Friday, January 16, 2009

Plane Ditches in Hudson; Broadway Can't Beat This Choreography

It has drama, stars, daring feats, heroes and slick choreography, but it's not a Broadway show. It's the story of a US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson River yesterday minutes after takeoff from La Guardia Airport in New York (and just slightly upriver from my home town).

It's the story of quick-thinking pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III, who decided to head for the water instead of the densely populated areas on the New York and New Jersey shores when his aircraft apparently lost both engines after hitting a flock of birds. Sullenberger's deft piloting of the craft resulted in the survival of all 155 passengers and crew.

Passengers in the emergency rows of the plane apparently manned the doors and had them opened within seconds of hitting the water and it appears that the plane's crew conducted one of the fastest and most perfect evacuations ever. I have been responsible for evacuating large numbers of people in emergency situations, so I can tell you it's not as easy as you might think.

Meanwhile, ferry and sightseeing boats, in an immediate and marvelously choreographed effort, headed toward the plane and rescued passengers from frigid water and air. Ordinary folks on these boats as well as official rescue boat personnel offered their coats, gave hugs to warm the survivors and offered their cell phones so they could let loved ones know they were all right. New York and the tri-state area is not only home to some of the greatest theater in our country, but to some of the nicest people as well. If you're not from this area, you might scoff, as New Yorkers in particular have a reputation for being unfriendly, but my experience has been that in times of trouble, we've got your back.

How ironic that President George W. Bush's first and last messages from the White House should coincide with tragic events involving plane crashes in New York. His first was on Sept. 11, 2001 and there wasn't one New Yorker who saw that low-flying plane yesterday who wasn't transported back to that day for a moment. How exciting, though to see the quick and organized response of rescue, to see people rushing to help others and to feel a surge of pride that Americans like Sullenberger, who apparently went back through the cabin twice personally to make sure everyone was out, can be heroes.

Lots of prayers were offered on that plane when it was going down and later by others watching and hearing about the event. I add mine for quick healing for the passengers who were injured and some of praise and thanks for a "miracle on the Hudson."

Read the full story here:

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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 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. Her play "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

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

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

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

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 Episcopal Actors' Guild.

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.


All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


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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