This is easily the most spectacular musical to come out of Broadway this season. Director Alex Timbers has long been one of the American theatre’s most inventive stagers, and here he has truly outdone himself, with a stunning, climactic ending that will be hard for him to top going forward.
Tag: New York
Playing President Lyndon B. Johnson, Bryan Cranston brilliantly captures that president’s tireless energy and ruthless political gamesmanship in this drama about the events between LBJ’s swearing-in as President following Kennedy’s assassination, and his actual election as president around a year later, with a very strong focus on Johnson’s commitment to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, including a contentious ongoing dialogue with Martin Luther King.
There’s much more to Aladdin than its often shirtless male chorus, although that certainly doesn’t hurt. Not that there’s anything incredibly substantial about it – this is brisk, lively, even jazzy musical comedy. And, as such, one of the more successful Disney screen-to-stage musical transfers.
The duo of John Pizzarelli and Daniel Jobim playing and singing bossa nova are the ultimate in cool. Pizzarelli represents the very height of cabaret’s jazzier side, with profound musical intelligence at work. Jobim is part of a legendary Brazilian musical dynasty: his grandfather was Antonio Carlos Jobim, one of Brazil’s all-time greatest songwriters and composers, and one of the original architect’s of bossa nova.
Full disclosure, I am a big fan of Bruce Lee – I’m drawn to his charisma, his incredible physical precision, and, oh yeah, that smokin’ hot bod. So it’s not surprising that David Henry Hwang’s bioplay about Lee, Kung Fu, doesn’t really tell me anything about Bruce I didn’t already know. As Hwang usually does, however, he’s managed to find compelling ways to meditate on the sociological and artistic dimensions of Lee’s story.