September 18, 2020

‘Static Apnea’ Review: Breathing Together, Remaining Apart by Maya Phillips

In this brief but eerie installation, one viewer and one performer, separated by glass, share the feeling of being trapped underwater.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Review: ‘In Love and Warcraft’ Serves Romance for Noobs by Maya Phillips

A naïve young woman struggles with the pitfalls of intimacy in the digital age, on and off the battlefield of a multiplayer online game.

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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Review: Four Intimate Screen Encounters (One From Far Away) by Maya Phillips

The second grouping of these excellent “Here We Are” monologues includes a raucous report from outer space and a small gem from Lynn Nottage.

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Friday, September 11, 2020

How to Birth a New American Theater by Jesse Green, Maya Phillips, Laura Collins-Hughes, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Alexis Soloski

Six months dark. Thousands of artists out of work. Could this disaster have a surprise ending? Five critics on what must change, onstage and off.

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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Why ‘Rent,’ the Movie, Was My Gateway Musical by Maya Phillips

It was a flop, but the film adaptation of the Broadway smash turned me on to theater. And those starving artists made me want to make art too.

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Review: Bringing Borges to Life in ‘Footnote for the End of Time’ by Maya Phillips

Theater in Quarantine’s latest small-scale, digitally savvy production is an adaptation of a Borges story about a man stopping time to stare down death.

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Outdoors in Bushwick, Gardens of Theatrical Discovery by Maya Phillips

Replete with music, masks and vibrant costumes, “Quince” and “Beast Visit” turn urban green spaces into stages for festivity.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Designing Doesn’t Stop, Even When Stage Shows Do by Maya Phillips

Staying creative in lockdown means setting the scene for a cat, a baby and a garden. Plus an Instagram account that makes Mom and Dad into art stars.

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Monday, August 17, 2020

From a Wrestling Ring to Tiny Boxes: How ‘Chad Deity’ Went Zoom by Maya Phillips and Elisabeth Vincentelli

Two critics square off to determine how well this body slam of a comedy, about stereotypes and storytelling, made it to the very small screen.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

In Two Renditions, ‘Dutchman’ Speaks to the Moment by Maya Phillips

A Seeing Place Theater production and a Play-PerView reunion reading by the 2007 Cherry Lane Theater cast bring out different aspects of Amiri Baraka’s famous play.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

‘In These Uncertain Times’ Review: Love, Loss and Zoom by Maya Phillips

Source Material presents a postmodern approach to talking about grief and isolation in quarantine.

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Friday, July 17, 2020

‘Richard II’ Review: A Radio King With a Tottering Crown by Maya Phillips

Electric performances, led by André Holland, transcend didacticism in an audio rendition that replaced a Shakespeare in the Park production.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A Plague on Your Houses: Reading Covid-19 Into Disease Onstage by Maya Phillips

Efforts like ‘The Oedipus Project’ are worthy, but in an attempt to draw contemporary parallels, they can misread drama and mislead about the present.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:03AM
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

‘Hamilton,’ ‘The Simpsons’ and the Problem With Colorblind Casting by Maya Phillips

Animated shows are finally moving away from letting white actors play characters of color. But even well-intentioned efforts at increasing diversity create complications.

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This Is Theater in 2020. Will It Last? Should It? by Ben Brantley, Jesse Green and Maya Phillips

Our critics discuss the last four months, which thanks to Zoom (and Meryl Streep) have been full of experimentation and playfulness.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:54AM
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Review: A Bracing Trial by Zoom in ‘State vs. Natasha Banina’ by Maya Phillips

Anchored by a charismatically off-kilter performance, this one-woman show asks viewers to judge a young Russian accused of a crime of passion.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 02:42PM
Friday, June 12, 2020

12 Streamable Plays That Depict Black Lives Pierced by Racism by Ben Brantley, Jesse Green and Maya Phillips

From the documentary works of Anna Deavere Smith to brief monologues written in this moment of unrest, dramatists are sounding an alarm.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

‘About Love’ Review: Turgenev With Songs and Heartbreak by Maya Phillips

Despite charming performances, a Culture Project production works too hard bringing a delicate novella to the stage.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

‘Incantata’ Review: An Elegy in Words, Video and Potatoes by Maya Phillips

A solo stage adaptation of Paul Muldoon’s poem considers whether making art can offer solace in the wake of grief.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Review: Name-dropping Harlem in ‘Blues for an Alabama Sky’ by Maya Phillips

The neighborhood is referrred to constantly, insistently, but doesn’t come to life in Pearl Cleage’s play about a nightclub singer from the 1930s.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

‘Where We Stand’ Review: Gifts are Given, but at What Cost? by Maya Phillips

Donnetta Lavinia Grays is winningly uninhibited in her fable-like solo show about a community seduced by a mysterious benefactor.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Review: Blood Runs Too Thick in ‘Doctors Jane and Alexander’ by Maya Phillips

Edward Einhorn’s playful play takes on a lot: his scientist grandfather, his aging mother and his own doubts about putting their lives onstage.

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Review: A ‘Crucible’ for the Modern Mob by Maya Phillips

Eric Tucker updates the allegorical play about the Salem witch trials, directly implicating the audience in its examination of mass hysteria.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

‘Black History Museum’ Review: Learn. Laugh. Suffer. Move Along. by Maya Phillips

An immersive play crossed with an art installation offers sharp angles on race and white supremacy, but is dampened by didactism.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

‘When It Happens to You’ Review: A Daughter’s Rape, a Mother’s Anguish by Maya Phillips

Tawni O’Dell set herself a bracing challenge: Writing and reliving her family’s trauma onstage. But it’s more than the novelist can pull off.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Review: Stuck in Maine in ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Maya Phillips

Friends and family about to be left behind when a young man goes to college reckon with a world of narrow choices in Chad Beckim’s play.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Review: ‘Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo’ Offers Stand-Up Comedy Without the Standing by Maya Phillips

Mr. Sunshine is one of the rare Westerners to become a master of the centuries-old Japanese comic storytelling form.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

‘Mothers’ Review: Mommy and Me and the Apocalypse by Maya Phillips

A barbed comedy takes a grim turn when friends find themselves tested over how far they’ll go to defend their choices and protect their children.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:54PM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Review: Scripture With the Lunch Lady in ‘Surely Goodness’ by Maya Phillips

Chisa Hutchinson’s earnest morality play spends time with a Newark schoolboy and the brusque cafeteria worker he befriends.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Review: A Beatboxer Climbs Up and Out in ‘The Unwritten Law’ by Maya Phillips

In this stage memoir, Chesney Show struggles to balance a powerful personal story with historical heft.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: In ‘ms. estrada,’ Campus Feminists Say No to Sex, Yes to Hip-Hop by Maya Phillips

This “Lysistrata” update at the Flea Theater is consistently lively, but its comic aims are scattershot.

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All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue