Iris Wiener

SpongeBob, My Fair Lady Win Top Honors at 63rd Drama Desk Awards (Photos!)

SpongeBob SquarePants and My Fair Lady were standouts at the 63rd Drama Desk Awards, winning Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Revival of a Musical, respectively. Admissions and Angels in America won in the same categories for plays. The Drama Desk Awards annually celebrate the best in New York theatre. Nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway during the 2017-2018 season.... Read More...

‘Friends, The Musical Parody’ Is a Hysterical Send-Up of ’90s Sitcom

Could Friends!, The Musical Parody be any more fun? Nope. The hit NBC show is ripe for riffing, and who better to take it on than parody masterminds Tobly and Bob McSmith, the clever writers behind Showgirls! The Musical! and Bayside! The Musical! Whether you’ve simply caught the sitcom in reruns or you have pined for the day when Ross and Rachel would finally get together, this musical is a hysterical send-up of all that you loved to hate about the 1990s.... Read More...

Steven Dietz’s Lonely Planet Brilliantly Produced by Keen Company (Video)

Steven Dietz’s play, Lonely Planet, has been brilliantly produced by the Keen Company. It’s an emotional touchstone harkening back to a time when America was caught in the deadly grip of the AIDS epidemic. Written in 1993, Lonely Planet is a two-character study that follows Jody (Arnie Burton) and Carl (Matt McGrath) through a world consumed by darkness, doubt and death.... Read More...

Donald Trump Political Satire ‘Me the People’ a Hilarious Call to Arms

Me the People: The Trump America Musical manages to be entertaining and cringe worthy at its best moments and only slightly schlocky at its worst. Me the People is not simply a jab at America’s current president; this cabaret is an important call to arms. In an era of watered down jokes and impressions a la “The Tonight Show with Jimmy zoneslon” and “Saturday Night Live,” it’s a gift to find a show that is as funny as it is unapologetic for its painful impressions and humor. ... Read More...

Intimate Apparel Beautifully Weaves Hopes, Pathos, Desire in Moving Play

Intimate Apparel, written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony nominee Lynn Nottage, is as beautifully woven as the fine fabrics running through the hands of protagonist Esther Mills (Kelly McCreary), a New York City seamstress circa 1905. Currently playing at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, the production addresses a litany of complex issues that might have overcrowded a 130-minute play in less worthy hands. ... Read More...

Lucas Hnath’s Doll House, Part 2, Takes Ibsen In Whole New Direction

If A Doll’s House, Part 2 is viewed as a sequel to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House theatergoers will be in for disappointment. It does not complement the original play, nor does the new piece give it new meaning. A more appropriate label would be fan homage. Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes the 19th century classic and adds modern vernacular and insightful wit, while presenting a story centered on women who are battling against oppression. ... Read More...

Baghdaddy Relives Iraq War’s Dark Truths in Quirky Off-Broadway Musical

Free donuts and coffee, name tags, a church basement. Is this an AA meeting, or is it a musical? Actually, it’s a bit of both. Factor in political satire, vigorous choreography, dark humor, strobe lights and rap and rock music, and you get Baghdaddy, a show with a title just as bizarre as its storytelling. The audience is a part of the show as disgraced spies sit among guests revealing their truths: “I’m Martin. I started the Iraq War,” says one actor.... Read More...

Drama Desk Theater Nominees Celebrate the 2016-2017 Season

The 62nd Annual Drama Desk Award nominees met with members of the organization on May 10th at the New York Marriott Marquis Manhattan Ballroom. The Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Michael Urie, will be presented on June 4th at the Town Hall in Manhattan. The organization, comprised of theater critics, journalists, editors, broadcasters and publishers covering theater, honors outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.... Read More...

Vagaries of Power Define This Year’s ‘Author Directing Author’ Theme

Playwright Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty, Fat Pig), Italian playwright Marco Calvani (Strong Hands) and Spanish playwright Marta Buchaca (Emergencia) explore power struggles in three one-act plays as part of the this year’s “Author directing Author” project. Though the roles of playwright and director often overlap in rehearsals, their work is usually distinguished by their jobs; this is what makes “Author directing Author’ so special.... Read More...

James Monroe Iglehart Warms Hearts With Lots of Soul at 54 Below

James Monroe Iglehart has punch and pizzazz. Both were on display at Feinstein’s/54 Below in his solo cabaret show, “How the Heck Did I Get Here?” This Genie holds more magic in his big heart than he’s ever displayed in Broadway’s Aladdin. Iglehart won a Tony award in 2015 for his show-stopping performance in Aladdin’s “A Friend Like Me.” What might be surprising is the number of layers beneath his comical veneer.... Read More...

Jude Law Honored at Only Make Believe 17th Annual Gala (Photos!)

Jude Law was the marquee guest at Only Make Believe’s 17th Gala, an event that brings together Broadway stars to help raise funds for the non-profit organization’s interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the principle that freeing a child’s imagination is a valuable part of the healing process.... Read More...

Holiday Inn Musical Not Equal to the Sum of Its Parts on Broadway

Holiday Inn has all of the ingredients for a sparkling Broadway musical–glitzy costumes, actors with the vocal chops, twenty Irving Berlin classics and dance numbers so energetic, performers almost fly from the stage. The story is another matter. Director Gordon Greenberg and co-writer Chad Hodge turned the film, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, into a feel-good piece of eye candy.... Read More...

Iris Wiener

Iris Wiener is an entertainment journalist. Follow her on Twitter @Iris_Wiener or visit her Web site.

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