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Assassins – Encores! Off-Center – New York City Center

Assassins, an Encores! Off-Center production, was performed at New York City Center. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Given today’s fraught political climate, it’s hard to imagine that that the powers at Encores! Off-Center didn’t have some sleepless nights about their decision to include John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins as part […]

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Me the People: The Trump America Musical – The Triad Theatre, New York

Me the People: The Trump America Musical continues at The Triad Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Political comedy has reached new levels of brazenness with the ascension of real estate mogul Donald Trump to President of the United States. The new satirical revue, Me the People: The Trump […]

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Bella: An American Tall Tale – Playwrights Horizon, New York

Bella: An American Tall Tale continues at Playwrights Horizon, New York until 2 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ In Bella: An American Tall Tale, the multi-talented Kristin Childs has concocted a gloriously overstuffed fantasia. Her work is an unabashed celebration of the full-figured African-American woman, more specifically her large posterior. Or as the play’s heroine, […]

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Sweetee – Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York

Sweetee continues at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York until 18 June. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ An exuberant quintet of ragtag youthful music-makers makes a lot of Sweetee, a new musical testing the Off-Broadway waters with a very limited engagement, quite a satisfying […]

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Interview – composer Stephen Flaherty on bringing Anastasia to Broadway – and other adventures

American composer STEPHEN FLAHERTY’s latest Broadway musical, written in collaboration with Lynn Ahrens and Terrence McNally (the same team that gave us Ragtime) is the musical retelling of Anastasia. The Tony-nominated show follows the oft-told Anastasia story about the woman who may have been – but probably wasn’t – the surviving daughter of the massacred […]

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – Théâtre De Ménilmontant, Paris

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was performed at the Théâtre De Ménilmontant, Paris. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ 27 Saville is a French theatre company created and run by English-born and Guilford School of Acting-trained Jessica Capon. With no less then 30 artists who specialise in musical theatre on board, recent productions […]

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Ernest Shackleton Loves Me – Tony Kiser Theatre, New York

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me continues at the Tony Kiser Theatre, New York until 11 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Val Vigoda is virtually a one-woman band in the exhilarating Off-Broadway musical, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me. Most of the time, she is furiously bowing away on her electric violin, sometimes beating […]

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The Golden Apple – Encores! – New York City Center

The Golden Apple, an Encores! production, was performed at New York City Center. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The Encores! staged concert series of Broadway musicals from the past has closed out its 2017 season in spectacular fashion, with its mounting of a nonpareil gem from 1954, The Golden Apple. With […]

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Amélie sets Broadway closing

The fallout from the Tony Awards nominations, announced four days ago, has begun. Amélie, A New Musical, which came up with nary a nod, has announced it will depart Broadway on 21 May. The fan base of the popular French movie on which the musical is based and the marquee value of its star, Phillipa […]

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Pacific Overtures – Classic Stage Company, New York

Pacific Overtures continues at Classic Stage Company, New York until 18 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ If there’s such a thing as minimalist grandeur, director John Doyle achieves it with his rendering of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures. Doyle is capping his first season as artistic director of […]

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Bandstand – Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, New York

Bandstand continues at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, New York. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The tagline for Bandstand proudly declares it to be ‘The New American Musical’, and the programme bios for the writers are so disarming and heartfelt that I wish I could have embraced their show a bit […]

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Hello, Dolly! – Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York

Hello, Dolly! continues at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Look at the old girl now, fellas,” the lady in sparkly red at the corner of the stage sings out to the audience. And you’d have to be a total idiot to not do just […]

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory continues at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Whatever changes were wrought in the recipe for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in its trip across the Atlantic, it remains a family-sized, mouth-watering mélange of eccentric perversity and tender-hearted […]

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Anastasia – Broadhurst Theatre, New York

Anastasia continues at the Broadhurst Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Daily headlines in US political news continue to ponder the Russian interference in last fall’s presidential election, but what about Russian influence over Broadway? Anastasia, the lavishly engaging new musical that has just opened on Broadway, is the […]

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War Paint – Nederlander Theatre, New York

War Paint continues at the Nederlander Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It has a great title, a great concept and two great female stars of Broadway theatre heading a talented company. There’s also a bounty of handsome costumes and sets, but beyond all this, things about War Paint […]

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Les Choristes – Folies Bergère, Paris

Les Choristes continues at the Folies Bergère, Paris until 18 June, before touring. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Julie Andrews herself wanted to buy the rights to the French movie 2004 Les Choristes (based itself on the 1945 movie La Cage aux rossignols) for a mere $10,000, but was denied.  So much the […]

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Amélie – A New Musical – Walter Kerr Theatre, New York

Amélie – A New Musical continues at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Whimsy is an elusive quality to capture in the Broadway vernacular of today, with its abundance of ear-blasting power ballads, ironic gags and strenuous jaw-dropping dancing. Amélie, a New Musical is an adaptation of the […]

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The New Yorkers – Encores! – New York City Center

The New Yorkers, an Encores! production, was performed at New York City Center. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “What kind of a show is this, I ask you?” Thus inquires a character in the midst of Act II of the Encores! re-creation of Cole Porter’s 1930 musical The New Yorkers. And […]

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Joan of Arc – Into the Fire – The Public Theater, New York

Joan of Arc – Into the Fire continues at The Public Theater, New York until 16 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Composer/writer David Byrne (along with collaborator Fatboy Slim) and director Alex Timbers scored a massive hit for Off-Broadway’s The Public Theater in 2013 with Here Lies Love, depicting the […]

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Come from Away – Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York

Come from Away continues at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The folks of Gander, a small town on the rocky island of Newfoundland perched on the north eastern tip of Canada, deserve a lot more than five stars for hospitality, geniality and an all-around human […]

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Broadway Melody – the Lerner and Loewe Songbook – Auguste Théâtre, Paris

Broadway Melody – the Lerner and Loewe Songbook was performed at the Auguste Théâtre, Paris. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ As part of the Broadway Melody series at the Auguste Théâtre, artistic director and performer Lauren Van Kempen and musical director pianist Mathieu Serradell chose to introduce the French audience to the masterpieces of […]

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Kid Victory – Vineyard Theatre, New York

Kid Victory continues at the Vineyard Theatre, New York until 19 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Composer John Kander, the music theatre treasure now heading into his 90th year, continues his collaboration with playwright Greg Pierce, some 50 years his junior, with Kid Victory. Their second show together, it’s an […]

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Sunday in the Park With George – Hudson Theatre, New York

Sunday in the Park With George continues at the Hudson Theatre, New York until 23 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Has any work of art ever been more imaginatively celebrated by another work of art than in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George? In Act I, […]

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Sunset Boulevard – Palace Theatre, New York

Sunset Boulevard continues at the Palace Theatre, New York until 25 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In her latest incarnation, Norma Desmond is totally heart-breaking. The narcissistic ferocity of the queen of silent movies has been softened. Her eccentricities are at times almost endearing rather than frightening. She can be haughty […]

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Spotlight on musical theatre in Sweden – winter and spring seasons

Renate Stridh throws the spotlight on musical theatre productions featured in the current and upcoming seasons in Sweden. The winter season in Sweden is well under way. The autumn saw some exciting productions and there are some equally exciting opening nights ahead. The Book of Mormon The Book of Mormon opened at the end of January at China […]

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In Transit – Circle in the Square Theatre, New York

In Transit continues at the Circle in the Square Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Just thinking about all the energy that the 11-person cast of In Transit expends during its 100 minutes or so running time can wear you out. The new Broadway musical is a snappy and […]

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The Band’s Visit – Atlantic Theater Company – Linda Gross Theater, New York

The Band’s Visit continues at the Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater, New York until 8 January. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ An Egyptian musician plays a plaintive melody on his clarinet to calm an Israeli baby who’s been crying in his crib. His music also brings together in tears the […]

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A Bronx Tale – Longacre Theatre, New York

A Bronx Tale continues at the Longacre Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Among the five boroughs that make up New York City, the Bronx lacks the high-priced glamour that marks Manhattan and the gentrified bohemian magnetism of Brooklyn, but it does have several claims to fame. It houses […]

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David Sabella – Vivian Reed – Metropolitan Room, New York

David Sabella performed his show Loopin’ the Loop and Vivian Reed appeared in her show Standards and More at the Metropolitan Room, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ At one of the last surviving venues of the Golden Age of New York’s cabaret scene, the legendary Metropolitan Room, two seldom seen seasoned Broadway performers treated […]

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Chita Rivera – Nowadays – Carnegie Hall, New York

Chita Rivera performed her show Nowadays at Carnegie Hall, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Exactly three years after her 80th birthday celebration concert at the Ambassador Theatre, the indomitable Chita Rivera was back on stage for the first time at the legendary Carnegie Hall in front of a packed audience. This […]

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Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 – Imperial Theatre, New York

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 continues at the Imperial Theatre, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The passionate, flamboyant characters that inhabit Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace come blazingly off the page in pop opera style in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. The musical burrows […]

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Oliver Twist – Salle Gaveau Paris

Oliver Twist continues at Salle Gaveau, Paris until 31 December. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It is unusual for an original French musical to stand up well in comparison to a classic British offering, but this is the case with the new musical Oliver Twist – approaching Charles Dickens’ text from a […]

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Othello the Remix – Westside Theatre/Downstairs, New York

Othello the Remix continues at the Westside Theatre/Downstairs, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ If you’re among the zillions who haven’t seen Hamilton and long to do so, Othello the Remix will give you quite a healthy idea of what that blockbuster is like. Like Hamilton, it takes on a powerful […]

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42nd Street – Theatre du Chatelet, Paris

42nd Street continues at Theatre du Chatelet, Paris until 8 January. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Now here’s a great idea for a Christmas present (especially if someone else pays for it): best seats at the glorious 1,800-seater Chatelet on the banks of the Seine, Eurostar tickets (cheap right now) and […]

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Falsettos – Walter Kerr Theatre, New York

Falsettos continues at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York until 8 January. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ There’s been a lot of chatter as to how this revival of Falsettos, the Broadway musical that premiered in 1992, would resonate today. Would this once envelope-pushing show, with its in-the-face depiction of gay relationships as well […]

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Broadway au Carré – Dana Levinson – Comédie Nation, Paris

Broadway au Carré – Dana Levinson was performed at Comédie Nation, Paris. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Lisandro Nesis, organiser of the Parisian evenings Broadway au Carré, has a knack for finding American composers with deep, rich repertories. The latest artist in the spotlight was Dana Levinson. Encore! Dana Levinson & Friends introduced the writer’s […]

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Tick, Tick…BOOM! – Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, New York

Tick, Tick…BOOM! continues at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, New York until 18 December. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The tribulations and passion involved in becoming a creator of musical theatre are nakedly and poignantly exposed in Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick…BOOM!, being given a gratifying revival by the Off-Broadway Keen Company. Larson’s […]

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Holiday Inn the New Irving Berlin Musical – Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54, New York

Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical continues at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54, New York until 15 January. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Holiday Inn is the kind of show that makes you feel like a time-traveller. You’ve been whisked back to the late 1940s (that’s even before the ubiquitous […]

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Fiorello! – East 13th Street Theatre, New York

Fiorello!, a Berkshire Theatre Group production, continues at The East 13th Street Theatre, New York until 7 October.  Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ For good and for bad, this Off-Broadway revival of Fiorello! tingles with an eager, fresh-faced youthfulness from start to finish. It provides the pleasure of watching a crew […]

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Jersey Boys sets Broadway closing

Jersey Boys, currently the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history, will close up shop on 15 January. The show, which details in high-octane fashion how Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons went from being potential New Jersey thugs to pop music superstars, ignites audiences with its jukebox score of hits including ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Big Girls […]

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Cats – Neil Simon Theatre, New York

Cats continues at the Neil Simon Theatre, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Who or what is responsible for the explosive power that threatens to blow the roof off Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre, where the new production of Cats, the Andrew Lloyd Webber’s cash-spouting bonanza, has just opened? Is it […]

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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – New York City Center

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, an Encores! Off-Center production at New York City Center, continues until 30 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is hardly a well-known title in the musical theatre canon, but it turns out to be a terrifically entertaining gem that’s spookily relevant […]

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La Poupée Sanglante – Théâtre de la Huchette, Paris

La Poupée Sanglante at the Théâtre de la Huchette, Paris. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ After the disappointing but successful Kiki, le Montparnasse des années folles last year, the Théâtre de la Huchette is presenting for an open run this summer a new thriller musical called La Poupée Sanglante (The Bloody Doll), based notably on […]

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Broadway openings preview – felines, teens and Russians

The all-singing, all-dancing kitties are back, and thus begins the new season – 2016/17 – on Broadway, writes Ron Cohen. They’ll be joined through the end of the year by a slate of musical openings that highlight a diverse range of humans, from contemporary teens in turmoil to 19th century Russians in turmoil. Cats Andrew […]

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Brandon Victor Dixon takes over as Hamilton’s Aaron Burr

Hamilton has found a new duelling partner. In mid-August, two-time Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon will step into the role of Aaron Burr, succeeding Leslie Odom Jr., who previously announced a departure date of 9 July. Hamilton is also gaining a new Mrs. His Eliza will now be played by Lexi Lawson. She is joining […]

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Latest on Broadway au Carré and new composer Adam Overett

Last month’s monthly Broadway au Carré event welcomed Off-Broadway composer Joel B. New who flew in from New York for the occasion. The show featured an extensive programme of his work, including the world premiere of a new song called ‘The Ballad of the Cluck Cluck Sisters’, and excerpts from his musicals Standalone, Mackenzie & The Missing Boy […]

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Runaways – New York City Center

Runaways, an Encores! Off-Center production at New York City Center. Rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Homeless youngsters flooding the urban streets may not be the news-making epidemic they were some 40 years ago. However, in a superb remounting by Encores! Off-Center, Runaways, Elizabeth Swados’ exploration of the phenomenon, proves to be as relevant and gut-grabbing […]

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Broadway musical Waitress to serve up London debut

Broadway show Waitress looks set to be on the West End menu by spring next year. Based on the cult classic 2007 film of the same name, the musical tale of love, friendship and perfect pies is currently one of the most popular shows on Broadway. The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye has revealed the not […]

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Shuffle Along and others set Broadway closings

Broadway closings continue apace, with Shuffle Along unexpectedly joining the farewell parade. The show, whose full title is the rather cumbersome Shuffle Along, or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, posted a 24 July closing notice. That’s the same date that its leading lady, six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, […]

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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – MPAA Broussais, Paris

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was reviewed at MPAA Broussais, Paris, and is playing at Comédie Nation, Paris until 29 June. Rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The Tony Award-winning one-act musical written by Rebessa Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss, The 25th Annual Putnam County […]

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