Theatre

Alessi is sensational as Fanny Brice in ‘Funny Girl’

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

When Barbra Streisand tackled the challenge of playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl in 1964, she had been seen on the Broadway stage only once previously. Her role as Miss Marmelstein in I Can Get It For You Wholesale had garnered attention for her...
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Stop the presses! Nathan Lane, Goodman star in ‘Front Page’

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

There’s little doubt that the nature of the ensemble cast of The Front Page could draw large audiences for the entirety of its strictly limited run on paper (pun intended). First, there’s Tony Award winners Nathan Lane and Jefferson Mays as headliners and New...
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New Orleans underbelly exposed in ‘Airline Highway’

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

There is an overwhelming tendency in Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway for characters to talk over one another. This is apparently how our native daughter hears the conversations of the real life New Orleans figures upon whom she has based her fictional account....
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Boe’s star rises with ‘Pictures of Marilyn’

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

With its current production Pictures of Marilyn now playing weekends at BB’s Stage Door Canteen, the National World War II Museum has taken a bold step in a new theatrical direction. Courtney Boe, the blonde Victory Belle who has been a leading player...
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Gordon Davidson, the ‘Moses’ of LA’s theater scene, is dead at 83

LOS ANGELES (JTA)– Gordon Davidson, a Brooklyn-born director and producer who played a key role in transforming Los Angeles from a perceived theatrical backwater into a creative center for innovative and controversial plays, has died

Davidson died Sunday after collapsing at dinner in his Santa Monica, California, home. He was...
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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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