OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

May 13, 2018: And they’re off! It’s an exciting day in this sleepy Connecticut harbor town, folks, as the fighting Tyrones bolt from the starting line as if there were a pack of demons at their backs. That’s because there is a pack of demons at their backs. I did say their name is Tyrone, right? Which means the odds of this hard-working home team outstripping their nasty pursuers are, exactly, nil. That doesn’t keep the scrappy marathoners from acting as fast as they can.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Dance Nation

May 8, 2018: Whether you admit it or not, your 13-year-old self is still living somewhere inside you like a feral demon-child whispering in the dark. It is a creature of frightening extremes, this being you once were: more hopeful and hopeless, joyous and despairing, loving and hateful than you have ever been since. Most likely, she or he is someone you try to avoid talking to.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

May 7, 2018: Theater is a collaboration but not usually a commune. That may help explain why Caryl Churchill’s “Light Shining in Buckinghamshire” — which she wrote, in 1976, after a three-week workshop with actors helping to develop the characters and scenes — is the first of her plays I’ve found indulgent and leaden. However wonderful it may be to perform, it’s a hard slog to sit through.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: A Brief History of Women

May 2, 2018: “As funny as a heart attack,” goes the phrase, and it is generally used to indicate anything but merriment. But a change of context can work wonders with a familiar figure of speech. If you were to say “as funny as a heart attack in an Alan Ayckbourn play,” you would mean that a situation is so painfully, awkwardly sad that it is downright hilarious.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: The Seafarer

April 18, 2018: The Devil wears Matthew Broderick in the Irish Repertory Theater’s production of “The Seafarer,” Conor McPherson’s wonderful 2006 play about a brimstone-scented Christmas Eve in Dublin. And no, Mr. Broderick has not, to my knowledge, created a clothing line.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Blue Man Group

December 28, 2015: The lights in the theater’s entryway turn us all blue as soon as we walk through the door. That’s kind of charming, and so is the ridiculously upbeat song playing on speakers in the lobby bathrooms. The main lyric is the word bathroom, over and over. And over.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man

February 12, 2014: Every theater in New York should hire Stefan to make the precurtain announcements. With his baby face, bedroom eyes and alluring if indeterminate European accent, he can order us to turn off our cellphones and unwrap our hard candies any time. Unfortunately, at the one show that Stefan is introducing these days, things go way downhill fast. Matt Murphy’s Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man could have been zingy and smart and actually helpful, like Bravo’s erstwhile reality series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Sistas: The Musical

October 23, 2012: When you go to one of those shows that seem to exist only to be marketed to a certain age or ethnic group (like “Menopause: The Musical” or “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in Therapy!”), your expectations may not be particularly high. But Dorothy Marcic’s “Sistas: The Musical,” now playing at St. Luke’s Theater, is a sweet and sassy if slightly rickety little show.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Avenue Q

October 22, 2009: They may have no legs of their own, but darned if those fuzzy creatures aren’t still standing, long after more full-bodied competition has bitten the dust. I mean the singing, occasionally foulmouthed hand puppets of “Avenue Q,” the “Sesame Street”-style musical for adults who can’t quite believe they’ve grown up, which reopened Off Broadway on Wednesday night at New World Stages, after a six-year, Tony Award-winning run on Broadway.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Stomp

July 29, 2005: Three years after "Blue Man Group: Tubes" opened, another Off Broadway sensation came on the scene with no talking, even more drumming and a familiar joke in common.

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