Theatre

JPAS’s ‘West Side Story’ is sung, choreographed very well

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

There is a point in the second act of the current production of Jefferson Performing Arts Society’s “West Side Story” where the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical merges into the ethereal Jerome Robbins ballet.

The central story of star-crossed lovers Tony...
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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...
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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...
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‘Fiddler’ revival a solid production

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

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

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...
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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...
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