Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Broadway Theater Review: The Parisian Woman with Uma Thurman

The Parisian Woman
By Beau Willimon
Directed by Pam MacKinnon
Hudson Theatre
Through March 11

By Lauren Yarger
Blackmail, political ambition, sexual scandals and Trump jokes combine to make more than today's headlines. They are the crux of a new play, The Parisian Woman, from "House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon, based on a play focusing on those  topics -- well sans the Trump jokes -- that stirred up some controversy in late 19th-Century Paris long before being anti-Trump was in vogue.

It stars Uma Thurman ("Kill Bill, "Pulp Fiction," “Imposters” in her Broadway debut as Chloe, a Washington DC socialite playing politics to guarantee an appeals-court appointment for her  husband, Tom (Josh Lucas, also of film fame: "Sweet Home Alabama" and "American Psycho"), whose career as a tax attorney hasn't exactly qualified him for the position. We're not ever quite sure how these two ended up together. Was there ever any love between them, or was it all a partnership to get ahead politically. In the end, we don't care that these answers never seem forthcoming.

Chloe's romantic liaison with big-time Trump donor Peter (Martin Csokas) doesn't seem to work in the couple's favor, so she uses her skills on well-connected Jeanette (a solid Blair Brown), who is awaiting her own appointment confirmation to a cushy post and who has offered an oasis of friendship in the harsh dessert of DC politics. Her daughter, Jeanette's daughter, Rebecca (an underused Phillipa Soo), eyeing her own political career, might just be the "trump" card Chloe needs.

Pam MacKinnon directs, but leave little mark on the play, which, except for a couple of "House of Card" twists, is a rather uneventful hour and a half. Willllimon's also wrote the play Farragut North and "Ides of March." the film based on it.

 "La Parisienne," Henri Becque's controversial play which debuted in Paris in 1885, and which inspired this work commissioned by The Flea Theater in New York City, also was the basis for a 1957 movie starring Brigitte Bardot. I guess sex, politics and intrigue will never go out of style. This production has a lot of the latter -- style, that is. Derek McLane's sets are classy and Jane Greenwood provides ample costume to keep things interesting (while Broken Chord supplies Original Music and Sound Design for the changes).

The Parisian Woman plays at the Hudson Theatre, 141 West 44th St., NYC, through March 11. Perfromance times vary. Tickets are $49.50-$260: parisianwomanbroadway.com.

Additional credits:
Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Darrel Maloney (projections), Hair Design is by Tom Watson (hair design) Tommy Kurzman (makeup design).

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- The theater suggests the material is for 14 and up.
-- God's name taken in vain
-- Sexual activity
-- Language
-- Homosexuality
-- Homosexual activity

Broadway Theater Review: Meteor Shower with Amy Schumer

Keegan-Michael Key, Jeremy Shamos, Amy Schumer, Laura Benanti. Photo: Matthew Murphy
Meteor Shower
By Steve Martin
Directed by Jerry Zaks
Booth Theatre
Through Jan. 21

By Lauren Yarger
Just throw reality right out the window and straight into outer space and then you can sit back and enjoy Steve Martin's Meteor Shower, starring Emmy-Award winner Amy Schumer in her Broadway debut.

If you try to think too much about this plot, or the bizarre behavior of the characters -- two couples meeting for drinks to enjoy a 1993 meteor shower in Ojai, CA -- you'll give up early on. Trust me though, it's worth hanging on to the tail of Martin's dark comedy for the twist ending and some laughs along the way.

Schumer is, Corky,  half of the evening's host couple. She and husband Norm (Jeremy Shamos) have invited Gerald (Keegan-Michael Key) and Laura (Laura Benanti) over in the hopes they will connect them with mutual acquaintances -- one an important business connection --  with whom they have been trying to meet. Sexually forward Laura and over-the-top confident Gerald (Key is a hoot) aren't what Corky and Norm were expecting.

Through flashback scenes and alternative realities, we discover that Laura and Gerald might not be who they appear to be, but when a fiery meteor (Natasha Katz, lighting design) hits the patio (one of the scenes that Beowolf Borritt's revolving set reveals) it has devastating -- and comedic results (created by Ann Roth's costume design) -- and the visitors' motives might be the least of Corky and Norm's problems.

Director Jerry Zaks coaxes well-timed, strong comedic performances from all of the actors. They don't take anything too seriously -- which would be a mistake -- but are controlled in their delivery to keep the action tight and focused for the one hour and 20 minutes without intermission. Key, also making his Broadway debut, is a surprising standout here, given the star power assembled for this meteor show. He makes Gerald so bizarre and funny, that you can't help but laugh. He evokes the style of the playwright and we can't help but think the two of them together on stage would be a treat.

Meteor Shower lights up the stage at the Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th St., NYC, through Jan. 21. Perfroamnce times vary. Tickets are $59 - $169: meteoronbroadway.com.

Additional credits:
Fitz Patton: Sound Design; Stephen Edlund, Associate Director

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- Launguage
-- Drug Use
-- Sexual Dialogue
-- Homosexuality
-- Homosexual Activity

Friday, December 1, 2017

Broadway Theater Review: The Band's Visit TOP PICK


The Band's Visit
Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek
Book by Itamar Moses, based on the film by Eran Kolirin
Choreographed by Patrick McCollum
Directed by David Cromer
Ethel Barrymore Theatre 

By Lauren Yarger
Like streams in the dessert, The Band's Visit quenches a thirst for something satisfying on Broadway and it's different than any other drink being offered on the Great White Way.

First off, this musical doesn't feel like a musical. The score by David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) seems a natural part of the story, which follows an Egyptian police orchestra on its way to perform in a dedication ceremony in Israel. So when the musicians pick up their instruments, or the characters express themselves by singing a song with beats that sound conversational, it is an extension of themselves thanks to expressive lyrics (also by Yazbek) and a well-written book by Itmar Moses, based on the 2007 movie by Eran Kolirin. This production is the Broadway transfer of the acclaimed Off-Broadway world premiere last year at the intimate Atlantic Theatre Company, where it was sold out for most of its run.

When the band members arrive in Israel, they discover they are in Bet Hatikva,  not Petah Tikvah, home of the Arab Cultural Center, whose opening they are to herald. Bet Hatikva not only doesn't have a cultural center, it doesn't have much of anything, really, according to Dina (Katrina Lenk, who undoubtedly will be nominated for a Tony award for her performance), owner of a cafe and one of the few non-apartment buildings in the area.

"Not Arab culture, not Israeli. Not culture at all," she tells Tewfiq (a wonderful Tony Shalhoub). "Welcome to nowhere."

Because there is no bus out until the next day and no hotel in the area, Dina provides dinner for the band and commandeers her neighbors into putting the members up along with her.

A welcome mat is rolled out for the Egyptians to join the Israeli's on a typical evening in Bat Haitikva. Simon (Alok Tewari), shares his unfinished a musical composition and brings peace to the home of Itzik (John Cariani) and Iris (Karen Sieh), who isn't sure she can deal with  the demands of a new baby and no sleep. Meanwhile, Haled (Ari'el Stachel), who was responsible for the mix up in their travel plans, tries to avoid Tewfiq's relentless disapproval and seeks out a good time at the local roller rink. He offers advice (rather humorous)  on picking up girls to Papi (Etai Benson), who is smitten with Julia (Rachel Prather), but is unable to work up the nerve to speak with her.  

Creating this world, with the help of a revolving stage designed by Scott Pask, is Director David Cromer, who works his magic to bring the audience into the intimate world of the characters. We feel for one character, known only as the Telephone Guy (Adam Kantor), who waits endlessly at a payphone for a call from his love. We're not sure exactly why he thinks she will call, or why it is so important that she does, but we really want that phone to ring.

Meanwhile, despite appearing to be dry form years of wandering in an emotional dessert, complete with failed relationships with men she probably shouldn't have been involved with in the first place, Dina finds herself drawn to the mild, polite Tewfiq. He touches a part of her she hasn't visited in a while -- a hope she felt when watching old romantic movies on TV. As she wonders whether Tewfiq might be the one she has been waiting for all these years, she sings a mesmerizing ballad, "Omar Sharif." Dina is sitting at the table talking with Tewfiq, but Lenk rises to present the song in an almost ballet movement that let's us see the thoughts crossing her mind (choreography is by Patrick McCollum). Tyler Micoleau's exceptional lighting design highlights Dina and in a less pronounced way, Tewfiq, but also lets us see the other characters in the shadows of the restaurant mimic her arm movements,. The effect is a stunning "time-stands-still" moment which no one does better than Cromer. And that ballad triggers a never-ending earworm once you hear it (sample a clip in the video below).

If the performances and music weren't enough to make this a top pick (probably of the season), there are some bonuses as well. The story is about people. Regular, decent people who open up and share with each other. In a plot that could have focused on politics since we have Jews and Arabs interacting, not always with the ability to express themselves clearly in a second language,  here there aren't any. What a welcome respite -- like a stream in the dessert.  Many playwrights and directors seem to think they have carte blanche to bash politicians they don't like, even if doing so doesn't add anything to the show. They should take a lesson from The Band's Visit, which in its silence about politics, says more about the good of humanity and the ability for people from different backgrounds to get along than any Trump bashing could, for example.

A second bonus is that the musicians who are on stage are really, really good. The Broadway production includes some more instrumental parts in the score (orchestrated by Jamshied Sharifi ) which allows the musicians to improvise. Don't leave at the curtain call, or you will miss a terrific encore.

The Band's Visit has hearts singing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th St., NYC with tickets currently on sale through September, 2018. Performance times vary. Tickets are $59.00 - $189: thebandsvisitmusical.com.

Additional casting:
Andrew Polk, Bill Army, Rachel Prather, Jonathan Raviv, Sharone Sayegh,  Pomme Koch, Madison Madison Micucci and James Rana
Additional credits:
Sarah Laux (Costume Design), Kai Harada (Sound Design), Maya Ciarrocchi (Projection Design), Charles G. LaPointe (Hair Designer), Andrea Grody (Music Supervisor and Music Director) and Dean Sharenow (Music Supervisor and Music Coordinator)

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- God's name taken in vain
-- Language 
-- Recommended for 12 and up
 

Broadway Theater Review: Junk TOP PICK

A scene from the Lincoln Center Theater production of JUNK by Ayad Akhtar.Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Junk
By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Douglas Hughes
Lincoln Center Theater
Through Jan. 7

By Lauren Yarger
If the world of bond investment leaves you scratching your head, don't be intimidated by Junk, Ayad Akhtar's fascinating new Broadway play at Lincoln Center. You don't have to understand the intricacies of high finance to get the message: selling your soul for money doesn't bring happiness.

Set in 1985, the play focuses on the seemingly limitless ability to create wealth on Wall Street. Steven Pasquale stars as Robert Merkin, the king of Junk Bonds (high yield, higher risk investments), who is poised to make the deal of the decade: the takeover of an iconic American manufacturing company. The character is an homage to real-life Michael Milken, who is credited with inventing the junk bond and to an era when money because the root of everything.

Merkin has it all; a dream career, a successful analyst wife, Amy (Miriam Silverman), who is putting her career on a back burner following the birth of their son, and more money than most of us would know how to spend in a lifetime, but it's not enough. Motivated by the belief that "debt is an asset," he wants more, more, more. He participates in illegal insider trading and puts plans in motion for the takeover of Everson, whose owner, Thomas (Rick Holmes), leaves the company vulnerable by shifting funds around to save the steel manufacturing parts of the company and the jobs and livlihoods it has provided during the three generations his family has been the owner.

Everson vehemently opposes the takeover and thinks that will be enough to stop it. But times have changed and Merkin has re-invented the art of takeover, meaning that Everson needs to find away to buy his own company's stock to stay in control. In a battle that is evocative of power struggles in the best of Shakespeare's royal families, Merkin takes advantage of Boris Pronsky (Joey Slotnick),  an old client who reluctantly invests his wife's money against her will.

Merkin's dynasty, built on greed, topples as the feds close in and the junk bond king continues to put his love for money above freedom, friendship and love.

Douglas Hughes expertly directs the large cast of 23 with the vibrant action taking place on John Lee Beatty's compartmentalized set (which cleverly reminds us somewhat of a cash drawer), highlighted by Wall Street figures projected as a backdrop (59 Productions, design).

Pasquale (The Robber Bridegroom, The Bridges of Madison County) impressively steps out of the sympathetic romantic lead role to present a very troubled, almost creepy man obsessed with money. The two-and-a-half-hour script from the Pulitzer-Prize winner for Disgraced is tight and engrossing. If some of the financial dialogue is over the head of the average audience-goer (though perhaps, with the cost of tickets these days, you need profits from bond investments to finance a day at the theater and most people are savvy about high-risk bonds....), the plot can be followed without trouble, and the script, primarily through the character of Judy Chen (Teresa Avia Lim), provides some explanation.

Don't miss this one, playing a limited run through Jan. 7 at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Performance times vary. Tickets are $87-$147: lincolncenter.org.

Additional casting:
Ito Aghayere, Phillip James Brannon, Tony Carlin, Demosthenes Chrysan, Jenelle Chu, Caroline Hewitt, Rick Holmes, Ted Koch, Ian Lassiter, Teresa Avia Lim, Adam Ludwig, Sean McIntyre, Nate Miller, Ethan Phillips, Matthew Rauch, Matthew Saldivar, Charlie Semine, Michael Siberry, Henry Stram, and Stephanie Umoh.

Additional credits:
Catherine Zuber, costumes; Ben Stanton, lighting; Mark Bennett, original music and sound.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- Language
-- Strong sexual dialogue
-- God's name taken in vain

Friday, November 24, 2017

Broadway Theater Review: Home for the Holidays

Photo: Carol Rosegg

Home for the Holidays
Creative and Music Direction by Jonathan Tessero
August Wilson Theatre
Through Dec. 30

By Lauren Yarger
The winners of TV's reality shows "American Idol," "The Voice," and "America's Got Talent" unite for Broadway's only Christmas-themed show this year, Home for the Holidays, at the August Wilson Theatre.

Candice Glover, winner of “American Idol” Season 12; Josh Kaufman, winner of “The Voice” Season 6; and Bianca Ryan, winner: “America’s Got Talent” Season 1, perform more than 25 songs, some which you will recognize and some which you won't. A song list does not appear in the show's Playbill, so good luck figuring out what they are.

The concert is hosted by Kaitlyn Brostowe from the"Bachelorette" TV show and also has appearances by Peter Hollen, billed as a YouTube sensation,  and his wife, Evynne. Academy-Award-nominated actor Danny Aiello also is featured. He reads a little, sings a little and appears very out of place in this hodgepodge of a production, presumably assembled by Creative and Musical Director Jonathan Tessero, who has among his entertainment credits and the Superbowl, the Essence Fest and other events (no other writing or directing credits are listed in the Playbill).I didn't care for the arrangements of some of the classic Christmas songs which leave the singers sounding out of sync with each other. Glover should have been given an :O, Holy Night" solo.

The nine-piece band is good, particularly the horn section of Enrique Sanchez, Luke Stafford and an uncredited woman who I spotted playing the day I saw the show.

Aiello is not alone in his discomfort. Ryan, whose talent apparently consists of singing part of words while making them sound very dramatic, if not recognizable,  kept waving her arm in a strange pattern telegraphing someone who isn't comfortable on stage.

Fashions provided by Sherri Hill, Stephen F. Nina Shoes and Noah Waxman are sparkly for the holiday theme, but in some cases, the cuts are not very flattering to the women in particular (James Brown III is the wardrobe stylist for the show). Jason Kantrowitz adds some lighting pizazz) to the mix

The standout in this production is Glover, who has a terrific voice and worshipful spirit while singing favorites like "The Little Drummer Boy." It is a treat any time we can hear the story of Christmas told on a Broadway stage and Glover's talent made it especially so. Our hopes for focused concert are disappointed, however.

This limited engagement plays at the August Wilson Theatre, 245 West 52nd St., NYC through Dec. 30. Performance times vary. Tickets are $59-$299: www.HolidaysOnBroadway.com


FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- no content notes


Broadway Theater Review: Latin History for Morons



Latin History for Morons
Written by and Starring John Leguizamo
Directed by Tony Taccone
Studio 54 (254 W 54th St).


By LaurenYarger
The teacher charts out lessons about civilization on a large blackboard center stage, but you probably never have been in a classroom quite like this one.

The "teacher" is John Luguizamo (Ghetto Klown and Freak) and the lesson is Latin History for Morons, and yes, we, the audience, are the morons (especially if you are White). The raw, bawdy monologue was born from the frustration Laguizamo encountered trying to help his son find a Latin hero to write about for a school project. A quick check of the boy's history book showed that no Latin Americans were included.

"If you don't see yourself outside of yourself, you feel invisible," he said.

The comedian shares his research on the subject and takes us through a different look at history and how the Latin People, who once enjoyed various empires and a population in the millions on several continents for 3,000 years, were systematically wiped out through disease and conquests by White western civilizations. He explains "ghetto rage" is what Latin-Americans experience when they feel they don't matter.

"Latin life is cheap in America."

He adds some political commentary against the Trump administration's anti-immigration policies.

The presentation is raw and filled with vulgar language, though many of the biggest laughs greeted dialogue in Spanish, so I missed those jokes. At one point there was a disruption in the balcony and the performer maintained character while alerting that police were really needed -- that he wasn't joking. This isn't your usual Broadway crowd at Studio 54 -- lots of people were talking and enjoying drinks throughout the performance. Think nightclub.

Leguizamo is an engaging performer and I enjoyed Ghetto Klown, but this show just didn't strike me as very funny. Perhaps the seriousness of the subject doesn't lend itself to many laughs. The dialogue also deals with his son's bullying at a private school where parents display prejudice.

Latin History for Morons is extended at Studio 54, 252 West 54th St., NYC through Feb. 25. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $55-$149: latinhistorybroadway.com.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- Language
-- Sexual dialogue (explicit)
-- God's name taken in vain

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Off-Broadway Theater Review: Shadowlands

Daniel Gerroll, Robin Abramson, and Jack McCarthy. Photo: Jeremy Daniel
Shadowlands
By William Nicholson
Directed by Christa Scott-Reed
Fellowship for Performing Arts
Through Jan. 7

By Lauren Yarger
Continuing its excellent productions of C.S. Lewis-themed works, Fellowship for Performing Arts brings the author to life, thanks to Daniel Gerrol's portrayal of the writer and Christian apologist in New York's first revival of  William Nicholson's play Shadowlands.

A film, with a screenplay by Nicholson, was released in 1993 starring Anthony Hopkins as Lewis and Debra Winger as his wife, Joy. It is based on Lewis's "A Grief Observed."

Lewis is an academic at Oxford, shooting the breeze with his colleagues, and living at home with his brother, Major Warnie Lewis (John C. Vennema). His quiet existence is turned upside down, however, with the arrival of married Joy Davidman, a Jewish-American writer, former Communist and Christian convert. Joy is an admirer of Lewis's writing and after corresponding with the author, shows up for a face-to-face with her young son, Douglas in tow (Jack McCarthy and Jacob Morrell share the role).

Warnie and Lewis's other friends are put off by Joy's blunt manner -- and the fact that she can hold her own, or even get the better of them in debate. What starts as a friendship, then morphs to a marriage of convenience and blossoms into true love, but happiness is cut short when Joy is diagnosed with cancer.

How does one cope with such pain after waiting so long for happiness? Among other insightful commentary, Lewis muses that perhaps God wants us loveable rather than happy.Suffering is how we release our hold on what is important in this world and realize our value lies in the spiritual realm.

The philosophical banter between Joy , Christopher Riley (Sean Gormley) and the others is amusing and tautly directed by  Christa Scott-Reed. The humor blends with deep thoughts to create empathy for the characters as well as to force us to contemplate our own emotions. 

While Joy's faith is inspirational, as she tells her husband that the pain to come is part of the joy they are experiencing in the present, and Lewis's faith following her death is an example to his colleagues, this is kind of a sad story, so be prepared, even if Joy's pain doesn't play out as totally believable (it seems acted, especially if you ever have been with someone dying the horribly painful death she did).

Additional cast: Dan Kremer, Daryll Heysham, Jacob H. Knoll, Robin Abramson, Stepahnie Cozart.
Additional credits: Scenic Design by Kelly James Tighe, Costume Design by Michael Bevins, Lighting Design by Aaron Spivey, Original Music and Sound design by John Gromada.
Shadowlands plays at the Acorn Theatre, 419 West 42nd St., NYC, through Jan. 7. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Note: no performances on Thursday, Nov. 23Sunday, Dec. 24; or Sunday, Dec. 31. There will be an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Friday, Dec. 29.Tickets are $75-$95:  FPAtheatre.com212-239-6200.

More About Fellowship for Performing Arts

Founded by Max McLean, New York City-based Fellowship for Performing Arts (FPA) produces theatre from a Christian worldview created to engage diverse audiences. In its first two seasons in New York it produced The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters,  Martin Luther on Trial and C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, Check the website for a list of productions in other locations around the US.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACTORS:
-- no content notes

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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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