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Theater Reviews

Nathan the Nance

by John Platt

If you're a theater maven, you can't help being a fan of Nathan Lane. While he's had success in movies (notably The Birdcage) and TV (recent recurring role on The Good Wife), the stage is his natural element (The Producers,The Addams Family, Guys and Dolls, etc., etc.), and he's a theatrical treasure, who can sing, do broad comedy, and yet do serious drama, too.

Rascals Groovin' On Broadway

by John Platt

The Rascals are rocking the Richard Rodgers Theater in their limited Broadway engagement, Once Upon a Dream, written, produced, and directed by Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band. Using a high-quality concert PA system and video projections, it tells the story of the Rascals, reunited after 40 years, as they perform 28 songs (backed by a bassist, keyboard player, and three harmony singers).

These Boots Were Made for Dancing

by John Platt

There’s a curious and creative collaboration on display at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, where Kinky Boots, with book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Cindy Lauper, opened on Thursday night. It’s based on the 2005 movie about a family-owned English shoe factory on the brink of closing down which decides in desperation to try manufacturing high fashion boots for a niche market – cross-dressing men!

A "Salesman" for the Ages

by John Platt

A dozen years ago my wife and I saw a Sunday matinee of Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy. It happened to be the closing performance of that Broadway production. At the curtain call Dennehy announced, “Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Arthur Miller!” With that, Miller, who was 80-something, yet tall and erect, strode up the aisle like an army officer half his age and graciously acknowledged the standing ovation.

"Once" Is More Than Enough

by John Platt

“Once” was an underdog of a movie. Made on a shoestring, released in the U.S. in 2007 and winner of the 2008 Oscar for Best Song “Falling Slowly,” it was a much-loved, beautiful little movie set in Dublin about an Irish street busker and a Czech immigrant, who meet, make music together, and fall in love. It’s been turned into a play. After a successful run Off Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop it’s opening tonight at Bernard Jacobs Theater  (appropriately the day after St Patrick’s Day), and it’s just lovely.