Sunday, June 14, 2020

DRAMA DESK AWARDS: Honoring the best of the 2019-2020 New York Theater Season

Undaunted after being moved from a formal, ticketed live-on-stage event to a low-key prerecorded ceremony, the Drama Desk, of which I am a voting member, last night announced the winners of its 65th annual awards honoring the best of Broadway and Off Broadway for the 2019-2020 season.

Although New York theater was forced to come to a TEMPORARY halt due to the global pandemic, there was an exciting and rich theater season prior to the March 12 lockdown, with a great many plays and musicals to be considered for these awards.  

Below is the list of winners, but before we go there, I would like to draw your attention to this message of support for racial equality from the organization:  

"The Drama Desk is committed to honoring all that's outstanding in the work of New York's diverse theater artists and craftspeople.  We regret the postponement of our awards ceremony, but, as an organization committed to the principle that all voices must be heard, we stand with the global Black Lives Matter movement, decrying the racial injustice and violence in our nation and city."


Here is the list of the winners: 

Outstanding Play
The Inheritance

Outstanding Musical
A Strange Loop

Outstanding Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Outstanding Solo Performance
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton

Outstanding Director of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Choreography
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Music
Dave Malloy, Octet

Outstanding Lyrics
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Kitt, Jagged Liittle Pill

Outstanding Music in a Play
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons

Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Projection Design
Luke Halls, West Side Story

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design
Campbell Young Associates, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Outstanding Fight Choreography

Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play

Outstanding Puppet Design
Raphael Mishler, Tumacho

Unique Theatrical Experience
Is This A Room

Outstanding Adaptation
A Christmas Carol

Special Awards
Ensemble Award: “To the eight pitch-perfect performers in Dave Malloy’s a cappella musical Octet: Adam Bashian, Kim Blanck, Starr Busby, Alex Gibson, Justin Gregory Lopez, J.D. Mollison, Margo Seibert and Kuhoo Verma proved instrumental in giving a layered look at modern forms of addiction.”

Sam Norkin Award: “To actress Mary Bacon, who continued her versatile career of compassionate, searing work for such companies as The Mint, Primary Stages, The Public Theater and The Actors Theater Company, with two of Off-Broadway’s most humane performances this season in Coal Country at the Public Theater and Nothing Gold Can Stay presented by Partial Comfort Productions.”

“To The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley for connecting members of the theater community and lifting spirits during the coronavirus crisis. The Actors Fund has worked tirelessly to provide financial and health resources to those impacted by the pandemic; Rudetsky and Wesley’s semi-daily Stars in the House webcast is raising funds for The Actors Fund, while providing performances, reunions, and medical updates.”

“To The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s “Mobile Theater” that began in 1957 and evolved into the New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater. The current Mobile Unit tours free Shakespeare throughout the five boroughs, including prisons, homeless shelters and community centers, reminding audiences new and old that the play really is the thing. ”

“To WP Theater and Julia Miles, the company’s founder who died this spring. Formerly known as The Women’s Project and Productions, the company began in 1978 at American Place Theatre, where Miles served as associate to visionary artistic director Wynn Handman, who also died this spring. WP is the largest, most enduring American company that nurtures and produces works by female-identified creators. Over a little more than four decades, it has changed the demographics of American drama through an unwavering focus on women writers, directors, producers, performers and craftspeople.”

“To Claire Warden for her pioneering work as an intimacy choreographer in such recent projects as Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Linda Vista and her leadership in the rapidly emerging movement of intimacy direction. As part of the creative team of Intimacy Directors & Coordinators and Director of Engagement for and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, she is helping create theater experiences that are safer for performers and more authentic for contemporary audiences.”


Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


More than 300 theater artists - black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) - published a letter addressed to “White American Theater” decrying racial injustice in their industry online on Monday.

You can read the entire letter below. But before that, I want to comment on the broader context of embedded, institutionalized racism in America.  

If, like me, you are white and consider yourself an ally of social justice in America, please don’t talk about “defining moments” and “turning points” unless you are willing to roll up your sleeves and do some of the heavy lifting in order to truly “define” and “turn.”
Talk, even talk filled with outrage and empathy, won’t move this country in another direction if we simply go back to business as usual and suck our teeth and roll our eyes and scream at the TV set.
One of the best-expressed statements I’ve heard lately is this: It’s not that America is broken. It is functioning the way it is by intent and design, just as it always has, with some but not remotely enough progress over the course of 244 years as a nation, and even before that, dating to 1619 and the arrival of the first known slave ship with a cargo of slaves to sell to the colonist
If you are reading this, I believe it is likely you understand that there are issues of institutionalized racism that encompass political, legislative, governing, financial, educational, housing, jobs, salaries, health, nutrition, the creative and performing arts, and accessibility to all of these and more. I’ll be thinking more about what I can do.

Meanwhile, might I suggest watching Oprah’s Town Hall on Race? Part I last night laid the groundwork. Tonight’s focus is on where we go from here.


And, as promised, here is the letter that is garnering even more signatures and support as I post this:

Dear White American Theater,

We come together as a community of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) theatremakers, in the legacy of August Wilson’s “The Ground on Which I Stand,” to let you know exactly what ground we stand on in the wake of our nation’s civic unrest.

We see you. We have always seen you. We have watched you pretend not to see us.

We have watched you un-challenge your white privilege, inviting us to traffic in the very racism and patriarchy that festers in our bodies, while we protest against it on your stages. We see you.

We have watched you program play after play, written, directed, cast, choreographed, designed, acted, dramaturged and produced by your rosters of white theatermakers for white audiences, while relegating a token, if any, slot for a BIPOC play. We see you.

We have watched you amplify our voices when we are heralded by the press, but refuse to defend our aesthetic when we are not, allowing our livelihoods to be destroyed by a monolithic and racist critical culture. We see you.

We have watched you inadequately compare us to each other, allowing the failure of entire productions to be attributed to decisions you forced upon us for the comfort of your theater’s white patrons. Meanwhile, you continue to deprioritize the broadening of your audiences by building NO relationship with our communities. We see you.

We have watched you harm your BIPOC staff members, asking us to do your emotional labor by writing your Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statements. When we demanded you live up to your own creeds, you cowered behind old racist laments of feeling threatened, and then discarded us along with the values you claim to uphold. We see you.

We have watched you discredit the contributions of BIPOC theatres, only to co-opt and annex our work, our scholars, our talent, and our funding. We see you.

We have watched you turn a blind eye as unions refuse to confront their racism and integrate their ranks, muting the authenticity of our culture and only reserving space for us to shine out front on your stages but never behind them. We see you.

We have watched you dangle opportunities like carrots before emerging BIPOC artists, using the power of development, production, and awards to quiet us into obedience at the expense of our art and integrity. We see you.

We have watched you use our BIPOC faces on your brochures, asking us to politely shuffle at your galas, talkbacks, panels, board meetings, and donor dinners, in rooms full of white faces, without being willing to defend the sanctity of our bodies beyond the stages you make us jump through hoops to be considered for. We see you.

We have watched you hustle for local, federal, foundation and private funding on our backs, only to redirect the funds into general operating accounts to cover your deficits from years of fiscal mismanagement. We see you.

We have watched you hire the first BIPOC artists in executive leadership, only to undermine our innovations and vision of creating equitable institutions, by suffocating our efforts with your fear, inadequacy, and mediocrity. We see you.

We have watched you attend one “undoing racism workshop,” espousing to funders you are doing the work, without any changes to your programming or leadership. You’ve been unwilling to even say the words “anti-racism” to your boards out of fear of them divesting from your institutions, prioritizing their privilege over our safety. We see you.

We have watched you promote anti-Blackness again and again. We see you.

We have watched you say things like – I may be white, but I’m a woman. Or, I may be white, but I’m gay. As if oppression isn’t multi-layered. We see you.

We have watched you exploit us, shame us, diminish us, and exclude us. We see you.

We have always seen you.

And now you will see us.

We stand on this ground as BIPOC theatremakers, multi-generational, at varied stages in our careers, but fiercely in love with the Theatre. Too much to continue it under abuse. We will wrap the least privileged among us in protection, and fearlessly share our many truths.

About theatres, executive leaders, critics, casting directors, agents, unions, commercial producers, universities and training programs. You are all a part of this house of cards built on white fragility and supremacy. And this is a house that will not stand.

This ends TODAY.

We are about to introduce yourself.


The Ground We Stand On

Sunday, May 17, 2020


The last Broadway show I saw was on March 7.  My review for that was written and set for publication on its official opening night. Unfortunately for everyone involved, opening night was slated for March 12, the start of the Great Shutdown, which, we are told, has been extended at least until Labor Day. 

And so my review is on hold, along with everything else. I will say no more about that particular show until it does make its formal entrance. 

Eventually, along with everything else, theater will return. Many shows that were running will reopen, and new ones will come along. But I will note that some 200 plays and musicals did open in Broadway and Off Broadway theaters during 2019-2020. 

While there will be no Tony Awards this go ‘round, organizations like the Off Broadway Alliance, the Off-Broadway League, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, the Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics Circle have found ways to recognize outstanding writers, performers, directors and designers who put everything they had into entertaining and enlightening us during this truncated season.

As a proud member of the Outer Critics Circle (OCC), I am delighted with the process the group used to approach its awards this year, a process that involved the membership and the OCC Board in identifying not one winner, but a group of several honorees in each category.   

The honorees were formally announced in a video featuring several big-name stars making the announcements from their individual homes, which gives everything a nice personal touch. So meet  Kristin Chenoweth, Bryan Cranston, Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart as they make the announcements here:


Listed below are a few of the honorees – for outstanding new Broadways play and musicals, for outstanding new Off Broadway plays and musicals, and for outstanding play and musical revivals. I have included links to my reviews, as indicated.  

Grand Horizons  My review at -
Height of the Storm  My review at -
The Inheritance
Linda Vista  My review at -
The Sound Inside  My review at -

Jagged Little Pill  My review at -
Moulin Rouge!  My review at -
Tina   My review at -

Cambodian Rock Band
Greater Clements  My review at -
Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Make Believe

Darling Grenadine
The Secret Life of Bees
Soft Power  My review at-
A Strange Loop

Betrayal  My review at -
Fires in the Mirror
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Frankie and Johnny  My review at -
A Soldier’s Play  My review at -

Little Shop of Horrors
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
West Side Story  My review at -

I am unsure of a great many things, but I am quite certain Broadway and Off Broadway plays and musicals will rise again! Until then, let's be grateful for what we've got:  our memories and our record and CD and DVD collections and streaming opportunities that will keep us going. 


Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


   ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  

Let's suppose that the Broadway season for 2019-2020 has officially concluded, and that the Tony Awards are to be presented based on a consideration of the Broadway plays and musicals that did open since last summer.  

Identifying the winners is not nearly as straightforward a task as you might imagine, not it you dig into the decision-making process. Things can get a bit tricky. 

Should A Christmas Carol be considered a new play? Does David Byrne's American Utopia count as a musical, or is it a concert, with Broadway being the last stop on its tour? And what to make of Derren Brown: Secret, the excellent mentalist act that is plotless but is scripted? 

There are also questions of categories -- who should be considered a lead actor or actress, and who is featured? It's not always obvious, and producers often campaign hard to place performers in the category where they are likely to be more competitive. 

In any event, I am not going to agonize over these questions. I saw every production that opened on Broadway, with the lone exception of the holiday season return of Slava’s Snowshow, so I herewith offer my completely biased personal selections.  

The envelope, please!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Best New Play

Slave Play. Not nearly as outrageous nor controversial as it was hyped up to be, Jeremy O. Harris's play about racism in the U. S. managed to preach without being preachy and teach without being pedantic. It was funny in a do-I-dare-to-laugh sort of way, and serious in its underlying message to white Americans:  if you want to be part of the solution, stop talking and start to listen. 

Best New Musical

Jagged Little Pill. This marked a real upgrade to the usually justifiably maligned genre known as the "jukebox musical." Alanis Morissette's brilliantly angsty 1995 megabit album of the same title was the jumping-off point for Diablo Cody's emotionally honest script about characters who face believable real-life problems. It is arguably messy and overly ambitious, with far too many plot threads, but thanks to uniformly strong performances and Diane Paulus's direction, it is the clear winner. 

Best Play Revival

A Soldier's Play. Charles Fuller's 1982 Pulitzer Prize winner had its first Broadway production this season. It was a thoroughly gripping examination of blind obedience and institutional racism within a military setting, and boasted starry performances by a rock solid cast under Kenny Leon's assured direction.

Best Musical Revival 

West Side Story. To be sure, it was the only musical revival of the season. Nevertheless, I want to recognize it here because, and in spite of every attempt by director Ivo van Hove to "reinvent" the classic Sondheim/Bernstein musical, its mostly young cast pushed past the gimmicky video mayhem to breathe new life into this product of the 1950s. Not a lot of shows I'd willingly see again; this is one.     

Best Actress In A Play

Mary-Louse Parker is the winner for her performance in Adam Rapp's enigmatic jigsaw puzzle of a play, The Sound Inside. She gave a richly layered portrayal of a college creative writing professor who lives in a cocoon of books and words, until she is handed a deep conundrum in the form of a manuscript from one of her students.   

Best Actor In A Play  

David Alan Grier wins this one for his role as the troubled sergeant in A Soldier's Play. His performance was mesmerizing, giving us as psychologically complex a character as you are ever likely to encounter on stage. 

Best Actress In A Musical

Karen Olivo. Draw a straight line through time from Dumas's Camille to Verdi's Violetta to Puccini's Mimi to Satine, the female lead in Moulin Rouge. That's where you'll find the exquisite performance by Ms. Olivo, the only one who was able to stay fully fixed on the elusive heart of this glitzy spinning top of a musical. 

Best Actor In A Musical

Isaac Powell as Tony in West Side Story. When he sings "Maria," it is as if the words were coming to him spontaneously. Last seen in the role of Daniel Beauxhomme in the wonderful revival of Once On This Island, this is one skyrocketing star.   

Best Featured Actress In A Play 

Joaquina Kalukango.  She was a standout in Slave Play,  giving a stunning performance in the exceptionally intimate role that leads the play to its breathtaking conclusion. 

Best Featured Actor In A Play

Grantham Coleman. He single-handedly brought Robert Schenkkan's generally by-the-numbers play The Great Society to life through his terrific portrayal of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Best Featured Actress In A Musical 

Lauren Patten. Her character was rather underwritten and peripheral to the main story, but she brought the audience to its feet with her performance of "You Oughta Know" in Jagged Little Pill.  

Best Featured Actor In A Musical

Tie. Ricky Rojas and Sahr Nagaujah as, respectively, Santiago and Toulouse-Lautrec, played off one another with a great sense of camaraderie as the comic pair of would-be revolutionaries and masters of la vie boheme in Moulin Rouge

Best Director Of A Play

Arin Arbus, for Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, the impeccably performed (by Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon) two-hander by Terrence McNally, about a hot and heavy one-night stand that may or not lead to a more permanent relationship.     

Best Director Of A Musical

Diane Paulus, for Jagged Little Pill, in which she managed to weave together the various characters and plot points into a near-seamless whole.  

Best Choreography

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, for her work in West Side Story. She made the dance elements all her own without slighting the memory of Jerome Robbins's iconic choreography, and the strong cast made the most of it. 

Best Set Design For A Play

Riccardo Hernández, for Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune.  He gave the set its most authentic look of a one-room walk-up apartment in pre-gentrification Hells Kitchen.  

Best Set Design For A Musical 

Derek McLane, for the dazzling eyeful that is Moulin Rouge.  

Best Costume Design For A Play

Ben Stanton, for The Rose Tattoo, beautifully capturing through his design the mix of old world insularity, religion, and superstition on the one hand and sexual heat on the other.  For the record, I rather enjoyed this revival of Tennessee Williams's most strange take on a romantic comedy.  

Best Costume Design For A Musical

Catherine Zuber, also for the dazzling eyeful that is Moulin Rouge, altogether a visual feast. 


Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. I also invite you to check out the website Show-Score.Com, where you will find capsule reviews of current Broadway and Off Broadway plays from Yours Truly and many other New York critics and theatergoers.  

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Stephen Joshua Sondheim

Above my desk at home are three framed images.  One is a page from an early edition of Alice In Wonderland. It’s John Tenniel’s drawing of the Mad Hatter that I acquired during a trip to London.  

A second is a caricature of me, drawn long ago by one of my middle school students. In it, I’m jumping up and down as I perform Pete Seeger’s storysong, “Abiyoyo.” 

And hanging between these two is a copy of Al Hirschfeld's drawing of Stephen Sondheim, who today celebrates his 90th birthday, hopefully ensconced safely at home and being inundated with cards, phone calls, and other forms of greeting from friends and other well-wishers.     

* * * * * * * * * * * *

My only close encounter with Stephen Sondheim
occurred during another visit to London. I attended the premiere production at the pocket-sized Bridewell Theatre of the long-delayed Saturday Night. As Sondheim fans surely know, the show had been set to open on Broadway way back in the 1954-55 season but never made it, owing to the unfortunate death of its lead producer. 

Fast forward four decades to 1997, and here I was, happily awaiting the performance of a new-old Sondheim musical, one that predated West Side Story and Gypsy, for which he would serve as lyricist. Saturday Night, on the other hand, boasted both music and lyrics by Sondheim.  So … yes!!! 

I assume everyone in the audience had the same feeling of opening a special gift. But what it made even more of a gift was that Sondheim himself slipped into my row, a few seats down from me. He then proceeded to videotape the entire production with a hand-held camcorder.

You can imagine how much my attention wandered that evening.   

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Rather than talk about all of the Sondheim shows I have seen, several of them in multiple productions, I thought I might go back a decade to the star-studded 80th birthday tribute that was held at Lincoln Center.   

I attended the second of the two sold-out concerts in honor of that occasion. Google “Sondheim 80th birthday concert videos,” and, voila, you will readily find selections from the performance for your home viewing.  Still, actually being there was a great treat that has led to years of memories. 

The program was directed by actor/writer/director Lonny Price, perhaps best remembered for creating the role of
Charley Kringas in the short-lived, forever loved original and oft revived-and-tinkered-with 1981 Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along. Price also created a wonderful documentary film about that experience called “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened,” which came out in 2016. Find it, watch it, and join me in simultaneously laughing and crying for 90 minutes. 

For the occasion of the tribute concert, Paul Gemignani, long identified as Sondheim’s musical director, conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The evening was hosted with grace and good humor by David Hyde Pierce, with a single guest hosting spot ceded to orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, another longtime Sondheim collaborator. With friends like these, Sondheim’s birthday celebration could not have been in better hands.

Some highlights for me:

•Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters performing “Move On” from Sunday in the Park with George. Both of them looked and sounded in top form as they recreated their performance from more than 25 years ago, from what to me is Sondheim’s richest, most emotional and romantic musical score. Patinkin also gave us a beautiful “Finishing the Hat” from Sunday.  “Finishing the Hat” is also the title that Sondheim gave to Volume I of his collected lyrics and commentary (Volume II is “Look, I Made a Hat.”) Now that’s something you might want to read during this enforced downtime.  

•Patti LuPone, who always seems to be having such a wonderful time onstage, teamed with George Hearn and Michael Cerveris to peform “A Little Priest,” a wickedly fun number from Sweeney Todd.  Mrs. Lovett with her two Sweeneys to play against. Hearn and Cerveris also offered up a chilling rendition of “Pretty Women,” climaxing with one Sweeney slitting the other’s throat.

•Patti again, doing an audacious performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Company, right in front of Elaine Stritch, whose original rendition of the song is legendary; Google it and give it a listen if you don’t already own the recording.  Incidentally, a partly gender-switched revival (Bobby is now Bobbie) of Company had started previews on Broadway before the shutdown, with Patti taking on Stritch’s role. We don’t know yet if it will be able to open when things normalize.  Fingers crossed! 

•Elaine Stritch herself, at 85 and looking rather on the frail side, summoning up some great internal power to invest authentic meaning and voice for an ovation-garnering performance of “I’m Still Here” from Follies. I once ran into her walking along Fifth Avenue, but in typical New York fashion, I pretended not to see her; anyway, she was engaged in a rather heated exchange with a young assistant who was accompanying her at the time – so best to keep on moving! 

•Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason singing “It Takes Two” from Into The Woods, one of my favorite Sondheim shows. Ms. Gleason looked at Mr. Zien with a slightly startled expression as she sang the first words: “You’ve changed,” a nod to the more than two decades that have passed since they first sang that number on Broadway. It’s these subtle nuances that move a performance from the ordinary to the special. (Another such moment occurred in the aforementioned “The Ladies Who Lunch;” on the line: “Does anyone still wear a hat?” Ms. Stritch gave a little nod that directed our eyes to the cap she was wearing.)

While these were my personal “wow” moments, I’ve got to give high marks to operatic baritone Nathan Gunn, whose heart-melting rendition of “Johanna” from Sweeney Todd was the first number of the evening that made me sit up and take notice, and whose duet with Audra McDonald of “Too Many Mornings” from Follies was simply gorgeous. Also performing magnificently were such powerhouse hitters as Marin Mazzie, Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, John McMartin, and the always-wonderful-to-see Donna Murphy, whose venomous rendition of “Could I Leave You?” from Follies was enough to give pause to every married man in the audience.

The last official song on the program was the moving choral masterwork, “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park, performed by a stage filled with Broadway performers. It was followed with everyone singing “Happy Birthday” to the birthday boy himself, who came up on the stage from the audience to offer, in a voice choked with emotion, his heartfelt thanks. 

All in all, this was a special evening, a loving and fitting tribute to one of the all-time greats!


Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. I also invite you to check out the website Show-Score.Com, where you will find capsule reviews of current Broadway and Off Broadway plays from Yours Truly and many other New York critics and theatergoers.