School of Rock–Surprisingly Listenable and Watchable

Lots of talent here: Downton’s scribe, Julian Fellowes, did the book which is very funny, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs and Glenn Slater’s lyrics were tuneful and clever and the choreography took off the roof. I’m happy to say that the music almost never stopped. It’s the old story of a strict school run by the…

Iphigenia Ascends to the Gods in the East Village

(csc.org) As part of their Greek Festival, the Classic Stage Company on East 13th Street mounted a new translation of Euripides’ last play, Iphigenia in Aulis, complete with singing and dancing Greek chorus and it was great. The 2500 year old play, as fresh as yesterday, explored how parents with good intentions inflict pain on…

Gigi on Broadway–Remind Me Why, Exactly, We Are Here?

(nytimes.com) If you loved Gigi, the movie, there are remnants of it here, most notably the music and lyrics including additional songs by the authors, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Unfortunately, these extra songs are not up to the rest of the score and finally, after many years of defending it to Rory, I…

A Major Major Barbara at the Pearl–Shaw’s War on Poverty and Misogyny

I have been a fan of this play ever since I saw the wonderful 1941 film directed by Gabriel Pascal and David Lean and starring Rex Harrison, Wendy Hiller, Robert Morley, Robert Newton and a ton of other great British actors. You couldn’t not like it as the brilliantly satirical lines roared past you combined…

Major Barbara–Read It And Watch It

I recently had the pleasure of re-reading Major Barbara, one of my favorite Shaw plays, in anticipation of the upcoming production at the Pearl Theater by the Gingold Theatrical Group. Last year, Gingold’s founder/director David Staller gave us a sizzling production of Shaw’s You Never Can Tell (offoffonline.com) at the Pearl and this year, he…

The Mint Theatre: Jules Romains’ “Donagoo”–An Imaginary City in an Imaginative Production

In a tiny little theater on West 43rd Street, up two long flights of stairs (or via one of two interminable elevators) lives the Off-Broadway Mint Theater, which exists to “excavate buried theatrical treasures,” often by well-known but, today, rarely produced playwrights, such as Jules Romains. His 1920 play, Donagoo,tells the story in 23 short…