Recommended Theater

HAMILTON  Send This Review to a Friend

Toughest ticket in town. American history comes alive via rap lyrics and score to match.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF  Send This Review to a Friend

Excellent, moving new revival (2015) with Danny Burstein excelling as Tevye.

KING CHARLES III  Send This Review to a Friend

Sophisticated, clever drama from Britain imagining what happens when current Queen Elizabeth dies, Charles takes the throne and then finds a rebellion against him.

SCHOOL OF ROCK  Send This Review to a Friend

Entertaining musical as impostor poses as teacher and gets the young students enthusiastic about rock Fun family show.

THE KING AND I  Send This Review to a Friend

Classy revival of the fabled musical in sumptuous eye-appealing production.

LIST OF SOME FILMS CITED IN THE PAST:  Send This Review to a Friend

WAR HORSE  Send This Review to a Friend

If you were only to see one play this season, “War Horse’ should be the one, as you have never seen anything remotely like it. Adapted by Nick Stafford from a novel by Michael Morpurgo, the play is a story about a lad whose horse is sold by his father for use in the cavalry during World War I. Furious and grief stricken, the young man joins the army in hope of finding his horse. The plot has its charm and emotional potential, but the production, directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, is the star of this show, thanks largely to the horse puppetry. This is a case where not only the cast deserves praise, but plaudits are especially due the extraordinary team that makes the horses seem so lifelike.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (2010)  Send This Review to a Friend

Proven strong and movingly entertaining in the past, “La Cage Aux Folles” acquires new freshness in this re-imagined revival with lively staging and memorable performances. The biggest news is the magnificent Broadway debut by British actor Douglas Hodge in the role of Albin, the temperamental drag star of a French Riviera nightspot and the long-time, loving companion of George, the club’s impresario. The role of Albin has been impressively filled before, and there is no need for specific comparisons. Hodge makes the flamboyant part entirely his own with striking layers of all sorts of expertise. The performance sparkles with originality, whether in the emotional or hilarious moments. It is no exaggeration to say that Hodge’s interpretation stands as a monumental tour de force, first achieved in London and now gloriously transported to Broadway. But wait. Hodge is not the only revelation. Kelsey Grammer, known primarily for his television work, is superb as George, both in his MC role at the club and his relations with Albin under the emotional cloud of the pressures that the plot brings. There is a twinkle in his eyes and heart in his persona. Grammer and Hodge make the perfect combination, and the show, while immensely entertaining thanks to the durable music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, still packs its emotional wallop as a supportive cry for the right to be who you are and a slap at bigotry. A main attraction continues to be the “chorines” of Les Cagelles. In this paired down staging, there are only six male dancers in drag, but with the talent expressed by this group, six are all ones needs. The inventive direction by Terry Johnson and the refashioned choreography by Lynne Page make the most of the gifted cast, and also importantly, keep the contrived but nonetheless effective plot speeding along. But what one comes away with above all is the memory of Hodge’s unique, great performance. At the Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street, $36.50-$132.50, with premium and table seating $251.50. Phone: 212-239-6200.

RED  Send This Review to a Friend

Once past the silly affectation of Alfred Molina as artist Mark Rothko having to sit in a chair regarding his paintings and with his back to the audience as it files into the theater, John Logan’s clever, poignant play “Red” begins to soar and live up to its advance reputation. Bristling with intelligent dialogue about the nature of an artist’s passionate struggle for expression and the quest for fulfillment within the trajectory of art history, “Red” becomes the vehicle for a great performance by Molina. From the moment we meet his Rothko, we are swept into the orbit of his dynamism, his arrogance masking inner self-doubt, his bullying personality and the wit he displays along with his all-consuming dedication to his work. The result is that this import of London’s Donmar Warehouse production makes for an hour and a half of exciting and original theater. As towering as Molina’s achievement is, the success can also be attributed in no small way to the performance by Eddie Redmayne as Ken, the assistant Rothko hires and in the play functions as a foil for Rothko’s harangues and pontificating about being an artist true to oneself. Ken is warned not to expect a father figure or a mentor and that the job is as a no-questions-asked obedient servant. But the playwright allows Ken to give as sharply as he gets. His speech accusing Rothko of thinking that nobody is good enough to look at his paintings is a high point. What keeps this two-character play from being a static discussion is the action injected under the direction of Michael Grandage. Set designer Christopher Oram has turned the stage into a large, very realistic looking artist’s studio, complete with its huge canvasses replicating Rothko’s work. We see the characters mixing paints and launching into the work itself. There are also moments when each stares out at the audience as if we were one of the paintings and the technique is attention-grabbing. Given the excitement Molina brings in portraying Rothko, it becomes immaterial as to what one thinks of Rothko’s art. It is the passion that goes into it that emerges powerfully The drama is there. The indelible portrait of the artist is there. The acting is super. All of which makes for astonishingly good theater. At the Golden Theatre, 252 West 45th Street, $25-$116.50. Phone: 212-239-6200.

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE  Send This Review to a Friend

Having seen different versions of Arthur Milller’s play “A View from the Bridge,” I never considered it one of the playwright’s finest. It always seemed quite contrived no matter how well acted. Such reservations have been totally shattered by this new staging by Gregory Mosher. The production builds as a seamless, profound tragedy, a personal, moving tale of woe and destruction as well as a political statement in the context of the time in which it was written and in retrospect. There is magic on the stage as we are ushered into the home of a working class family in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. The cast is so very believable each step of the way that all seems indelibly real, with each character as enacted deserving to be taken seriously. The brilliant acting is what cements this thrilling achievement. By now we know what a superb and versatile actor Liev Schreiber is, whether on stage or screen. But he outdoes even himself here with a great, mesmerizing performance as the conflicted, headed-for-tragedy Eddie Carbone, upset with unsatisfactory sexual relations with his wife, coveting his 17-year-old niece without wanting to admit it, fiercely jealous of the Italian immigrant with whom she falls in love. Schrieber convinces a macho worker on the docks who misguidedly sees femininity in his niece’s intended, and as a man with so much desperation mounting within him that he is driven to do something that goes against his ethical grain. Schrieber gets it all, sometimes with the most subtle speech tones, sometime with merely an expression, on occasion by lashing out, and all the while creating an everyman character given tragic status in Miller’s take on humanity. Movie actress Scarlett Johansson scores a coup with a moving, true-to-life portrayal of the niece, a performance that should solidly establish her stage credentials. Fine performances too by Jessica Hecht, Morgan Spector, Corey Stoll and Michael Cristofer as the lawyer-narrator. At the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street. Phone: 212-239-6200.


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