BROADWAY REVIEWS

BROADWAY REVIEW: Hello, Dolly!

January 1, 1970: The pinnacle of fine dining in New York these days can’t be found in a Michelin-starred restaurant, though it will probably cost you just as much. No, you’ll have to get yourself and your wide-open wallet to the Shubert Theater, where the savory spectacle of Bette Midler eating turns out to be the culinary event of the year.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: The Little Foxes

January 1, 1970: Regina Giddens is a flower of Southern womanhood. That flower is a Venus flytrap. In “The Little Foxes,” Manhattan Theater Club’s nimble, exhilarating revival of Lillian Hellman’s 1939 drama, Regina coerces, deceives, manipulates and maybe even murders. How graceful she is, how charming. And how carnivorous.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Anastasia

January 1, 1970: The amnesiac title character of “Anastasia,” who may or may not be the long-lost daughter of the last Russian czar, isn’t alone in suffering a serious identity crisis. The postcard-scenic show that bears her name, which opened on Monday night at the Broadhurst Theater, has its own troubling case of multiple personality disorder.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Oslo

January 1, 1970: Some works of art cry out for large canvases. Though it is sparing in its use of scenery or anything approaching spectacle, J. T. Rogers’s “Oslo,” an against-the-odds story of international peacemaking, is undeniably a big play, as expansive and ambitious as any in recent Broadway history. So it is particularly gratifying to announce that it has been allowed to stretch to its full height in the thrilling production that opened on Thursday night, directed with a master’s hand by Bartlett Sher.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

January 1, 1970: Don’t expect a sugar rush from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the new musical that opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Sunday. This latest adaptation of Roald Dahl’s winningly sinister children’s story from 1964 is — thank heaven — no sweeter than the two film adaptations it inspired, starring Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005).

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Groundhog Day

January 1, 1970: Repetition is an art of infinite variety as it’s practiced by Andy Karl in “Groundhog Day,” the dizzyingly witty new musical from the creators of “Matilda.” Portraying a man doomed to relive a single day over and over and over again in a small town that becomes his custom-fitted purgatory, Mr. Karl is so outrageously inventive in ringing changes on the same old, same old, that you can’t wait for another (almost identical) day to dawn.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Bandstand

January 1, 1970: “Bandstand,” an openhearted, indecisive new musical, wants you clapping your hands and clenching your fists, tapping your toes and blinking back tears. It is both a peppy celebration of can-do spirit and a more somber exploration of what American servicemen experienced when they marched home from World War II.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: A Doll’s House, Part 2

January 1, 1970: A door that was once slammed so hard that the noise could be heard around the world is now being knocked upon, most insistently. In the opening moments of Lucas Hnath’s smart, funny and utterly engrossing new play, which opened Thursday night at the Golden Theater, audience members laugh at the sound of the demanding tattoo being beaten upon that door.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Indecent

January 1, 1970: The road to Broadway was paved with compromise for Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance.” Though this early-20th-century Yiddish play had dazzled Greenwich Village audiences in 1922, the show’s producers worried that it might be too provocative for the less bohemian folk of Midtown; a pivotal love scene between two women was deleted from the script, much to the distress of members of the company.

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Marvin’s Room

January 1, 1970: Are we grimmer or dumber or colder than we were in 1991, when Frank Rich, in The New York Times, called Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room” “one of the funniest plays of this year as well as one of the wisest and most moving”? He did so even while noting that this “healing” comedy, then opening Off Broadway, featured three major characters dying or disintegrating — and a bunch of others arguably worse off.

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