Category Archives: Mini-Review

A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol: Burlesque is Back and the Audience Loves It!

Charles Dickens was an enthusiastic patron of burlesque; he noted, “the sacred lamp of burlesque” is “always crammed”. No, the author of A Christmas Carol wasn’t a fancier of striptease clubs. The term burlesque originally denoted a form of theatre, now almost extinct. Shadows of this, the greatest popular entertainment, may be seen in reruns […]

The Hypocrites’ Mikado: A Masterpiece Restored

When Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado opened in New York in 1886 Harper’s Magazine called it “pure rollicking fun. It is capital nonsense.” Since that time few productions of the great operetta have been worthy of those words. Time had accumulated layers of dust on the great and wild operetta.  Now a band of wise, […]

Hamlet in Jack Bauer-land

We returned to the Music Box Theater to see an encore of Nicholas Hynter’s 2010 Hamlet at the National Theatre. First of all, Rory Kinnear may be the finest Hamlet I have ever seen. His clear love of the language and linguistic devices arises from his clear conception of the character and the situation. “I […]

Smokefall by Noah Haidle: An American Classic

Smokefall by Noah Haidle, which I saw yesterday, is a great and important play, given a definitive, defining, and dazzling production by the Goodman Theatre. The occasion should be marked in theater history along with the Miller, Kazan, Mielziner collaboration on the birth of Death of a Salesman,Mr. Haidle’s play and the Goodman production are […]

MAESTRO. Leonard Bernstein. A Play with Music – A Mini Review

MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein is the most surprising theatrical event I have experienced in a long time. I’ve seem Emily Dickenson, Clarence Darrow, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt and others take the stage as one person shows and have found them entertaining. But Hershey Felder, the author and actor and musical director of this extraordinary theatrical event, […]

The Audience: A Mini-Review

A great disappointment: an unstructured series of humorous political sketches pretending to be a play. Enough said.

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming – Mini-Review

Ever read a biography of an “unfamous” person? Neither had I until this totally engrossing, profound, and magical book about home, fathers, siblings, hurt, death and the power of sacrificial love. A biography which seems written to the old Shaker tune, A Gift to Be Simple. A wonderful book to read and then pass on […]

The Iceman Cometh – Mini-Review

Since moving to Cleveland in December, we have been seeing two or three plays a month. By far the best production was today: The Ensemble Theatre’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece The Iceman Cometh. A play more talked about and admired than produced, Ian Hinz production made one of the most difficult of American plays […]

Smokey Joe’s Cafe – Mini-Review

A June 23,2013 visit to beautiful and historic Cain Park to see Smokey Joe’s Cafe – a musical revue so good it made us forget the heat and me forget how many years since I first heard Leiber and Stoller’s tunes. Seamless collaboration between director Scott Plate and choreographer Gregory Daniels produced an all-singing/all-dancing ensemble […]

Crowns at Karamu Theater -Mini-Review

The musical Crowns was the occasion for our June 9 visit to the historic Karamu Theater. Glorious singing, led by the incomparable Joyce Linzy, and Nathan Lilly wonderfully playing all of the men in the six show-stopping women’s lives. Simple but beautiful and imaginative staging by Terrence Spivey. The audience did not want the intermissionless […]