Theatre

Quirky ‘Waitress’ defies odds on Broadway

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out”)

By all things reasonable, Waitress, the Broadway musical currently serving its fare at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York, should have never made it to Broadway. It is a story of improbabilities.

The musical was based on an independent film directed...
Continue Reading ⇒

Current NY production of ‘Di Goldene Kale’ is Yiddish gem

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out“)

Until 2015 the Yiddish operetta “Di Goldene Kale” (“The Golden Bride”) composed by Joseph Rumshinsky had not been performed on stage for seven decades. That was when the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbeine at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage brought back its...
Continue Reading ⇒

‘Fiddler’ revival a solid production

Fiddler on the Roof
Broadway Theatre

•DANNY BURSTEIN
DANNY BURSTEIN
(Tevye)

Danny is a 5-time Tony Award nominee whose 15 Broadway credits include: Cabaret (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations); The Snow Geese; Golden Boy (2013 Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations); Follies (2012 Tony, Astaire & Grammy Award nominations; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; South Pacific (Tony and Drama Desk nominations, Outer Critics Circle Award); The Drowsy Chaperone (Tony and Ovation Award nominations); Saint Joan; The Seagull; Three Men on a Horse; A Little Hotel on the Side; The Flowering Peach; A Class Act; Titanic and Company. Off-Broadway credits include: Talley’s Folly (Lucille Lortel & Drama League nominations); Mrs. Farnsworth; Psych; All in the Timing; Merrily We Roll Along; Weird Romance and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Film/TV includes: The Family Fang (directed by Jason Bateman); Blackhat (directed by Michael Mann); Lolly Steinman on “Boardwalk Empire” (directed by Martin Scorsese); “Louie;” Transamerica; “Absolutely Fabulous;” “Ed;” all the “Law & Order” series; “Hope & Faith;” Deception; Affluenza; American Milkshake; Nor’easter; Construction; Liv and Trust, Greed, Bullets & Bourbon. He recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Frosch in the Jeremy Sams/Douglas Carter Beane production of Die Fledermaus.

JESSICA HECHT
ALIX KOREY
ADAM DANNHEISSER
ADAM KANTOR
KARL KENZLER
SAMANTHA MASSELL
MELANIE MOORE
NICK REHBERGER
ALEXANDRA SILBER
GEORGE PSOMAS
JULIE BENKO
ERIC BOURNE
AUSTIN GOODWIN
JACOB GUZMAN
REED LUPLAU
BRANDT MARTINEZ
SARAH PARKER
JONATHAN ROYSE WINDHAM
JENNY ROSE BAKER
HAYLEY FEINSTEIN
BEN RAPPAPORT
MICHAEL C. BERNARDI
ADAM GRUPPER
MITCH GREENBERG
JEFFREY SCHECTER “SHECKY”
JESSE KOVARSKY
ERIC BOURNE
STEPHEN CARRASCO
ERIC CHAMBLISS
LORI WILNER
JESSICA VOSK
JENNIFER ZETLAN
TESS PRIMACK
MARLA PHELAN
MATT MOISEY
SILVIA VRSKOVA
AARO

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN Theatre Critic, WYES-TV’s “Steppin’ Out“

The time-worn story of Tevye, the simple dairyman, his beleaguered family and the village of Anatevka first told by Shalom Aleichem and transformed into one of Broadway’s biggest blockbusters 52 years ago should by now be considered old-fashioned...
Continue Reading ⇒

Venice welcomes back Shylock in marking its Jewish history

VENICE, Italy (JTA) – Last week, an international, multilingual cast performed Shakespeare’s controversial play, “The Merchant of Venice,” in the secluded main plaza of the city’s historic Jewish Ghetto. It was the first time the play was performed in the iconic location, where some of the action takes place.

Enclosed by tall tenements and the arched...
Continue Reading ⇒

Playwright Sharyn Rothstein wins 2015 Primus Prize

The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announced on January 15 that playwright Sharyn Rothstein had been awarded the 2015 Francesca Primus Prize for her play By the Water. Jointly sponsored by ATCA and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize is given annually to an emerging woman playwright. As...
Continue Reading ⇒

Dansker to unveil Sondheim program at Touro tonight

George Dansker, a noted scholar with expertise on musical theatre and opera, is presenting the first lecture and concert as part of his continuing series on Broadway and its impact on American culture.

“Take Me to the World: The Life and Music of Stephen Sondheim” will be held following worship...
Continue Reading ⇒

Klemons and Hamil-Jews add to success of ‘Hamilton’

StephanieK_ext

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

When Jewish author Ron Chernow published his epic biography on Alexander Hamilton in 2003, he had no idea of the impact it would have on Broadway audiences more than a decade later. That’s because he could not have envisioned the effect his tome...
Continue Reading ⇒

‘School of Rock’ signals return of Lloyd Webber to rock musical apex

SchoolofRock1

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out)

It may seem an odd choice, but Andrew Lloyd Webber has chosen a 2003 Jack Black film vehicle as the basis of re-establishing his preeminence as a rock musical composer. “School of Rock” was a fairly forgettable film released in 2003 that...
Continue Reading ⇒

Weill and Brecht’s ‘Happy End’ finishing run at Allways Theatre

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out”)

There is little doubt that Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht made a formidable team of composer and lyricist. Their two greatest triumphs – “The Three Penny Opera” and “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” – sandwiched a work, “Happy...
Continue Reading ⇒

Fiddler on the Roof’ — and behind the scenes

By LONNIE FIRESTONE

NEW YORK (JTA) — Ever since Zero Mostel imagined himself as a rich man in the original 1964 Broadway production,“Fiddler on the Roof” has been a cultural landmark on Broadway and in the Jewish sphere.

It’s one of those musicals that always seems to be in rotation....
Continue Reading ⇒