REVIEW: “Damn Yankees” at the Mac-Haydn Theatre

by Barbara Waldinger The Mac-Haydn Theatre, celebrated for its spectacular musical revivals, opened its 50th season with the Tony-award winning Damn Yankees. The performance delivered on its promise of outstanding singer/dancers directed (by John Saunders) and choreographed (by Brian Knowlton) to a fare-thee-well. Damn Yankees first opened in 1955, written by George Abbott and Douglas…

REVIEW: “Leni” at Bridge Street Theatre

by Barbara Waldinger For the past four years, Bridge Street Theatre has laudably dared to present challenging plays with highly controversial central characters.  Following up on last year’s depiction, in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the Moon Marigolds, of a mother whose verbal and emotional abuse threatens to destroy her children, Roxanne Fay returns…

REVIEW: “Appropriate” at Albany Civic Theater

Is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie-winning APPROPRIATE just another play about a dysfunctional family, with siblings fighting for their share of the estate after the recent death of their father? Or is there something darker and more significant behind its vitriol? A glance at the program provided by the Albany Civic Theater gives us clues:  the play’s…

REVIEW: “Blithe Spirit” at Capital Repertory Theatre

by Roseann Cane Written as a soul soother for his beloved England, which was recovering from The Blitz and devastated by the continuing casualties of World War II, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit was a rip-roaring success. From its first performance on London’s West End in 1941 (where it ran for a record-breaking 1,997 performances), through today, Coward’s funny play about death remains very…

REVIEW: “Cabaret” at the Ghent Playhouse

A Snapshot of the Weimar Republic by Barbara Waldinger The classic Kander and Ebb musical CABARET portrays sexual depravity as a metaphor for the decadence of 1931 Germany, where the Nazis were poised on the cusp of power.  At least that was director Sam Mendes’s concept when he reimagined the show for the Roundabout Theatre…

REVIEW: “The Humans” at Proctors

by Roseann Cane “A terrible beauty is born.” As I exited Proctors after seeing The Humans, this line from Yeats’s “Easter, 1916” kept running through my mind. The Humans has nothing to do with the Irish Easter Rising, but the profoundly conflicted feelings described through the poem were frighteningly, elegantly transmitted by this excellent production…