David NouNou

About:  David NouNou is Co-Publisher and Managing Editor of StageZine.com, the theater website first launched in March 2010. A longtime theater fan who has been attending Broadway shows (and collecting Playbills) since he was a child, Mr. NouNou has been writing theater reviews for StageZine.com since its i... Read more Read less
Reviews (97)
StageZine

“What makes the piece exciting is the casting. Shannon is a revelation here...His seductive manner is overpowering...He brings humanity in the purest form to Johnny...What works against McDonald are the hideous costumes she has to wear, for they strip her of any femininity and vulnerability...Perhaps the show should have waited for the smaller venue, where the fireworks of these two talented and overwhelming leads would have ricocheted off the walls.” Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
StageZine

“One of the better adaptations of movies in recent memory. Credit must be given to Robert Horn for an intelligent, bright and imaginative book. It is fresh and to its credit veers slightly from the movie to enable it to have a different slant...The book is abetted by a bouncy score...Upbeat standard Broadway fare. The cast, although not dynamic, is effective...Ellis has taken a familiar story and presented it in new terms as a musical that is worth visiting and enjoying.” Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
StageZine

“The story is paper thin. How do these two mismatched people get to come together when the forces act against them...Wilson sets up the premise but...you have to stretch the imagination...Mayer has opted to infuse a comedic spin to the proceedings, and it is fine in some places, but it dilutes the more profound moments. There is enough solid acting and substance here to make this revival worth seeing, but the real burning comes from Adam Driver. He makes the stage come alive.” Full Review

StageZine

“Fish has managed to obliterate and underwhelm the legendary ‘Oklahoma!’ with pretentious minimalization. What was once a glorious, melodic milestone in musical history has become a barren dustbowl...Fish has stripped ‘Oklahoma!’ of any breath, color, insight, delicacy, intimacy, choreography, costumes, subtle acting, and beautiful singing...DeMille’s beautiful ballet has been totally eliminated and substituted with a vulgar, modern dance...All of which last for what seems an eternity.” Full Review

StageZine

"The leads, voices, acting, choreography by Sergio Trujillo, direction by Des McAnuff, songs and book are all here. This doesn’t mean that the show is flawless. This could have been one of the greatest jukebox musicals, if it wasn’t for the artistic design team: sets, costumes and lighting making the evening duller and less exciting that it actually is...Besides the song catalog you are left with six excellent performances and voices that give the show its gravitas and knocks you out." Full Review

StageZine

"The play is boldly directed by British director James Macdonald with new twists and more humor inserted to make it more like theater of the absurd. The two aces here are Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano, both giving sterling performances and their best stage performances to date...In all honesty, Sam Shepard isn’t the easiest playwright to sit through and understand the fatalistic psychological undercurrents throughout his plays. For audiences he is an acquired taste." Full Review

StageZine

“Sorkin has kept the principal players and setting intact...What has changed, however, is the dialogue and Atticus Finch...Atticus’ saintliness borders on the psychotic...The dialogue is another issue...Sher, the director, hasn’t so much directed the play and given it any focus as put the characters and scenes handed to him into motion. A lot could have been edited from certain scenes, some scenes eliminated completely, and some scenes kept intact as the novel intended.” Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
StageZine

"There are two elements that strongly add to the proceedings: Ivo van Hove’s direction, which has the action constantly on the move as in a TV studio where everything is in flux; and the set by Jan Versweyveld, which shows all the fluctuations in such proceedings (from studios to multiple TV screens). As much as I loved Peter Finch in the movie, seeing Howard Beale portrayed live by Bryan Cranston giving one of the best performances of this decade is outstanding." Full Review

StageZine

"'The New One' focuses on a hilarious rite of passage as a gentle soul regales the audience with his life ups and downs and we relate to his travails in one form or another...Birbiglia guides us into his personal thoughts and viewpoints on his life...His ease of recounting his past is consistent hilarity and his humor is never forced and in your face. He just glides, smooth as butter...A clever, insightful look at how even guys who never wanted to can become great dads." Full Review

StageZine

"The exceptional performances of the four people involved raise the bar here...The proceedings may not feel all that new, but the story certainly reflects today’s grim news, and the evening of sterling performances grounds the show to sustain one’s interest. It might make some people uncomfortable, but if you are a theater lover, you should put this down as a must-see show." Full Review

StageZine

"For a play of this nature, you have to start with an outstanding ensemble cast. I have to start by thanking Elaine May for bringing my late mother (who suffered from the same disease) to life and showing, with heartbreaking accuracy, what she went through those last few years of her life...What makes 'The Waverly Gallery' a must-see is that it is a life history lesson." Full Review

Apologia
Midtown W
StageZine

“Channing is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Even when the material is sub-par and not to her level of expertise, she still captivates you. There are very few stage actresses left of Channing’s caliber who can dazzle you from the first moment to last...Unfortunately, Aukin doesn’t do much for the proceedings; he just lets the scenes ramble by themselves...You are left with an unfulfilling drama, and stock characters that are not fully developed." Full Review

StageZine

"It is McTeer’s impossible task to come up with a creditable interpretation of the fire that was Bernhardt...It’s a full-throttle performance that, while enthusiastic, never varies much...Part of the problem is with Von Stuelpnagel...He has derailed the proceedings without imbuing any seamless shadings or editing. In this case, it is a free-for-all of the preposterous with no reining in of the rough edges that are way over-the-top for his leading lady and the plotline.” Full Review

StageZine

"Well, you don’t have to be Hercule Poirot to figure out the plot. The title says it all. What is worse is when the clichés start piling up and the dialogue and setups become juvenile and dreary...Characters...are the requisite stereotypical fillers that all ‘original’ musicals must have...Rando is normally such an adept director...Here...he went off track in this too 'original' musical. However, he injected the cast with enough energy to keep the proceedings moving.” Full Review

StageZine

"Clocking in at nearly four hours, you have to have the stamina of a bull elephant to sit through a repetitious, 'slosh fest' babblethon...Washington and Morse provide solid performances and manage to make this ponderous evening bearable. Honestly speaking, spending eight hours at 'Angels in America', is more uplifting and epic than this miserable evening of self-pitying and self-loathing, but if one is a Washington or O’Neill fan, it should not be missed." Full Review

StageZine

" What is most mystifying about this production is the direction of Daniel Sullivan, a brilliant director with occasional misfires...Everything is stale, wilted and tiresome...Adding to the production’s misfires is Condola Rashad...As for the rest of the cast, renowned as they are...are all doing various degrees of hamming...Wasn’t Mr. Sullivan out there watching the ensuing proceedings? Isn’t he supposed to bring them together and place them all on the same page?" Full Review

StageZine

"Fey’s book constantly moves, she gives everyone an equal opportunity to the point that some of it seems like filler. The music and lyrics are catchy and memorable. They encapsulate each person and cliques, which at times also feels like filler. However, it is the great Casey Nicholaw who injects his usual flair for the production numbers that always keeps the musical and numbers moving....The show has bounce and verve, it’s joyful and has a healing message; it’s colorful and a delight." Full Review

Lobby Hero
Midtown W
StageZine

"Heady topics, but Lonergan's gift of injecting humor in almost every line makes this a thought-provoking as well as a delightful evening in the theater...As humorous as the lines are at any given moment, it underlines the shortcomings of each character...The show's trump card is the four brilliant performances...Cullman has staged the proceedings in a well-balanced manner, unobtrusively splitting the serious and the humor in equal doses and moves his players with effortless ease." Full Review

Good for Otto
Midtown W
StageZine

"The cast is an incredible, cohesive ensemble and they all shine...Elliot makes sense of a script that is at times hard to comprehend, especially the scenes with Dr. Michaels and his dead mother...It is not an easy task, but Elliott helps us see the patients, the doctors, bureaucracy, and the pitfalls...The play is not an easy sit-through. However, the storyline is always compelling, the characters are engaging, and the ensemble acting is glorious. This is good theatre but not for the faint o... Full Review

StageZine

"The story itself is very compelling but, as a play, it leaves one empty and unfulfilled. It’s like cotton candy, lovely on the outside but quickly dissolves to nothing. There are three redeeming entities: Iestyn Davies as the castrato is superb...Sam Crane is very good as the talking/acting Farinelli but is dwarfed once his alter ego the singer comes on. The dynamic Mark Rylance lends his usual expertise as King Philippe, but doesn’t have much of a role here." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
StageZine

“This is expensive babbling at high Broadway ticket prices and it will be dated within four years hopefully...Directed with the usual leaden hand of MacKinnon...The one bright note in theatrical parlance is Blair Brown. She is a perfectionist and can make the most awful mundane lines seem plausible. Credit must also be given to Ms. Soo for adding some gravitas to her trite role. As for Ms. Thurman and Mr. Lucas, they have to settle for gorgeous.” Full Review

M. Butterfly
Midtown W
StageZine

“Time hasn’t been good to ‘Butterfly’ between the tinkering and adding of layers to the already intriguing subject matter by playwright Hwang, and the dizzying, busy direction by Taymor. They have taken this 'Butterfly' so close to the sun that they have managed to singe its gossamer wings....One look at Ha as Butterfly and that illusion is totally shattered... Owen is brilliant...Hwang should have stuck to his original script and the subtle direction of his original director, John Dexter." Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
StageZine

"The major problem here is how do you connect all these phenomenal shows?...What helps make the scenes work better is mostly due to the set, costume, and lighting designers. They try to capture the essences of the original productions and that helps the visualization process immensely...Two standout performers for me were Tony Yazbeck...and Chuck Cooper...All in all, it is an entertaining, if not wholly satisfying or fulfilling evening." Full Review

StageZine

"Midler is a fun Dolly...Pierce is not flinty, curmudgeonly, or forceful enough...Kudos should go to director Jerry Zaks, who keeps the proceedings at ever so lively a pace, so you don’t notice some of the cracks in the book. Herman’s score is still sublime and the sets and costumes are exquisite...When seeing 'Hello, Dolly!' you are really seeing 'Hello, Bette!' You leave the theatre with a big smile and a feeling of satisfaction. What could be better?" Full Review

StageZine

“The thrill ride of the theatrical season...What is absolutely astounding is how Mr. Hnath has taken Ibsen’s characters and given them new and far more complicated lives than Ibsen would have ever imagined...The performances are among the best you will see this season…Laurie Metcalf is monumental and a force to be reckoned with…With expert writing and excellent performances, I can easily see 'The Doll’s House, Part 2' being named the best play of the year.” Full Review

Happy Talk
Midtown W
StageZine

"The set-up in part one is amusing, the second part is hysterical and witty, but the third part becomes Mr. Eisenberg’s now formulaic, five-character nihilism. Mr. Eisenberg could have had a wonderful comedy, the likes of Neil Simon. It could have been something totally different for him and very entertaining for the times in which we live, but he chose to stick to his now trademark dark themes...Jesse Eisenberg has written a good play and Scott Elliott has directed it in an adroit manner." Full Review

StageZine

"What makes this journey bearable is the remarkable score by Anais Mitchell. It is jazz-infused, rhythmic, pulsating and palpable...The cast is superb, headed by the indefatigable Andre DeShields, a theater legend...Director Rachel Chavkin has outdone herself here...The nightmarish story is not necessarily uplifting, but the theatrical experience is priceless." Full Review

StageZine

"Titillating premise for sure, but the results come up short...What is so frustrating is that in the 80 minutes in 'A Doll’s House, Part 2,' so much happened, while in the same amount of time here, not much happens...Metcalf’s riveting performance is what sustains one’s interest...Lithgow as Bill also shines, but here he is more of a lead weight than the charismatic charmer...Joe Mantello as usual extracts every nuance from an otherwise lackluster show to keep it compelling." Full Review

StageZine

"Shakespeare has been bastardized and vandalized by director Sam Gold...With no clear focus but pretentiousness by director Sam Gold, throwing everything on stage, including the proverbial kitchen sink, the viewer has to make some sense of the proceedings...All of these are admirable choices, but they create so much distraction that there is no cohesive flow. A viewer loses focus and concentration, because one’s attention keeps changing from one thing to another." Full Review

StageZine

"Cole Porter wrote one of the most glorious scores of all time and the songs are as vibrant as ever. The book by the Spewacks hasn’t weathered as well...Kelli O’Hara as the shrew is an absolute revelation...When you see a show being directed by Scott Ellis, you know you are in for a treat. He never disappoints and he always has new tricks up his sleeve. He is rhythmically complemented by the wonderful choreographer and each of his numbers are absolute eye-poppers." Full Review

StageZine

"The problem here is the story—what there is of it—is riddled with clichés and has little substance...It’s a story that should be told, but it was told better in 'Moonlight'...What is worse is that there is no focus from director Trip Cullman to give it a more cohesive narrative and badly needed fine-tuning. The redeeming grace is Jeremy Pope as Pharus. He originated this role in 2013 off Broadway, and gives the play the anchor it so desperately needs." Full Review

StageZine

“To say that ‘The Prom’ is the best musical of the season may not sound like much of a compliment...However, this musical would stand tall in any season with stiffer competition...A musical that is joyous for the holidays...A musical with a heart, a message that is not preachy, a hysterical book, a memorable score, direction and choreography that are expertly paced and placed and the expertise of three of the best Grade A hams on Broadway.” Full Review

StageZine

"There is so much to enjoy in 'The Cher Show' that it is a shame they couldn’t get it absolutely perfect...The woman has led 100 lives and it is impossible to compress all of it adequately into a two-and-a-half-hour format...Elice’s book attempts to encapsulate this legend’s lifetime but ends up being a bit schizophrenic...There is something to be enjoyed by everyone...Besides Bob Mackie’s costumes, there is the indomitable Stephanie J. Block. The woman shines." Full Review

King Kong (NYC)
Midtown W
StageZine

“Can’t act, can’t sing, and can’t dance...Not because they don’t have the capabilities; they just don’t have the material...Anyone who has seen the original...would have the intelligence to know there is no way to adapt this genre into a musical format for the stage...I give the show one star not because anything in it merited that high a score but for those soulful eyes of Kong himself. He is amazingly constructed and the best thing about the show...This show is his ultimate humiliation.” Full Review

Torch Song (NYC)
Midtown W
StageZine

"Upon second viewing what stands out the most is how pertinent and relevant the subject matter is now, even more so than it was in 1982. Back then, it had a certain voyeurism to gay culture and was titillating to see gay life explored so openly...Michael Urie has made the role of Arnold Beckoff his own. He has placed his own stamp and his own original contemporary take on Arnold...'Torch Song' still holds up more than 36 years later as an epic of LGBTQ life." Full Review

StageZine

“A direct bullseye of a play with a compelling storyline, wonderful acting, razor-sharp direction; one just can’t help but have a hell of a good time...‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ has unexpected twists that you wouldn’t expect, and it ends up being an intelligent, thought-provoking comedy and great entertainment...The cast is impeccable...Silverman has directed her cast with precision and expertise; not a line is thrown away and every gesture speaks volumes.” Full Review

The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
StageZine

"Daniel Sullivan’s direction keeps the plot and actors constantly moving and you really have to pay attention to the dialogue. Because of the regional British accents in the show, it makes it difficult to understand all the punch lines, thus extra listening is required to get the most out of them...'The Nap' is not as rambunctious as its predecessor, but still a delightful evening of hi-jinx in the theater." Full Review

The True
Midtown W
StageZine

“White’s new drama ‘The True’ takes electioneering to simpler but not gentler times...Elliott’s direction is fluid, thanks in large part to McLane’s easy transforming sets. White has delivered another entertaining evening in the theater but it is Falco’s stunning and galvanizing performance that you will remember for a long time. She truly embodies the adage of 'behind every successful man there is a strong woman.'" Full Review

StageZine

"It’s great to see the family dynamics...It is entertaining watching Armie Hammer and Josh Charles recreating their childhood shenanigans with deft performances...Anna D. Shapiro, the director, doesn’t do much to clarify the proceedings or bring any lucidity to an otherwise simple tale of a loving family brought together for the holidays...We are left here with not so much as a rewarding play but an unfulfilling setup of a premise." Full Review

StageZine

“This production is about as sumptuous as you will ever get...However, there is a clear shift here that contradicts what the creators originally conceived...Ambrose is an unexpected miracle...She starts out rocky...but transforms into a magnificent butterfly...Hadden-Paton as Higgins never quite registers...Although casting and directorial choices are an issue here...Thanks to Ambrose and the outstanding design team, this is still a glorious revival.” Full Review

StageZine

"Jackson is nothing short of remarkable, giving the performance of the year...Laurie Metcalf supports Jackson admirably in Part I, then glows as a red-hot ember in the second half. Her depiction of middle-aged bitterness is sublimely real...Broadway audiences are in for a real treat with 'Three Tall Women,' beautifully directed by Joe Mantello. He has imbued it with so much texture and richness that the play seems timeless." Full Review

StageZine

"Other than the brilliant score, there really is very little cause to revive this show unless you have a revelatory vision, which this version totally lacks...Although both Ms. Mueller and Mr. Henry are incredible talents in their own right, their chemistry here is below the charts...The joys of the show are Renee Fleming...and Alexander Gemignani as Enoch Snow, Julie’s best friend Carrie Pipperidge’s fiancé...Jack O’Brien’s listless direction makes the proceedings even more ponderous." Full Review

StageZine

"How could Disney, with all its resources and talent, take something that was so vibrant and full of color and life and turn it into such a drab stage musical?...The two obvious factors are the pedestrian book and secondly the ever-so heavy, leaden direction...The proceedings aren’t helped any by Rob Ashford’s listless and unimaginative choreography...Levy and Murin are in fine voice as Elsa and Anna and do their best with the material they are given." Full Review

StageZine

"Mr. Lithgow is a pro who always delivers the best. This venture is no exception...However, as a Broadway show, it lacks the substance to sustain an evening of entertainment...As it stands, with two acts it stretches and loses impact. Daniel Sullivan directs the episodes tightly, but unfortunately they are not edited enough. The intentions are good but the breadth is too minimal to sustain a two-act show." Full Review

Meteor Shower
Midtown W
StageZine

“Thank God the show has star power. If it wasn’t for that, there isn’t a single reason why anyone would want to see this wisp of a marginal ‘comedy'...You have to really stretch to find a plot here. Other than one-liners strung together, you’ll be grateful that it is only 80 minutes long...Schumer has a larger-than-life persona. I give her credit for wanting to stretch her acting chops, but the poor thing has nothing to bite on to make her character be realistic.” Full Review

StageZine

“Middle Eastern music is among the most uplifting and joyous music in the world, and Yazbek has implemented the use of Middle Eastern instruments to create a score that is original and mesmerizing, a sound that Broadway has seldom heard. My only regret is he didn’t infuse it with a klezmer/Israeli sound...It is the haunting score that adds humanity to this gentle story of misplaced people...Cromer keeps the proceedings moving at a beautifully nuanced pace.” Full Review

StageZine

"The acting is uneven by mostly everyone. McGovern, as Mrs. Conway, is unconvincing as her younger self in Act I. However, as her older and hardened self, she is riveting and heartbreaking. Boyer is frightening as the belligerent Beevers who changes from an eager wooer to a maniacal bully to exact revenge is perfect. Parry is charming and engaging and it never ceases to amaze me how Ebert can play a dolt and be able to steal every scene." Full Review

StageZine

"I suggest you rush to the Belasco Theatre for a cathartic, amusing and healing evening in the theater...Michael Moore has no filter, he is passionate in telling the truth...The evening is not all Trump-bashing; there are many amusing anecdotes...It is his stories that make the show memorable and it is best that he tells them himself...Michael Mayer, the director, must be given a lot of credit for pacing these tales and the passion of the man telling them." Full Review

Marvin's Room
Midtown W
StageZine

"Although an often touching play, this mostly reverent revival never fully envelops you...The stage is so huge for such an intimate piece...Instead of bringing the family together in crisis, it places them in separate voids...The play works best when it deals with the intimate subjects like the path the two sisters took...The performances shine...One wonders if 'Marvin’s Room' could have been much more immediate and immersive had it played at the more intimate Laura Pels Theatre." Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W
StageZine

“It was a thrill to enjoy this gem of an original musical. I am not saying it’s perfect, but for an audience that can remember the wonderful musicals of the 1950s and 1960s, this is as close as you can get to such wonderful heights. With a witty book by Doug Wright, an excellent melodic score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, and deft direction by Michael Greif, they have created a highly entertaining musical.” Full Review