April 23, 2012 |
Nicky Silver, the Wynnewood-born-and bred playwright whose edgy plays sometimes have seemingly nice or clueless people turning awful, had his Broadway debut Monday night with a solid, edgy play in which someone basically nice or clueless turns awful. In the case of "The Lyons," it's the son of a four-person nuclear family who becomes ballistic in a desperate search for the human connection that is the play's solid theme. But I'm making "The Lyons" sound far too serious; it's an outrageously funny comedy — at times, uncomfortably funny because Silver exploits a man's late-stage cancer for laughs.
April 19, 2012 |
"Clybourne Park" is the fiercest, frankest, funniest discussion of race I have seen on a stage. It is smooth — taut, realistic and stringing together ideas about real estate and racial perceptions. Its playwright, Bruce Norris, is a skillful manipulator who mines an audience's willingness to self-indict, provoking theatergoers with mouth-dropping lines and making them laugh at the same time. The show, almost surely en route to a Tony Award as best new play this season, offers up two eras of American life a half-century apart — 1959 and 2009 — to suggest that although the idea of diversity has taken hold and brought many changes, not much has changed in the basic way people think about race.
April 12, 2012 |
On the first day of her first year at summer camp back in 2005, Shayna Simon, then 5 years old, bravely said goodbye to her mom and began her adventure at the Betty and Milton Katz Jewish Community Center Camps at Medford . She's been back every summer since. The camp experience was a monumental turning point for Shayna, now 11, who was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder on the autism spectrum and has had challenges bonding with other kids. "Camp was the magic for Shayna – she's made remarkable progress," says her mother, Laura Simon of Cherry Hill.
April 11, 2012 |
In the middle of Magic/Bird, the smooth and warm new play about a friendship that blooms from the deep roots of rivalry, playwright Eric Simonson writes a deft pivoting scene. Two young guys, both basketball rivals of worldwide renown, are forced to lunch together by one of their moms. You look on to see what happens when these two very different people - opposites, really, in every way except their brilliance on the basketball - have no option but to relate. Friendship, just a glimmer of it, begins to be defined.
April 10, 2012 |
The king of the Broadway jungle You got Leo, the MGM lion (Ars Gratia Artis!). You got Bubbles, logo of the Detroit Lions. You got the Cowardly Lion of The Wizard of Oz. You got Kimba, and Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion, and Kitty Kat (feline of the Addams Family). Now shove over for The Lion King!! The Broadway show, not the 1994 Disney flick. According to figures (unadjusted for inflation) released Monday, Lion padded past ThePhantom of the Opera last week to become Broadway's all-time top grosser, with about $854 million.
April 2, 2012 |
Somewhere over the rainbow, Judy Garland never spotted her pot of gold. But a British actress named Tracie Bennett found hers - in the person of Judy. She is sensational in the erratic Broadway show End of the Rainbow, about Garland's last attempt at a comeback, which opened Monday night. If you're among Garland's legion of fans, you'll want to see Rainbow, but even if you're not, you'll want to see Bennett. Every minute she sings, Bennett channels Garland like a medium at a sÃ©ance, and what would a Judy Garland impression be without the singing?