Category Archives: Reviews

Carousel Has Opened!

Dear Friends,

As you may know, the revival of our musical Carousel opened this week on Broadway to great reviews.

Of course, we are not surprised. We (The Theatre Guild—at the time, Philip’s father, Lawrence and Theresa Helburn) urged and paid Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II to create a musical adaption Ferenc Molnár’s play, Liliom. It took multiple requests from Lawrence and Theresa, but Rodgers and Hammerstein II finally agreed and we opened Carousel on Broadway in 1945, and it has had several revivals since.

This revival has an all-star cast led by Joshua Henry, Renee Fleming, and Jessie Mueller, is directed by Jack O’Brien and is choreographed by Justin Peck.

According to his review in the New York Times, Ben Brantley observes that:

The tragic inevitability of “Carousel” has seldom come across as warmly or as chillingly as it does in this vividly reimagined revival. As directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck, with thoughtful and powerful performances by Mr. Henry and Ms. Mueller, the love story at the show’s center has never seemed quite as ill-starred or, at the same time, as sexy.

Carousel broadway

Carousel is playing at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th Street). Call the box office for tickets 212/239-6200 or click here to order online.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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A Good Friday for Theatre

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! Today we thought we would share with you a wonderful new play that has just opened on Broadway: Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.

It is staring Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf, and Alison Pill and is directed by Joe Mantello.

According to Jesse Green, New York Times:

Glenda Jackson is back; even better, she’s back in a role that’s big enough to need her. Watching these three women in “Three Tall Women” means seeing the ghosts and echoes of many other women as well. They complete Albee’s imaginative leap into difficult souls, which of course means all of us. And they honor a play that despite its frailties and wrinkles has aged beautifully, into a burning, raving classic.

three tall women

Three Tall Women is playing at the Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th Street) from now until June 24th. Don’t wait—you do not want to miss out on this fantastic play!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Once On This Island

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you a wonderful musical that we think is simply fantastic and our daughter and granddaughters keep raving about: Once On This Island.

It is a powerful story about life and love, where one island girl embarks on a journey to find the love of her life. The story is filled with laughter and amazing music with vibrant costumes. It stars Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, Tamyra Gray, and Norm Lewis as the Island Gods who help the girl along her way.

Jesse Green, The New York Times, says that “the hallmark ingenuity, warmth and intensity bordering on excess that characterize Mr. Arden’s style is recapitulated everywhere within the production, from the frankly stupendous singing (Chris Fenwick is the music supervisor) to the electric choreography of Camille A. Brown.” You can read the full review here.

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It is currently playing at the Circle in the Round Theatre (235 W. 50th Street)—and it’s something you do not want to miss! To learn more and order tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Spreading The Word of The Musical

Dear Friends,

As our Twitter followers know, last week we braved the cold, rainy New York weather and went to see one of the most popular shows on Broadway: The Book of Mormon.

We won lottery tickets and thought we’d take the opportunity to share our love of musicals with our granddaughters.book of mormon 2

The show was entertaining and kept the audience laughing throughout! Although I (Philip) do have to confess, of all the billions of ideas for a musical—I would have never imagined one about Mormon missionaries to Africa could be so successful!

As Ben Brantley from NY Times explains in his latest review:

But gosh darn it if I didn’t feel born again all over again, ready to spread the word about the faith that this show preaches and, more important, practices. I do not mean the religion of the followers of Joseph Smith, which is so scrupulously disassembled here, but the holy faith of musical comedy, into which my mama baptized me before I could walk.

You can read Mr. Brantley’s full interview here.

The Book of Mormon is currently showing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre at 230 49th Street. To learn more and/or purchase tickets, click here.

We know that our granddaughters had a marvelous time and could not stop talking about it—so the evening was a success!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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The Band’s Visit

Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you well and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend.

We wanted to tell you about a wonderful musical that is getting rave reviews—and we think you should add show tickets to your holiday wish list!

It is The Band’s Visit, which Ben Brantley of the New York Times says is “one of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

It is the story of a mix-up that sends an Egyptian Police Band into a remote Israeli village and “celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing and laughter can connect us all.”

the bands visit

It is now playing at the Barrymore Theatre (243 W 47th Street), starring Katrina Lenk and Tony Shaloub.  It is written by Itamar Moses, with songs by David Yazbak, and directed by David Cromer.

To buy tickets or read more about it, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Stuck in Gander

Dear Friends,

This week we’re recommending a fantastic musical called Come From Away—the story of how a small town in Gander, Newfoundland was directly affected by 9/11 and how it “welcomed the world.”

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It was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, with Christopher Ashley winning for Best Direction in a Musical.  According to the Washington Post, “this effervescent musical, enveloped in Canadian good will, is an antidote for what ails the American soul” and Ben Brantley of the New York Times says “even the most stalwart cynics may have trouble staying dry-eyed during this portrait of heroic hospitality under extraordinary pressure.”

To order tickets or read more, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Still Beautiful

Dear Friends,

Those of you who joined us at the beginning will know that the very first show we wrote about was Beautiful: The Carol King Musical.  In fact, seeing the show is partly what gave us the inspiration to start this newsletter—we wanted to share our stories and experiences about the theatre with you!

Beautiful is such a great show!  If you haven’t seen it, we definitely urge you to add it to your list of “must sees.”   It is the story of how Carol King became Carol King—and it is just fabulous!

To order tickets click here
And to see a short video about it, click below:

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

PS—if you’re new and wanted to read the play that started it all, click here to read our first ever Newsletter!

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“Me” Off-Broadway

Dear Friends,

We have just returned from our wonderful vacation—it was so nice to spend some quality time with our daughter and granddaughters.

As the summer winds down and we’re gearing up for an exciting Fall season, we just wanted to take a moment to recommend an off-Broadway musical for you: Me The People.

The zingy songs aim at the misguided, hypocritical and tragically unfit people who rep us in Washington remind us how important satire is at a time of national upheaval. The rousing finale is nothing short of brilliant. It alone is worth the price of admission.”—The Huffington Post

me the people
It is showing at the Triad Theatre on 72nd Street and they are currently selling tickets through October 01, 2017.  I know that we’ve said it before, but this is a show you definitely do not want to miss!

Click here to buy tickets or learn more!
Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Spreading the Word.

Dear Friends,

This week’s Summer Series recommendation is a show that Ben Brantley of the New York Times (who has seen it four times!) calls the best musical of this century: The Book of Mormon.

It is written and composed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q).  It is the satirical story of two young Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganda to spread the word of God.
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It has won 9 Tony Awards and they just released additional seats for this fall.  This is great news because you do not want to miss out on this show—it’s a comical way to end the summer (or start the fall or anytime you want to see it!).

To read more and purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Hello Dolly!

Dear Friends,

Our recommendation this week in our Summer Series is Hello Dolly!.

While a departure from the somberness of most of our first recommendations, Hello Dolly! is a heavy hitter on Broadway right now thanks in large part to its star—the incomparable Ms. Bette Midler, who won a Tony for her performance.

In 1970, after a record breaking 2,844 performances Hello Dolly! closed its run at the St. James Theatre.  It only took 37 years for a revival to finally make its way back to Broadway and with it 10 Tony nominations and 4 Tony Awards:  Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Bette Midler), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Gavin Creel), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Santo Loquasto). 

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It’s currently playing at the Shubert Theatre and starring Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel, and Kate Baldwin and is directed by Jeffrey Zaks.
This is definitely not a show to miss! Click here for tickets.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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