WITH HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE COMMENTS – 5 stars possible
(0nly includes shows that opened in the last year or so)
To see a full review (mine or the Times), click on the show’s title
Annie (***) A surprisingly dark version that didn't ring my chimes, but I'll admit the possibility I was influenced by having produced a much happier version of the show. Little girls will like it either way.
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (****1/2) Divided opinions (and reviews) on this one, which we loved. Scarlett Johansson is brilliant as Maggie, as is Ciarán Hinds as Big Daddy. See it.
Hands On A Hard Body (**) Watching ten actors trying to keep their hands on a red truck makes for a long evening. Endearing at times, but ultimately like watching paint dry.
Newsies (**½) Typical Disney fare, rather absurd in gentrifying street urchins. Popular, though, lots of dancing, upbeat of course, another top performance by Jeremy Jordon, briefly the Clyde of BONNIE AND CLYDE.
Once (**) Terri says I was just in a bad mood that day, but I thought the slight, wistful story worked much better in the movie than it did onstage. Many, many people have been capitivated by ONCE, though, so maybe Terri's right....
Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark (***) Much improved, with a coherent story, reasonably good characterizations, and flying that’s more fun (and safer) than ever. Which adds up to better, but not to great.
The Book of Mormon (*****) Unless you're a really sensitive soul, don't stay away because of the vulgarity, which is all in great fun. It's a sweet, feel-good, and very good, traditional musical you shouldn't miss.
War Horse (****½) The story is ordinary and predictable, but the puppetry is truly amazing. This sort of stagecraft brilliance is something only the National Theatre can afford to do. Don't miss it.
Old Jews Telling Jokes (****) Hilarious, whatever your religious preference.
Silence the Musical (** if you're over 30, evidently **** if you're younger) This parody of the movie gets old fast, at least for me. I can't argue with a roaring (younger) audience, tho.
Matilda (****) Considered by many to be the next BILLY ELLIOTT, this famous (to Brit kids, anyway) Roald Dahl story is brilliantly brought to the stage by the RSC, and will soon be seen on Broadway. Bleak, uplifting to the rooftops, a show some Yanks love, some Yanks hate. Worth deciding for yourself.