insightful in-depth reviews

Spongebob Squarepants, The Broadway Musical. Palace Theatre, New York.
 

In a time & place as bleak as America 2017, we could all use the unbridled optimism of Spongebob. Adapted from the hit TV show of the 1990s, Spongebob Squarepants The Broadway Musical is now at the Palace Theatre and full of fun.

This is a Broadway show for the whole family, though it’ll work particularly well if you’re familiar with the Nickelodean show, as I had having grown up during the first years of Spongebob. (Some famous quotes from the early days of the TV …

Selling art treasures to the Nazis

The Craftsman, a play by Bruce Graham. World premiere at the Lantern Theatre, Philadelphia, November 2017.
 

No previous play by Bruce Graham has the seriousness of his latest, The Craftsman, now in its world premiere at Lantern Theater in Philadelphia.

The prolific Graham has written about murder (Any Given Monday) and suicide (The Outgoing Tide). In The Craftsman, the subject is darker and witty asides are at a minimum. How can anything be darker than murder and suicide, you ask? Collaborating with the Nazis during World War II is my …

1812 Productions reports on Trump's first year

This is the Week That Is. 1812 Productions, performing at Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia, December 2017.
 

This Is the Week That Is has returned, refreshed, this December. The annual spoof of TV news shows has been a staple from 1812 Productions for the past eleven years.

A few long-time favorites are missing from the cast this time, but the newcomers Rob Tucker and Jenson Titus Lavallee are outstanding. Tucker serves as comedian and musical director at the piano, while Lavallee is a wacky, loose-limbed presence. Director Jennifer Childs heads the cast, alongside the returning Dave Jadico, …

Thomas Jefferson and his slave

This review is an expansion of an article that appeared originally in DC Metro Theater Arts
 

William Bolcom’s composition, From the Diary of Sally Hemings, could not be more timely. With America’s racial tensions, and with the recent uproar about sexual aggression by powerful men, this piece explores the sexual relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave.

The mini-opera for solo soprano was performed by Alyson Cambridge in the crypt beneath the Church of the Intercession at Broadway and 155th Street in New York — the neighborhood known as Washington Heights. The event is …

From The Publisher

The Cultural Critic is where thoughtful readers turn for in-depth reviews of artistic events and travel experiences. Our aim is to cover a wide range throughout every category. From theater to book critiques, travel to opera experiences, music to art analysis, The Cultural Critic is your destination for the most comprehensive reviews.

We are proud to have cultural historian Steve Cohen as our lead critic. He is a broadcaster and journalist with degrees in music, theater and communications.

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Geoffrey Dobrien, President

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