David Rooney

David Rooney is a critic with The Hollywood Reporter. 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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Reviews (230)
The Hollywood Reporter

"The plush Roundabout revival demands patience, withholding payoff for its haunting final moments...This is not the subtlest of plays, and Taichman allows half her actors to wade into over-emphatic melodrama...A funny old play, interesting more for its structural adventurousness than its thematic trenchancy. And while Taichman and her uneven cast can't obscure the writing's weaknesses, the production closes on a forceful note that makes it retroactively quite satisfying." Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Sample-size nuggets that touch on the magic while leaving you craving more...This recap of an illustrious career leaves no doubt about the validity of Prince's exalted status, even if it’s thin on illuminating detail...What buoys 'Prince' is the polished presentation and elaborate design elements. But even more so it's the depth of characterization achieved...There's generally enough vitality in the staging and performances to help overcome the shortage of personal insights." Full Review

Marvin's Room
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Yesterday's clear-eyed reflection on life's blessings and blights can be today's sentimental Lifetime movie manqué in the wrong hands. And director Kauffman's are definitely the wrong hands...'Marvin's Room,' for all its warmly humanistic strengths, is very much a work of its time, and the director seems unable to connect with its particular wavelength, or to navigate its relatively straightforward blueprint...The revival does eventually muster some poignancy...The cast is generally solid." Full Review

Pacific Overtures
East Village
The Hollywood Reporter

"This streamlined adaptation, performed with soulful feeling by a small multi-role cast, and told with haunting narrative simplicity, rewards being savored on its own subtle terms...The frugal restraint of the production highlights the delicacy of one of Sondheim's most evocative scores...This is a lovingly mounted staging of a unique show, a sorrowful account of violation, naivety and shattered peace, and a culture clash musical imbued with solemn humanity." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“Cullman's razor-sharp staging serves as a welcome reminder of the fiercely intelligent, pungently funny voice of playwright John Guare at his vintage best…While two sensational performances occupy the play's molten center, the entire large ensemble that surrounds them is on fire. That heat is due in part to Cullman's whiplash pacing...But it also rises from the play itself…It remains a work of stinging satirical brilliance...Hugely entertaining, clever and provocative." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The perversely charmless new musical will have little to offer grown-up audiences. Kids might find more to enjoy in this frantic Frankenstein's monster of a show, but that doesn't make it less of a misfire...This choc-atrocity has got to rank as one of the most aesthetically off-putting family musicals in memory...Between O'Brien's hyperactive direction and Thompson's biliously colorful designs, there's little to love...Spare yourself the empty calories." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The fiendishly crafty creative team has devised a musical that cracks open the source material to amplify its themes...It requires resourcefulness to take an iconic character and reshape it from the ground up. But that's exactly what Karl does...The humanizing of a heel is a story as old as time, but the miracle of what Rubin, Minchin and Warchus have pulled off here is to tell it without resorting to treacle." Full Review

Present Laughter
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

“Kevin Kline was born to do Noel Coward...A performance of unimpeachable skill, made all the more delectable by its lightness of touch…von Stuelpnagel's production can't entirely disguise the wheezy fatigue of the 1939 comedy, but as complications multiply and the quasi-farcical cogs click into place, it runs like clockwork. That helps correct the imbalance of an ensemble in which the seemingly effortless work of the veterans outclasses their less seasoned castmates.” Full Review

Amelie
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"This grating stage musical takes the slenderest of romances and drowns it in cartoonish quirks in place of genuine warmth or feeling...Moments that don't cry out to be musicalized get slathered in song, while others where music might have helped go unsung...With more swinging doors than most farces, this is a show that manages to be simultaneously frenetic and inert...The talented cast fights a losing battle to give these annoyingly artificial characters life." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Bolstered by a first-rate cast, director Terry Kinney's carefully considered production shapes all sides of the arguments into compelling drama...The writing is far from black and white on either side...However, in the fractious second act, Miller's play shows its dramaturgical weaknesses, becoming circuitous and repetitive...Still, the strong cast ensures that the drama remains riveting...A very solid, sensitively directed production of a flawed but rewarding play." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

" In a bold experiment that's often riveting but seldom wholly satisfying, director Gold rips away illusion like a bandage off a wound...Despite some fine work from the actors, you end up being moved more by the sheer resilience of the writing than by the intrusive presentation...The result is one of the most hauntingly lyrical dramas in the American canon transformed into a blunt dysfunctional family play in which indelible melancholy gets trampled by anger and bitterness." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“As a concept, it holds together remarkably well…All these clashing sentiments burn bright in an accomplished ensemble combining London holdovers with newcomers…The urgency and immediacy of its storytelling make it a terrific introduction to a glittering musical by a composer at the peak of his powers, and also an invigorating new spin for audiences who know and love this brilliantly conceived Victorian nightmare.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The production has elevated an affecting work into something quite rare and exquisite. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford bring richer shadings and startling emotional candor to their dual roles, supported by a gifted ensemble...Staged with grace and fluidity by Sarna Lapine...I don't recall ever experiencing the binding unity of creative vigor and purpose with such piercing solitude that Gyllenhaal brings to the two parts." Full Review

The Present
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"A tart tragedy, infused with corrosive humor...What's most surprising about John Crowley's expertly calibrated production is how funny it is, while remaining true to themes of disillusionment, class breakdown and unfulfilled love...Weaving together these characters and their hollow lives in a context that connects them both to Chekhov's Russia and to our own world, Upton, Crowley and this accomplished company have elevated a problematic play into something unexpectedly satisfying." Full Review

The Babylon Line
Upper W Side
The Hollywood Reporter

"What a beguiling and unpredictable play...While Greenberg could be criticized for being too discursive, that ends up being part of the play's charm, as stories and revelations about each character shed a different light on them...Kinney and his superb cast are attuned to the silent undercurrents of Greenberg's writing as much as the sly flourishes of wit and cruelty and the elegant streams of prose-like dialogue, making 'The Babylon Line' an idiosyncratic pleasure." Full Review

Ride the Cyclone
West Village
The Hollywood Reporter

"The impulse toward the easy, cheesy laugh means that unlike other teen-angst musicals, the emotional stakes remain flat. The young cast is talented and appealing enough, but their characters and their sketchy back-stories too seldom escape the cartoonish…As a musical score, it lacks cohesion, mostly sounding like inferior versions of numbers you've heard before in more thoughtfully crafted shows." Full Review

Dead Poets Society
East Village
The Hollywood Reporter

"Doyle brings his customary stripped-down elegance to the production, and elicits sensitive performances from the young actors playing Keating's students. But Schulman's thin adaptation of his screenplay exposes its contrivances and sentimentality, failing to make a strong case for its stage translation...Despite the classy production's strengths, its insurmountable shortcoming is that this drama remains an imitation, stuck in the shadow of its source." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"It's an interlude swollen near to bursting with sorrow and comfort, with losses absorbed and yet-to-come, with crushing disappointments but also with stubborn strains of humor and humanity...Although the Gabriel plays are inextricably political, they are also profoundly human and personal. Not one character on the stage feels inessential to the drama and not a single actor fails to bring a lifetime of intimate knowledge to his or her fully inhabited portrayal." Full Review

Sweat
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production "While Nottage doesn't always manage to incorporate her research into entirely organic dialogue in the overlong play's lumpy first act, what follows becomes a powerful and compassionate song of blue-collar despair...Nottage introduces issues of race with refreshing candor...Not all the performances are quite so finely etched...But Whoriskey coaxes sensitive work from Colby, Alban, and Wilson. The standout in the ensemble, however, is Davis." Full Review

Falsettos
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Pretty much everything about Lincoln Center Theater's ideally cast Broadway revival, again directed by Lapine with as much humor as sensitivity, makes it pure pleasure...The characters are so fresh, the writing so emotionally insightful and the situations played with such feeling that 'Falsettos' hasn't aged a day...Part of the show's durability is the generosity of spirit and affection with which the writers approach every last one of their imperfect characters." Full Review

The Front Page
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Even if not every element in director Jack O'Brien's lavishly cast production hits the mark, this deluxe Broadway revival nonetheless is crackling entertainment...But the play only really starts firing on all cylinders once Lane enters...Lane elevates everyone around him, including Slattery...The galvanizing force of Lane's performance erases any concerns about the production's unevenness." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“In 'The Humans,' Karam balances humor and melancholy with exquisite naturalism. The subtly shaped text is light on narrative but alive with a compassionate sense of very real people...What could be more Chekhovian? That makes the thudding failure of Karam's new version all the more deflating. The bulk of the blame should be apportioned to Godwin's production, which is clumsily directed and unattractively designed...What's missing, primarily, is the fundamental element of pathos." Full Review

The Layover
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"The author's ambitions slip out of her grasp as she attempts to riff on the kind of adulterous intrigue that was the domain of Patricia Highsmith...The result is a play that resembles a hijacked flight, taking too many jerky detours before crashing…The play's logic has begun to crumble well before its misjudged final scene...Nothing that comes before suggests that was the story Headland set out to tell, making 'The Layover' seem both ill-conceived and thematically incoherent." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Only intermittent sparks in this knockabout feminist burlesque...McTeer and Jumbo's casting is this production's chief reward...Some audiences no doubt will get a kick out of the staging, given the innately subversive fun of watching women make a mockery of a society of men...It’s impossible to overlook the fact that this unrelentingly blunt comedy just isn't very funny...The performers appear to be having way more fun than the audience.” Full Review

Shuffle Along
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

“Scene after scene dazzles in one of the most electrifying entertainments on Broadway...While the showmanship is extraordinary, ‘Shuffle Along’ could have benefited from a developmental run to hone the fluidity of its storytelling...The project's strengths far outweigh its flaws. The cast is magnificent...The energy and elasticity of Glover's work is astonishing…Even if the limitations of Wolfe's undertaking are unable to support the scope of his intentions, it's a genuine thrill to watch." Full Review

Mary Jane
East Village
The Hollywood Reporter

"This beautiful new work is directed with ultra-naturalistic subtlety by Anne Kauffman...By virtue of its elegant structure, its expository economy, its gentle humor, fine-grained characterizations and knack for sharp observation cloaked in seemingly casual glimpses of a life, 'Mary Jane' sidesteps the banalities of the medical drama to become something richer...While the entire cast performs with real warmth and feeling, everything is understated and unerringly believable." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Oscar Isaac is a sensational Hamlet...That his performance registers so effectively is an additional credit to Isaac, given how many obstacles director Sam Gold throws in his way in a gimmicky modern-dress production that often seems more WTF-perverse than audacious...I spent much of the first two acts admiring the actors but scratching my head about the director's intentions." Full Review

1984 (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

“While I can imagine this visceral production being chillingly effective in an intimate venue, I found it distancing and unsatisfying in a Broadway house. It's also a massive, bludgeoning downer. The impressive stagecraft constantly overpowers the human element of the drama — the cast's committed performances notwithstanding…There's a heavy-handedness to the storytelling that makes it just as often numbing as unsettling. Which is not to say the adaptation lacks skill or inventiveness." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"It delivers explosive laughs while also posing thoughtful questions...Directed with stylish austerity by Sam Gold, the play provides a corker of a role for the indomitable Laurie Metcalf...As much an ingenious elaboration and deconstruction of 'A Doll's House' as a sequel, and it stands perfectly well on its own...In Gold's zesty staging, the lightness of touch in the writing carries through to the direction and performances, nowhere more so than with Metcalf." Full Review

Anastasia (NYC)
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"The show as a whole is a tad bland, though it’s beautifully staged...There's a workmanlike feel to the musical's construction. Lack of nuance in the writing makes the three leads, while vocally strong, quite vanilla...But Tresnjak elevates the material...It's kitschy, old-fashioned entertainment given a relatively sophisticated presentation, and you have to acknowledge its success when you hear the target demographic swoon on cue." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Daniel Sullivan's impeccable production for Manhattan Theatre Club never overstates that modern-day relevance; he simply lets the play's rock-solid construction and lucid themes speak for themselves via a first-rate cast and exemplary design team...This is a superbly cast production with incisive character work from McKean, Goldstein and Benz...This is a production as classy as it is smart, shining a spotlight on a playwright who is too seldom revived on Broadway." Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"The marquee draw is the dynamite pairing of Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, Broadway's finest, in richly distinctive roles that play to their respective strengths...Their contrasting turns here are simply mesmerizing...Despite its relatively low-key dramatic engine, this is a smart, sophisticated exploration of two uncompromising...Some no doubt will find the show lacking in dramatic momentum or explosive conflicts. I found it thoroughly compelling and masterfully entertaining throughout." Full Review

Gently Down the Stream
East Village
The Hollywood Reporter

“A play rich in moments of pathos and humor…It's always wonderful to see Fierstein back on stage. But it's hard to shake the feeling that ‘Gently Down the Stream’ might have been a more satisfying play without him...Sherman's writing becomes pedantic as he shoehorns in chunks of historical perspective…The play is always engaging, and there's no doubting the sincerity of its intent. But it's too much of a structurally awkward, speechy patchwork to be dramaturgically convincing.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Sure, it's a brash, broad-strokes saga with questionable racial and gender representation and a taste for salacious vulgarity. But although director Laurence Connor has adhered to the basic contours of the original, his grittier approach exposes teeth in the material that I don't recall previously being so sharp...Noblezada is a legitimate discovery, just as Salonga was the first time around...This is brawny, crowd-pleasing entertainment." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“A misguided alt-rock musical that reduces the crusade, persecution and death of the 15th century French heroine to a simplistic ‘Martyrdom for Dummies’ with a repetitious beat…The show boasts fabulous production values…It's the surprising lack of sophistication or emotional depth in the material that deflates expectations…The grit, commitment and gutsy vocals of Lampert can't inject emotional nuance into the baldly explanatory, episodic writing.” Full Review

Significant Other
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Under playwright Joshua Harmon's compassionate gaze, that potentially mopey, extended sitcom scenario becomes by turns hilarious and poignant, delivering a relatable contemporary take on the old-fashioned theme of waiting with increasing impatience for Mr. Right...A big part of what prevents this delightful play from turning either trite or maudlin is the wonderful performance of Gideon Glick...'Significant Other' is consistently pleasurable, funny-sad entertainment." Full Review

Wakey, Wakey
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"The hook that reels us into this abstruse, tricky, stream-of-consciousness contemplation of mortality is a beautiful performance from Michael Emerson...While the thematic richness of 'Wakey, Wakey' creeps up on you during its brief 75-minute run time, few will make the claim that this is a major addition to Eno's distinctive body of work...Nevertheless, Eno's unique voice — quizzical, perceptive, assertively compassionate — is one to be celebrated." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Actor-turned-director Ruben Santiago-Hudson's natural feel for the plays of August Wilson yields a superb production...It takes considerable skill to conduct the musical movements of Wilson's dialogue with the fluidity achieved here...There's not an actor on the stage who doesn't thoroughly inhabit his or her flavorful character, from their singular speech patterns to their own particular walk or physicality. All of them deserve the highest praise...The result here feels just as revelatory." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Sam Gold's tremendously exciting, sensationally well-acted modern-dress production...Both actors are fighting fit in roles they seem born to play, the subtlety as well as the terrifying intensity of their work magnified by the startling intimacy of watching them up close...The brilliant match of this production's Othello and Iago is fortified by the entire ensemble's muscular performance style and vigorous grasp of the language...This visceral production is not to be missed." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"What's perhaps most distinctive about Pasek and Paul's melodic emo-pop score is how beautifully it captures the peaks and valleys of adolescence, in the thoughtful lyrics and in the music itself...Playwright Steven Levenson matches the musical components beat for beat in his terrific book, which sets up with persuasive conviction what could easily have been a contrived premise...Across the board, the ensemble is superb, each of them registering rich moments of emotional complexity." Full Review

Sweet Charity
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Foster and Silverman bring comparable insight to 'Sweet Charity.' They embrace the goofy, big-hearted openness of the title character, but also the bleakness of her reality...If the approach falls short of revelatory, that's perhaps because this flawed show can never seem complete without Fosse's dance moves…It could use a bit more oomph in the choreography. But the crucial component that requires zero improvements is Foster's gorgeous performance. She's perfection." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"It arrives on Broadway in superlative shape, its humor, emotional content and rip-roaring storytelling every bit as vibrant as its madly infectious score...No disrespect to the marvelous cast, many of whom have been with the project since its earliest stages, but the true stars are the material and production, which is often as cinematic as it is blazingly theatrical...Chavkin's direction is a marvel of intricacy, with simultaneous action happening in multiple spots...Don't miss it." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"This sparkplug performer holds the stage through two hours-plus of eclectic song selections and personal reminiscences...Directed with polish by Richard Jay-Alexander...Her banter is relaxed, funny and warm, and she takes full advantage of the large space while also creating an intimate cabaret feel...Only occasionally did the syrupiness become a little cloying...Chenoweth is in superb voice, supple and controlled, and the selections from 'The Art of Elegance' were lovely." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"A blazing performance by Janet McTeer...Even if Liev Schreiber is ill-suited for the part of Valmont, Josie Rourke's evocative staging provides a compelling portrait of a dissolute aristocracy on the brink of devouring itself...All this would be just so much juicy bodice-ripping melodrama without Hampton's glittering dialogue and without Rourke's sound psychological investigation of the characters' motives...Visually, Rourke's production is both pared-down and sumptuous." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production "Perhaps the most personal and haunting musical ever written about the cost of making art. Headlining a cast of first-rate theater pros assembled, Gyllenhaal once again holds his head up high…Just as Gyllenhaal's two characters gain in understanding of themselves...so too did the actor's grasp of the role gain in assurance...As semi-staged concerts go, this ultimately was a lovely reading, with the 13-piece orchestra serving Sondheim's shimmering score impeccably." Full Review

Plenty
East Village
The Hollywood Reporter

“Neither director David Leveaux nor Rachel Weisz in the lead role satisfyingly meets the challenges of this structurally complex drama...The precise reasons why the production packs so little charge are hard to define, but a dated text and a disconnect between director and material loom large among them...Weisz gives an oddly stilted performance here, wan and distant in the scenes of relative composure and artificial in the explosive rants." Full Review

The Encounter
Midtown W
The Hollywood Reporter

"Given how thoroughly the audience is let in both on the technology and the artifice, it's remarkable how quickly and completely the piece becomes an immersive narrative...'The Encounter' is an extraordinarily visceral, often hypnotic piece of storytelling. It must be added, however, that any solo show running close to two intermissionless hours asks a lot of its audience, and this one is more impactful in the moment than in terms of lingering resonance." Full Review

Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production “One remarkable aspect of this very fine production, directed with unerringly precise attention to detail by Bartlett Sher, is that while its mechanics as a theatrical presentation are emphasized from the start, they enhance rather than impede our involvement in a fascinating true story. This is a play alive with tension, intrigue, humor, bristling intelligence and emotional peaks that are subdued yet intensely moving, which concludes unexpectedly on a poignant note of hope.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Whatever the virtues and follies of director Benedict Andrews' self-consciously radical in-the-round regietheater staging, it gives us an incandescent Blanche...And in a production in which the actors' work is more consistently persuasive than the conceptual choices, it also gives us Ben Foster's distinctive Stanley Kowalski, a physically and psychologically considered characterization that sidesteps the long shadow of Marlon Brando." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Kent's starry production, led by a transfixing Jessica Lange, invites us to see reflections of our own closest relationships in the haunted Tyrones…Shannon puts such a unique spin on so much of his dialogue that the play's final act takes on invigorating new life…But the production belongs to Lange…Lange inhabits those unearthly spaces with fragility but also with the fierce narcissism and cunning of the addict." Full Review