Monday, May 25, 2015

Professional Wrestling As Art and Politics by Jonathan Mandell

Professional wrestling has arrived back on the New York stage with a smack and a crack and a thud that could not be more eloquent.

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Elling Review: Brendan Fraser, Denis O’Hare as Odd Norwegian Odd Couple by Jonathan Mandell

To the extent that “Elling” works, it is not due to the wisps of plot, which are even more incidental than they are implausible. The entertainment comes from the well-pitched per…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

La Bete Review: Death by Cheese, and Worse, In Verse by Jonathan Mandell

The only problem with “La Bete,” which has now opened on Broadway, is what certainly shot it down in 1991 — the play itself, an imitation Moliere comedy set in 17th century…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Stealing A Life For Literature by Jonathan Mandell

It is a strength of both the performances and the play that we don't wind up necessarily siding with either woman.

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Everyday Rapture Review: Broadway Season Finale by Jonathan Mandell

The singing and dancing of Scott and the two-person Mennonettes seem swallowed up by the larger stage, and ticket prices as high as $116 demand either the kind of huge star that Scott has no…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Harry Potter and The Dead Miners by Jonathan Mandell

An odd mash-up of a musical - somewhere between "Floyd Collins" and Harry Potter - that might have worked better had it stuck to one genre.

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Fences Review: Denzel Washington Bats It In by Jonathan Mandell

Branford Marsalis has composed bluesy music for the beginning of each act. It's nice, but it's not necessary. This production of "Fences" fills the Cort Theater with music.

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Do People Choose To Be Poor? Good People Review by Jonathan Mandell

But it is hard to judge the script alone when the production has so much going for it — the fine performances, a six-member cast that includes Estelle Parsons as Margie’s babysit…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Elf Review: The Grim Business of Christmas Cheer by Jonathan Mandell

“Elf” the musical, a harmless and occasionally charming stage adaptation that has now opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theater and runs just until January 2, more or less replicates t…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Review: Patrick Stewart in A Mamet Unlike His Others by Jonathan Mandell

It is Patrick Stewart’s skills as a performer - his life in the theater — that offer some of the major pleasures in the Broadway version of this slight, sweet, slow, sentimental …

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Promises, Promises Review: Before Mad Men, With Groovy Music by Jonathan Mandell

If changing times and the appearance of such shows as "Men Mad" have made "Promises, Promises" less than the priceless musical it was considered during its initial run, there is nevertheless…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

A Free Man of Color Review by Jonathan Mandell

If it frustrates our expectations, “A Free Man of Color” - ambitious, inventive, daring — is an honorable failure with much to recommend it, even while it is difficult to s…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Elvis, Johnny Cash...Having A Blast by Jonathan Mandell

The King of Rock 'n' Roll, The Man in Black, The King of Rockabilly, and The Killer are now playing their early hits every night in "Million Dollar Quartet," a rousing entertainment that has…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Lombardi Review: Tackling Football On Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

Thanks primarily to the impressive performances of Lauria as the explosive coach and Light as his wife, “Lombardi” is nowhere near as bad as might be assumed by those who cannot …

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme's Theatrical Debut by Jonathan Mandell

I would love to have loved this play.

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM

Betty Buckley Returns by Jonathan Mandell

This is the kind of show that is nothing if it's not funny...and I did not find it all that funny. Yes, I did laugh at least a dozen times, but I cringed almost as often.

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 05:58PM
Friday, November 9, 2012

Annie Review on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

The timing seem ideal for a Broadway revival of “Annie,”  and director James Lapine is attempting a timely approach to this story of optimism triumphing in a bleak era.  Lapine’s “…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 02:16AM
Monday, November 5, 2012

The Whale Review: Obesity, Revelation, and A Big Heart by Jonathan Mandell

The main character of “The Whale” is 600 pounds, but one of the many pleasures of this funny and affecting new play by Samuel D. Hunter, being given a splendid production with a universa…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 10:00PM
Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Heiress Review On Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

At the beginning of “The Heiress,” the heartbreaking story of an abandoned love, Jessica Chastain descends the staircase of a sumptuous mansion in a dazzling red dress and a glorious smi…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 06:30PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jonathan Franzen, from Page to Stage. House of Sale Review by Jonathan Mandell

Within the first minutes of the Transport Group Theatre Company’s “House for Sale,” billed as the first work by Jonathan Franzen (Freedom, The Corrections) to be adapted for the stage…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 07:47PM
Friday, October 19, 2012

Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway Review by Jonathan Mandell

Near the end of the latest Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, much to my surprise, the Les Miz Rule kicked in. If a Broadway show shines bright lights directly in your face, features st…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 12:41AM
Monday, October 15, 2012

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Review: A Broadway Sensation, 50 Years Later by Jonathan Mandell

“You’re all flops,” Martha says drunkenly to her guest in “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?” the first full-length play by Edward Albee, which has proven once again to be the oppo…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 10:32AM
Friday, October 5, 2012

Grace Review by Jonathan Mandell

There were reasons to have faith in “Grace,” a play about the downside of faith and the mystery of grace. Its stellar four-member cast includes Paul Rudd and Ed Asner, two performers w…

SOURCE: The Faster Times at 02:34PM