This Week on Stage: Alcide makes some new fans, 'Kinky Boots' recoups

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Image Credit: Carol Rosegg

More shows a-comin’ in what looks to be a busy fall, but it’s a summer Tony winner that’s still packing ‘em in. Kinky Boots, which scored Best Musical, Best Score (for Cyndi Lauper), and Best Actor in a Musical (Billy Porter), among other trophies, recouped its running costs in what’s been a staggering seven months for Broadway (even The Book of Mormon took longer, though Kinky has a few hundred more seats per show to sell, in all fairness). The Glass Menagerie, boasting ecstatic reviews (including ours) has extended seven extra weeks to play through February 2014, Taxi stars Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch take on Neil Simon in L.A., and the season’s love affair with Tennessee Williams continues in New Haven this time, with resident True Blood hottie Joe Manganiello (Alcide, to HBO fans) taking on brutish, bruised Stanley Kowalski: (click on the links below to read the full reviews):

Bad Jews After a sold-out run in Roundabout Theatre Company’s black-box space, Joshua Harmon’s charged tale of Upper West Side discord is enjoying a new, larger run at its more-spacious venue upstairs in the Off Broadway stage. Did reviewer Jessica Shaw think the move was warranted? A resounding yes: “Harmon’s wonderful play seems to imply a similarly precise judgment will be passed onto one-note characters. But the sharp writing and wonderful performances unpack characters who are anything but.” And she has choice words for star Tracee Chimo, “who deserves each and every award she’s won for this role”. EW grade: B+

The Film Society Jon Robin Baitz struck gold last season with his highly acclaimed Broadway play Other Desert Cities, and Keen Company in NYC has remounted Baitz’s first full-length work from 1988, about a loner professor teaching in 1970 South Africa. Worth the revisit? Senior editor Thom Geier does not believe that to be the case: “The scenes proceed with straightforwardly if clumsily, building to a series of second-act confrontations that are both schematic and somewhat random…this Film Society is best left in the vault. EW grade: C–

Lady Day The great Billie Holiday gets a final comeback in this tune-packed bioplay based on the troubled crooner behind “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child”. Our music critic Nick Catucci praised its Tony-winning leading lady Dee Dee Bridgewater:one remarkable thing about Dee Dee Bridgewater’s portrayal of Billie Holiday in [the show] has nothing to do with how she performs that wonderful catalog (wonderfully) or delivers Holiday’s between-song straight talk (so straight it is razor sharp).” EW grade: B+

A Streetcar Named Desire Rest assured, Joe Manganiello doffs his shirt in the newest revival of the brooding Tennessee Williams classic, now playing in New Haven, Conn. But does Mighty Joe prove he’s more than a chiseled body and the envy of average guys everywhere? Melissa Rose Bernardo concurs with the physical gifts: “Let’s just say that oversensitive Southern belle Blanche DuBois isn’t the only one swooning and sighing audibly… but he could use a little roughing up.” EW grade: C+

The Sunshine Boys Laura Hertzfeld caught the long-awaited revival of Neil Simon’s affectionate ode to vaudeville. Did this production show its age? Not a bit, says our reviewer, who has praise for its stars: “ [Danny] DeVito and [Judd] Hirsch only need to circle each other like sharks for a few seconds on stage to connect with each other and the audience.” EW grade: A

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