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…

Linked From 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. …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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,…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 02:33AM
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…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 02:48PM
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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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, for whom I reviewed the 2005-06 season (highlights included Sweeney Todd, Bridge & Tun…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 03:32PM
Sunday, November 26, 2017

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

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

Linked From 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…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 01:54AM
Monday, September 4, 2017

Gotta 'Like It' by Rob Weinert-Kendt

The 1950 Broadway production of As You Like It, with Katherine Hepburn as Rosalind/Ganymede. Tonight I'm taking my eight-year-old son to see his first Shakespeare: Public Works' adaptat…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 05:54PM
Friday, August 25, 2017

Old School Throwback by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Zilah Mendoza in Electricidad at the Mark Taper Forum, 2005. (Photo by Craig Schwartz)Luis Alfaro has been retrofitting Greek tragedy to L.A.'s Latinx gang culture for many years now, and by…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 04:42PM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Martin Landau on Acting by Rob Weinert-Kendt

I had the pleasure of interviewing the late, great Martin Landau back in 2005 for the shortlived magazine Moving Pictures. Here's my story in its entirety.Martin Landau has been places,…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 03:06AM
Thursday, May 4, 2017

'Monsoon' Overflow by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Vishal Bhardwaj.One of the joys of reporting on the upcoming Monsoon Wedding musical, apart from the chance to chat over chai with one of my idols, director Mira Nair, was that everyone invo…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 03:36PM
Monday, April 17, 2017

Next! by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Orville Mendoza at Stephen Sondheim's piano.I first saw Orville Mendoza in the lead role of Sweeney Todd at East West Players in 1994; I later had the distinct joy of reviewing him…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 01:12AM
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Big Sister's Clothes by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Patrick Wilson and Amanda Peet in Barefoot in the Park. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)Amanda Peet recently contributed this funny, lightly harrowing essay about the weird contortions she put hersel…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 02:48PM
Friday, March 10, 2017

An Open Letter to Both Sides by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Dear New York theater friends who think this L.A. 99-seat thing sounds like B.S. and a clear-cut case of exploitation that Equity has every good reason to shut down: I might not go so far as…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 02:06AM
Thursday, March 9, 2017

TBT: 'Sweeney' Stripped Naked by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Michael Cerveris, Patti LuPone, Manoel Felciano, and Donna Lynne Champlin in "Sweeney Todd" (photo by Paul Kolnik)It's hardly controversial that Sweeney Todd is Sondheim's masterpiece (and, …

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 02:03PM
Thursday, December 8, 2016

TBT: Weeden's Othello, OSF's Company by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Derrick Lee Weeden and Anthony Heald in Othello at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 1999. (Photo by David Coooper)I'm about to take in New York Theatre Workshop's new production of Othello,…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 11:06AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Goat and Two Lizards by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Patrick J. Adams, Cynthia Mace, Brian Kerwin, and James Eckhouse in The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Mark Taper Forum in 2005.I've seen a fair amount of Edward Albee's work in my time, ind…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 03:04AM
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How Sondheim Writes by Rob Weinert-Kendt

The hoariest question songwriters get asked is: Which comes first, the words or the music? Stephen Sondheim’s answer has always been: the dramatic situation. (With all apologies to Merrily…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 02:44PM
Friday, June 3, 2016

The Stew Files by Rob Weinert-Kendt

I first saw Stew performing in the mid-1990s with a band improbably named Crazy Sound All-Stars at a place called Onyx Echo in Los Feliz; I was invited by a college friend, Carey Fosse, who …

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 01:12PM
Monday, April 11, 2016

Dangerous Nerves: Laurie Metcalf by Rob Weinert-Kendt

This interview originally appeared in the April 12, 2001 issue of Back Stage West."How's my light?" asked Laurie Metcalf as the cover photo for this story was being taken, and then she reali…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 09:56PM
Thursday, January 14, 2016

From the Review Vaults: Mother Courage and Her Children by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Mother Courage and Her Children: Alexandria Wailes, Streep, Geoffrey Arend, and Frederick Weller. (photo by Michal Daniel)Improbably, Brecht's Mother Courage is in the news--the theatre news…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 05:56PM
Friday, December 18, 2015

From the Review Vaults: "Fiddler" with Harvey & Rosie by Rob Weinert-Kendt

photo by Sara Krulwich for The New York TimesThis excellent piece by my colleague Eric Grode, looking back at 50 years of Fiddler memories as the musical's newest revival readies for its ope…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 11:15AM
Monday, July 13, 2015

How Bent Made Gay History by Rob Weinert-Kendt

Tom Bell and Ian McKellen in the London premiere of Bent, 1979.A major revival of Martin Sherman's play Bent begins performances on July 15 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, directed b…

Linked From The Wicked Stage at 07:50AM

All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre