Ella Fitzgerald once called Marilyn Maye “the greatest white female singer in the world.” I’ve now seen her several times in cabarets, and I can tell you that’s no exaggeration. There are younger singers who might posses more powerful voices, but I can think of no other singer who possesses Maye’s combination of interpretive ability, rhythmic verve and vocal range, still the envy of singers many years her junior.
Tag: New York
Playwright Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park takes a while to get going, but once it does, it’s as funny as it is thoughtful. It’s a satire of American society in 1959 and the 21st Century, as seen through the lens of real estate in a residential Chicago neighborhood (the same one the Youngers moved into in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun). Act One takes place in 1959, as an unseen black family is about to move into the Clybourne Park house being sold by troubled couple Russ (Frank Wood) and Bev (Christina Kirk).
This is by far, bar none, the most hilarious show to open on Broadway this season! In One Man, Two Guvnors, brilliant Brit comic actor James Corden stars as Francis Henshall, a hungry and and easily-confused working class bloke in early 1960s Brighton, on the south coast of England. Francis agrees to work for a local gangster (who is not what he seems) and another smooth criminal on the lam…none of which Francis can keep straight.
I’ve been living in Tennessee Williams land for the last couple of years, directing two of his lesser known plays, The Strangest Kind of Romance and Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws, the latter in its New York premiere. In the process I’ve formed friendships with a variety of Williams scholars, and a frequent topic of conversation was In Masks Outrageous and Austere.
Its always a difficult proposition to transform a novel into a stage play – if you staged a novel page for page, it would probably run at least six hours if not much, much longer. So it may be a little unfair of me to suggest that Peter and the Starcatcher should be even shorter than its two acts and two hours. But, sorry to say it, that is exactly what keeps this fun and occasionally thoughtful roller-coaster ride of a show from being a true knock-out.