Sunday, February 5, 2023

Hey, What’s New? “Colin Quinn: Small Talk” by Philip

There is some practical insight in “Colin Quinn: Small Talk,” the actor/comic/writer’s solo standup gig at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in the West Village. Who knew, for example, that t…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:46PM
Monday, January 2, 2023

Set Sail Aboard Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” by Philip

Most full-scale musical shows run several weeks of previews before submitting to critical evaluation; some even longer, with mixed results (cue “Spiderman”). The New York Gilbert & S…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:06PM
Monday, December 5, 2022

“The Journey of Jazz” Is a Syncopated Pleasure Trip by Philip

It is an unusual opening number for an orchestral jazz concert/revue: a strikingly evocative solo rendition of the legendary Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag.”  Even more unusual, the w…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:42PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

This “& Juliet” Is No Tale of Woe by Philip

You need not be closely familiar with William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” or with his personal life to enjoy “& Juliet.” References to both are deployed liberally througho…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 06:23PM
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sandra’s Quest Comes Up Short by Philip

A “Shaggy Dog” story is one with a high-stakes build-up and much activity that comes to an anti-climactic conclusion, like an elongated joke with an unfunny punchline. A serious shaggy d…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 08:13PM
Sunday, November 13, 2022

Jump In the Pool with Mike Birbiglia by Philip

My first Mike Birbiglia show was “Sleepwalk with Me” in 2008 at the Bleecker Street Theater, where some of the 199 seats were behind poles. The 80-minute self-written monologue recounted…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 11:01PM
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Gabriel Byrne Goes “Walking With Ghosts” Alone by Philip

Most solo shows are one act affairs that run about 90 minutes or less. “Walking With Ghosts” is just Gabriel Byrne, sharing memories and spinning tales for well over two hours in two act…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 12:09PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Jug of “Wine in the Wilderness” and Thou: Perfect Together by Philip

If you want to know what a stage director does (or can do) for a play, you might want to first read Alice Childress’s “Wine in the Wilderness” and then get yourself to Two River Theate…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 01:19PM
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Debating the American Dream: “Death of a Salesman” and “Baldwin & Buckley at Cambridge” by Philip

On consecutive evenings last week, I saw what are likely the longest and shortest works, in terms of running time, currently on New York stages. The long one, clocking in at well over three …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:58PM
Friday, October 7, 2022

“I’m Revolting” Is Far From It by Philip

As much as I admire and am entertained by fine classical acting – at Stratford and in Central Park, for instance – and by complete-package musicals (“The Prom” and “Into the Woods…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:39PM
Sunday, September 25, 2022

Odds and Ends on “Death of a Salesman” by Philip

This piece is prompted by the current Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” which I am scheduled to see on October 12. Neither a review nor an analysis, it is just…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 05:27PM
Friday, September 9, 2022

String Theory, Quarks, and the Big Bang, Oh My: “Strings Attached” Off-Broadway by Philip

“Strings Attached” is about three physicists, an American woman and two British men, on their way by train from Cambridge to London to see Michael Frayn’s science-based play “Copenha…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:23PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

A “Godot” Worth Waiting For at Barrington Stage Company by Philip

An esteemed scholar once wrote about “Waiting for Godot” that “We all bring to Samuel Beckett’s play whatever is uppermost in our minds.” As tidy as that seems, my “Godot” expe…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:58PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Sure and it’s “The Butcher Boy” at Irish Rep by Philip

Mrs. Nugent should have quit while she was ahead. When she went to the Brady home to complain that her son Philip was being bullied by Francie Brady, Francie’s ma was ready to punish him. …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:05PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Fortunately, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” Has Eight More Lives by Philip

Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” reportedly his own personal favorite, has weathered so many revivals and revisions since its 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning premiere that all…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 05:18PM
Monday, July 18, 2022

Perfection in Two Acts: “Into the Woods” on Broadway by Philip

It is fascinating to imagine the processes that went into mounting the Broadway revival of “Into the Woods.” Not only Stephen Sondheim’s exquisite music and lyrics and James Lapine’s…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:31PM
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Season #70 at Stratford: “Richard III,” “Chicago” and “Hamlet” by Philip

As written for MediaNews Group in Michigan: However you define Power Couple, you will not find a more representative theatrical pair than actor Colm Feore and director-choreographer Donna Fe…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 08:55AM
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Taped TV to Off-Broadway: “Lessons in Survival: 1971” by Philip

From 1968 to 1973, “SOUL!,” America’s first Black-hosted nighttime TV talk show, celebrated Black literature, poetry, music and politics, largely in interview formats. In 1971, prolifi…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 10:11PM
Thursday, June 2, 2022

Mr. Seven Times a Week: Billy Crystal by Philip

One of my favorite theater memories is of seeing Phil Silvers in “Do Re Mi” in 1960. In a scene where his character is producing a recording session, Silvers tells the six on-stage music…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:06PM
Monday, May 16, 2022

Romeo and…Bernadette? Why Not; What’s In a Name? by Philip

There are many reasons for taking a date to a community theater production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Maybe you are both studying English Lit or are enrolled in acting classe…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 07:49PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Ontario’s Stratford Festival Emerges from The Pandemic of Its Discontent by Philip

The following article appears in the May edition of the Canadian national Mensa magazine, MC2, and online and in the print editions of MediaNews Group in suburban Detroit.     One hundred…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 11:10AM
Monday, April 11, 2022

A Starry Couple Revives a Neil Simon Triptych: “Plaza Suite” on Broadway by Philip

Between 1961 and Y2K, Neil Simon was represented on Broadway by thirty plays, winning four Tony Awards (one honorary) and the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (“Lost in Yonkers”). The plays…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:45PM
Thursday, March 3, 2022

This Play Doesn’t Interest You? Just Wait Ten Minutes by Philip

Think about the last ten new plays you saw. Were most of them really well written, with cohesive plots and well-developed characters? Were they thought-provoking and/or amusing? Well, that a…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:51PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

What’s Old Is New Again: Mint Theater Revives “The Daughter-in-Law” by Philip

In years past I have seen several plays performed in foreign (to me) languages. “Death of a Salesman” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” both familiar works, were perfectly clear in Yiddish,…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 09:39PM
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Fiction Meets Fact in “Wit” off-Broadway by Philip

Vivian Bearing, PhD, a college professor of 17th-Century poetry, specializing in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne, is undergoing chemotherapy for stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer. Fifty ye…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:23PM
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Understudy: Not a Job for the Weak of Heart by Philip

Theater lore abounds with tales of understudies who have gone on to a degree of stardom, some as a direct result of having filled in for an indisposed performer. Shirley Maclaine, who subbed…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 05:30PM
Monday, December 20, 2021

“Company” Trades Bobby, Bobby Baby for Bobbie, Bobbie Baby by Philip

Several terrific performances in the current Broadway revival of “Company” owe their provenance to its gender-switched casting. Originally about NYC bachelor Robert/Bobby being feted on …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 06:02PM
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

“Kimberly Akimbo” + Music: Perfect Together by Philip

How do you improve on perfection? Well, you can’t – by definition. But you can approach it from a different direction, which is what David Lindsay-Abaire has done in adapting his marvelo…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 05:06PM
Thursday, December 2, 2021

You’ll Seem to Find the Happiness You Seek, When You’re Out Together Seeing “Cheek to Cheek” by Philip

All eleven outstanding onstage performers (six singer-dancers and five musicians) are at the top of their game, but the biggest stars of “Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood” are …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 11:06PM
Monday, November 15, 2021

“Morning’s at Seven” revived: The Play and Its Players Have Aged Well by Philip

At the intermission of “Morning’s at Seven,” directed by Dan Wackerman in revival at the Theatre of St. Clement’s, I mentioned to my companion that Paul Osborne’s 1940 comedy, whic…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 08:39PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

“A Bronx Tale” Well Told at Axelrod PAC by Philip

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park, New Jersey has emerged from Covid lockdown with a stylish and engaging production of “A Bronx Tale,” the full-scale musical version of Ch…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 12:05PM

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