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California Dreaming

California Dreaming

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | As snow hung tough into March, I visited San Diego and Los Angeles, both cities with notable LGBT scenes as well as first-class theaters. San Diego’s beautiful park-girt Old Globe Theater was playing “Winter’s Tale,” directed with variable success by its new head, Barry Edelstein. The show often looked ravishing, with superb […]

Oh, Diana!

Oh, Diana!

  BY DAVID NOH | Undoubtedly one of the most exciting opera singers today, Diana Damrau just wrapped an ecstatically received run of performances of Bellini’s “La Sonnambula” at the Met –– and made her triumphant cabaret debut at Le Poisson Rouge, celebrating her solo album, “Forever,” which she calls “the soundtrack of my life.” Opera […]

Singing Psychotics from Vienna

Singing Psychotics from Vienna

BY ELI JACOBSON | As part of Carnegie Hall’s three-week “Vienna: City of Dreams” festival, the Vienna State Opera performed in concert two 20th century operas dealing with abnormal psychology. Richard Strauss’ “Salome” (1905) and Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” (1925) were composed during the same period as Sigmund Freud’s pioneering studies of psychoanalysis, though their literary sources […]

Laura and Mimi

Laura and Mimi

BY DAVID NOH | After some very high profile television work, Laura Benanti is returning to the musical stage as waitress Rosabella in the Encores! revival of “The Most Happy Fella” (New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., through Apr. 6; nycitycenter.org). As exquisitely pretty and earthy real as ever, she took some time off from […]

Late Winter Voices

Late Winter Voices

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | February 21 witnessed a bittersweet occasion at City Center –– fabulous to see, but with acoustics often jarringly opaque. The valiant New York City Opera Orchestra under the versatile George Manahan paid tribute to the late lamented “people’s opera” with a 70th anniversary concert as a benefit for Local 802’s Musician’s Emergency […]

Iron-Willed Ingénues Keep Going Strong

Iron-Willed Ingénues Keep Going Strong

BY DAVID NOH | Oscar-winning movie musical queen Shirley Jones just made her Café Carlyle debut with a well-received show and I grabbed the opportunity to chat with her. For those who know her as such, you will be pleased to know that “Mrs. Partridge” is every bit as warm and down-to-earth as the Dream Mom […]

A Touch of the Poet

A Touch of the Poet

BY ELI JACOBSON | Massenet’s “Werther,” an intimate music drama focused on interior emotion rather than overt action, has never been a natural fit for the grandiose Metropolitan Opera House. Audiences haven’t flocked to it despite the presence of many distinguished singers over the decades.  Usually it is mounted as a vehicle for a superstar tenor […]

Beth Levels

Beth Levels

BY DAVID NOH | We truly are living in a marvelously varied Golden Age of Broadway Divas and, even if starring musical roles are scarce, these gals are still going forward, knocking us dead by strutting their awesome stuff in thrilling cabaret acts. The latest to do so is the dynamic Beth Leavel, who killed the […]

Broadway Baby

Broadway Baby

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | You don’t have to be a musical theater geek to be charmed by “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” the hilarious and heart-wrenching documentary by Chiemi Karasawa. The film, which opens this Friday at the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza, was shot during the last couple of years that Elaine lived in New York, […]

Hunger And Rage, Heat And Glare

Hunger And Rage, Heat And Glare

BY BRIAN MCCORMICK| Post-production blues, the period of reflection/ depression following the creation of a work, is particularly acute in the performing arts because the life of the piece — often after years of development — is so short. It’s complicated in the dance world by a set of principles sustained by the press, funders, and […]

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