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March 4, 2014
(New Edition on the Way in late April - Please See Note Below)
Celebrating EIGHTEEN Seasons
on the web!
legal notices and disclaimers, are at the bottom of the home page.
Current Edition Uploaded: 3/4/14
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Sorry yet again for more lateness.
This time the "culprit"—seems such an inappropriate word for it—
is that my and Alan Menken's musical The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
(based on the novel by Mordecai Richler) is finallyfinallyfinally
going to be in full production, debuting at the Segal Centre in Montreal
in a little over a year (July 2015), directed by Austin Pendleton.
And no sooner did the contracts get signed than all kinds of work began,
from creating an up-to-date and comprehensive piano-vocal score
(and with my being the obsessive chronicler of which draft contained which material,
that task naturally fell to me) to targeting rewrites to creating casting lists
—of Canadian actors, a playing field I know somewhat better
than most Yanks, from all the Canuck teevee I watch,
but not nearly as well as I'd like to—or will!
So of course the extracurricular avocation got back-burnered.
That, plus teaching, plus life, plus an imminent short trip to Toronto
(where there'll be even more theatre to review) has had me writing
reviews on the fly, but not quite able to catch up, polish or format for upload.
And this is the biggest crunch of the season for critics: opening after opening
with seemingly no respite. So I'm overextended to boot.
Thus I beg your indulgence; I think realistically the next ish will be uploaded
around the last week of April, first week of May.
Earlier if I can, but on the calendar those weeks
seems blessedly uncluttered. So, fingers crossed ...
And as ever and always, I thank you for hanging in!
For previous reviews of current or recent attractions,
as well as a partial selection of archival material
see regional indexes at the bottom
of the Home Page.
Features This Edition:
New York critic David Spencer reviews:
The real star of the show may surprise you ...
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Book by Douglas McGrath
Music and Lyrics by Carole King (and others)
Directed by Marc Bruni
Starring Jessie Mueller
Stephen Sondheim Theatre
An Irish tone poem ...
by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Doug Hughes
Starring Debra Messing and Brian F. O'Byrne
A Production of the Manhattan Theatre Club
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Is it a drag queen scam ... or a sly homage?
The Tribute Artist
by and starring Charles Busch
Directed by Carl Andress
A Production of Primary Stages
Life ... don't talk to me about life ...
by Sophie Treadwell
Directed by Lynday Turner
Starring Rebecca Hall and Michael Cumpsty
A Production of the Roundabout Theatre Company
American Airlines Theatre
A gentler play, also a revival,
about the plight of women in the workplace and beyond ...
by James van Druten
Directed by Davis McCallum
Mint Theatre Company
And another gentle revival,
in which love beats the system ...
Middle of the Night
by Paddy Chayefsky
Directed by Jonathan Silverman
Starring Jonathan Hadary
A Production of The KEEN Company
Revival of a more recent vintage;
the Pulitzer Prize platy about how people and couples change ...
Dinner with Friends
by Donald Margulies
Directed by Pam MacKinnon
A Production of the Roundabout Theatre Company
Laura Pels Theatre
If you sit in the front row, you may
get hit by a spurt of
by Thomas Bradshaw
Directed by Scott Elliot
A Production of The New Group
Another play about intimacy: real vs. imagined ...
by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Rebecca Taichman
Starring Jessica Hecht
A biographical musical about Bruce Lee ... without the songs ...
by David Henry Hwang
Directed by Leigh Silverman
Signature Theatre Company
9/11 as an epic poem
by Thomas F. Flynn
Adapted by Thomas F. Flynn and Michael Bush
Directed by Michael Bush
Starring Robert Cuccioli
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Plus a musical in New Jersey ...
The Other Josh Cohen
Book, Music and Lyrics by
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen
Starring the Authors
Directed by Ted Sperling
Paper Mill Playhouse
and a classic drama in Washington DC ...
Mother Courage and Her Children
by Bertolt Brecht
Translation by David Hare
Directed by Molly Smith
Starring Kathleen Turner
San Francisco critic Judy Richter reviews:
by Johnna Adams
Presented by Aurora Theatre Company
Directed by Jon Tracy
The Grapes of Wrath
Based on the novel by John Steinbeck
Adapted by Frank Galati
Directed by Greg Fritsch
Presented by Hillbarn Theatre
Lasso of Truth
by Carson Kreitzer
Directed by Jasson Minadakis
Presented by Marin Theatre Company
Little Shop of Horrors
Music by Alan Menken
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Directed by Milissa Carey
Presented by Foothill Music Theatre
by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Dennis Garnhum
Presented by and at the American Conservatory Theater
In association with Theatre Calgary
Man in a Case
Based on two short stories by Anton Chekhov
Adapted & Directed by Paul Lazar & Annie-B Parson
of Big Dance Theater
Produced by Baryshnikov Productions
Presented by Berkeley Repertory Theatre
by Kate Fodor
Directed by Jeanie K. Smith
Presented by Dragon Productions
Dragon Productions Theatre
by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Meredith McDonough
Presented by TheatreWorks
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Philadelphia critic Claudia Perry reviews:
The National Tour of
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin
Book Adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks
Musical Score Adapted by Diedre L. Murray
Directed by Diane Paulus
Florida critic Marie J. Kilker reviews:
Daddy Long Legs
Music & Lyrics by Paul Gordon; Book by John Caird
Based on the Book by Jean Webster
Directed by John Caird; Musical Director: Corinne Aquilina
Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz
Philadelphia, Here I Come!
by Brian Friel
Directed by Frank Galati
Asolo Repertory Company
Florida State U. Center for the
...and three productions from France!
Because what the hell,
if you're there, you might as well,
below for many more current and archived reviews!
Say is updated bi-weekly. Depending upon the
variables of staff schedules, official opening dates of new
productions, and accessibility of the website's Internet service
provider, each new edition will appear in the time-window between
Sunday night and Wednesday morning. The Home Page will always display
the date of upload..
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SAY is not, nor has ever been,
nor would ever be, under any circumstances you could possibly devise,
imagine or postulate, in this or any alternate universe, connected to
or associated with the similarly titled column by Carolyn Albert,
appearing in the monthly hard copy publication Singles Almanac
1996, Carolyn Albert, plaintiff,
began legal proceedings against David Spencer, defendant, the webmaster
of this 'zine, claiming trademark infringement (specifically deliberate
misappropriation and likelihood of confusion) over the use of the
phrase AISLE SAY as an identifying mark. The case ultimately went to
trial in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, on
February 24,1998. There was no immediate decision rendered on that
date; nonetheless Ms. Albert's claim of misappropriation (understood as
theft with conscious intent to capitalize on the plaintiff's "good
name") was dismissed out of hand. To settle the "confusion" issue, two
noble young attorneys (Eric Weinstein on behalf of Carolyn Albert, Jon
Muskin on behalf of David Spencer), were instructed by the judge to
a decision rendered subsequently by
the Honorable John S. Martin, on August 20, 1998, the charges brought
about by Ms. Albert against Mr. Spencer were dismissed -- and it was
deemed legally proper for the AISLE SAY website to continue using its
title. Ms. Albert would, likewise, continue using the title to identify
her column; for the record, her right to do so was never challenged by
Spencer or any representative of the AISLE SAY cyber-zine. Basically
because we couldn't have cared less. Life is just too damn short for some
things. In any event, we went along for the ride, and she had her day
in court. It was worth the two grand in fees and court costs to be rid
of her. Which we, happily, remained until her passing in 2010. Actually, we're still rid of her. May she rest in peace.
is worth noting that the attorneys
for both parties were obtained through the New York City-based
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, which is herewith recommended to any
financially qualifying person in an artistic bind requiring legal