Theatre

Award-winning playwright Neil Simon dies at 91

(JTA) — Playwright Neil Simon, known for such Broadway hits as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,” and “Lost in Yonkers” has died.

Simon, who earned a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, died overnight Saturday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City from complications with pneumonia at...
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Rodgers and Hamerstein’s ‘Carousel’ filled with joy, pathos

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

Few Broadway composers had a bigger impact than Richard Rodgers, who began his career with Jewish lyricist Lorenz Hart, but whose greatest success was with librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Hammerstein, whose grandfather was a famous Jewish impresario on Broadway, was raised under...
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Small story looms large in ‘The Band’s Visit’

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

For the past seven weeks, Broadway history has been made through a spectacular bit of casting that only rarely occurs when the world of celluloid intersects with that of the Great White Way.

Hollywood has frequently contributed to the Broadway scene. Interestingly,...
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2 children killed, Broadway actress among 3 injured in Brooklyn accident

(JTA) — Two children were killed by a car that hit them on a pedestrian crossing in Brooklyn, seriously injuring their mothers, including the Tony Award-winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles, and another man.

Miles, whose real name is Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, is in the hospital and her 4-year-old daughter...
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Menken-Schwartz’s ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is finest JPAS work ever

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

There is a bittersweet irony with the musical score of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” animated film. It is the first and only coupling of two of the greatest Jewish Broadway composers of recent times in Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Yet,...
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Gershwins’ ‘An American in Paris’ is sheer delight

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

When ballet stars Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope began their roles as expatriate American artist Jerry Mulligan and native Parisian ballerina Lise Dassin, they had no way of knowing their performances would last for most of three years as they opened first...
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Berlin’s music sparkles in ‘White Christmas’

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

There’s no doubt that this is a troubling time of year to be Jewish. With red and green ribbons festooning the sides of buildings and spectacular light displays at night dazzling the eyes, Jews are never more aware of how much a...
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Timm, Fitzpatrick play Leopold and Loeb in ‘Thrill Me’

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

While the Jazz Age produced headlines that proved titillating and provocative, none captured the nation’s attention more than the thrill-seeking murder of an innocent 14-year-old by two Jewish college graduates, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. In the anything-goes period marked by the...
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Jason Robert Brown’s ‘Last 5 Years’ closes here

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

Composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown has won multiple Tony Awards for his brilliant compositions and, most especially, for his tender ballads. First noted for his 1995 production of Songs for a New World, Brown later received critical acclaim for Parade, which...
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Last chance to see ‘Chicago’ Sunday

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

There are many reasons why John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Chicago is the longest-running American Broadway show on the Great White Way. First of all, it is a thoroughly satisfying adult comedy with a remarkable book by the late Ebb and the...
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