This Week on Stage: 'Ragtime,' 'Equivocation' in L.A., and vibrators!

It was a busy week on the boards. Sunday saw the opening of a Broadway revival of the musical Ragtime (pictured right), which EW’s Melissa Rose Bernardo calls “dazzling” and gives an A. Also on Broadway, Sarah Ruhl’s provocatively titled comic play In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play opened to a decidedly lukewarm review from yours truly: “Ruhl’s play could have benefited from a broader, farcical touch.” Elsewhere on Broadway, the Julia Stiles-Bill Pullman revival of David Mamet’s Oleanna announced plans to close on Jan. 3.

Off Broadway, we raved about both Alan Ayckbourn’s My Wonderful Day (“It’s a rare writer who can wring fresh laughs out of two-timing spouses and slutty secretaries”) and Horton Foote’s The Orphans Home Cycle Part 1 — The Story of a Childhood (“With its tales of harsh times, social and economic change, Reconstruction, education, and industry in small-town America, The Story of a Childhood heralds the beginning of something extraordinary”).

And who says New York is the only center of live theater? The national touring production of Disney’s Mary Poppins opened in L.A., and Nicole Sperling gave the production a B-: “For all the changes to the original film, the new elements are seldom improvements.” Also in L.A., Adam B. Vary checked out Bill Cain’s new play, Equivocation, about some theater slacker named William Shakespeare — actually, he’s dubbed Shagspeare here. “Even expert acting can’t quite salvage the feeling that Cain’s reach far exceeds his grasp.”

Check out the EW.com Stage hub for up-to-date news and reviews; or consult this handy guide below, which includes links to all of our stage reviews of current shows. (Note: The reviews are typically of the show’s original casts.)

BROADWAY

The Addams Family — Musical; opens 2010

After Miss Julie — Drama starring Sienna Miller; opened 10/22/2009 – 12/6/2009; EW grade: C

Billy Elliot — Musical; opened 11/13/08; EW grade: B+

Burn the Floor — Musical; opened 8/3/09 – 2/14/2010; EW grade: A-

Bye Bye Birdie — Musical Revival starring John Stamos; opened 10/15/2009 – 4/25/2010; EW grade: C+

Chicago — Musical Revival; opened 11/14/1996; EW grade: A+

Fela! — Musical; opens 11/23/2009; EW grade: B+

Finian’s Rainbow — Musical Revival; opened 10/29/2009; EW grade: B-

God of Carnage — Comedy starring Jimmy Smits and Christine Lahti; opened 3/22/2009; EW grade: A-

Hair — Musical Revival; opened 3/31/2009; EW grade: A-

Hamlet — Drama Revival starring Jude Law; opened 10/6/09 – 12/6/2009; EW grade: B+

In the Heights — Musical; opened 2/14/2009; EW grade: A-

In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play — Comedy; opens 11/19/2009; EW grade: B-

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas — Musical Revival; 11/13/2009 – 1/3/2010

Jersey Boys — Musical; opened 11/7/2005; EW grade: A

The Lion King — Musical; opened 11/13/1997; EW grade: A+

A Little Night Music — Musical Revival starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury; opens 12/13/2009

Mamma Mia! — Musical; opened 10/18/2001; EW grade: B+

Mary Poppins — Musical; opened 11/16/2009; EW grade: A-

Memphis — Musical; opened 10/19/2009; EW grade: C+

Next to Normal — Musical; opened 4/19/2009; EW grade: A

Oleanna — Drama Revival starring Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman; opened 10/11/2009 – 1/3/2010; EW grade: C-

The Phantom of the Opera — Musical; opened 1/26/1988

Race — Drama starring James Spader and Kerry Washington; opens 12/6/2009

Ragtime — Musical Revival; opens 11/15/2009; EW grade: A

Rock of Ages — Musical; opened 4/7/2009; EW grade: C+

The Royal Family — Comedy Revival; opened 10/8/09 – 12/13/09; EW grade: B+

Shrek the Musical — Musical; opened 12/14/2008; EW grade: B+

South Pacific — Musical Revival; opened 4/3/2008; EW grade: A

Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark — Musical starring Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood; opens 2010

A Steady Rain — Drama starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig; opened 9/29/2009 – 12/6/2009; EW grade: C+

Superior Donuts — Drama; opened 10/1/09; EW grade: B

The 39 Steps — Comedy; opened 1/4/2008; EW grade: B+

West Side Story — Musical Revival; opened 3/19/2009; EW grade: B

Wicked — Musical; opened 10/30/03; EW grade: B

Wishful Drinking — Drama/Comedy starring Carrie Fisher; opened 10/4/2009 – 1/17/2010; EW grade: A-

OFF BROADWAY

Altar Boyz — Musical; opened 3/1/2005; EW grade: B+

Avenue Q — Musical; reopened 10/21/2009; EW grade: A

Blue Man Group — Special Performance; opened 11/11/1991

The Fantasticks — Musical Revival; opened 6/16/2008; EW grade: B+

Idiot Savant — Comedy starring Willem Dafoe; opened 11/4/2009 – 12/20/2009; EW grade: C-

Let Me Down Easy — Drama starring Anna Deavere Smith; opened 10/7/2009 – 1/4/2009; EW grade: A-

Love, Loss, and What I Wore — Drama; opened 10/1/2009; EW grade: B+

My Wonderful Day — Drama; opens 11/18/2009 – 12/13/2009; EW grade: A-

Nightingale — Drama starring Lynn Redgrave; opened 11/3/2009 – 12/13/2009; EW grade: C

The Orphans’ Home Cycle, Part I — Drama; opens 11/20/2009; EW grade: A-

Our Town — Drama Revival; opened 2/26/2009

The Starry Messenger — Drama starring Matthew Broderick; opens 11/23/2009; EW grade: D

Stomp — Special Performance; opened 2/27/1994

The Toxic Avenger Musical — Musical; opened 4/6/2009; EW grade: B

The Understudy — Comedy starring Julie White, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Justin Kirk; opened 11/5/2009 – 1/13/2010; EW grade: B+

ELSEWHERE

August Osage County (national tour with Estelle Parsons) — EW grade: A

Dreamgirls (national tour with Syesha Mercado) — EW grade: B+

Equivocation (Los Angeles) — Drama; 11/10/2009 – 12/20/2009; EW grade: B-

(Las Vegas) — Special Performance; opened November 2004; EW grade: A-

LOVE (Las Vegas) — Musical Revue; opened 8/24/2006; EW grade: A-

Mary Poppins (Los Angeles) — Musical; 11/13/2009 – 2/7/2010; EW grade: B

Mystere (Las Vegas) — Special Performance; opened 15/25/1993; EW grade: A

O (Las Vegas) — Special Performance; opened October 1998; EW grade: A-

Zumanity (Las Vegas) — Special Performance; opened September 2003; EW grade: C

More Stage coverage from EW.com:
First look at new Addams Family stage musical in Chicago
Broadway’s Oleanna ending its run
Ashlee Simpson-Wentz to make Broadway debut in Chicago
Andrew Lloyd Webber back in hospital

Photo credit: Joan Marcus


Add your comment

No comments yet.

Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP