Peter D. Kramer

Posts Tagged ‘Broadway’

See ‘Once’ at least twice

In Reviews on March 19, 2012 at 8:05 am

Like many contemporary Broadway musicals, “Once” — which opened last night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre — is based on a feature film, a 2006 work of the same name.

Unlike other contemporary Broadway musicals, “Once” hasn’t a trace of irony or snark. Its touch is feather light, a musical unafraid of wearing its considerable heart on its sleeve, in a story without a buttoned-up ending.

“Once” is the real deal, a refreshing breath of fresh air.

It’s a boy-meets-girl story, about an Irish busker (simply “Guy”) and his whirlwind weeklong encounter with a Czech woman (“Girl”) he meets in Dublin. It stars Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti (above, in a photo by Joan Marcus), as two lonely people who share their loneliness and a love of music.

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‘Stickfly’: Guess who’s coming to Martha’s Vineyard?

In Reviews on December 9, 2011 at 8:32 am

No one is precisely who they seem in “Stickfly,” which opened last night at the Cort Theater on Broadway.

We are on Martha’s Vineyard, but “not Oak Bluffs,” the Playbill announces. It is 2005 and this opulent summer place (magnificent set by David Gallo) will soon welcome the LeVay family — father Joe (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), sons Kent (Dulé Hill) and Harold (Mekhi Phifer) — and Kent’s fiancé Taylor (Tracie Thoms) and Harold’s girlfriend, Kimber (Rosie Benton).

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In this ‘Godspell,’ a Jesus who will friend you

In Reviews on November 8, 2011 at 6:42 am

WWJD?

If that “J” is Hunter Parrish, the star of the first Broadway revival of “Godspell” — which opened last night at the Circle in the Square Theater — the answer is simple: He’d arrive unaccompanied and jump right in to the group, smile wide, sing sweetly, dance, tell stories, and charm.

In the Age of Facebook, Jesus would definitely friend you.

“Godspell,” the Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak musical based on Matthew’s Gospel, has had thousands of revivals, in church halls, barn theaters and school auditoriums. But it hasn’t been on Broadway since Sept. 4, 1977, when its initial run closed after 527 performances at three different theaters.

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Found in translation: The charm of ‘Chinglish’

In Reviews on October 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

“Chinglish”— David Henry Hwang’s funny take on an American trying to gain a foothold in the Chinese market and suffering from one bad translator after another — is a lot of things.

It’s a fish-out-of-water story — but those are a dime a dozen.

It’s a quirky sort of romantic comedy — but we’ve seen plenty of those.

It’s a story about different cultures, but Hwang’s Tony-winner “M. Butterfly” (and even “The Book of Mormon,” for that matter) trod the same ground.

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Review: A powerful ‘Mountaintop’

In Reviews on October 14, 2011 at 6:00 am

“The Mountaintop,” Katori Hall’s powerful and compelling play imagining Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night, opened at Broadway’s Jacobs Theatre last night.

Directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences”), it stars Hollywood icons Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. That’s it — and that’s plenty.

For 94 minutes, the two denizens of the big screen fill David Gallo’s remarkable letterbox set — depicting the drab Room 306 at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel on April 3, 1968 — with true-to-life, honest-to-goodness, flesh-and-blood characters: one we know from history, the other an intriguing revelation.

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