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Photo: Sara Krulwich

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: The Beauty Queen of Leenane

January 15, 2017: The world has opened up for the poisonously insular mother and daughter of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which has been given an expansive revival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For starters, the rural Irish digs shared by Mag and Maureen Folan, one of the nastiest family units ever to grace (or disgrace) a stage, are larger than when this satanically funny pair first arrived in New York nearly two decades ago.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Made in China

January 16, 2017: Puppets are hardly a novelty on New York stages, but I’ll bet you’ve never seen one representing a talking, singing toilet plunger, have you? Strange to say, that’s not the oddest moment in Made in China, an all-puppet musical that blends an unlikely romance between two lonely souls stranded in middle age with pointed commentary on the ties between America’s voracious consumerism and human rights abuses in China.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Time of Women

January 13, 2017: The murk and dankness of a jail cell enfold the characters of Time of Women like a fog that refuses to lift even when the sun is out. In this intensely acted, claustrophobic play from the remarkable underground company the Belarus Free Theater, which runs through Sunday as part of the Under the Radar festival, life is saturated with the stench of incarceration, and no one is pretending that the smell will go away.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Latin Standards

January 12, 2017: The vibrant performer Marga Gomez pays loving, funny tribute to her father, a comic performer and songwriter named Willy Chevalier (the Chevalier was a bit of invention), in her latest solo show, Latin Standards, being presented through Sunday as part of the Under the Radar festival.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Lucky Penny

January 10, 2017: Lucky Penny is an autobiographical show, written by and starring the actor David Deblinger, but while Mr. Deblinger unfolds the story of his life, he disappears so often into the other colorful characters in the tale that he himself almost seems to be a supporting player.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Blueprint Specials

January 9, 2017: For the first time, you don’t have to be a member of the armed forces to see Blueprint Specials, a jaunty foray into a little-known footnote in American military history. A series of musicals intended to boost morale and entertain the troops during World War II, these forgotten shows (only four survive) have now been resurrected by the theater company Waterwell. The production — which combines elements of all of the extant shows — is being presented in association with (and on the hangar deck of) the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, as part of the Under the Radar festival.

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