BackStage Barbie

About:  I have been a theatre lover since the tender age of 3 when I first saw that first national tour of Phantom of the Opera. I have also been a dancer since the age of 3 and I’m currently a dance instructor. That being said, my favorite show of all time is A Chorus Line and seeing the 2007 revival was t... Read more Read less
Reviews (16)
BackStage Barbie

"The emotional climax in Act II is extremely difficult to watch, but it also features the strongest acting...The show's themes are heavy, and the small size of the theatre and proximity to the actors increase the intensity exponentially. It is crucial to go into the show in the correct mindset. You cannot see this piece and expect to go about your day normally. It gets under your skin and makes you examine your own family, particularly if you grew up in the Midwest." Full Review

BackStage Barbie

"Pasek and Paul's songs serve the characters, and the book brings the characters to a place where they can sing. They live harmoniously in the world of Levenson's book...The songs come from such a natural place and they grow out of the dialogue in the sense that you feel they're singing a conversation, not a song...In the hands of a less capable actor, Evan could have easily become a caricature or a joke, but Platt plays him with such honesty and humanity." Full Review

BackStage Barbie

"Dave Malloy's score is cerebral, evocative, and quite quirky...Though I would have loved to hear Groban's stellar voice more often, it's refreshing to see a major celebrity perform in a show without being the singular star...Benton has a beautiful voice, but she's not a fully developed character...Rachel Chavkin's direction is the true star of the show. I am a big fan of scrapping the traditional proscenium staging and Mimi Lien's scenic design completely reimagines the Imperial." Full Review

BackStage Barbie

“In my opinion, this is the most perfect score ever written for the musical theatre. The complexity of Stephen Sondheim's work, and the way in which it mimics Seurat's pointillistic style, is a marvel. It is highbrow and cerebral, yet also emotionally resonant and accessible...Ashford was able to mine out every little nugget of comedy…Jake Gyllenhaal is thoroughly impressive as George. You'll be shocked when you hear him sing.” Full Review

Bright Star
Midtown W
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"Though the structure and pacing of the book have serious flaws, the dialogue itself is sharp, witty, and dripping with appropriate Southern colloquialisms. The score, both homey and evocative, is hands down the best I’ve heard in a show that uses the country vernacular. Walter Bobbie’s direction is as swift and seamless as the clunky book will allow, using stylized movement rather than codified dance to express the melodies and transition between timelines and scenes." Full Review

BackStage Barbie

"'She Loves Me' is a story of sworn enemies turned lovers that is so sugary sweet it might give you a cavity. But when we attend the theatre, we are asked to suspend disbelief, and after twenty minutes or so you'll be swept into the charming little world of 1930s Budapest and you'll deal with the sugar hangover tomorrow...This show is a welcome addition and anytime we can see such a stellar cast performing the work of one of history's best composing teams, we should all be happy." Full Review

BackStage Barbie

"This show is so special and unlike anything we have ever seen on Broadway...What strikes me is that it is so commercially successful, but before it was popular it was extremely well written and artistic. It is rare that these combine in a musical...'Hamilton' has shown the next generation of composers that you can write something intelligent with artistic merit and still sell tickets." Full Review

Allegiance
Midtown W
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"What struck me so much about this piece was not the music, normally my favorite entry point into the musical, but the storytelling...You must see this remarkable show. It is only here for two weeks and it will be one of those shows that if you miss it, you will regret it." Full Review

BackStage Barbie

"The score is energetic and homey, though you won't leave humming any particular tune. The songs really run together, not because they aren't memorable, but because the pace of the show is so rapid and is directed in such a way that the action is nonstop with seamless transitions...Ashley's direction and Devine's choreography are beautiful in their simplicity...I never once felt that I was watching a scene, but rather a continuous stream of action and emotion." Full Review

In Transit
Midtown W
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"A feel-good show that makes New York City look like a squeaky-clean place where everyone gets along...One's opinion of this show will depend largely on their fondness for a cappella music...This one-act goes by at a feverish pace. The intention is to keep the energy flowing, like a rush-hour express train, though it keeps any character or story line from fully developing. The majority of characters are stereotypes...These roles are performed with vocal precision and palpable energy." Full Review

Sunset Boulevard
Midtown W
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"Close certainly has a commanding presence as the tragic Norma Desmond. Her voice is not first rate, though the vocal impurities add to the sadness of the aging diva who is cracking before our very eyes. That being said, I don't see anything singular about Close's performance that wouldn't have been conveyed by any other film actress of a certain age...The Patti fan in me loves to hate Close's singing, but you cannot deny her extraordinary range as an actress." Full Review

The Crucible
Midtown W
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"I left the theatre with more questions than answers. They were not robust, existential questions about life's truths or human nature. These were literal questions about directorial intent. What time period are we in? Why is the pacing so laborious?...The final scene was the only moment in the show that truly gripped me emotionally...I left the theatre largely disappointed, expecting the brilliance of 'View' to repeat itself, but this new-concept 'Crucible' lacked clarity and cohesion." Full Review

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"Two Sundays ago, I went to church twice: Once at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian, and again at the Jacobs Theatre. This phrase is often used liberally, but John Doyle's revival of 'The Color Purple' is unequivocally a religious experience...Doyle has taken a show that was clunky in its first incarnation, stripped away everything but the necessities, and presented a production that is emotionally charged in its simplicity...Cynthia Erivo is giving the female performance of the season." Full Review

The Woodsman
Midtown W
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"What could have been an ordinary prequel is actually an aesthetically rich piece of art that completely reimagines a land of Oz that is heavy on impulse and light on text...The skill exhibited by the performers is quite fascinating as you believe the puppets are alive without much suspension of disbelief. Directors James Ortiz & Claire Karpen create a full sensory experience. It is visceral." Full Review

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" From the musicians to the dancers to the scene-change-ography and the fierce abuela, the Marquis Theatre is on fire! Jerry Mitchell squeezes every ounce of excitement out of the Estefans' music and Sergio Trujillo mirrors that with the spicy choreography...This show is equally effective in telling the story of the Estefans through their music...I did love this show though, and it's an extremely entertaining night at the theatre." Full Review

Misery
Midtown W
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"Stephen King is known for his suspense, but this production lacks the energy of the source material. There is no 'edge of your seat' quality that you would hope for from King, something that the film did so brilliantly. It's certainly exciting to see stars onstage, but with so many fantastic pieces on Broadway this season, this does not top my list." Full Review