Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Four Actors Play Multiple Characters in Two Broadway Plays by Philip

In his very fine book “A Lifetime with Shakespeare” (McFarland),  about having directed all of Shakespeare’s plays, the late Paul Barry postulated that casting is eighty-five percent …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 09:06PM
Friday, October 8, 2021

The Dazzling Half-Dozen: “Six The Musical” on Broadway by Philip

Henry VIII wasted no time embarking on his multiple-marriage mission. Just weeks after assuming the English throne at age 19 in 1509, he wed number one of six, Catherine of Aragon, his older…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:30PM
Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Brave Title, Generic Show: “The Book of Moron” by Philip

When’s the last time you heard a Dumb Blond joke? Me neither, until Robert Dubac pulled one early in “The Book of Moron,” his solo comedic commentary in a limited engagement through Oc…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 05:22PM
Monday, August 9, 2021

“Merry Wives” in Harlem, via Central Park by Philip

Tradition holds that Queen Elizabeth I, enamored of Sir John Falstaff from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, asked the playwright to depict that character in love, and that he complied, writin…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 07:17PM
Monday, July 26, 2021

Long Live the King! (Lear, that is…and Cordelia too) by Philip

In calendar year 2014 I saw four different productions of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” In all of them, and six or eight others over the years, Lear and his daughter Cordelia [spoiler ale…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:20PM
Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Gershwins and Oscar Wilde Live On Stage! What’s not to like… by Philip

As ‘S Wonderful as “Who Could Ask for Anything More? The Songs of George Gershwin” is as it stands, and it truly is, I would suggest one change: adding George’s principal lyricist, h…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 08:43PM
Monday, May 17, 2021

Dream Along With En Garde Arts by Philip

Considering, as Rehena Mirza’s disembodied voice intones in her segment of “A Dozen Dreams,” that nothing is more boring than hearing about someone else’s dream, you would think a ga…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 11:36AM
Monday, April 12, 2021

John Cullum at Ninety-one…and Counting. by Philip

What might you be doing one month past your ninety-first birthday? For John Cullum, who achieved that milestone in March, the answer was a sort of fallback plan: Two years earlier, the vener…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:43PM
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

When “Damn Yankees” became Dumb Yankees by Philip

The 1955 Broadway musical “Damn Yankees” was based on Douglass Wallop’s novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” (to the lowly Washington Senators). A Broadway revival of “D…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 12:21PM
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Short Attention Span? Barrington Stage Has Your Back by Philip

Anyone interested in learning how to turn a negative into a positive might want to contact the folks at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For the past nine years, BSC’…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 05:23PM
Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Seeing Place Theater Works Up a Virtual “Sweat” by Philip

A play-writing recipe: Stir together equal parts racial tension, economic uncertainty, labor-management unrest, and class distinction. Fold in a smattering of unprovoked violence. Bake under…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:37PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

If it’s worth saying, it’s worth singing: “The Right Girl” by Philip

In the recent months that restrictions have eased in some relatively low-affected areas, I have tracked down three theatrical attractions (all with COVID-19 protocols in place). In August it…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:29PM
Monday, October 26, 2020

“A Five Mile Radius” Hits Its Marks by Philip

I have long been aware of the existence of Hudson Guild Theatre Company, but until I was encouraged to watch their virtual world-premiere production of “A Five Mile Radius,” I had never …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 07:26PM
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Two Musicals: Theater Is Live And Well In New Hampshire by Philip

Having performed years ago in theaters tucked away in tourism towns across the country, my very first sighting of Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, New Hampshire inspired a déjà vu rush. …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:55PM
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It’s Live! A Socially Distant Group Hug: “Godspell” by Philip

“Not to put any pressure on you, but the entire American theater is depending on you to be smart.” Thus spoke Kate Shindle, president of Actors Equity, to the cast of “Godspell,” the…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:33PM
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Zoomed “Blues” Still Sweet by Philip

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s “Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine” premiered at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2016. The cast (with one replacement) re-assembled last week for …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 09:08PM
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Zooming Across The Pond: “Lungs” at The Old Vic by Philip

How’s this for minimalism: Playwright Duncan Macmillan’s instructions for the staging of “Lungs” specifies a bare stage with no scenery, no furniture, no props, no mime and no costum…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 01:42PM
Friday, June 19, 2020

Quality Time Spent With Willy Loman by Philip

Since its premiere in 1949, when it won all six of its Tony Award nominations (and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” has had four Broadway revivals, …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:22PM
Sunday, May 31, 2020

What Would You Do? by Philip

A column by Ginia Bellafante in the Metropolitan Section of  the  Sunday May 31 New York Times about last week’s Central Park incident between bird-watcher Christian Cooper, who is black…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 10:06PM
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

“It’s Better Than the Movie”: Memories That Linger by Philip

With no Theatre to cover due to this nasty fellow… …I’ll share a few excerpts from “It’s Better Than The Movie,” my work-in-progress anecdotal memoir: July 1956: I was an apprent…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:26PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Politics As Usual? Not in “Radio Golf” by Philip

All ten of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle plays are not created equal, but just as the non-star players on a championship team are essential to its success, so are all the plays in…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 02:45PM
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Buoyant Performance Re-floats “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” by Philip

Composer-lyricist Meredith Willson’s 1960 musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” was inspired by an exaggerated tale about the exploits of real-life Titanic survivor Margaret Tobin Brown…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 01:42PM
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Sexual Liberation Is So Last Century: “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” off-Broadway by Philip

The first quarter hour of “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” depicts Bob and Carol at The Institute at Big Sur, a  ‘new age-y’ retreat, where the thirty-something couple is converted…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 12:22PM
Monday, February 3, 2020

Atten-HUT! Snap to for ” A Soldier’s Play” on Broadway by Philip

Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1982. Loosely based on Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd,” it was originally staged by the off-Broad…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:05PM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Forsooth? Fuggedaboudit! “Romeo and Bernadette”off-Broadway by Philip

If, as hypothesized, there are only seven basic plots, it is a sure bet that Shakespeare used them all. (I count four in “Hamlet” alone.) It is no wonder, then, that playwrights through …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 12:12PM
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Star Turn by Laura Linney: “My Name Is Lucy Barton” by Philip

It seems that one-actor stage presentations have increased in number over the past decade or so. And as critical attention to them has grown with that proliferation, the quality level has ri…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 11:15PM
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Married Thirty-five Years and Counting (or maybe not): “Bone on Bone”Premiere by Philip

Many a fine play is waylaid by shoddy acting and/or directing. (Recall your last misbegotten Shakespeare.) Conversely, a lesser theater piece can be enhanced by superior efforts in those cat…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:17PM
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Bye Bye Blackface/Send In The Clowns by Philip

Ken Ludwig’s 1980s farce “Lend Me a Tenor” revolves around two operatic tenors being mistaken for one another in costume and makeup for the same role. The play is funny…or not, depen…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:56PM
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: Doing What They Do Best! by Philip

Want to be like the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players? Just pick a niche-market art form and become a world-class expert at it. Founded in 1974, NYGASP’s performance-ready repertory …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 03:45PM
Monday, December 16, 2019

‘Swallow it down’ (“Jagged Little Pill”) ‘It feels so good’ by Philip

A conundrum/problem/challenge: How to describe a Broadway musical that pretty much exceeds familiar superlatives in pretty much all its facets. Well, let’s try, by first thanking Alanis Mo…

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:30PM
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Dad is getting on in years: “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand” by Philip

If it is true, as often stated, that there are only seven basic plots from which all plays are derived, one of the seven certainly involves conflicted parent-offspring relationships. Think …

SOURCE: sceneonstage.com at 04:22PM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre