All stories by Michael Dale on BroadwayStars

Sunday, February 17, 2019

BWW Review: The York Reconstructs and Revives Lerner and Loewe Obscurity THE DAY BEFORE SPRING by Michael Dale

Opening in November of 1945 and closing up shop less than four months later, the sophomore Broadway effort of the team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, THE DAY BEFORE SPRING, would be…

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Friday, February 15, 2019

BWW Review: Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal Beautifully Tell of Personal Tragedies in SEA WALL/A LIFE by Michael Dale

'As terrifying as anything I've seen,' is how a young fellow describes the natural phenomenon that gives playwright Simon Stephens' solo piece Sea Wall its title.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BWW Review: Hip-Hop Improv FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME Dazzles With Verbal Dexterity by Michael Dale

The only part of FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME that doesn't bounce off an audience response comes at the very beginning when four voices announce a mic check and standard phrases like mic one check…

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BWW Review: Yael Farber Sets A Strindberg Classic in Post-Apartheid South Africa in MIES JULIE by Michael Dale

You can pass laws, spread the wealth and educate the masses all you want, but perhaps the quickest way to dissolve the barriers between established classes is simply through giving in to raw…

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Monday, February 11, 2019

BWW Review: Victoria Clark Directs Conor McPherson's Adaptation of August Strindberg's THE DANCE OF DEATH by Michael Dale

'You take a mackerel, grill it, drizzle a little lemon on it, serve it up with a huge glass of white zinfandel, and one doesn't feel quite like blowing one's brains out anymore, does one' ob…

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

BWW Review: Carmen Cusack's a Charmer in Encores! Mounting of Irving Berlin's Political Spoof CALL ME MADAM by Michael Dale

The brevity of political satire's shelf life tends to rival that of a tray of supermarket eggs, but it seems one of the quips penned by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse for the book of thei…

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Friday, February 1, 2019

BWW Review: Andréa Burns Says Buona Sera To The York's CARMELINA by Michael Dale

With a proliferation of pimps, drug dealers and muggers saturating Times Square, business on Broadway was struggling during much of the 1970s, with theatres frequently left empty for long st…

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

BWW Review: Amy Staats' Fun and Frisky Look at Van Halen, EDDIE AND DAVE by Michael Dale

'We can't talk about him, there's not enough time.' That's the quick explanation given to the audience as to why there's nobody portraying Michael Anthony, described 'as a bassist with a gol…

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Monday, January 28, 2019

BWW Review: Laura Benanti Brings Fresh Maturity to Eliza in Bartlett Sher's Glorious MY FAIR LADY Revival by Michael Dale

Flying in the face of the dreadful 21st Century practice of making extreme cuts and revisions to classic musicals by deceased authors in the belief that they would offend contemporary sensib…

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

BWW Review: Calvin Trillin's ABOUT ALICE Is A Warm, Witty and Wondrous Valentine by Michael Dale

To those who knew her, Alice Trillin was highly regarded as an educator, author and film producer. But to millions more who never met her, she was the women that her husband, humorist Calvin…

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

BWW Review: Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano Get Rowdy in Sam Shepard's Dark Comedy of Brotherly Dysfunction, TRUE WEST by Michael Dale

In this business we make movies. American movies. Leave the films to the French.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

BWW Review: Colin Quinn's RED STATE BLUE STATE Riffs On America's Political Divide by Michael Dale

'Free speech is an acoustic art. It wasn't meant to go electric,' Colin Quinn explains in his very funny riff on contemporary American discourse, RED STATE BLUE STATE.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

BWW Review: Diplomacy Demands Charisma in Helen Banner's INTELLEGENCE by Michael Dale

'Before I walk in the room, I remember who I am,' explains rising hotshot negotiator Sarah in Helen Banner's new drama. 'I'm American. And I'm a woman, an attractive woman, divorced, success…

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

BWW Review: Truth Is A Point of View in Three One-Acts at LABUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL by Michael Dale

During the first year of his presidency, after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia during a protest involving white supremacists, many of whom were displaying Nazi symbols and sl…

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

BWW Review: HEAR WORD! NAIJA WOMAN TALK TRUE at The Public's Under The Radar Festival by Michael Dale

One of the great opportunities afforded to playgoers at The Public Theater's annual Under The Radar Festival is the chance to see how theatre companies from other countries address the same …

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BWW Review: Marin Ireland Rages Against Patriarchy in Abby Rosebrock's BLUE RIDGE by Michael Dale

If the majority of Broadway ticket-buyers valued great acting as much as they valued celebrity, Marin Ireland would have been an above-the-title, name-in-lights star a long time ago. Certain…

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

BWW Review: Tarell Alvin McCraney's Coming-Of-Age Drama CHOIR BOY Sings Out Spiritual Nourishment by Michael Dale

When I was little, my grandmother would sing songs to me that she told me freed slaves, says Pharus Jonathan Young, the central character of Tarell Alvin McCraney's emotionally thick coming-…

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

BWW Review: At The Public's Under The Radar Festival, New Saloon's MINOR CHARACTER Riffs on a Chekhov Classic by Michael Dale

At the commencement of MINOR CHARACTER, New Saloon's offering at the Public Theater's 2019 Under The Radar Festival, actor Madeline Wise stands downstage center, faces the audience and, with…

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Monday, December 31, 2018

Ten Times New York Theatre Tackled Political and Social Issues in 2018 by Michael Dale

Sure, Broadway is traditionally known for its glitz and glamour, but New York audiences have never shied away from socially relevant theatre, either. And while controversial issues are more …

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

BWW Review: New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players' Rollickingly Fun THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE by Michael Dale

Though there's nary a mention of snowfall or jingle bells in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, the abundance of joy and good clean humor, not to mention some terrific voices, in the New York Gilbert …

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

BWW Review: Gary Apple's CHRISTMAS IN HELL, A Holiday Tale About Bad Fruitcake and Charles Manson by Michael Dale

The humorous set-up for the new musical at The York, Christmas in Hell is a bit of an old chestnut, but bookwritercomposerlyricist Gary Apple makes it sing nicely.

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

BWW Review: Mentalist Scott Silven's WONDERS AT DUSK Combines Illusion With A Bit Of Group Therapy by Michael Dale

Raise your hand if you consider yourself to be a trustworthy person. Those of a cynical nature might consider that a hapless request to aim at a New York audience, but sincerity is the key t…

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

BWW Review: Peter Rothstein's Extraordinarily Moving and Beautifully Realized ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 by Michael Dale

Shorty after midnight, on Christmas Day of 1914, a German soldier whose name is now lost to history committed what might be the most subversive act in all of modern warfare. He walked, unarm…

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Monday, December 17, 2018

BWW Review: Iranian Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour's NASSIM Encourages Cultural Understanding Through Language by Michael Dale

In a city where hundreds of theatre productions are produced every year before audiences who encourage artists to experiment beyond the norm, it takes a lot for a play in New York to be rega…

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

BWW Review: Jeff Daniels is Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin and Bartlett Sher's Exquisite Adaptation of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Michael Dale

Without knowing any better, one might easily mistake the new stage adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer-winning 1960 novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird' for a revival of a classic Golden Age Broadw…

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BWW Review: Amy Heckerling Pens New Lyrics To 90s Hits To Bring CLUELESS To The Musical Stage by Michael Dale

The inherent problem with trying to craft a book musical around a score made of previously-existing hit songs is that the lyrics rarely match the charactersituation specifics enough to keep …

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

BWW Review: Former American Idol Rivals Bring Holiday Cheer in RUBEN & CLAY'S FIRST ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CAROL FAMILY FUN PAGEANT SPECTACULAR REUNION by Michael Dale

It was fifteen years ago when over forty million people tuned into the season two finale of 'American Idol' to see Rubin Studdard win the crown over runner-up Clay Aiken. This reviewer wasn'…

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

BWW Review: Heather Raffo's NOURA Takes An Ibsen-Like Approach To Iraqi Assimilation Into America by Michael Dale

The lack of visible doors in our view of the home of the title character of Heather Raffo's drama of an immigrant Christian Iraqi family in America, Noura, appears more and more to be a symb…

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Monday, December 10, 2018

BWW Review: Jeremy O. Harris' Extremely Daring SLAVE PLAY Explores Sexual Dissatisfaction Caused By Racial Issues by Michael Dale

It was over fifty years ago when designer Boris Aronson famously let a large mirror hang from the set of CABARET, forcing audience members to see their own reflections to bring home the poin…

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

BWW Review: John Kevin Jones Returns To Merchant's House Museum For Warm and Intimate A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Michael Dale

For the past five holiday seasons in a row, savvy New York playgoers have been filling the upstairs parlor of East 4th Street's Merchant's House Museum for a warm and intimate evening of Chr…

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

BWW Review: 1976 Satire Becomes 2018 Reality in Ivo van Hove and Lee Hall's Striking Adaptation of NETWORK by Michael Dale

The audience loudly booed at the end of last Saturday night's preview performance of the new Broadway offering based on Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1976 film classic N…

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