Friday, January 29, 2016

'Bronx Tale' Musical Opens 2/4 At Paper Mill

Paper Mill produces the world premiere of this explosive new musical. 
Written by Chazz Palminteri‚ A Bronx Tale is set against the backdrop of racial strife and organized crime in the 1960s. 
It is the story of an Italian-American teenager finding his path in life as he must choose between the father who raised him and a mob-boss father figure who fascinates him.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sneak Peek: Steve Martin's Bright Star, Coming To B'way 2/25

Bright Star - The first Broadway musical from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pacino, China Doll To End B'Way Run 1/31

CHINA DOLL, the new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Mamet will end its successful limited Broadway engagement this Sunday, January 31stCHINA DOLL stars Tony, Emmy and Academy Award-winner Al Pacino, who with this role celebrates an acclaimed five decades on the New York stage. CHINA DOLL has officially recouped its Broadway investment, and the play has currently been licensed to several resident theatres across the country, and will also have productions internationally next year in Germany, Denmark, Poland, Great Britain and Australia, among other countries.  Directed by Tony Award-winner Pam MacKinnon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf), CHINA DOLL, is now playing on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street). 

CHINA DOLL tells the story of Mickey Ross, a man of means who is ready to walk away from it all to start a new life with his young fiancée. Then one phone call changes everything . . .

Al Pacino (Mickey Ross) is a two-time Tony Award-winner, an Academy Award-winner, four-time Golden Globe-winner, and two-time Emmy Award winner who is celebrating a five decade-New York stage career that began in 1968 with his Obie Award-winning role in Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants the BronxCHINA DOLL marks his twelfth time appearing on Broadway, including productions of Mamet’s acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo, as well as The Merchant of Venice, SalomĂ©, Hughie, King Richard III, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Camino Real, and Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie, among others. Mr. Pacino was recently seen as Phil Spector in the HBO film written by David Mamet.

Also featured alongside Mr. Pacino in the cast of CHINA DOLL is Christopher Denham (“Master Harold”… and the Boys, Argo, “Manhattan”).

CHINA DOLL has scenic design by Tony Award-winner Derek McLane (33 Variations, Beautiful The Carol King Musical), costume design by Tony Award-winner Jess Goldstein (The Rivals, Jersey Boys), and lighting design by Russell H. Champa (In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)). The show was cast by Telsey & Company and Bialy/Thomas Associates.

CHINA DOLL is presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Steve Traxler, marking the tenth David Mamet work produced by Messrs Richards, Frankel and Traxler on Broadway and in the West End.

CHINA DOLL began previews on October 21 and opened on December 4, 2015. The final performance will be this Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 3pm.

The performance schedule for CHINA DOLL is Tuesday at 7 pm. Wednesday at 7 pm, Thursday at 8 pm, Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and 8 pm, and Sunday at 3 pm. 

The running time of CHINA DOLL is 1:55 with an intermission.

Tickets for CHINA DOLL are available for purchase online at, or by calling (212) 239-6200.

Visit CHINA DOLL online at:

Twitter: @ChinaDollBway

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This Is Not A 'View' You Want To See

Sometimes Broadway makes us just scratch our heads in wonderment.
You must know what those times are like, right?
When you've paid a huge ticket price for something that's been called "absolutely astonishing" and you find yourself thinking: "Wha . . . . ?"
When you've looked forward to seeing a new interpretation of a classic (but not too new) and you discover that now it's no longer anything like you remember it?
When you've got great seats and you expect something scintillating and mesmerizing and darn near thrilling only to discover that your main concern becomes just how uncomfortable the seat is or just how glaring and depressing the set seems.
Ok, look -- Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge is not a cheerful show.
We knew that. We understood that. We studied this Miller play and nearly all of his works thoroughly in American Literature class in college. And then we saw an outstanding production of the play (faithfully produced and in context) with the late, great Richard Castellano in the lead role as Eddie Carbone, a rough, burly, dockworker in Brooklyn's hardscrabble Red Hook neighborhood of the 1950s. The time and the context are critical to the understanding of the drama and if you see a production of the show as Miller meant for it to be produced, you'll understand why.
But the current production of this play (now at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway) from Britain's Young Vic Company is no such production. Under the direction Ivo Von Hove the play is literally and figuratively stripped bare. It begins with two half-naked dock workers rinsing off their not-quite-ripped bodies in a stark, sanitary environment (a large, brightly-lit white box) and it ends -- well, you don't really want to know how it ends. Let's just say that it ends with the only gimmicky special effect of the entire evening. Here's a hint: There's a drain in the floor of the box/stage and we don't know why it's there until the big, sloppy ending.
Anyway, this production has no props whatsoever. None.
Which is to say that there's no set except for the big white box that the players move around in. The characters have no costumes to speak of, either. They move about in ordinary street clothes (rather dreary looking outfits) except that they don't wear shoes or socks. They remain barefooted the entire time. Don't ask us why. We still don't know why.
Also, the characters in this version are compressed into a stage/box that is about one-third the size of the actual Lyceum stage. The other two-thirds of the stage (on either side of the box) is taken up by bleachers for audience members. So, save for the back wall, this almost seems like a production in the round with audience members in the scene on the right and the left. Meanwhile, since they can't enter or leave from the right or the left, all of the players appear and disappear through a simple, bare opening in the center of the back wall.
The characters move about and deliver their lines almost like robotic pieces on a magnetized metal slab. Don't misunderstand. They have a lot of emotion and there's plenty of shouting and gesticulating over the course of this long production which plays without interruption. But it's all sort of starngely over wrought. And, while all this is going on there are weird, piercing sounds playing in the background. Why? Maybe some of these are supposed to be sounds associated with the docks, but we're not entirely sure what they are. Are the sounds there to create added tension or mystery or intrigue or what? Your guess is as good as ours.
As originally written by Miller, the play is set in an Italian American neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It employs a chorus and narrator in the character of Alfieri, a lawyer. Eddie, the tragic protagonist, has an improper love of, and almost obsession with, Catherine who is his niece and adopted daughter.
Miller's interest in writing about the world of the New York docks originated with an unproduced screenplay that he developed with Elia Kazan in the early 1950s (entitled The Hook) that addressed corruption on the Brooklyn docks. Kazan later directed On the Waterfront, which dealt with the same subject. Miller said that he heard the basic account that developed into the plot of A View from the Bridge from a lawyer who worked with longshoremen, who related it to him as a true story.
This production (which runs through February 21) has been called everything from "thrilling" to "magnificent" to "exquisite" and "profound."
But, even though this production has given us an insight into what appear to be current theatrical trends, we still have to call it unfaithful, manipulative and gimmicky.
Oh yes, we understand that Eddie's story is a complete tragedy -- a classic tragedy. We get it that it's sort of like a Greek tragedy and that theoretically it can be performed just as the ancient Greeks might have performed Aeschylus or Euripides. But we're not in Greece and the play takes place in the middle of the 20th century in America.
And, absent the desire to be "unique," what's this interpretation doing on Broadway in 2016?
Bottom line: Don't waste your time, or money.

Was There Someone Who Inspired YOU?

Behind every great performance is inspiration, and behind inspiration is a great teacher. The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University want to know what educators inspired you through theatre. Tell us the story of your teacher, and he or she could be selected as the winner of this year's Excellence in Theatre Education Award.

Nominate your teacher at by February 29, 2016.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

You Won't Believe What's Coming Back To Broadway

One of the biggest, greatest musicals of all time will return to Broadway just about a year from now.
In March, 2017 Hello Dolly! with Bette Midler on the title role will return to the Great White Way.
Directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly! will begin performances on Broadway on March 13, 2017, with an official opening night of April 20, 2017.
This new production of Hello, Dolly! will be the first new production of this classic musical to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago.
You'd better plan on being first in line when the tickets go on sale because this will be a sure sellout. This is one of the most exuberant, best crafted, most tuneful musicals of all time and with Better Midler in a role that seems made for her -- well, it can;t miss!