All stories by Rob Weinert-Kendt on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Lileana Blain-Cruz Keeps You Thinking: ‘Not Understanding Is Really Satisfying’ by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Lileana Blain-Cruz, a “master of curating chaos,” is making her Broadway directing debut with a revival of Thornton Wilder’s comedy of human survival, “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 05:36AM
Thursday, December 30, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Rupert Everett & Richard E. Grant Dish and Declaim by Rob Weinert-Kendt

photo by Gary Leonard As I mentioned last week, going through old copies of Back Stage West, the actor's trade I ran from 1993 to 2003, I stumbled across this rollicking chat between two ve…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 10:54AM
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Jeanine Tesori’s Gift: Conjuring the Storytelling Potency of Music by Rob Weinert-Kendt

In shows like “Caroline, or Change” and “Kimberly Akimbo,” the composer excels at translating her astute insights about characters into music.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:24AM
Thursday, December 23, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Mrs. C and Mrs. G by Rob Weinert-Kendt

photo by Gary Leonard I happened to have recently been going through old copies of Back Stage West, the actor's trade I ran from 1993 to 2003. This far-ranging and fascinating piece was in…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 08:36PM
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Wayback Wednesday: A Look Back at 'Twilight' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

It's hardly an exaggeration to say that Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 was a formative work for me—indeed, one of a series of groundbreaking works that Gordon Davidson's Mark Taper Forum stag…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 01:54PM
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Throwback Thursday: The Music of 'Hot l Baltimore' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

At American Theatre I've often (though not often enough) had the pleasure of assigning and publishing pieces by my brilliant friend and colleague Isaac Butler. But there was a time when he …

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 05:48PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

That's Sahl, Folks by Rob Weinert-Kendt

The passing of humorist Mort Sahl has occasioned no better piece than Jason Zinoman's in the Times. You should go read that now. For a chaser, you might check out this Interview-style dialo…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 05:32PM
Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Review Files: The Richness of 'Caroline' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

  Kenna Ramsey, Tracy Nicole Chapman and Marva Hicks personify a radio in Caroline, or Change. Photo by Craig Schwartz. I was fortunate last night to catch the new Broadway revival of Carol…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 10:18AM
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lonergan, Off Again by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Major Matt Mason. In July of 2012, my friend and fellow blogger Isaac Butler asked me write a piece about Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth for an "Adolescence Issue" of his blog Parabas…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 03:32PM
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

'Harmony': Pop Musik, 1935 Edition by Rob Weinert-Kendt

  In 2014, L.A.'s Center Theatre Group hosted a run of the Barry Manilow/Bruce Sussman musical Harmony, a historical musical about the Comedian Harmonists, a real-life musical group from …

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 05:48PM
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

From the Review Files: Laurents Gets His Revenge on 'West Side Story' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Karen Olivo and cast of the 2009 revival. (Photo by Joan Marcus) Is West Side Story really all that? I've always been much more smitten with the score than with any other aspect of the show…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 04:32PM
Friday, April 2, 2021

The Passion of La Falconetti by Rob Weinert-Kendt

For a time around the turn of the aughts, I and the crew at Back Stage West did an annual "Actors We Love" issue. Over the years the folks I wrote about included Alyson Hannigan, Bob Balaban…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 12:36AM
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Moment 'Hamilton' Slips Off Track by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Cross-posted from Train My Ear.For a blessed few years I was among the New York Times's freelance theater correspondents most likely to be assigned features about new rock or pop musicals. …

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 01:36AM
Friday, June 5, 2020

'A Good Stomping Band' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

The cast of Backbeat. (Photo by Craig Schwartz) Cross-posted on Train My Ear.Some years ago I was hired to write the program notes for the Center Theatre Group's production of Backbeat, a s…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 01:13AM
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Best Showtunes Evah by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Cross-posted from Train My Ear.Some years ago Adam Feldman at Time Out New York asked me to contribute some entries for a grand list of "Best Broadway Songs of All Time." I had nothing to d…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 10:42PM
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Sondheim vs. Weill's "Fruity" Sixths by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Cross-posted from Train My Ear.If you forced me to make a list of favorite composers, Kurt Weill would be at the top, Maurice Ravel would be second, and, though I'm not exactly sure about th…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 01:48PM
Monday, May 18, 2020

Flashback: Rich Media by Rob Weinert-Kendt

When I first arrived in New York City 15 years ago I didn't land a full-time job right away—it took me more than a year before I landed one writing web features for TDF—but among my free…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 12:32PM
Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Private Canon, Vol. 2: Major-Minor "Mbombela" by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Cross-posted from my music blog Train My Ear.With the music I cherish most, it’s the sound that matters first and above all. I don’t just mean sound in the purely aural sense—i.e., the…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 05:18AM
Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Private Canon, Vol. 1: Ven Bernabe y Lamento Jarocho by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Cross-posted from my music blog Train My Ear In my decades of listening to and thinking about, and occasionally making, music, I’ve had some widely shared crushes and obsessions (Beatles,…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 02:33AM
Monday, February 3, 2020

How to Deal With the Anxieties of Immigration? Break Into Song by Rob Weinert-Kendt

The actors and musicians behind “Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)” see themselves in the stories they will share, and sing about, onstage.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:42PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

“The haunting nature of an idea, vehemently expressed”: The complete Will Arbery interview by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Will Arbery (photo by Korde Tuttle) Like August: Osage County, Will Arbery’s play Heroes of the Fourth Turning is much, much better than its clunky title. Also like August it’s a veri…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 02:48PM
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Set as ‘Intense’ as the Stories the ‘Constitution’ Tells by Rob Weinert-Kendt

It was one thing to deliver lectures in American Legion halls as a teenager. It’s another to stand on a Broadway stage flanked by the photos of 163 staring men.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:24PM
Sunday, January 27, 2019

Julia and Paul and Some Guy Named Bradley by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Actors Paul Rudd, Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper appear onstage during curtain call at the opening night of “Three Days of Rain” at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on April 19, 2006 in N…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 03:04AM
Friday, January 18, 2019

Flash in a Pan: 'Lestat' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Rob Harvila's much-discussed recent article on the meaning and value of harsh criticism in the age of social media got me thinking back to my days as a more or less full-time critic in New Y…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 11:18AM
Monday, December 17, 2018

I Love Him But It Embarrasses Me by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Galt MacDermot.It doesn't actually embarrass me to love Galt MacDermot, the composer of Hair and Two Gentlemen of Verona, whose death was just announced--I'm just using this opportunity to e…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 02:12PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

From the Review Files: Tarzan, or the Review That Got Me Fired by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Long story short: I was the last regular critic employed by the ticket-concierge site Broadway.com, for whom I reviewed the 2005-06 season (highlights included Sweeney Todd, Bridge & Tun…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 03:32PM
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

An ‘Intoxicating’ Singer, Whether It’s Green Day or ‘Oklahoma!’ by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Still waiting for her signature role, the versatile Rebecca Naomi Jones is changing things up in a stripped-down new staging of the musical classic.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 04:54PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Plunder My Songbook, Bob Dylan Said. So He Did. by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Conor McPherson discusses digging deep into the Dylan catalog for his Depression-era play with music, “Girl From the North Country.”

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:48AM
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Making Magic Out of Thin Air by Rob Weinert-Kendt

How do married clowns make wordless wizardry with balloons, umbrellas, packing peanuts and fabric? Turn on those electric fans.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 11:21AM
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Review Files: Sarah Jones's Bridge & Tunnel by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Sarah Jones in Bridge & Tunnel. (Photo by Paul Kolnik)Broadway.com, Feb. 1, 2006Bridge & TunnelReviewed by Rob KendtIf the Tonys had an ensemble award, Sarah Jones would be an odds-o…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 04:12AM
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Review Files, Sondheim Edition by Rob Weinert-Kendt

From The Sondheim Review, December 2011Bittersweet HomecomingBy Rob Weinert-KendtThe perfect Follies, it should be admitted by even its most fervent acolytes, does not exist, and may in fact…

SOURCE: The Wicked Stage at 01:54AM

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