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Reviews

The Elephant Man *** - A Delicate Balance ****

                                                   By: David Sheward

Two current productions reflect a growing Broadway trend: all-star vehicles in their third Main Stem incarnation. The Elephant Man and A Delicate Balance are established dramatic fare in limited runs headlined by surefire box-office champs. They are satisfying evenings but only the latter challenges its audience.

 

Features/Fashion

Holiday Whirl

Holiday Whirl of Entertainment - Seasonal Show Schedules, Some Thing's Coming - and Here

                                                                             By: Ellis Nassour

It's that wonderful time of year, and the holidays are a perfect time to see a show. Broadway and Off Broadway tickets are about the nicest, most thoughtful gift for loved ones. There is an amazing range of plays and musicals from the long-run tried- and-true to the new season's crop.

"Celebrating the holiday season with a Broadway show is the perfect gift to family, friends, and yourself!" says Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League. "Tickets are great stocking stuffers."

Gordin's View

Drama Desk 2014 Holiday Party

Jeffry Denman, Mary Testa, Charles WrightJeffry Denman, Mary Testa, Charles Wright 
The Drama Desk hosted their Annual Holiday Party at The Coffee House Club, a venue with old world charm on West 44th Street, where members and their guests celebrated the season. The 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards will be presented in May 2015. The festive event was attended by acclaimed actors Mary Testa, Jim Brochu Jeffry Denman, Nancy Ford, Reed Birney and new Drama Desk member critic Rex Reed, as well as some of the theater's best journalists and photographers from the tri-state area.

The Drama Desk founded in 1949 considers Off Off Broadway, Off Broadway and Broadway productions in the same categories and gives awards in over 26 categories along with special awards in a sustained effort to fulfill its mission of supporting artistic excellence.

Features/Fashion

John Huston Retrospective

FSLC Presents Extensive Films of John Huston Retrospective
December 19-January 11; Anjelica Huston to Appear Closing Night

  By: Ellis Nassour

Let There Be Light: The Films of John Huston
, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's complete retrospective of the legendary and Oscar-winning director, will screen December 19 - January 11. Forty-six features and shorts will span five decades of Huston's iconic works as director, screenwriter, and actor.

Reviews

The Illusionists ***

                          The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible
                                     By: David Sheward
Yes, The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible, is a big cheesy, glitzy, overproduced spectacle more suitable for a Vegas casino than a Broadway theater. But it's still a load of fun. Seven international purveyors of legerdemain, each with superhero-ish monicker such as The Trickster, The Inventor, and The Anti-Conjurer (whatever that is), offer two hours of family-friendly wonder. There are a few unnecessary elements such as a gigantic video screen offering close-ups of the acts which are helpful in certain sleight-of-hand maneuvers bits, but the device serves more to distance the audience than to invite them closer.

Around The Town

Christmas Carolyn

Join Broadway and Cabaret Star Roster for December 22's Christmas Carolyn

                             By: Ellis Nassour
Yes, Virginia, the title of this holiday-themed benefit is a play on the name  "Carolyn" -- as in going a caroling during the Yuletide season. There's even affordable entertainment - and an opportunity to be a sponsor of keeping nightlife alive. Carolyn Montgomery-Forant, a Nightlife champion and Nightlife Award winner, is hosting Christmas Carolyn, a one-night-only fundraiser jammed with Broadway and cabaret favorites on December 22 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at 7 P.M. for Scott Siegel Entertainment's Broadway Unplugged and the annual Nightlife Awards.

Around The Town

BC/EFA's Holiday Extravaganza

BC/EFA's Holiday Extravaganza Gypsy of the Year Exceeds Wildest Expectations: Donations Set a New Record: $5,229,000

                  By: Ellis Nassour
The 26th edition Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, held Monday and Tuesday at the New Amsterdam Theatre, home of Disney's Aladdin, shattered even the wildest expectations. A mind-boggling record amount of $5,229,666 was raised. That bests last year's record breaker by over $334, 358. The generosity of Broadway, Off Broadway, and touring audiences is magnitudinous.

Reviews

Our Lady of Kibeho **** - The Oldest Boy *** - Grand Concourse *** - By the Water ** - A Particle of Dread **1/2

Off-Broadway Roundup II                    By: David Sheward

As the year winds down, Off-Broadway has been unusually active with new American plays examining religious faith and famStarla Benford, Joaquina Kalukango: "Our Lady of Kibeho"Starla Benford, Joaquina Kalukango: "Our Lady of Kibeho"ily relations as well as reconsidering the Oedipus myth and our country's penchant for violence. Katori Hall's Our Lady of Kibeho at Signature Theatre and Sarah Ruhl's The Oldest Boy at Lincoln Center benefit from imaginative productions with exceptional design elements. The plays present questions about belief but offer no easy answers.

Around The Town

Winter Rhythms

Winter Rhythms 2014 Rock at Urban Stages
            By: Ellis Nassour

If you're looking for a reasonably-priced evening or afternoon of show tunes, jazz, and evenings of cabaret, if not by a roaring fireplace at least inside, don't miss Urban Stages' Winter Rhythms 2014, selected as a Time Out Critic's Pick, through December 14 at its theatre (259 West 30th Street, just east of Eighth Avenue). Shows are at 7 P.M., except where noted.

 

Features/Fashion

Actors Fund Holiday Benefit

Jule Styne/Bob Merrill's Mr. Magoo Actors Fund Holiday Musical Will Be a Very Tony Benefit

         By: Ellis Nassour
Tony winner Lillias White, two-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry, Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli, and Tony nominee Douglas Sills headline the cast of The Actors Fund's December 15 benefit concert of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Based on the prime-time animated holiday special that featured one of the most popular cartoon characters of the time, this premiere stage version one-night-only event is at 7:30 at John Jay College's Gerald W. Lynch Theatre [899 Tenth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets].

Features/Fashion

Christmas Spectacular

Radio City Music Hall's Decked Out for the Holidays! The Rockettes Are High-Kicking and Santa's Arriving from the North Pole

                  By: Ellis Nassour
The Showplace of the Nation, Radio City Music Hall really knows how to put a kick into the holiday season with its Christmas Spectacular. Have you been naughty or nice? Hopefully, the latter, but it doesn't matter because this 86th Edition, running through December 31, will have you imbibing the holiday spirit. In fact, there's no better place to lift spirits and create lasting family memories than with this cherished holiday tradition. It's estimated that since its inception, the Christmas Spectacular has been seen by 74 million.

 

Reviews

Side Show *** Allegro ***

                                     By: David Sheward
Two cult musicals which didn't achieve long runs in their original Broadway productions have resurfaced in radically new interpretations. Both highlight the shows' strengths and their directors have found new insights, but neither production totally overcomes the scripts' basic weaknesses. Side Show, on Broadway at the St. James, has been substantially rewritten since its 1997 edition and Allegro, a Rodgers and Hammerstein curio from 1947, is being given the John Doyle treatment with the cast playing the instruments in a limited Off-Broadway run at Classic Stage Company.

Features/Fashion

BC/EFA "Gypsy of the Year"

It's Time to Book Tickets for BC/EFA's Holiday Extravaganza Gypsy of the Year

            By: Ellis Nassour
It's the time of year that dedicated theatergoers eagerly look forward to: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual Gypsy of the Year Competition. The 26th edition is December 8 at 4:30 P.M. and December 9 at 2 at the historic New Amsterdam Theatre, home of Disney's Aladdin.

The event rings down the curtain on the Fall season's six weeks of intensive fundraising by the dozens of dedicated volunteers of BC/AFA's Red Bucket Brigade and all sorts of special activities by Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring companies to garner support for the myriad programs allocated locally and nationwide by BC/EFA and funded by the incredible generosity of theatergoers.

Reviews

The River ** Lost Lake ***

By: David Sheward
Hugh JackmanHugh Jackman
On the surface, The River and Lost Lake have a great deal in common. Both are named for bodies of water, are set in a rustic, remote cabins, sport small casts and run about 90 minutes with no intermission. In addition, neither is a masterwork, but on closer examination, they couldn't be more different. River is a Broadway commercial vehicle with London snob-appeal license plates driven by a Tony-winning star. Lake is a new play with a somewhat cliched plot in a small Off-Broadway theater with two respected but not ballyhooed actors (despite one being an Oscar nominee), yet it's the more satisfying evening of theater. River is pretentious and overblown while Lake is truthful if flawed.

Features/Fashion

Peter Pan on NBC

NBC Sprinkles Fairy Dust Over Viewers for Live Telecast of J. M. Barrie''s Timeless Family Classic Peter Pan

               By: Ellis Nassour

Close your eyes and make a wish to fly to Never Never Land because this Thursday all of America [and then some] will be sprinkled with fairy dust in the new three-hour [with commercials] production of the 1954 musical adaptation of J.M. Barrie's play about the boy that never grew up, Peter Pan, airing live on NBC on December 4 at 8 P.M. Eastern.