“Long Day’s Journey” – A Classic Play Receiving a Thought-Provoking Production

By Karen Isaacs Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night” is a classic of American theater. O’Neill is considered America’s first great playwright – and even today may be our greatest. It also offers spectacular roles for actors, including a role that older actresses view as the Mt. Everest of roles. Given the many challenges it presents, it is a wonder that the play is … Continue reading “Long Day’s Journey” – A Classic Play Receiving a Thought-Provoking Production

“The Father” – Puzzling and Frightening

By Karen Isaacs I’ll admit that I am still puzzled by The Father by French playwright Florian Zeller that is now at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater on West 47th Street to June 10. Is it meant to be a surrealist play?  Is the playwright attempting to have us experience what the central character, André, played by Frank Langella, is experiencing?  Is it a take … Continue reading “The Father” – Puzzling and Frightening

“She Loves Me” – A Favorite Show but Not a Favorite Production.

By Karen Isaacs  Roundabout Theater is doing a fine revival of the musical She Loves Me at Studio 54.  And yet….. This Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock musical, with book by Joe Masteroff, has become a musical theater classic even if its original Broadway run was much too short (302 performances).  It is based on the play The Little Shop Around the Corner, which was … Continue reading “She Loves Me” – A Favorite Show but Not a Favorite Production.

“Blackbird” – A Disturbing, Haunting Drama

By Karen Isaacs  Blackbird, which is now getting a belated Broadway production starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams, is a disturbing play.  It will alternately have you horrified and unsettled.  It exemplifies what drama should do for an audience. David Harrower’s play debuted in 2005 at the Edinburgh Festival and went on to London, where it won the Olivier award for best new play, and … Continue reading “Blackbird” – A Disturbing, Haunting Drama

“The Humans” – A Family Drama over Thanksgiving Dinner

By Karen Isaacs  The Humans opened off-Broadway at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theater last fall to very positive reviews.  It had a limited run, but now the production has moved to a relatively small Broadway house – the Helen Hayes – with its cast intact. The Humans, written by Stephen Karam who is a younger playwright of much promise. I’ve seen his Speech & Debate; his … Continue reading “The Humans” – A Family Drama over Thanksgiving Dinner

A “Fiddler” that Touches the Heart

By Karen Isaacs  Fiddler on the Roof is such a classic musical that is done in so many places by so many groups that it is hard to get excited about yet another production; even one directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Danny Burstein. But after seeing this production at the Broadway Theater, I am excited. It is a marvelous production that moved me more … Continue reading A “Fiddler” that Touches the Heart

“King Charles III” – a Marvelous Shakespeare Tragedy Not Written by Shakespeare

By Karen Isaacs  King Charles III which is playing a limited run at the Music Box Theater in New York calls itself a “future history.”  Other might call it speculation and theater lovers are going to say it is a very enjoyable evening in the theater. The play by Mike Bartlett envisions the time when the current Queen dies and her son, Charles, the Prince … Continue reading “King Charles III” – a Marvelous Shakespeare Tragedy Not Written by Shakespeare

“Allegiance” Is a Touching New Musical about Family

By Karen Isaacs  Allegiance, the new musical with Lea Salonga and George Takei, is a heartfelt story about human resilience, family and regrets. If you just hear about the subject matter, you might think this was a depressing or dark show.  Yet in the end you are amazed at the joy you will find while also considering the issue at hand. The story is about … Continue reading “Allegiance” Is a Touching New Musical about Family

Sylvia – More than Just a Play about a Man and His Dog

By Karen Isaacs  Sylvia, the play by A. R. Gurney which is currently on Broadway, is, on the surface, about a man and his dog.  But underneath, it is about so much more:  a mid-life crisis and the feelings of disconnection that so many feel in our increasingly abstract work places. We all know that a man and his dog are inseparable; when that dog … Continue reading Sylvia – More than Just a Play about a Man and His Dog

“Dames at Sea” A Musical Spoof of 1930s Films

By Karen Isaacs   Dames at Sea is a delightful, small musical that is a spoof of all those 1930s movie musicals about putting on a show.  So the questions that needs to be asked are:  Does this show deserve a Broadway production?  Can it work in an 800+ seat theater?  Can it attract an audience? Billed as its Broadway debut, this production of Dames … Continue reading “Dames at Sea” A Musical Spoof of 1930s Films