Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy is a critic with The Associated Press. 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 (54)
35
The Associated Press

"It's best for people who want to say they experienced a cool immersive experience on Broadway, but one without any heart. It's pure showmanship with none of the emotional payoff...The show, under the restless direction of Rachel Chavkin, reaches for an immersive experience by trying to erase the line between audience and performer...Some of the songs are super, but too many are weak and the whole thing needs editing." Full Review

55
The Associated Press

"The play has not aged well and may have you wondering why this 88-year-old needs another spin. Then Lane shows up deep into Act 2 in the nick of time...His dry humor and gift for physical comedy have never been more urgently needed...Director Jack O’Brien has not worked out all the kinks in a script that often sounds like a machine gun of words...Without Lane, there’s little reason for this revival. 'The Front Page' is a peek into an old, dead world and what is revealed is not very pretty." Full Review

25
The Associated Press

"It’s not been revamped or re-thought, just taken out of mothballs...Andy Blankenbuehler was brought in to bring something more modern to Gillian Lynne’s original choreography, which was slinky and jazzy. He has pretty much failed...The theatrical evolutions since 1982 make 'Cats' seem quaint and unsubstantial...For ‘Cats’ fans, none of this will register. But for those of us who find the show as ineffable and inscrutable as cats themselves, it’s a tedious, clawing mess.” Full Review

65
The Associated Press

"Sometimes overstuffed and awkward but it always finds its footing when it highlights its soaring, rubber-bodied stars…Unlike other Cirque shows, this one does a really fine job of integrating the acrobats into the narrative…It's thrilling stuff…It's got a cliche-ridden, lumbering plot and dialogue that veers from leaden German operatic to kiddie jokes…A lot of 'Paramour' looks like too many cooks were tossing in ingredients…When the show works, it works." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"Wonderfully crafted…Poignancy mixes well with humor, the songs are fresh and sweet, the set is blissful and the performances honest. It has a polished feel. All of the parts work smartly….An overly hectic first song laying out the narrative stumbles, but the show soon rights itself, continues strongly and ending with a blissful, wordless ballet that caused many sniffles...Humor wonderfully leavens the weighty issues. The music by Chris Miller is magical…Nathan Tysen’s lyrics are even better." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"A great recipe: Take terrific songs by Bareilles, mix them to a story by Nelson that isn't too sugary, bake that with intimate, understated direction by Paulus and top it off with a powerhouse performance by Mueller...Nelson's script sometimes drifts toward icky sweetness but always seems to quickly cut it with a dash of vinegar...If you're hungry for a heartfelt gooey musical with a molten star in the middle, order up a slice of 'Waitress'." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"The revival, with visionary director Ivo van Hove at the wheel, is uneven, lacking the singular, brilliant focus of his earlier Miller revival this season...Van Hove’s stripped-down approach does starkly illuminate the paranoia and descent into madness as a small town turns on itself...This is a production that can feel somewhat cluttered, which is a strange thing for a van Hove show. But there’s no denying it is a brilliant debut for Whishaw. He has magic in spades." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"An astounding cast, a nifty story and memorable songs turn this revival into a celebration of classic musical construction. It's worth skipping work to see...Benanti charms from the moment she steps onstage...Levi turns out to be no slouch either. The part requires a singer who can act and has comedic chops, and Levi nails it...There are some small, sour notes...But, overall, this is a show that, as one character says, gets 'the tilt of our hats right'. Come be swept away." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Nyong'o loses herself utterly in the searing and stunning play 'Eclipsed'...The five-member cast—all women—is a true ensemble and must not be missed...Gurira draws very human portraits of these women, and the audience will be stunned to find itself laughing as they joke in such hell...Gurira's work has been unfairly eclipsed by Lynn Nottage's 'Ruined', which shares some themes and came out at the same time, but this production proves it is an extraordinary work that shines and shines." Full Review

100
The Associated Press

"The dark comedy opened Thursday at the Helen Hayes Theatre with a terrific cast and an unsentimental look at the way we live today — anxiety-ridden, having little control over our environment or bodies, forever stretched and always a step from the abyss. It is an absolute triumph." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"Vibrant and brilliant and heartfelt...The only odd note in this show is Golde, who is too shrill and one dimensional, and struggles with the vocal requirements. She never reveals her crusted-over warmth and her duet with Tevye is consequently underwhelming. But brilliant touches are everywhere elsewhere...It all adds up to a remarkable achievement. From the first moment to the profound last, this 'Fiddler on the Roof' is a triumph. The show is the star." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"The crowd-pleasing, upbeat musical 'School of Rock' opened with a wondrously rebellious spirit and a superb cast...While leaning a little bit too much on 'Stick It to the Man,' Webber turns in some perfectly solid mainstream rock-ish anthems...A heartwarming story and a stage full of pre-pubescent kids who know their way around an amp prove irresistible…Connor leads a crisp, snappy show that neither gets bogged down in irrelevant secondary stories or in easy manipulation." Full Review

45
The Associated Press

"In the end, 'Misery' isn't total misery. It's just weird...Nowhere this season on Broadway is there an acting gulf as wide between two leads than here...Metcalf plays a towering psychotic — girlish one minute and inhuman the next. She's so good that she starts making sense...It's hard to act when you're immobile but Willis doesn't try, merely groaning a lot…Everyone is doing their best here except one guy, the one drawing the high ticket prices." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"If you aren't humming a Gloria Estefan hit when you leave, it might be time to check your pulse. The infectious, earnest musical 'On Your Feet!' initially stutters out the gate and ends somewhat awkwardly, but has a fun, percussive middle, even as it skates perilously close to melodrama. It's saved by its genuine heart — and a list of great tunes, ones that nicely make the transition from radio to stage…’On Your Feet!’ is a fine addition to the ranks of jukebox musicals." Full Review

45
The Associated Press

"The horror doesn't really stay sustained, the love curdles oddly and the humor breaks the momentum of both. Some of the worst sound effects heard on Broadway don't help. Knightley gives it her all and she's wonderful as she goes from odd duck to lip-quivering lust…But love is not enough, alas...This production never feels vital enough to care about anyone, no matter how much panting Knightley does." Full Review

40
The Associated Press

"It's taken almost half a century for 'Dames' to come to Broadway. There really was no rush. This insubstantial musical, which sits awkwardly between celebration and parody, opened like a riff off a long-forgotten joke. 'Dames' is supposed to be a fizzy celebration of Busby Berkeley films but comes across more like a warmed-over, sweaty cabaret act. It's not funny enough to be satire and yet too earnest to be believed." Full Review

50
The Associated Press

"There's lots of lounging around, staring at each other and trying to repress the bubbling longings beneath the polite chitchat. This is a play where crossing or uncrossing one's legs is fraught with meaning. It is as hard to grasp as the cigarette smoke...A little more than an hour after it started, the play is over, as it began, with three slumped figures, filled with brandy but no casserole, and plenty left unsaid." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"Revolutions are messy, sudden, often brutal things. They're not meant to mature gracefully. Thankfully, no one told the creators of the pulsating 'Hamilton,' which arrives on Broadway sharper, tighter and cleaner than just a few months ago....It's all like nothing you've ever heard or seen before. In one song, the main ladies sing euphorically, 'Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! History is happening in Manhattan.' We couldn't agree more." Full Review

20
The Associated Press

"Summer on Broadway is when the weakest of authors somehow find a home. This year, it's apparently God...This lame thing truly needs divine intervention." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

for a previous production ""Something Rotten!," written by three guys making their Broadway debuts, is fresh and hysterical and irreverent. It's easily the funniest thing to arrive on Broadway since "The Book of Mormon...led by director Casey Nicholaw at his exuberant, daffy best. There are tap dancing eggs, for God's sake...And this time, thanks to some of Broadway's best pros, these outsiders have created something far from rotten. Or a turd. It's awesome." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"The play is directed with comedic aplomb by Kathleen Marshall. The material could be accelerated and made into a farce, but Marshall never lets the comedic elements upstage the looney characters themselves. Stick around after the curtain closes on this satisfying, sweet comedy and you'll find a cast that returns to mug, unable to help themselves." Full Review

65
The Associated Press

"Exuberant, quirky and somewhat conflicted about what it wants to be...It's a celebration of imagination that labors hard for a consistent tone and often leaves you feeling manipulated...Part Edwardian melodrama, part love story, part origin story, part valentine to invention and part send-up of the theater itself. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just that each has its own tone. Sometimes Graham is deadly earnest, sometimes he's sly and often he's just trying too hard at both." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"The Royal Shakespeare Company's stunning, addictive and clever adaptation. After six hours of "Part One" and "Part Two," there were impatient people leaving the Winter Garden Theatre waiting for "Part Three."...Adapted by Mike Poulton, the two parts are connected by modern English, gallows humor, ghosts who chat with the living and by everyone complaining about the rain. One part alone stands by itself but this adaptation is like a bag of chips. Can you stop with just one?" Full Review

50
Journal Times

"They've taken out the creepy factor, but they've taken out the zing, too...All the parts are good. They just, maddeningly, don't add for a stunning show Both acts end rather unremarkably, like a fallen soufflé and the passion between the two lovers at the story's center never seems to really boil...Here, it's all about the bubbly Champagne. Everyone keeps singing about it but when it arrives, it's lukewarm and flat. Thank heaven for other choices." Full Review

30
The Associated Press

"David's new stage comedy is like his 30-minute HBO show, only stretched out over two hours so that what is usually a cringe-worthy appetizer on TV has grown into a tedious and self-indulgent main course onstage. What opened Thursday at the Cort Theatre will surely delight fans of David, the "Seinfeld" and "Curb" master of observational humor, who stars and wrote "Fish in the Dark." But it may leave others frustrated that a great cast, set and director were wasted." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"The formidable McTeer has made the leap and so has the taut direction by the Donmar’s Artistic Director Josie Rourke. Liev Schreiber makes a welcome, languid return to Broadway with more than enough chemistry with his co-star...Christopher Hampton’s dark comedy of sexual intrigue in pre-Revolutionary France can be overly fanciful and drag during its three-hour run time, but this revival simply crackles as a witty comedy descends into horrific satire." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Simon Stephens' play is as sumptuous an experience as theater gets...Director Mark Brokaw upped the intimacy level by putting bleacher seats on much of the stage, making the venue into a poor man's theater-in-the-round. Then he let Parker and Arndt do what they do best...Stephens does nothing less than alchemy here. He captures new love and old love at the same time, hope and fear, the new world and the old." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"A sleek, pretty summer musical…Beane's often-too-sweet script is also peppered with jokes only adults will get…Michaels's editing is as sharp as her twitchy, leg-lifting touches. She knows the stars of the show are the Rockettes — and they shine…The show meanders into some weird places...But there's plenty of magic here...'The New York Spectacular' might not be perfect, but it's made huge steps in both editing and technology." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

“It's not a review or revival. It's more like a history lesson that will blow you away...There is a bit of bloat, too much exposition and with five stars who each need a backstory, the plot sometimes slows, but Wolfe nicely captures the timeless craziness of creation and the glory days of a special show.” Full Review

85
The Associated Press

“A triumph of voices and athleticism from Ferguson, who sweats up a storm...The amount of concentration required by Ferguson is impressive and director Jason Moore runs a tight ship. One stray ring or bobbled cue could set the whole thing off, but Ferguson runs through ‘Fully Committed’ surefooted like an Olympian on an obstacle course. The premise loses steam about halfway through, but that's when the playwright wisely turns to Sam's personal life.” Full Review

90
The Associated Press

“The gloriously gory, sleek, over-the-top musical is a darkly wonderful adaptation of the once-controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis...The creators haven't held back...Graphic sex acts, torturing, stabbing, slashing, axe-wielding, snorting coke off toilets, unsexy orgies and bones cracking are just part of the horrors...Sheik's electronic-and choral-based score is marvelously varied...‘Selling Out,’ the musical's standout track, is infectious...Come, but bring an umbrella.” Full Review

15
The Associated Press

"The show never hits an honest note and seems to have been written by two people who adore classic Broadway musicals but who have intentionally decided to make a third-rate version. The music is weak...The book and lyrics are even more feeble, with graceless lines and weird characters...The show, so long exploring lost love, then descends into virtual farce before ending on such a forced happy note and with such swiftness that it'll knock the corndog out of your hand." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Harrowing — and absolutely brilliant — revival of 'Blackbird'...David Harrower's play is so intimate and emotional and charged that it makes 'Eclipsed' seem like a comedy. It's also impossible to stop watching because both characters are fully realized and equally sympathetic...While the play's topic might initially put some off, this cast makes the spare and human dialogue soar. These are two actors at the top of their game, holding back nothing." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

“Grandage lets it breathe and the actors make it work as a parable about connecting and disconnecting in modern life. By the time the clock hits 4 a.m. and the sun peeks out, there's something deeply satisfying about this little play, which O'Neill himself may never have expected anyone to actually mount on a stage. Thank goodness it has been, especially with Whitaker in the lead role.” Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Michael Frayn's farce about putting on a stage farce is breathlessly clever and funny, a staple of the contemporary theater repertoire. How can it be made even funnier? The Roundabout Theatre Company somehow has found a way...An all-star group of comedic talents allowed to run riot…Everyone onstage has to believe that the risks are real, and this new ensemble never mugs or winks. They are utterly, terribly good at being bad, which is meant as a supreme compliment." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Doyle's pacing in the first act is so swift that there's little time to breathe as misery seems to visit Celie without release — losing a sister, marrying a monster, endless work, beatings, abandoning her kids. Things loosen up in a more airy second act…The score is a happy melting pot of melodies, from gospel to jazz and R&B. Doyle and this company are best just letting Erivo and Hudson sing and the memorable renditions keep coming: " Full Review

55
The Associated Press

"The play itself is a meandering one-note character study of a doomed man…Pacino is predictably unpredictable: You never know when he'll handle something with menace or mockery. He drags out syllables to their breaking point and hurls verbal grenades that sound as innocuous as 'Well, I had a vision…' Director Pam MacKinnon has kept the tension building as the walls slowly close around Ross...But even she can't rescue the farcical, out-of-context ending." Full Review

40
The Associated Press

"Internment camps, racial discrimination and an atomic bomb blast are challenging topics to incorporate into a satisfying night of theater. The heavy-handed, cliche-driven 'Allegiance' tries to take on all three — but does so unsuccessfully in a bombastic and generic Broadway musical." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"It crackles with intrigue and ideas...A splendid Tim Pigott-Smith reprises his role as King Charles III…Rupert Goold keeps things so gripping that at one recent preview, audience members wouldn’t even cough during the final scenes…This play marks Bartlett’s Broadway debut and it’s a thunderously good one. 'King Charles III' is ingenuous, intelligent and intriguing. Forget the king: Long live the playwright!" Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"'Sylvia' has often been knocked as a slight play, one that relies on a single gag. But with this cast and David Rockwell's fine sets, it's a welcome treat. You might even call it fetching." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"One thing you should probably not bet against is the little old lady onstage who seems to have supernatural luck with cards. Another is the two-person cast, James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson — actors still performing at the highest level despite their combined age of 174. You might wonder if there's something supernatural at work there, too...Handsome and beautifully acted revival." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"The result is an exhilarating and fluid hybrid of song, word, dance and sign — and a sheer triumph for director Michael Arden and choreographer Spencer Liff. The songs sit seamlessly in the show, often as brightly lit fantasy sequences that snap back into the grim narrative...If anything, the brilliant staging reveals chips and holes in the book and lyrics, which simply don't measure up to the ingeniousness of the new show itself." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"It's deeply moving, lovingly acted and packed with ideas. But it's not for everyone. There's existential angst, silliness, horror and pitch-black humor. Strong stomachs are required... At the play's end, you may look down at your hands with a new-found respect. Then put them together to honor an envelope-pushing playwright and two stunning actors." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Trust a John Kander-Fred Ebb musical to make the sunny color of vitality and youth positively menacing. In the dark, thrilling show, 'The Visit,' shoes, money and even tennis rackets turn yellow...'The Visit' is sophisticated and beautiful and yet has that typical glorious chilling view of man you expect from a Kander and Ebb show...It can visit anytime." Full Review

35
The Associated Press

"The folks behind 'Doctor Zhivago' promise it is "sure to steal your heart." They apparently hope to do so by bludgeoning you into unconsciousness and then cutting you open with a scimitar. Visually beautiful but one-dimensional, the show is breathless and bombastic to the point of silly...What this show needs isn't a Doctor Zhivago, it's a script doctor." Full Review

100
The Associated Press

for a previous production "A fresh musical that seems like an impossible sell on Broadway but hooks you instantly with its honesty and beauty. It is an adaptation from a graphic novel about growing up in a funeral home with a closeted gay dad. It should be theatrical suicide, and yet few shows are as moving, relatable and funny...Make sure 'Fun Home' is on your list." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"A new production opened Monday with good cheer and manic energy...Director Maria Aitken makes miracles with the minimal scenery and few props, propelling her actors with astonishing fluidity...It’s good to have the looney clowns back." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"Messed-up, angry, needy, dark and in desperate need of mental help...It's like nothing else on Broadway and a brave choice both to open here and to attend...Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs with a flair for allowing the play's little absurdities to reveal themselves naturally and a skill with onstage physicality...Askins at times seems to fumble for a deeper meaning about the individual getting lost in the collective, but while he comes close to profundity, it's really his cast that leaves an ... Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Mulligan, a spectacular Bill Nighy, the marvelous newcomer Matthew Beard and the director Stephen Daldry make alchemy onstage with their own red-hot talent. Funny, poignant and insightful, the West End transfer "Skylight" is a full meal in a place where appetizers often pass as entrees." Full Review

100
The Associated Press

"Les Miserables has rolled into town for its third bite at the Broadway apple, and there’s nothing tiresome about its gloomy, aching heartbeat...The melodies are as grandiose as the story. And here, the voices and look of the show wonderfully match. Bring your flag." Full Review