Bob Verini is a critic with Variety. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.
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"This show is, in a word, a honey. How refreshing to get an unabashedly good-hearted musical that again and again affirms two simple truths: that we’re all more alike than we are different, and that we flourish, rather than wither, in the presence of our differences." Full Review
"I have seen many fine productions of Thornton Wilder’s 'The Skin of Our Teeth.' But I can say without hesitation that the current revival at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater, under the direction of Lileana Blain-Cruz, is the most creative, most emotionally connected, and most urgent staging of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize winner I have ever encountered, or hope to encounter." Full Review
"4/5 stars...What’s truly impressive is the number, variety and depth of variations on the theme of personal identity that the author manages to coherently weave into his tale, most of which are successfully realized in Scott Ellis’ revival...Director Ellis keeps all the thematic balls in the air at a peppy pace, but with some loss of edge. A strong emphasis on humor means that moments that could be fraught are tamped down...Ellis and Greenberg evidently share the belief that baseball is the ... Full Review
"When is a standup routine not a standup routine, but a legitimate play? Partly when it comes with theatrical trappings like a thoughtful set, subtle lighting and sound effects...Mike Birbiglia’s 'The New One' qualifies as a real play — a brimmingly warm, entertaining one on a universally relatable topic...Kudos to director Seth Barrish for keeping the tone from shifting into either the maudlin, the too-dark or the trippy, New-Age blissful." Full Review
"The story’s been strengthened in this splashy production, while expectations of cinema-inspired visual splendor are met and even exceeded...Levine weaves the numbers together with remarkable variety...Timbers, Logan, and company aren’t just riding on the sensory experience, but are committed to finding the right balance between a story that will engage and move us, and a visual and aural environment that can, and does, blow us away." Full Review
for a previous production "If too rarefied for Gotham’s embrace, this lyrical tuner could find ready acceptance regionally. Either way the storytelling would benefit from higher stakes and greater guts...There’s a sweeping tale of pain and redemption in 'Bright Star' clamoring to come out, and when it does, the movement to restore harmony and Arcadian balance will require less suspension of disbelief. We’ll happily waft along to down-home heaven, which is precisely where the show aims to take us." Full Review
for a previous production "While the personal material lands, the political stuff lacks nuance and weight in “Allegiance.” Despite a handsome production and talent to spare, the writing would need considerable toughening up to withstand Broadway’s harsh glare." Full Review
for a previous production "Librettist-helmer John Caird has reclaimed Jean Webster’s 1912 bestseller for a wholesome tuner in tune with the times, bolstered by winsome melodies from Paul Gordon. Assessment of show’s full potential must await redress of a serious casting imbalance in the Rubicon Theater premiere, but the signs are positive." Full Review
"The standard advice for aspiring authors is 'Write about what you know.' In the case of 'A Strange Loop,' both librettist-composer-lyricist Michael R. Jackson, and his motley but magical protagonist Usher, have chosen to write about what they want to know: namely, the key to identity; the answer to the age-old riddle of human consciousness. It’s like the kid sang in 'A Chorus Line,' 'Who am I, anyway? / Am I my resumé?,' but more profound." Full Review
"But at all comes down to Fanny Brice, who deserves better, just as the audience deserves to know her better. She was one strong lady, as all stars must be, not a wilting cutie-poo. From the outset she’s built up as a hopeful who’s already paid a lot of dues, in stock and amateur contests. Yet no sooner does she get through telling us she thinks she’s 'The Greatest Star,' than she stumbles into her debut at Tom Keeney’s (Martin Moran) crummy Brooklyn burlesque house with paralyzing stage frig... Full Review
"Stubbornly inconsequential, it’s a morally uplifting fairy tale of which everyone, young and old alike, can be skeptical...Director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell and team toss a decided gloss over this G-rated version of Hollywood nights, with production numbers and ensemble acting executed with exaggerated musical-comedy snap...Though the lyrics teem with cliche, the cast gives its all to sell them." Full Review
“Always engaging, often moving and even rousing, the show boasts dramatic interest and integrity on its own theatrical terms...This sheer synopsis might suggest a laundry list of every hot-button issue...Yet ‘Jagged Little Pill’ is no cynical exercise. Its characters may touch on a wide spectrum of contemporary life, but so do the original album’s songs...The real downside is that with so much going on, our interest and empathy are unreasonably stretched...But everyone...is well served." Full Review
for a previous production "People should see this beautiful show. It is wonderful to see actual kids cast as actual kids...Still, as the production moved earnestly along, I kept wondering why it seemed to be touching all the bases but wasn’t touching my heart...So sentimental, so lacking in anger...The repressed, inarticulate characters are granted four – count ‘em, four -- means of communication: spoken words; sung lyrics; signing; and projections. All of this self-expression serves to remove the psychic barriers tha... Full Review
for a previous production "At times the format seems forced, yielding old thesp/young hotshot guff. But hang in there, for the approach yields richer dividends than would a straightforward semidocumentary. As the men fall in and out of character, Jacobson explores deeper questions inspired by these sad events, including the lengths to which a thesp will go to get cast, and the blurring of identity between actor and role." Full Review