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Genre Bender

Genre Bender

  BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Mention the name Charles Ludlam, even to New York theater junkies, and you’re likely to be met with blank stares. When you give hints about his trademarks — cross-dressing, elaborate costumes, campy parody of noir Hollywood films, zany plot twists, double entendres — you’re likely to get, “Oh, you mean Charles […]

Best Laid Schemes

Best Laid Schemes

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Surely James Franco has a lavish walk-in closet to store his many hats. A hyperactive, red-hot celebrity mostly known for his film and television roles, he is also a cutting-edge director, screenwriter, producer, book author, poet, grad student, teacher, visual artist, Academy Award co-host, sex symbol, and shameless selfie model. Just last […]

Our Gay Playwright Laureate Ponders Our History

Our Gay Playwright Laureate Ponders Our History

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Terrence McNally is keenly aware of how change happens –– slowly, one person or event at a time. Yet it also happens in a moment. Rosa Parks, he observed, didn’t wake up one day and say she was going to change the world. Gandhi stood firm on the fact that he had […]

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 […]

Disenchanted Evenings

Disenchanted Evenings

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | It’s probably battle fatigue. “Les Misérables” is easily the most over-exposed musical of the past three decades. Long run on Broadway, two revivals, concert versions, major motion picture, tours, high school productions, and so forth. That could be one reason the current revival at the Imperial Theatre is so undistinguished. It does […]

Knock-Outs

Knock-Outs

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE  | When a show comes from Disney, you can count on it to have its inimitable brand of magic. If that magic comes at the expense of an emotional connection with the characters, that’s a small price to pay for the dazzling spectacle that no one can do better. From sheer energy to […]

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 […]

A Family Reconfigured

A Family Reconfigured

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Terrence McNally has been lauded as the Godfather of contemporary queer theater and with good reason. Radical works like “The Ritz,” “The Lisbon Traviata,” “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Corpus Christi,” and “Some Men” — many finding their way to Broadway — boldly portrayed gay […]

An Amazing Time

An Amazing Time

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The rough poetry of José Rivera’s “Adoration of the Old Woman” leaps off the page. Combining the lyricism of Frederico García Lorca, the magical realism of Gabriel García Marquez, and the profanity of David Mamet, the play, set in Puerto Rico in the near future, is ostensibly about the conflict between independence […]

Getting Real, Getting Lost

Getting Real, Getting Lost

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Sarah Ruhl’s “Stage Kiss” is an engaging blend of romantic comedy and farce that offers terrific performances by the two principals as well as the charming supporting cast. He and She, as they are identified, are actors who had an affair many years ago and have unexpectedly been cast as the romantic […]

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