insightful in-depth reviews

Indecent. Created by Paula Vogel & Rebecca Taichman. Written by Vogel, directed by Taichman. Cort Theatre, New York, June 2017.
 

Indecent is a daring play, in multiple ways. It involves interweaving stories about free speech and censorship; about immigration to America; about the hypocrisy of a religious man who puts his business interests ahead of his family. And it shows a lesbian love affair.

That’s a large amount of content, and the inter-relationships are laid out poetically with movement and music being as important as the dialogue. Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents would be …

Gypsy: musical shows signs of aging

Gypsy. Book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Terrence J. Nolen directed at the Arden Theatre, May-June 2017.
 

Gypsy is a Broadway classic, and Mary Martello is a logical choice for the lead role. In this Arden Theatre production, the veteran performer captured the core of a showbiz pro who knows theater from the bottom up. Martello was excellent from the start when she powerfully belted “Some People,” where she demonstrated joy that she was going to make the world notice her.

Martello’s commanding performance culminated in the shattering breakdown (“…

Non-stop hilarity that “Goes Wrong”

The Play That Goes Wrong. Written by Henry Lewis, directed by Mark Ball. Lyceum Theatre, New York. May 2017.
 

You don’t have to travel across the pond to see this superb presentation of classic British humor. The Play That Goes Wrong has transferred to Broadway and it brought non-stop laughter with it. This dazzling production from the London-based Mischief Theatre, is as funny as any play I have ever seen.

This show at the Lyceum Theater is a play within a play. The actors portray an amateur theater troupe attempting to stage a murder mystery. …

Bandstand, the new American musical

Bandstand. Music by Richard Oberacker, book and lyrics by Oberacker and Rob Taylor. Directed & choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. Bernard Jacobs Theatre, May 2017.
 

Bandstand is a profound and original show. “The New American Musical” — as it’s being billed — tells the story of World War II veterans who come home from carnage and use music as a method of coping with the horrors they saw. There have been plenty of stories told about World War II, but never before have we seen an in-depth look at the struggles our veterans faced when returning …

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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