Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Broadway Resumes Normal Schedule Thursday, Nov. 1

As of tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 1, all Broadway shows are back up and running and all regular schedules have been resumed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone's primary concern, so for those who can’t get in to the city as a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities or additional safety precautions that were implemented, they should contact their point of purchase for questions about exchange or refund policies. Updates on BroadwayLeague.com.

For Refund and Exchanges of cancelled performances:

· If tickets were purchased via Telecharge or Ticketmaster via phone or online your credit card will be refunded automatically within 7-10 business days. For any issues, please contact the customer service information included with your tickets. Please have your Order Number/Confirmation Number handy. Original tickets need not be retained.
· If tickets were purchased at the Box Office: please return your original tickets to the Theater Box Office. You have the option of receiving a full refund to the original method of payment or exchanging your tickets for an alternate date of your choice, subject to availability.
· If tickets were purchased as part of a Group: please contact your Group Sales Agent for more information regarding refunds or exchanges. Original tickets should be retained until you contact the Group Sales Agent.
· If tickets were purchased through any other sales channel, please return to the original point of purchase for more information. If you have your tickets in hand, please retain them for a refund or exchange.

59E59 Shows Delay

Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, preview performances of A TWIST OF WATER at 59E59 Theaters have been postponed until Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2:15 pm.

The production, which is coming to NYC via Chicago, was originally scheduled to begin
previews on Thursday, November 1. The hurricane scuttled the shows’load-in and tech time. Opening Night still remains Wednesday, November 7 at 7:15 PM.

IN THE SUMMER PAVILION, which is running through Sunday, November 4 at
3:30 PM, resumes performances tonight. The 59E59 Theaters Box Office re-opens at 5 PM today.

59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org. ###

Schedule Updates for Some Off-Broadway Shows

OCTOBER 11 TO NOVEMBER 4 -- PERFORMANCES CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED
FROG & PEACH THEATRE IN "THE TAMING OF THE SHREW"
WEST END THEATER, 263 W. 86th ST.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/shrew.htm

WAS OCTOBER 11 TO 28; HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH NOVEMBER 11 but no show was scheduled for Nov. 1. Shows will go on 11/2 and following, unless the blackout continues.
"RIPE" BY JOHN JILER
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/RIPE.htm

OCTOBER 13 TO NOVEMBER 4 -- PERFORMANCES CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED
FROG & PEACH THEATRE IN "TINKERBELL THEATRE"
WEST END THEATRE, 263 W. 86th St.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/tinkerbell.htm

Yesterday, we announced that "Casper's Fat Tuesday" and "The Stronger," presented by August Strindberg Rep, would continue performances on its regular schedule this week using portable generators.  Unfortunately, the generators could not be delivered.  So performances this week have been canceled and the show has been extended through November 25.
REVISED SCHEDULE:
November 8 to 25:
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM
Saturdays at 2:00 PM
Sundays: November 11 at 2:00 PM, November 18 & 25 at 1:00 PM
Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette, East Village)
Presented by August Strindberg Repertory Theatre and Pink Pig Ballet in association with Theater Resources Unlimited.
Tickets $18 general admission; seniors and students $9
Box office: SMARTTIX, 212-868-4444; www.smarttix.com
Running time: 1:45. CRITICS ARE INVITED to all performances.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/casper.htm

OCTOBER 31 -- RESCHEDULED TO SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3
VILLAGE HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/halloween.htm

NOVEMBER 2 TO 18 -- Nov. 2 to 4 shows canceled, WILL OPEN NOVEMBER 7 and run through November 18.
"CABARET ÉMIGRÉ" BY SOPHIA ROMMA
PRESENTED BY THE NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY
THE LION THEATER (THEATER ROW)
 COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/emigre.htm

NOVEMBER 8 TO DECEMBER 2 -- POSTPONED ONE WEEK. Begins November 15, runs through December 2.
"SKYBOX"
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
COMPLET INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/skybox.htm

Son of a Gun Delays Start of Performances

Son of a Gun, a new folk rock musical which was scheduled to begin performances at Theatre Row on Thursday, Nov. 1 will instead begin performances on Friday, Nov. 2.

Because of weather conditions, the delivery of some essential production materials was not on schedule, thus causing a delay. Patrons with tickets for the affected performance should contact their point of sale.

Hurricane Reschedules Start for A Christmas Story, the Musical

JOHN BOLTON in A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL. photo: (c) 2011 Carol Rosegg
The producers of A Christmas Story, The Musical have announced that, due to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the production has rescheduled the start of performances on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre until Wednesday Nov. 7 at 7 pm.

“Due to the storm, the company has lost important rehearsal time on stage,” says producer Gerald Goehring. “In order to assure that the company gets the necessary time that they need to rehearse at the Lunt-Fontanne, we have decided to reschedule our first performance. We will launch our run on Wednesday November 7, which was to be our 2nd public performance.”

All tickets purchased for the November 5 performance are eligible for exchange for a later performance date of your choice (subject to availability). If tickets were purchased at the Lunt Fontanne Box Office, please return your original tickets to the Box Office. For ticket purchases via Ticketmaster via phone or online, your credit card will be refunded automatically within 7-10 business days. For any issues, please contact the customer service information included with your tickets. Please have your Order Number/Confirmation Number handy. Original tickets need not be retained.

A Christmas Story, The Musical will arrive on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre just in time for the 2012 holiday season. The new musical, based on the 1983 movie perennial, will play a November 7 – December 30 holiday engagement. Opening night is Monday, November 19. Tickets are now on sale at www.AChristmasStoryTheMuscial.comor www.TicketMaster.com

A Christmas Story, The Musical stars Dan Lauria (Broadway’s Lombardi, TV’s “Sullivan & Son” and“The Wonder Years”) as Jean Shepherd, John Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) as The Old Man, Tony Award nominee Erin Dilly (Nice Work if You Can Get It, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Mother, Johnny Rabe as Ralphie, Zac Ballard as little brother Randy, Caroline O’Connor (Chicago, Moulin Rouge) as school teacher Miss Shields, Eddie Korbich (The Little Mermaid, The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked) as Santa Claus and Joe West plays Ralphie at certain performances. The ensemble features Tia Altinay, John Babbo, Charissa Bertels, Grace Capeless, Zoe Considine, Andrew Cristi, Mathew deGuzman, Thay Floyd, George Franklin, Nick Gaswirth, Mark Ledbetter, Jose Luaces, Jack Mastrianni, Mara Newbery, Lindsay O’Neil, Sarah Min-Kyung Park, J.D. Rodriguez, Analise Scarpaci, Lara Seibert, Jeremy Shinder, Luke Spring, Beatrice Tulchin, Kirsten Wyatt, and Pete and Lily as the rambunctious Bumpus Hounds.

America’s #1 holiday movie came to hilarious life onstage when A Christmas Story, The Musicallaunched a tour in 2011 that culminated in a critically successful run in Chicago. The musical features a bright holiday score by composer/lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a witty book by Joseph Robinette based on the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and the 1983 holiday film favorite. Tony Award winner John Rando(Urinetown) directs the production with Warren Carlyle(Chaplin, Follies, An Evening With Hugh Jackman) choreographing. 

A Christmas Story, The Musical features scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley; sound design by Ken Travis; wig design by Tom Watson; animal training by Tony Honor recipient for Excellence in Theatre William Berloni; orchestrations by Tony nominee Larry Blank; music direction and supervision by Ian Eisendrath; associate choreographer is James Gray; dance music arrangements by Glen Kelly; vocal arrangements by Justin Paul; and casting by Stephanie Klapper CSA.

The story from a cherished movie classic that’s enchanted millions is now a musical spectacular. In 1940’s Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder® BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. Co-produced by the film’s original Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story, The Musical is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold.


LISTINGS INFORMATION

A Christmas Story, The Musical plays a limited holiday engagement on Broadway, November 7 – December 30 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46thStreet). Opening night is Monday, November 19 at 6pm. See the performance schedule below. Tickets are $49 - $159 may be purchased at TicketMaster.com,(877) 250-2929, or in person at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater Box Office. Group Tickets (12+) range from $39 - $159 and are available by calling Group Sales Box Office/Broadway.com, 1-800-BROADWAY. Please visit www.AChristmasStoryTheMusical.comfor more information.

Most Broadway Shows Performing Today

Most Broadway shows will perform both the matinee and evening performances today. Theatergoers should check www.BroadwayLeague.com, www.ILoveNYTheater.com, www.Telecharge.com, www.Ticketmaster.com, or the official show website to confirm that the specific show is playing, or in the event of a schedule change.

For questions about exchange or refund policies, theatergoers should contact their point of purchase.

SHOWS PERFORMING: (M = Matinee, E = Evening)
ANNIE (M, E)
THE BOOK OF MORMON (E)
CHAPLIN (M, E)
CYRANO D’BERGERAC (M, E)
AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (M, E)
EVITA (E)
GRACE (M, E)
THE HEIRESS (M, E)
JERSEY BOYS (E)
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (M, E)
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (M, E)
ONCE (M, E)
THE PERFORMERS (E)
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (M)
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (M, E)
ROCK OF AGES (E)
SCANDALOUS (E)
WAR HORSE (M, E)
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (M)
WICKED (E)

SHOWS CANCELED:
EVITA (M)
THE LION KING (E)
JERSEY BOYS (M)
MARY POPPINS (E)
SCANDALOUS (M)

For Refund and Exchanges:

If tickets were purchased via Telecharge or Ticketmaster via phone or online your credit card will be refunded automatically within 7-10 business days. For any issues, please contact the customer service information included with your tickets. Please have your Order Number/Confirmation Number handy. Original tickets need not be retained.

If tickets were purchased at the Box Office: please return your original tickets to the Theater Box Office. You have the option of receiving a full refund to the original method of payment or exchanging your tickets for an alternate date of your choice, subject to availability.

If tickets were purchased as part of a Group: please contact your Group Sales Agent for more information regarding refunds or exchanges. Original tickets should be retained until you contact the Group Sales Agent.

If tickets were purchased through any other sales channel, please return to the original point of purchase for more information. If you have your tickets in hand, please retain them for a refund or exchange.

54 Below Resumes Performances

54 Below (www.54below.com) announces that performances will resume today (Wednesday, Oct. 31) as previously scheduled. 54 Below is located at 254 West 54thStreet (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
Performances this week are as follows:
Wednesday, October 31
8:30PM - Melissa Errico
11:00PM – Cadavaret –
Broadway’s Halloween Cabaret
Thursday, November 1
8:30PM – Melissa Errico
10:30PM – The Green Room
Friday, November 2
8:30PM – Melissa Errico
11:00PM – Michael Cerveris and Loose Cattle
Saturday, November 3
8:30PM – Melissa Errico
11:00PM – Michael Cerveris and Loose Cattle
Sunday, November 4
1:00PM – Terese Genecco
6:00PM – Mark Nadler
9:00 – Alison Fraser
Call 646-476-3551 or visit www.54Below.com for further updates or reservations.

Monday, October 29, 2012

54 Below Cancels Tuesday Performances

54 Below announces that due to the weather emergency, it will be closed for performances Tuesday, Oct.30. The following performances have been cancelled:

Tuesday, October 30 at 8:30PM - Melissa Errico

Tuesday, October 30 at 10:30PM - Backstage


For patrons who would like to reschedule their tickets for Tuesday night, Melissa Errico plays at 54 Below through Saturday, Nov. 3. Those who have purchased tickets who are unable to reschedule will receive a full refund through TicketWeb.com. 54 Below will contact ticket-buyers about rescheduled performances. 54 Below plans to reopen Wednesday, Oct. 31. (In the event that train and subway service is not restored by Wednesday, 54 Below will issue a further announcement.) Call 646-476-3551 or visit www.54Below.com for further updates.

Broadway Shows Cancelled Again on Tuesday, Oct. 30 Due to Hurricane Sandy

As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities and additional safety precautions implemented due to severe weather on behalf of Hurricane Sandy, all Broadway performances on Tuesday evening, Oct. 30 will be cancelled. Plans are for normal operations to resume Wednesday morning.
For Refund and Exchanges:
If tickets were purchased via Telecharge or Ticketmaster via phone or online your credit card will be refunded automatically within 7-10 business days. For any issues, please contact the customer service information included with your tickets. Please have your Order Number/Confirmation Number handy. Original tickets need not be retained.
If tickets were purchased at the Box Office: please return your original tickets to the Theater Box Office. You have the option of receiving a full refund to the original method of payment or exchanging your tickets for an alternate date of your choice, subject to availability.
If tickets were purchased as part of a Group: please contact your Group Sales Agent for more information regarding refunds or exchanges. Original tickets should be retained until you contact the Group Sales Agent.
If tickets were purchased through any other sales channel, please return to the original point of purchase for more information. If you have your tickets in hand, please retain them for a refund or exchange.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm Updates for the Theater Community

Check here for the latest cancellations, schedules due to the storm:

Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012

----
Shows cancelled:

Chaplin at 8 PM

Chicago at 8 pm 

Mamma Mia! 7 pm

Mary Poppins 6:30 pm

The Lion King 6:30 pm

The Performers 8pm

The Phantom of the Opera 8pm  

Bad Jews 7pm

Disgraced 7pm

The Exonerated 7 pm

Forbidden Broadway 7:30 pm 

Fuerza Bruta 

Golden Child 7pm

Silence the Musical 7 pm 

Stomp5:30 pm

Public Theatre evening performances

Signature Theatre evening performances


----Newsies 7:30 pm Oct. 29 performance cancelled

----NEW DRAMATISTS will be closed on Monday, Oct. 29

----54 Below announces that due to the weather emergency, it will be closed for performances Sunday, October 28 brunch and through Monday, October 29. The following performances have been cancelled:  Sunday, October 28 at 5:30PM - Mark Nadler; Sunday, October 28 at 9PM - Nicole Parker; Monday, October 29 at 7PM - David Friedman; Monday October 29 at 9:30PM - Brent Barrett.Those who have purchased tickets will receive a full refund through TicketWeb.com. 54 Below will contact ticket-buyers about rescheduled performances. 54 Below plans to reopen Tuesday, October 30. (In the event that train and subway service is not restored by Tuesday, 54 Below will issue a further announcement.) Call 646-476-3551 or visit www.54Below.com for further updates.
 
----PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS Weather update: matinees of DETROIT (2:30) and THE WHALE (2:00) will go on as scheduled. Evening performances cancelled.

----Roundabout Theatre Company All matinee performances will go ahead today as scheduled. Customers will be notified by email and phone in the event of any cancellations. For more information please visit out website http://bit.ly/PAa9Sd

----MTA subway service, Metro-North trains and LIRR service will be shut down as of 7 p.m. Sunday. Additionally, final bus service end at 9 p.m.

---- ALL PATH train service and stations will be shutdown at 12:01am Monday, October 29 until further notice due to Hurricane Sandy.

---- NJ TRANSIT will implement a gradual system-wide shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail and Access Link service, starting at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon and continuing through 2:00 a.m. on Monday morning.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Theater Review: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Amy Morton and Tracy Letts. Photo: Michael Brosilow
A New Look at George in What Traditionally Has Been Martha's Story
By Lauren Yarger
Two of the most riveting performances on Broadway are taking place over at the Booth Theatre where Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company's revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is playing.

The performances stand out, not only because of their strong portrayals of the Tony-Award-winning study of a love/hate relationship, but because the dynamic shifts that take place. Traditionally, this is Martha's show -- a powerhouse part for the actress (here Amy Morton). Her husband, George, typically seems weaker and comes off as a wimp or as a victim. In this production, directed by Pam MacKinnon, George, played by Tracy Letts, holds his own against the force of his wife and becomes an equal player in the game. It's really fascinating to watch and the reason you should add yet another revival of the show to your calendar (the last Broadway revival was in 2005 and that George -- Bill Irwin, opposite Kathleen Turner -- won the Best Actor Tony. Expect another nomination here).

Morton (who appeared on Broadway in August: Osage County, the play for which the multi-talented Letts won the Pulitzer Prize as its author) takes a firm grip on Martha and steers her through the depths that make up the grieving, desperately lonely woman who enjoys dominating and torturing her husband. George never has lived up to expectations -- hers or her university president father's -- and still is a lowly associate professor with a sad, unpublished novel.

Always on the prowl for younger, sexually attractive men, Martha invites her latest object of interest, new professor Nick (Madison Dirks) and his naive wife, Honey (Carrie Coon) over for drink. The never-ending flow of booze loosens tongues, lets down guards and makes for a night of pure hell as the intimate secrets of both marriages are revealed. Watching George give it back as good as he gets is what sets this production apart. Letts and Morton have a natural rapport that adds to the belief that these are two old married people who know all the best and worst parts of each other and who take great pleasure in knowing which buttons to push.

Nick, despite being tempted by Martha's seduction, feels a creeping horror as he realizes that watching George and Martha is like looking at Honey and himself 20 years down the road. Honey spends most of the night drunk and throwing up (Coon has some nice comedic moments, but for some reason shouts most of her lines).

The book-pile-trimmed home, typical of a New England college professor, is designed by Todd Rosenthal. Costume designer Nan Cibula-Jenkins puts us in 1962.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf  has been extended through Feb 24 at the Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th St., NYC. Tickets: www.Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200.

Christians might also like to know:
-- The show posts a MATURE advisory
-- Lord's name taken in vain  -- Lots!
-- Language
-- Sexual activity

Note: the show runs three hours with two intermissions.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scandalous, Musical about Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, Begins Broadway Previews


The new Broadway musical Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson is in preview performances with opening night set for Thursday, Nov. 15.

Starring two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello (Parade, Mamma Mia!, Sister Act) in the title role, the musical features book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman.

Scandalous also stars two-time Tony Award winner George Hearn (Sunset Blvd., La Cage aux Folles, Sweeney Todd).

Directed by David Armstrong, the musical is based on the life of Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), media sensation and founder of the Foursquare Church. Her passion for saving souls equaled her passion for making sensational headlines and attracting overflow crowds of thousands throughout the world.

Set in 1920's Los Angeles, holiness collides with Hollywood in this extraordinary tale of one remarkable woman's charismatic rise to fame amidst scandalous love affairs and growing controversy, inevitably ending in her much-publicized fall from grace.

Scandalous runs at the Neil Simon Theatre, 250 West 52nd St. For more information, visit www.ScandalousOnBroadway.com.

TICKETING AND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Now through Sunday, Nov. 18, the pre-opening preview performance schedule is as follows:

Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Thursday at 8 p.m.

Friday at 8 p.m.

Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday at 3 p.m. 

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 20, the regular weekly performance schedule is:

Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Thursday at 7 p.m.

Friday at 8 p.m.

Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday at 3 p.m. 

Tickets are $57.00- $127.00 for all performances** (all prices include a $2.00 facility fee) and are available by calling 877-250-BWAY (2929) or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
Group sales (12+ tickets) are available by calling 212-398-8383. 

[** For the holiday weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, tickets are $77.00-$147.00.]

Monday, October 22, 2012

Win Two Tickets to Golden Boy


Golden Boy, starring Danny Burstein (South Pacific, Follies, "Boardwalk Empire"), Danny Mastrogiorgio, Seth Numrich (War Horse), Tony Shalhoub (Lend Me A Tenor, "Monk") and Yvonne Strahovski ("Chuck," "Dexter") begins previews Nov. 8. 

Set in the vivid world of prizefighting’s past, Golden Boy, Clifford Odets’ most popular play, is the story of Joe Bonaparte, a promising young violinist who forsakes his family and artistic dreams for the lure of fame and fortune in the ring. Bartlett Sher (Awake and Sing!, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, South Pacific) directs this 75th Anniversary production in the Belasco, the same theater in which it premiered.

For a chance to win a voucher for two tickets to a performance, email your name, address (US only) and a comment about why you would like to see the show with "GOLDEN BOY" in the subject line by Friday, Oct. 26 at midnight (Eastern time) to masterworkproductions@yahoo.com. All responders will be entered in a drawing for the voucher (good through Dec. 13, 2012). Winner will be notified Saturday, Oct. 27.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hell in New York: Screwtape Letters with Max McLean Returns for a Limited Engagement

The Screwtape Letters, winner of a 2010 "The Lights Are Bright on Broadway Award" presented by Masterwork Productions, will return for a limited engagment in New York at the NYU Skirball Center.

The show stars Max McLean in the adaptation of the book by C.S. Lewis. He will do a talk back after each performance Nov. 15-18 at the center, 566 La Guardia Place and Washington Square South, NYC.  For information about perfromances and tickets, visit http://www.screwtapeonstage.com/new-york-city. The show runs 90 minutes without intermission.

For a review of the show, click here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Theater Review: Cyrano de Bergerac

A Nice-to-Look-at Version of the Poet Who isn't So Nice to Look at
By Lauren Yarger
Aah, Cyrano. So eloquent and moving on paper, yet unable to express himself in the flesh. Much the same can be said of most theatrical productions of Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac too, unfortunately. It's moving to read, but difficult to stage.

Roundabout Theatre Company is giving it a go, however, on Broadway with a translation by Ranjit Bolt and Douglas Hodge (Tony Award winner for La Cage aux Folles) in the title role. Clemence Poesy as Cyrano's love interest Roxane and Kyle Soller, as her mistaken love, Christian, both are making their Broadway debuts. Veteran Patrick Page (Spider-Man Turn off the Dark among many others) plays the married Compte de Giche, who also is smitten with Roxane's beauty.

The mistaken identities, sword fighting, poetry and undying love take place against a spectacular set (Soutra Gilmour, who also designs the lovely 17th-century inspired costumes) of colossal grey stoned edifices with arched windows and doorways. It looks great. The old-fashioned story kind of gets lost up there, however. Hodge brings a lot of energy to his Cyrano, but there isn't any depth to the character. He's boisterous and demands attention, but we don't feel the pain behind the man forced to cover his shame about his ugly appearance (he has a huge nose for those of you possibly not familiar with the story which I won't repeat here -- I'll refer you instead to the SparkNotes) with a bravado in battle and a razor-sharp wit as deadly as the sword he brandishes in battle.

Hodge is so forceful and full of energy sometimes, that it is hard to understand what he's saying in such rushed, loud tones. And some of the more famous lines form the play seem to get lost up there too in all the noise (Cyrano himself makes a loud, baning entrance through the house). Not only are battles raging, lights flashing (Japhy Weiderman, design), guns firing (Dan Moses Schreier, sound design) and swords crossing (fight direction is by Jacob Grigolia Rosenbaum), but Director Jamie Lloyd has some really annoying musicians strolling around playing music (by Charlie Rosen) under the dialogue too.

Famous lines get lost -- and they, in addition to the deep, self-sacrificing character of Cyrano, are what make this story so endearing. The poetry is rushed. It's not clear what Cyrano is doing at first when he lists a number of possible ways to say "large nose" better than what Valvert (Samuel Roukin) has managed to come up with when he refers to it as being "big."

Worse, we aren't aware of Cyrano's pain when he shows courage " better since" when he is rejected by Roxane in favor of Christian. I barely noticed when Roxane regretted having "loved but one man to lose him twice." Usually that has me breaking out the hankies. For some reason Lloyd has her deliver the line from several feet away from her love instead of at his side. Odd, since
A kiss, when all is said, what is it?
An oath that's ratified, a sealed promise,
A heart's avowal claiming confirmation,
A rose-dot on the 'i' of 'adoration';
A secret that to mouth, not ear, is whispered ...

Aah. Cyrano still can some court me with poetry under my balcony any time.

It's a fun-to-watch version for loving, longing eyes and some of actors in minor roles deliver some nice comedic moments. It's just not the moving words of Cyrano that I hoped would grope their way to find my ear.
Cyrano de Bergerac runs through Nov. 25 at American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd St., NYC. Tickets: 212-719-1300.

Christians might also like to know:
-- God's name taken in vain

Theater Review: Grace

Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Paul Rudd and Ed Asner. Photo: (c) Joan Marcus

Not Much New Here. Just Some More Stereotypical Christians Who Don't Get it
By Lauren Yarger
Before I went to see Craig Wright's play, Grace, on Broadway, I commented that I had seen few depictions of Christian characters on stage who were grounded in faith while still being likable. More often, we are portrayed as being:
1) fanatic/ zealots
2) weakminded/ stupid/brainwashed
3) uptight/repressed homosexuals
4) Republicans (who also can be any or all of the rest of these too)
5) Racist/sexist
6) gunloving
7) Self righteous
8)glasses hypocritical

Grace covers 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8. But before you get upset, understand that the point of the play is to dismiss Christianity -- or any organized religion or defined God for that matter -- as the source of human ability to love or forgive. Having caring Christians who act like Jesus wouldn't bring about that result, so the stereotype is needed.

The Christians in question here are Steve (Paul Rudd of the movie "Knocked Up" and TV's “Friends”) and Sara (Kate Arrington). They have just moved to Florida from Minnesota where they were active in their evangelical church and ran a hotel renovation company. They are there to start a chain of "gospel-themed hotels" called Crossroads Inns: "Every one with a sanctuary. Baptismal pool. Jungle gym . . . . High speed Internet. Videoconferencing. Promise Keepers strength training. Full-on Gospel hotels. 'Where Would Jesus stay?'" (There's the zealot -- and the weakminded part -- The Holy Land Experience right there in Florida had its share of trouble making a go of it and Christian camps across the nation can't make ends meet. Whatever would make him think this was a viable idea?)

Oh, that's right, God ordained it, he says.

Steve met an investor from Zurich through a Promise Keepers contact (that must be God's will!) who put up $10,000 to locate a property, but for some reason, the mysterious Mr. Himmelman didn't follow through on sending the $9 million needed to complete the purchase from the bank and Steve, whose name is on the LLC, was forced to use his own money from the sale of their home in Minnesota. (there's the stupid part). Sara, being a woman who blasts Christian music on the radio and lifts her arms when praying is more interested in when they can have a baby.

Meanwhile, Steve takes time from his worries to aggressively share his faith with Karl (a delightful Ed Asner), an exterminator who has dropped in to treat their apartment even though he repeatedly makes it clear that he isn't interested in hearing what the "Jesus freaks" have to say (there's the fanatic part). In Nazi Germany, Karl's father, a man of faith, insisted that they help hide Jews. He and his family endured unspeakable horrors and Karl was forced to rape his young Jewish friend, Rachel.

"Ever since then, I know two things for sure," Karl says. "I know there’s no God. There’s no one watching the world, or keeping anything from happening. And, worse, I know my father is a fool. He is someone who makes himself foolish living for a lie – like you."

Meanwhile, the couple learns details about their mysterious NASA scientist neighbor, Sam (Michael Shannon  "Revolutionary Road", “Boardwalk Empire”), whose scarred face is hidden by a mask following a car accident in which his fiancee died. Sara's first attempts to be neighborly are met with hostility, but her persistence wins out and she and Sam become friends. He is able to open up to her about his fiancee and his guilt over the accident. Their relationship gives Steve an opportunity to ask Sam to invest in the hotel scheme  -- and to share his faith.

Sam also isn't interested in "people who suck money and life out of other people in the name of some idea about God that isn’t true."

Steve works himself up into such a lather telling Sam what he needs and why he really is just angry at God that Sam takes back his investment (there's the self righteous part).

As Sara distances herself from an increasingly irritable Steve, who has developed an unexplained itch, she is able to lead Sam to a prayer of faith. Steve now decides God wants them to return to Minnesota (here's the hypocritical part) and even uses scriptures demanding that a wife submit to her husband's will (there's the sexist part) to force her to move back with him. It's too late, though. She and Sam have fallen in love and tragedy ensues (I won't list a spoiler here, but let's just say this is where the gun-loving part comes in).

Meanwhile, Karl discovers the "true" definition of faith and grace when he meets up again with Rachel.

I tried to extend some grace to where this story might take us -- Wright (Mistakes Were Made, Recent Tragic Events, “Six Feet Under”) has some religious ties in his background -- but overall, there just wasn't enough of a new take on the old "Christianity/God doesn't work" theme to keep me interested. In addition, the action takes place on one set for both apartments and Director Dexter Bullard wasn't able to get across why this was so. The explanation for both existences occurring simultaneously in the same space comes, perhaps best, from this conversation:

Sam: Space is a tremendous distance that you have to get information across in time. That’s the problem with space.
Steve: Time.
Sam: Yes. How can we know what we need to know…in time – when what we need to know has to come from so far away.
Steve: How can you?
Sam: You can’t. Ultimately. Not completely. You can’t.


Set designer Beowolf Boritt creates a backdrop that shows celestial clouds and stars in space to try to blend the science/faith ideas, but the staging doesn't work. An actor walks in a door frame from what is supposed to be one apartment, then another actor exits the other apartment through the same door. Audience members audibly asked each other what was happening and even gasped when someone came through what they thought was the wrong door at an inappropriate time. In addition, some sequences are done in a "rewind-the-action" fashion without making clear why we are seeing the events this way.

Also, it's not clear how much time has passed. The opening scene telegraphs the ending so not much comes as a surprise in between. At times, crickets are chirping in a significant way (Darron L. West, sound design) but what it meant was lost on me, I must admit.

The Christian stereotypes bothered me after a while too, because while I understand the need for them to be able to tell this story, they just don't stand up. At one point Steve shares about the moment when he became a Christian by feeling something while gazing at stars. Let's just say that it doesn't sound like any "testimony" I have ever heard that wouldn't have come under scrutiny at their evangelical church back there in Minnesota. He likely wouldn't be able to share the specifics of the gospel without realizing that his own "conversion" seems to be lacking the necessary ingredients for salvation. Even if he were able to, wouldn't his wife notice the problem?

Are there Christian women who believe it is God's will for them to blindly obey their husbands? You bet, but they are unlikely to spend a lot of time day after day alone next door in the apartment of a man not their husband. When Sam points out their growing attraction and tells her not to come any more because he can't control where it might lead, Sara refuses to stop seeing him saying that their being together can't be bad because it feels so right. Then they become sexually involved. None of this sounds like any of the Ephesians 5-spewing women I know.

The Christian pop song "He Reigns" is played at the beginning and end of this play -- I could have suggested some better mindless praise songs to fit the mood. But I'll extend some grace. Grace received three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards including Best Play when it was presented at the Pasadena Playhouse. This production, with an updated script, marks its New York Premiere and Broadway debuts for Wright, Bullard and Shannon.

Here's hoping that we soon can enjoy another wonderful Christian character on stage like Abebe in A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick by Kia Corthron. We're not all weakminded, uptight, sexist, racist fanatics who love guns, vote Republican and force our religion down people's throats while repressing our homosexual desires, after all.
 
Grace plays a limited engagement at the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th St., NYC through Jan. 6, 2012.
Tickets: (212) 239-6200.

Christians might also like to know:
--Language
--God's name taken in vain
--Adultery
--Suicide

Other information:
A talkback event on Oct. 24 will feature Dr. Michael Brown of the Marble Collegiate Church NYC (home of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking"), who consulted on Grace during the rehearsal process, and Ron William Walden, the Assistant Director of the MPS Program for Development and Academic Assessment at the NY Theological Seminary, will discuss the issues of faith and religion that are explored in the play directly following the evening performance.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quiara Hudes, Barbara Walsh on Tap at O'Neill Event Tonight

The National Playwrights Conference and the National Music Theater Conference, programs of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, will be the focus of an evening at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the City University of New York. The event, on Monday, October 15th, is free and open to the public and begins at 6:30 pm at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center at 365 Fifth Ave., New York.

The evening, “The O’Neill Center: A Safe Haven for Playwrights,” will welcome Pulitzer Prize-winner Quiara Hudes (Water by the Spoonful, In the Heights), Tony Award nominee Barbara Walsh (Company, Falsettos), and other artists associated with the O’Neill. The event will feature readings from plays and musicals recently developed there and reflections on the O’Neill’s storied past. Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director of the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference, and Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director of the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference, will discuss upcoming programs, submission information, and the O’Neill’s plans for the future. Moderated by Helen Shaw.

The O’Neill is currently accepting scripts for development during the 2013 National Playwrights Conference. Applicants may submit works to the O’Neill’s Open Submissions Process through Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. The 2013 National Music Theater Conference will be accepting applications from Nov.1 through Dec., 2012.

Visit http://www.theoneill.org/summer-conferences for application and guidelines. Direct any questions about the conferences to Anne G. Morgan, Literary Manager at (860) 443-5378 ext. 227 or email litoffice@theoneill.org.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Win Two Tickets to Peter & the Starcatcher

We have a a great promotion for you to see the really terrific Peter & the Starcatcher before it ends its Broadway run in January.

Simply send an email to masterworkproductions@yahoo.com telling us why you'd like to see the show (put STARCATCHER in the subject line) with your name, mailing address and FAX number (US only) and you will be entered in a drawing for a voucher for two tickets to the show before Nov. 9.

Entries will be accepted Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2012 through midnight (Eastern time) Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. The winner will be contacted on Saturday, Oct. 13.

http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/2012/04/theater-review-peter-and-starcatcher.html.

Voices United Benefits Actors Chapel Ministries

The Actors Chapel will present a star–studded musical extravaganza with The Voices United Choral Festival on Monday, Nov.12 at 7:30 pm at NY’s legendary Beacon Theatre (2124 Broadway at West 74th St.)

More than 600 performers will gather under the direction of the internationally celebrated conductor Eric Knapp with the evening being hosted by famed author Raymond Arroyo and featuring special performances by Broadway’s Ryan Silverman (more to be announced). Voices United will benefit the outreach ministries of The Actor's Chapel, as well as charities such as Covenant House New York.

Voices United was founded by St. Malachy’s – The Actors’ Chapel in the heart of the Broadway Community. This festival joins voices from New York City, North America, and abroad in a program of benevolence and goodwill to people of many faiths and cultures. This year’s unique concert experience will feature young metropolitan-area musicians singing in a festival chorus along with a top-rate orchestra and conga ensemble.

The program will include "Hope for Resolution” by Caldwell Ivory, as well as other performances.
The evening will feature performers from many tri-state area choirs, including The Choir at St. Malachy’s, Connecticut Choral Society, and New Jersey Choral Society and others.

The evening will also celebrate two dedicated leaders, Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel CFR, recipient of The Father George Moore Award – Religious Leader Award, and David Higgs, who will receive The Paul Creston Award.

Groeschel is the director of the Office of Spiritual Development of the Archdiocese of New York. He has authored many books and recordings on spirituality and is familiar to television audiences from EWTN Sunday Night Prime Time. Higgs, one of America’s leading concert organists, is chair of the Organ Department at Eastman School of Music and is highly regarded as a recitalist, recording artist, educator and adjudicator of major competitions worldwide.

Tickets are: $25, $50 $75, $125 & $250 (VIP includes pre-show VIP Cocktail reception) and are available at www.Ticketmaster.com.

New Play Offers Tribute to Vets




Developed from Conversations with 40+ Returning Vets from Iraq, Afghanistan
 
The performance piece Cadence: Home offers an intimate, honest and compassionate entry into the world of four veterans returning to New York from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a site-specific theatrical experience at Manhattan’s Metro Baptist Church, as the audience is invited to a memorial for Scott Matthews, a character based on a real man, a soldier who died in Afghanistan. It begins and ends with his memorial. Cadence: Home is a tribute to all of the men and woman who served, both those who made it home and those who did not.

In honor of Veterans Day it will be presented at 7 pm Nov. 7-10 and Nov. 14-17 at Metro Baptist Church 410 W. 40th St. NYC. The price is $18 general/ $15 for veterans. Group rates available. To purchase tickets, visit cadencehome.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, visit
www.teaproject.com.

Cadence: Home was developed over nearly two years from Insight conversations with more than 40 returning vets – learning about their decisions, their fears, their hopes and their dreams. Guided by the Insight approach to documentary-style theatre, this theatrical experience helps close the gaps in understanding and compassion that divide military and nonmilitary civilians from each other through the dramatic insight of the performing arts.

The show considers several questions: What do we lose on the home front when friends and lovers go to war, and how do we replace "that?" And how do we make room for change – can we make room for change – when they come back?

Cadence: Home, which features live music, follows the inner journeys and outer struggles of four veterans, recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, who are trying to reestablish their lives and their relationships with their loved ones. One event affects and connects them all, the death of Scott Matthews, a marine killed in Afghanistan through an act of his own heroism. The prospect of a memorial service to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Scott’s death alerts these characters to the reality that they have not yet found either ease or rhythm in their postwar lives.
 
Donovan, an air force vet, longs for the relatively carefree days of high school with Scott, Nate, and Matty. .. Nate and Matty have polarizing views of Donovan's choice to join the military and his status now that he is home.... Lisette, a marine vet, needs to reconcile her experiences of trying to measure up to the "boys" in the marines before she can find her womanhood as a civilian. Austin, a marine vet, cannot be fully present with his fiancee until he faces his guilt and the accompanying ghosts.... Ethan, an army vet, must count on himself, alone, to get him back on his feet and begin to accept a loss.

With four unique-yet-connected story lines unfolding at once in this site specific theatrical space, audiences engage dramatically in the range of complicated relationships and courageous journeys of these veterans on the way to the memorial of a fallen comrade, and the discovery of the courage it takes to find their Cadence: Home.

Created and co-produced by TE’A (Theatre, Engagement and Action), the production is spearheaded by Intersections International as part of its larger effort to heal the domestic consequences of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by organizing events and by convening dialogues that help veterans and nonmilitary civilians bridge the gaps in understanding, recognition and affirmation that separate them from each other and divide the nation as a whole.

The original company and creators of Cadence: Home are Joseph Reese, August Dannehl, Chuk Obasi, Nalini Sharma, and Amanda Marikar.

Michael Goldfried and Stefano Brancato co-direct. Alex Gemignani* composed the music. Members of TE'A Company are Jake Robards*, August Dannehl, Chuk Obasi, Purva Bedi*, Amanda Marikar, Collin Leydon*, Karen Eilbacher and Nabil Vinas. *Equity approved Showcase.

Intersections International is a New York-based non-government organization (NGO) that works at the intersection of communities in conflict to promote peace through dialogue, using direct service programs, advocacy, educational and informational outreach. Founded in 2007, Intersections is a multicultural initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628.

Using arts immersion, social marketing, intentional dialogue and other innovative methods, Intersections' work includes projects that promote pluralism in emerging democracies, eradicate ignorance regarding Islam, nurture global peacemakers, and initiate conversation among disparate groups to develop new ways of problem-solving for some of society's most intractable issues.

Since 2008, Intersections has conducted numerous Veteran-Civilian Dialogues, three-hour live events with equal numbers of veterans and civilians in facilitated conversations around the impact of war upon both groups. Two will be conducted in conjunction with Cadence: Home. These free gatherings will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at Intersections, 274 Fifth Ave. (between 29th and 30th Streets) and 6 p.m. Nov. 19 at John Jay College. Reservations are required: RSVP@Intersectionsinternational.org, attention Elaine.

The TE’A Project, founded in 2009 by Radha Kramer, integrates documentary-style interactive theatre with the “insight approach” to conflict mitigation and transformation, a recent development in the field inspired by the thought of Canadian philosopher Bernard Lonergan. The insight approach places careful attention to the roles played by our inner capacities for feeling, thinking and meaning-making when we lock ourselves into conflicts with other people — as well as the roles they play when we transform those conflicts. The TE’A Project dramatizes this performance on stage.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Theater Review: An Enemy of the People

An Amazingly Contemporary Ibsen Play on Age-Old Politics and Human Nature
By Lauren Yarger
What's more important, the public's right to know or the need to stimulate the economy? Don't like the facts? Change 'em. Want to keep religion out of the schools? Curb free speech. Don't want the public to hear what your opponent has to say? Smear him, charge "class warfare" and make sure the press is on your side.

If this all sounds like today's political headlines, think again. It is the makeup of Henrik Ibsen's 1882 play An Enemy of the People in a sharply updated Broadway version (by Rebecca Lenkiewicz) produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. Doug Hughes directs Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas in a fast-paced psychological thriller.

Dr. Thomas Stockmann (Gaines) has made an astonishing discovery. The baths, from which his coastal town in Norway derives economic prosperity as tourists come seeking a healthy spa experience, actually are toxic. It seems that the pipes carrying the water to the baths were not buried deeply enough -- despite Thomas' warnings in the first place -- and now pollution from the tannery owned by his testy father-in-law, Morten Kiil (Michael Sieberry), is making the waters a death trap.

Thomas is championed as a hero for making the discovery by his wife, Catherine (Kathleen McNenny), free-thinking daughter, Petra (Maite Alina), and a few others who know about his work. Hovstad (John Procaccino), publisher of the town's paper, immediately sets printer Aslaksen (a drole Gerry Bamman) into action to put Thomas' report into print so everyone can be warned.

"To have the respect of one's fellow man -- it's beautiful," Thomas says as he ponders what kind of parade the town might choose to honor him.

Thomas' brother, Peter (Richard Thomas), however, has a different idea: bury the report. As the mayor -- he wears that hat proudly and literally -- he is more concerned with the economic impact a health scare will have on the tourists coming to use the baths and spend money in the town. His concerns start to win over supporters among the townspeople, especially when the staggering cost -- and the necessary tax hike to fund it -- to relay the pipes becomes apparent. Peter questions the findings in Thomas' report and successfully creates diversions to keep anyone from remembering that it was Peter  who advocated for the design shortcut over Thomas' objections in the first place.

In a flood of self preservation, the townspeople swiftly turn on Thomas. A river of hate washes away any the public hero and he is labeled, instead, an enemy of the people. Beyond the genuinely interesting plot and obvious similarities to current political techniques to boost approval ratings and polls, there's a deeper psychological study taking place that keeps us guessing about who the heroes and enemies really are and what motivates their actions until the very end.

Gaines gives a layered performance as the man who goes from trying to be humble at the thought of friends honoring him at the head of a parade to fearing that he'll be run out out of town by a bloodthirsty mob. His boisterous turn is nicely balanced by Richard Thomas as this priggish, power hungry, uncaring brother who sees himself as the "moral guardian" of everyone but himself.

Standing out from the ensemble is James Waterston as Billing, a reporter at the paper who amuses as he offers screaming support and enthusiasm  (think that Jingos!™ cracker commercial) then switches to venomous opponent.

Hughes successfully breaks down the fourth wall to create a feeling that the audience is part of the "liberal majority." Actors leave John Lee Beatty's set to stroll through the house at times with transitions aided by and lighting (Ben Stanton, design) and music (original music and sound design by David Van Tieghem). In fact, when one audience member sneezed, Gaines said "bless you" in a way that seemed a natural part of the script.

An Enemy of the People plays a limited run at The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th St., NYC through Nov. 11  Tickets/info: http://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/ 

Christians might also like to know:
-- Lord’s name taken in vain

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Freud Gets a Session in Los Angeles

 Martin Rayner and Mark H. Dold in the Off-Broadway production. Photo: Kevin Sprague
Freud's Last Session, New York’s long-running hit play by Mark St. Germain, is set to open in Los Angeles this winter starring Judd Hirsch as Sigmund Freud and Tom Cavanagh as C. S. Lewis under the direction of Tyler Marchant, who helmed the original New York production.

Presented by The Broad Stage and CRC Productions, Freud's Last Session will begin performances Jan. 11 for a strictly limited engagement through Feb. 10 at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

The Off-Broadway premiere engagement of Freud's Last Session received good reviews (read our review here) and had a two-year run. The show is also currently playing to sold-out houses at Chicago’s Mercury Theatre as well as in Buenos Aires, Stockholm and Dallas. Additional productions are set to open this season in London, Mexico City, Sydney, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Copenhagen, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Cleveland, Tucson, and Honolulu. Freud's Last Sessionwas produced Off-Broadway by Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman and Jack Thomas.

The play centers on legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud, who invites the young, rising academic star C. S. Lewis to his home in London. Lewis, expecting to be called on the carpet for satirizing Freud in a recent book, soon realizes Freud has a much more significant agenda.


On the day England enters World War II, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex, and the meaning of life – only two weeks before Freud chooses to take his own. Not just a powerful debate, this is a profound and deeply touching play about two men who boldly addressed the greatest questions of all time. Mark St. Germain’s celebrated new play was suggested by the bestselling book The Question of God by Harvard’s Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. 

Performance schedule: Tuesday through Friday evenings at 7:30, Saturdays at 4  and 8 pm and Sundays at 1 and 5 pm. The running time is 84 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are available at www.TheBroadStage.com or by calling 310-434-3200. The Broad Stage is located at 1310 11th St. inside the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. Parking is free.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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