Deirdre Donovan

Deirdre Donovan is a critic with CurtainUp. 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 (151)
Coal Country
East Village
CurtainUp

"Jessica Blank & Erik Jensen's documentary drama about the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia presents a series of searing first-person accounts of the disaster, as told by the survivors and family members of the victims." Full Review

CurtainUp

"C. A. Johnson might not be a name yet in the New York theater world. But her new play should be applauded for its originality." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Say what you will about this Bard inspired musical farce with its trigger-happy cast, it's a lot of fun packed into 90 minutes." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Michael Wilson, who so beautifully directed Horton Foote's 9-play 'The Orphans' Home Cycle' is now resurrecting 'The Young Man from Atlanta' with its sad truth about middle-class American life at the Pershing Square Signature Center." Full Review

Pumpgirl
Chelsea
CurtainUp

"Abby Spallen's three-hander about hard-luck lives in today's Northern Ireland." Full Review

Scotland, PA
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"The language has almost entirely gone missing...Still the Bard, doesn't belong to any single class, race, creed, or geographical locale. He belongs to anybody with the imagination to transplant his tales to fresh new places. And...that now includes the little town of Scotland, PA." Full Review

CurtainUp

"This isn't an introspective show. No group member attempts to persuade you that anything done on stage is IMPORTANT. What IS important, however, is the shared theatrical experience between the artists and audience members and finding truth in the moment." Full Review

Wives
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"Despite this time traveling comedy's flaws, Jaclyn Backhaus still drives home an urgent message here about patriarchal tropes and how they can insidiously infect a marriage and undo a woman's self-identity." Full Review

CurtainUp

"This new take on Shakespeare's Roman tragedymay nott please those who come to the Delacorte yearning for an idyllic experience on a summer evening. But for those who truly hunger for a spine-tingling interpretation of this seldom-produced Roman tragedy, director Daniel Sullivan has us experience it at a deeper level and feel it in the time and space of a not-distant future." Full Review

CurtainUp

"While Joyce's language is the thing here, there's also some gorgeous music interspersed during the beginning and end of the soliloquy by Paddy Moloney. This stream-of-consciousness soliloquy derives its strength from its cumulative force. However, Molly speaks most pertinently to the audience when she airs her sentiments about the dual genders and uncannily anticipating our #MeToo movement...A rare opportunity to see a chunk of 'Ulysses' meticulously dramatized." Full Review

Long Lost
Midtown W
CurtainUp

“Sullivan has assembled a superb cast. Parisse excels as the tightly wound Molly, Tergesen shifts from charming rascal to cruel ne’er-do-well with ease, and Wolff is endearing...The standout performance comes from AuCoin, who is riveting...Its shortcomings notwithstanding, 'Long Lost' is never boring, thanks to the fine cast, staging and Margulies's crisp dialogue. Whereas his four characters have a lot of serious things to say to each other, their messages too often get lost in the telling." Full Review

Mac Beth
Upper E Side
CurtainUp

for a previous production "It is brash, irreverent, smart, and awash with new millennial flavor...What is particularly good about Schmidt's production is the way Shakespeare's language and emblematic imagery remains intact...The actors are to be commended for their energy and pluck, with many actors taking on multiple roles...The real surprise in 'Mac Beth' is that scene after scene something fresh will be revealed about the Scottish Play." Full Review

CurtainUp

“This tale about revenge, and its possible alternatives, is the perfect show to see for Mother's Day...A compact production that gives us the fable without its embroidery...Taylor is the most even-tempered Prospero I have seen...All fun, and no fuss. Original music performed on various instruments, adds mood and atmosphere...This new gender-blind production gives the old play a new spin and fits right in with the #Metoo era." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Though its 95 minutes are never boring, the nonlinear plotline can induce vertigo at times, and the gross details and low humor are hardly likely to make this a Broadway hit. That said, there's Nathan Lane displaying his knack for physical comedy and immaculate timing...All in all, one must admire Mac for the creative risks he's taken in his latest venture. Whether you go for the laughs, the great acting, or its political truths, you won't see anything else like it on Broadway." Full Review

CurtainUp

"While Gold's direction doesn't always serve his actors, Jackson's performance in the nominal role is sublime...She gives us a Lear who when the play opens wields absolute authority by a mere raising of an eyebrow...The versatile Wilson gives an alert, canny interpretation to her Cordelia and a sassy vaudevillian spin to her Fool...Honors for the best Shakespearian chops in the support cast go to John Douglas Thompson." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Rather than trying to connect the play's eponymous character with a contemporary political figure, she returns the audience's gaze to the play itself and the constellation of characters that make this tragedy such an intriguing work...The current version is a well-oiled machine and that the cast has their iambic pentameters down pat...The real dazzler is the ensemble, however. It can do more with its choreographic movements than the key principals delivering their eloquent speeches." Full Review

Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Upper W Side
CurtainUp

"There are moments in this zany comedy that merit applause but the work on the whole is unfulfilled and lacks a clear-cut focus. That said, it comes to us in a remarkably fine production...As always, Guare displays his flair for creating lively scenes and odd-ball characters...But 'Nantucket Sleigh Ride' on the whole remains a confusing, talky play that loses its dramatic momentum by trailing off in too many directions." Full Review

Fleabag
Soho/Tribeca
CurtainUp

"Not a play for the easily offended. It is an extended monologue on sex, dating, pornography, masturbation, dysfunctional families, and more. Brilliantly written and performed by the British comedian Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a sensational New York debut at the Soho Playhouse, it reminds us that the solo form can really pack a dramatic punch...This physically expressive actor is also charming, smart, outspoken—and her sensual and philosophical thoughts are cloaked in contradictions." Full Review

State of the Union
East Village
CurtainUp

"Is the play dated? Yes, but entertainingly so...As good as the drama is, it needs an able cast to breathe life into the script. Fortunately, the 19 actors assembled here are up to the task...The production values come without razzamatazz here, but that's fine...Directed by Laura Livingston, this no-frills production enjoys good timing. 'State of the Union' isn't a hard-headed expose of a presidential campaign. But it sure gives you a taste of the hustle and bustle of American politics." Full Review

The Light
Midtown W
CurtainUp

“Webb's provocative new play...The acting is the real ace of the production. Belcher III inhabits Rashad with a natural charm...Masden as Genesis, has the right blending of back-bone and feminine vulnerability to make her character credible...If I have any reservations...it comes down to the dramaturgy and dialogue being a bit too manicured to truly mirror real-life. That said, this new theatrical venture not only speaks, but adds fresh muscle, to the MeToo movement.” Full Review

The Dance of Death
East Village
TheaterScene.com

“In spite of being 119 years-old, ‘The Dance of Death’ still has astonishing good skin tone under the direction of Clark...The production is bolstered by the excellent acting of the cast...The creative team make splendid use of the small performing space...It surely packs a big emotional punch.” Full Review

CurtainUp

"The perfect show for celebrating the company's 30th anniversary season...The acting is robust, humorous, and intentionally exaggerated for comic effect...A true ensemble piece, with each cast member eventually stepping into the limelight...But, truth be told, the show gains more spice with Moore's theatrical trimmings: traditional carols, original songs, contemporary poems, and Celtic step-dancing tossed in for good measure." Full Review

Two By Friel
Chelsea
CurtainUp

"Theatergoers have a fresh opportunity to enjoy Brian Friel's brilliant talent in a double-bill entitled 'Two by Friel'...Both these one-acters reveal Friel's bent for experimenting with conventional dramatic forms...The acting ensemble is top-notch, as is the creative team...'Lovers: Winners' and 'The Yalta Game' neatly bracket Friel's career from its early to late flowering and show his posture as a compassionate writer about romantic love." Full Review

CurtainUp

“Though it is far from your conventional ‘Dream’ the Public Theater's Mobile Unit production has gritty New York flavor and gives fresh proof that the Man-from-Avon travels well...Koons, who directs with a playful hand, has a terrific company to help her pull off her urban vision...An ensemble who can all boogie and breathe out their iambic pentameters with equal grace...This new mobile production has deservingly carved out its own niche.” Full Review

CurtainUp

for a previous production "Jones is bringing Edgar Allan Poe's works vibrantly alive...First up on the program was 'The Tell -Tale Heart'...If the first story seemed the personification of horror, the next one, 'The Cask of the Amontillado,' is a close cousin...He infuses fresh emotional energy into Poe's language with his protean body language and facial expressions...The final offering, 'The Raven,' has never sounded more haunting.: Full Review

CurtainUp

"LA Williams, and the cast, still deserve much credit for reviving this gem that creates a rich portrait of faith, vision, and hope." Full Review

CurtainUp

"A fascinating study of the unforgettable Lady Gregory. Too bad the grande dame isn't alive to see it for herself." Full Review

Sing Street
East Village
CurtainUp

"Directed by Rebecca Taichman and based on John Carney's 2016 feature film of the same name this new musical teams up many of the creatives from 'Once' which was also launched at New York Theatre Workshop." Full Review

CurtainUp

"With the arrival of 'Tina' on Broadway the jukebox genre takes on a feminist sound and a modern social conscience." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Though John Doyle breaks the rules in all the right ways, newbies to the play are likely to become confused at times by its gender-blind casting and the nine cast members who play multiple roles in this all-hands-on-deck production." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Will Arbery's world premiere at Playwrights Horizons is an ultra-conservative reverie about our present cultural moment stirs up a perfect storm of heroesof4thturning1debate on those hot-button issues tethered to religion, politics, and the family." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Although superbly staged and acted, this is not light entertainment. However, who go will have a rare theatrical experience that will linger after the house lights go down." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Conceived and whimsically directed by Beth Ann Hopkins at A.R.T Theatres" Full Review

CurtainUp

"Although the theme of death that threads through each play might seem incongruous with the sunny days of summer, this memento mori triptych does offer something better than sunshine: a penetrating gaze into the human condition from three different authors." Full Review

CurtainUp

“Leon retains Shakespeare's language but, with the assistance of composer Webb and choreographer Brown, he adds a rich mix of songs and dances that gives this romantic comedy a fresh twinkle and contemporary sound...This is Shakespeare done in an African-American key and with the theme of community in the fore...The cast includes several standout performances...In Leon's new take, we revisit a work whose central themes are male bonding and female disempowerment." Full Review

Octet
Midtown W
CurtainUp

“‘Octet’ is more original than most of the entertainments now on Broadway. Best described as a chamber choir musical. Performed by first-rate a cappella singers, it has a pristine sound that is rarely heard in contemporary musical theater...I was surprised at first by the stark simplicity of ‘Octet’...I was reminded that it's not the frills that makes a work hum but the message embedded beneath its surface. And what could be a more powerful message today than the one that 'Octet' offers?” Full Review

CurtainUp

“A flawed revival...This production is not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached...The big drawback...is that it pulls out the theatrical stops too early...No subsequent scene comes near to matching its frisson...Kinney should have trusted more in Shepard's language and the whole moving spirit of the play...It might not fire on all cylinders. But it sure does allow one to get a real taste of the late author's genius.” Full Review

CurtainUp

"It still sends chills down one's spine as a play that sprung from the blood-stained soil of reality...The current production...has much going for it. Its chief aces are its realistic set design and the superb acting ensemble...In Moore's new staging...one can truly listen to the bittersweet music in his drama and reflect on the real sacrifices of people who are never mentioned in the pages of history books." Full Review

CurtainUp

"The bilaterally talented Feiffer proves here that she can act as well as write...Linklater is spot-on...Kai is well-cast...Young makes every minute count...I do have reservations in how Lyme Disease is dramaturgically employed...Despite its flaws, ‘The Pain of My Belligerence’ is a potent look at the terrible toll of toxic masculinity on both genders. Although Feiffer gives us a bleak portrait of our misogynistic culture she also offers a not to be ignored truth.” Full Review

CurtainUp

"The new go-round, I'm pleased to report, is just as potent as its Off-Broadway outing. No substantive changes have been made to the play, except for a bit of trimming to the text and a few less Legionnaire's portraits lining the walls on stage. What does come across more on second viewing, however, is how the body politic is constantly changing in the United States, and how that political reality subtly informs Schreck's play." Full Review

Ain't No Mo'
East Village
CurtainUp

"Divided into 8 vignettes that are loosely tethered to the theme of human injustice, 'Ain't No Mo'' falters now and then in its later sketches. But it drives home the message that African-Americans must carve out their vital cultural identity in a country that has oppressed them for centuries...A play like this of course couldn't soar without its sharp ensemble acting and production values neatly anchored in place." Full Review

CurtainUp

“An uplifting exploration of defying the odds and having the guts to be generous...The acting is definitely the production's strong suit...The production values don't measure up quite as well. The problem lies in Savage's multi-leveled set which is far too busy...Hutchinson's dramaturgy isn't flawless...But there's no question that the playwright has a sharp ear for dialogue that sounds natural and flows well.” Full Review

Hurricane Diane
East Village
CurtainUp

"It will interest anybody who's striving to live green in a material world...Although the characters who populate the play are comedic archetypes, they still are people we can easily recognize, understand, and even identify with at times...Although I appreciated the play's merits, and found the production values and acting uniformly excellent, I feel that the plot got a little thin toward the closing scenes." Full Review

God Shows Up
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

for a previous production "A heaven-sent comedy that gives us a fresh perspective on God in the new millennial. Directed by Christopher Scott, and with a terrific acting ensemble, it’s a drama that theatergoers of all religions—or no religion—can enjoy...If Filichia’s script is a comic encyclopedic look into the Divine Being, the acting ensemble is quite capable of driving the whole spiritual shebang home...This surreal entertainment...allows you to see God with decidedly new eyes." Full Review

Mies Julie
East Village
TheaterScene.com

“Farber’s reworking of Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’ changes the setting and implications of the classic drama...Ali directs this piece with a knowing hand...There’s some fine—and sizzling--ensemble acting here...The production values underscore the play’s bleak atmosphere and mood...No question that ‘Mies Julie’ is meant for adult audiences. Farber’s reimagining of Strindberg’s 1888 drama about love—and social taboos--will raise the temperature of even the most seasoned theatergoer.” Full Review

About Alice
Brooklyn
CurtainUp

"A New York love story that will touch your heart and perhaps make you cry... It can be a little disorienting at times to keep up with the free-wheeling repartee. However, while Trillin is more a journalist than a playwright, his wry humor and instinctive comic timing keep things on track...Maybe the only fitting way to sum up the production is to say it achieves its aspirations to bring Alice dramatically alive in the here and now." Full Review

Nassim
Midtown W
CurtainUp

“Soleimanpour's play demands that an actor have a quick wit, and the ability to be totally in the moment no matter what transpires on stage...’Nassim’ largely relies on a guest actor's voice to project authority and shape the meaning of the work...Soleimanpour has tucked some curve balls into his script. The play has two acts and is essentially a brief history of the playwright's life...Whereas the whole performance is entertaining...the conceit wears a bit thin.” Full Review

TheaterScene.com

for a previous production “Part biodrama, part confessional, part stand-up comedy...It succeeds when Marmo conveys something new about Bruce...Marmo might do well to expand his play and perhaps include a few more sketches from Bruce’s stand-up oeuvre...That said, ‘I’m Lenny Bruce’ can speak to anybody who is concerned about democracy in the Trump era. The play is a must-see for anyone who has ever cared about free speech and wants to see how Bruce fiercely fought for it tooth and nail." Full Review

CurtainUp

“An entirely new take on the cryptic comedy...Eight young actors will amuse you with their comic antics and tickle your taste buds with a delicious eight-course meal...The food is good but the play's is still the thing and the actors speak their Shakespeare trippingly...Swern, supported by an able cast, takes the ‘sweet smoke of rhetoric’ from Shakespeare's original, adds on a well-seasoned meal, and simply allows the audience to sit back and enjoy the great feast of language.” Full Review

Salome
Brooklyn
CurtainUp

"Rutherford's new take on the tragedy retains all the grisly aspects of Wilde's play. But he re-imagines it at a slightly different level of vibration. Not only does he give us a new translation of Wilde's original French text, but he non-conventionally casts Feathers Wise as the prophet, giving the role a genderfluid feel...The creative use of the capacious performing space at the Irondale Center ensures that the 22-member cast are kept on their theatrical toes throughout." Full Review