Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton is a critic with Stage Opinion. 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 (90)
New York Theatre Guide

"A creative team that includes director Alex Timbers and his inspired designers David Korins (sets) and William Ivey Long (costumes), animate this parade of eccentricity with flair and great comedy technique that turns it into a subversive delight. The score by Eddie Perfect is full of wit and grit, and Scott Brown and Anthony King's book propels it forward smartly. There are also hilarious performances from Leslie Kritzer and Sophia Anne Caruso." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
New York Theatre Guide

"In the business of satirising show business itself, and the vanities and insanities of the people who work in it...The show stands or falls largely on the startlingly plausible shoulders of Santino Fontana...It's great to be having fun at a Broadway musical again, and this show is just the ticket for fans of old-fashioned musical comedy." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"As played by Kristine Nielsen and Nathan Lane, they turn this unsavoury spectacle into comic gold. These are Broadway clowns at the top of their game, and they surrender themselves completely to the Ionesco-inspired Theatre of the Absurd...The show is often riotously funny, with a third character Carol, played by the dazzlingly dry and witty Julie White, drawn into the carnage...This is bold, audacious work -- Broadway has not seen anything quite like this before." Full Review

Sea Wall/A Life
East Village
The Stage (UK)

“This double bill allows audiences the opportunity to see two great actors starring in intimate solo shows by playwrights with which they have a creative history...Both actors are comfortable with the rhythms of each playwright’s use of language, and the way the writing shifts, sometimes suddenly, between life and death, joy and pain...Cracknell directs an intense, precisely calibrated production...The result is a transfixing and beautiful evening of intimate storytelling.” Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"The absolute genius of Ivo van Hove’s production is to give this a churning, gripping immediacy, as TV cameras swoop over the action and relay images to a giant screen centre stage and on smaller screens throughout the auditorium. And it is propelled by a searing, shatteringly committed performance from Bryan Cranston...That stage is slightly smaller than it was in London, but the impact is even more shattering." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"The timing could not be more apt for a Broadway theatre to offer a play that puts race at its centre...Demos-Brown spins various themes and sympathies, all underpinned with the churning dread surrounding the fate of the missing teenager. Director Kenny Leon’s exceptionally tense production maintains the constantly shifting dynamics between its four characters with ease and the production is driven by the impassioned distress and intensity of Washington’s performance." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“Comedy and writing legend May returns to Broadway to play a woman facing the loss of her faculties in Lonergan’s elegantly low-key and sympathetic play…There’s not much in the way of plot, but the play is a beautifully etched character portrait…Neugebauer’s production is luxuriously enhanced by Zinn’s sets of Gladys’ gallery and apartment, and the stellar cast also features Allen and director/actor Cromer as Gladys’ daughter and son-in-law.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Jerry Mitchell’s peppy production is propelled by the sheer professionalism of its delivery, the attractive soft-rock songs of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and the chemistry of its leads. Samantha Barks is simultaneously tough and vulnerable as Vivian, while Andy Karl has an alpha-male sturdiness that makes the potentially unsympathetic character of Edward at once edgy and warm. There’s also scene-stealing work – and a fierce, belting voice – from Orfeh." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"The great skill of director Alex Timbers and his book writer John Logan is to fold other songs brilliantly into the narrative...If we must have jukebox musicals, I only wish they were all as vivacious and utterly exhilarating as this. 'Moulin Rouge' feels operatic in the high stakes it sets up...The polish with which it is all executed makes for a breathtaking spectacle. Thanks to gorgeous performances from Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit, it also has a heartbreaking human dimension." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“An impressionistic jumble of songs and scenes...What we don’t get, at least with any substance or continuity, is a through-line of character or plot, as a succession of different people vie for attention and stage time. It’s impossible to get to know or care about anyone and Tresnjak’s relentless production is a visual and aural assault course, with dizzyingly blinding lighting...A succession of pulsating electronic beats from which tunes only intermittently break out.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Staged with ruthless efficiency by director Des McAnuff...The tracks are largely distributed between three ages of Summer, which is a clever way of sharing the load. The staging is far more glossy than gritty, though, with furiously busy projections by Sean Nieuwenhuis setting the ever-changing scene. But I’m not sure this amiable show – more slick Las Vegas revue than a fully-functioning musical – will be remembered next week, let alone forever." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It positively glows with class, in every sense, shimmering with confidence and oozing with delight...Hadden-Paton brings a nicely youthful yet appropriately flummoxed air to the role, and in what appears to be his first musical, carries the songs with conviction, too. He is ideally partnered by the earthy, gritty honesty of Lauren Ambrose’s Eliza...There is luxury casting all around them." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It still holds up very well...A moving and revealing insight into the world of the deaf...The supremely expressive Ridloff is able to convey a wealth of emotion in a performance that is full of passion and frustration while avoiding vulnerability and therefore sentimentality....Jackson's performance is dexterous and impressive...The production additionally makes unprecedented steps towards inclusivity...Leon's absorbing production is only undermined by an ugly abstract set." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"This magisterial revival confirms what a bold and formally inventive playwright he was...Through the captivating performances of Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill, playing the role with angry defiance, weary disappointment and eager expectation respectively, the play provides a gripping, taunting picture of the life decisions that shape who we become...It’s an acting masterclass, but it also contains a coup de theatre that it would be wrong to reveal." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"'Angels in America' is a highly politicised story, but also a deeply personal one. The performances of the cast are beautifully nuanced and have only grown in stature and distress since the London run...Garfield and McArdle are heartbreaking in their anguish and separation. Lane is ferocious as the venal lawyer Roy Cohn – the triumph of Kushner’s writing is in the way it creates compassion for him, something beautifully articulated by Stewart-Jarrett as Cohn’s nurse." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It’s a musical about female empowerment as two women battle innate powers to find their own strength in each other. Director Michael Grandage takes this seriously and finds Shakespearean echoes in the material. There’s also plenty of wit on display in the songs of husband and wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Grandage is incredibly well-served by a cast of terrific actors and singers...It has a clear narrative drive and is full of heartache." Full Review

Girls & Boys
West Village
London Theatre

for a previous production "This deeply unsettling yet spellbinding new play. It is narrated entirely by the mother, played with ferocious concentration and harrowing anguish and intensity by Carey Mulligan...Though the destination may be sign-posted long before we get there, the journey is nevertheless both gruelling and gripping...Mulligan's control of this narrative arc is astonishing...It's not a comfortable play to watch - yet it’s impossible to look away. It is one of the acting achievements of the year so far." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"There’s an intriguing juxtaposition between the trippy, hippy, hallucinogenic fantasy land in which the musical is set in and the happy family show it’s setting out to be...This mix gives it plenty of contemporary culture credibility, but doesn’t give the show a defining musical voice. Landau similarly throws everything at the staging from juggling and cycling to tap dance and skateboarding that makes it feel deliberately chaotic but also a bit relentless." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"Uma Thurman plays this coldly calculating, incredibly glamorous figure, conveying the character’s allure with a film star’s confidence. Her interactions as an arch manipulator, however, are too brazen to be really believable. As much as the play pulses with intrigue and unease, it also feels wildly improbable – even by the standards of the new ‘normal’ of the Trump era. That’s as much a fault of the too-pat writing as it is the rather actorly performances." Full Review

London Theatre

“’Network’ turns the theatre into a live event cinema...We've seen this before...but this time the form is a commentary on itself, and it also feels like the director is recycling himself...The actors are subservient at all times to the technology...There's too much of Cranston on a TV screen...The production chases the thrill of immediacy at all costs...There's plenty of food for provocative thought here. But the film still exists and I'm not sure we needed to revisit it in this form.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "As both director and writer, Ayckbourn is a dab hand at solving theatrical puzzles, orchestrating the action in several locations at once...Dysfunctional marriages, as is so often the case with Ayckbourn, feature prominently on the dramatic menu, but here there’s also a poignant re-awakening of romantic possibilities...There’s a lot of loss and longing in this journey, but the play’s elegiac, reflective tone proves both moving and liberating as it reaches an ending of haunting beauty." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Moore takes us on an indulgent and meandering tour around some of his achievements...Not all of this is very theatrical. Moore and his director Michael Mayer, however, keep it entertaining by introducing various set pieces...Of course, a show like this in New York is preaching to the already converted, seeking affirmation of their dislike of Trump and all that he stands for. So I'm not sure how much good it will actually do...As Trump might say, though, it's a #FakeBroadwayShow." Full Review

Anastasia (NYC)
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

“Bland family entertainment…The period flavor stops with Ahrens and Flaherty's score, which has typically lush, swirling melodies but could come from any one of the pop operas of the last 25 years…Mostly the show coasts on its anodyne, and sometimes cloying charm. This is embodied in the weakly portrayed central relationship between Christy Altomare's title character and Derek Klena as her suitor, though they both at least sing their roles well.” Full Review

The Antipodes
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"There's little in the way of conventional plot or forward momentum, just a collection of characters telling each other stories...It’s a playfully compelling piece but there are also darker apocalyptic undercurrents as reports come from the world beyond the hermetically sealed one we’re in. The drama, such as it is, comes from the delicate interplay of the actors. Director Lila Neugebauer orchestrates them with nuance and feeling...A meticulous meditation on the art of storytelling." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"A classic Broadway drama and an American theatre warhorse. Manhattan Theatre Club's bracing new production is fresh and invigorating. It’s so good you may want to see it twice...Daniel Sullivan's finely calibrated production isn't just a vehicle for these two fine performances, it’s also a glorious ensemble production that crackles with tension and there are terrific contributions from Richard Thomas as Regina's husband and Michael McKean and Darren Goldstein as her two brothers." Full Review

Ink
Midtown W
New York Theatre Guide

"Riveting playwriting from Graham and thrilling stagecraft from Goold...James Graham expertly marshals the human drama behind these headlines -- and it is properly galvanised by a pair of towering performances: Bertie Carvel, reprising his London Olivier-winning performance as a young, ruthless and determined Murdoch, and Jonny Lee Miller as his equally single-minded editor. They are both spellbinding." Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
New York Theatre Guide

“This shattering play about the guilt of seeking to avoid moral responsibility is forever timely...O'Brien expertly modulates the growing tensions of a plot that unfolds with the inevitability of a Greek tragedy...A thrilling cast rise to the challenge of making this entirely believable, fraught and eventually scorching. As matriarch Kate, Bening is devastating as well as devastated...Letts is equally superb...Even knowing the outcome, it's a play that rivets, challenges and disturbs.” Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"This is a bold theatrical speculation and uncovering...The performers don't actively imitate the real Clintons...So we're not invited to look at them through familiar eyes, but as theatrical characters who happen to be them...This gives the play a playful metatheatrical framing...But the play soon breaks free of those gestures to become a fiercely contested insider speculation about a modern marriage...The play is by turns provocative and poignant, smart and funny." Full Review

Freestyle Love Supreme
West Village
The Stage (UK)

“It’s fascinating to see the origins of Miranda’s highly distinctive rap vocabulary...But for all the bravado, ingenuity and skill on display, it’s hard to shake off the sense that the performers at times seem to be having even more fun than the audience. More than one improvisational set piece outstays its welcome and there’s also a disconcerting male air to it all, with no women in the company at all. Still, they’re a likeable troupe.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Joyously affectionate...It takes Broadway types and tropes on the road to a small-town Indiana community wrestling with societal change and promoting a story of lesbian acceptance...The support comes from four ambitious Broadway types, trying to generate a publicity campaign on her behalf in order to promote themselves...These four pull out all the comic stops – and most of the cliches...It’s heartening to see a second musical about the lesbian experience on Broadway." Full Review

Torch Song (NYC)
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

“A stirring revival...The play’s defiant and universal humanity shines through with a burning intensity in Kaufman’s beautifully modulated production. It is galvanised by the fierce combination of unsentimental vulnerability and independent dignity that Urie brings to the character of Arnold, while Ruehl errs just the right side of dramatic cliche in her performance as his overbearing Jewish mum. There’s also sympathetic support from Horton and Hope." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"On Broadway this season, there’s unlikely to be a family drama teeming with more life than this...A deeply personal story on to an account of the divided Northern Ireland of the 1970s...It’s a big play: there are 21 speaking characters...This sense of overflowing dramatic richness is perfect for Broadway...But the production’s epic sense of scale, with Rob Howell’s looming domestic kitchen interior filling the stage, is offset by the intimacy and detail of the performances." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It’s difficult to believe it took more than an afternoon of improv to come up with the enfeebled concept here...It is at once so bad and so bland that it erases itself even as you are watching it. All credit to the affable actors then...for turning these two-dimensional characterisations into people with recognisable human traits. Director John Rando also lends it some shape, even if the destination is always obvious." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“‘Head over Heels’ broadly succeeds because of the inclusivity of its non-binary message...Smartly pairs an unrelated story with familiar hits...The first transgender woman to take on a leading role in a Broadway show. That’s cause for celebration enough; but this genuinely celebratory show also generates a lot of inclusive, boundary-pushing fun – including, appropriately, an all-female band too.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“For all the internalized homophobia and self-loathing openly on display, Crowley’s achievement is to humanize each character amid the bitchy banter to reveal layers of feeling and friendship...The all-star cast of Joe Mantello’s production lend it an unaffected honesty and authenticity, with Parsons as party host Michael and Quinto as birthday boy Harold both bringing waspish wit and expert comic timing to the stage...The ensemble cast also has finely calibrated contributions.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It remains utterly gripping and entirely original in its own right...Tiffany’s urgent, theatrical production is a continuing marvel, boasting absolutely brilliant effects but always remaining foregrounded in the storytelling...At this show’s heart is its humanity, and how it poignantly addresses themes of parental legacy, loss and regret. This is why – beyond all the hype...this Broadway production looks sure to replicate the stratospheric success it has enjoyed in the West End." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Seeing it again now, in post-Weinstein 2018, gives this everyday story of co-dependence and abuse an extra charge. It’s all the more discomforting for the fact that it is all wrapped in the most swooningly romantic and utterly lovely score Rodgers and Hammerstein ever wrote. Jack O’Brien’s production balances these competing, problematic tensions with some grit, playing the dramatic scenes with intense feeling." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Another show about the female enfranchisement...but the production ironically lacks its own authentic voice...Not much by way of dramatic tension, though Fey is helped here by the addition of songs by her composer husband Jeff Richmond...Staged with pep and lots of urban energy...The cast of school friends and rivals is mostly more wearying than endearing, not helped by essentially having to play cliched types...Broadway may nevertheless welcome its easy, if generic, professionalism." Full Review

Lobby Hero
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"It feels slightly under-nourished on a Broadway stage...The play takes the form of a smart, but only intermittently dramatic dance...Cera is appropriately awkward...Evans has the right sense of swagger as a cop of inflated self-importance, but the discomfort emanating from the character also feels like it is coming from the actor making his Broadway stage debut...More confident are Henry and Powley, who bring more complex, nuanced unease to their performances." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"'Grand Hotel' may be just be best show in the series since Kander and Ebb’s 'Chicago' in 1996. Like that show, this is perfectly suited to the front-on, stripped back, single-set intimacy of Encores!...It’s a plot ripe with melodrama and amplified emotions, but composer/lyricists Wright, Forrest, and Yeston supply surging melodies that perfectly complement it. As rendered here...it is simply gorgeous...A cast of sublime Broadway performers give the show emotional and vocal heft." Full Review

Matilda (London)
Covent Garden
The Stage (UK)

"Warchus’ peerless production...is spectacularly staged. It feels both intimate and larger-than-life as we see the world through the unique prism of the older-than-her-years Matilda, a voracious reader and loner who is neglected by her parents...The expertly drilled cast of youngsters playing Matilda’s friends are playful and bring an infectious sense of fun and jeopardy to a show that is full of both qualities." Full Review

Fire and Air
East Village
The Stage (UK)

"The flames of artistic passion only flicker intermittently in McNally’s new, surprisingly inert and dreary depiction of the muse that Nijinsky provided for Diaghilev...It’s a static piece: all tell and no show...There’s little of interest in McNally’s play and such fine actors as Glover, Mazzie, and Mason are wasted in underwritten roles...Two giant mirrors dominate director Doyle’s set design, but the play feels like it is constantly looking at its own reflection without showing anything il... Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"This utterly delightful burst of Caribbean sunshine could not be more welcome as winter darkness descends on Broadway. A folk tale set to an irresistibly tuneful score...Arden’s exuberant and soulful revival is staged in-the-round...The tremendous ensemble cast is blessed with magnificent voices...Kilgore makes an exultant Broadway debut as Ti Moune, expectant with hope, hr open-faced vivacity crushed by the pain of her rejection. It’s quietly devastating." Full Review

Meteor Shower
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

“An experimental comedy that sometimes feels like an extended sketch show in which the same scenes are replayed again and again with different outcomes...The result is an occasionally brittle but seldom biting comedy, a not exactly subtle piece of writing about domestic relationships and the games people play with each other, given a cosmic edge by a spectacular meteor shower...The show feels paper-thin, but director Zaks keeps things bright and fast.” Full Review

M. Butterfly
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"This Broadway revival feels both over-dressed and dramatically under-nourished...In an age where gender fluidity is increasingly normalised, the revelation is hardly as shocking as it once was...The real drama is supposed to play out between Clive Owen’s diplomat and Jin Ha as his lover, but there's something rather tentative and passionless about this too; there's little sense of connection -- or jeopardy...Without being able to believe in their relationship, there’s not much at stake." Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
The Stage (UK)

"An overture that whets the appetite. The show, however, doesn't fully sate it. It's inevitably rushed and bitty as it proffers short extracts from all-time classics...'The Phantom of the Opera' is playing in full just three blocks away, so the extract seems entirely superfluous...Verdict: Celebration of a Broadway master skips less familiar material, but is a generous, good-hearted show for fans." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“Though dated in some aspects, the play still has a shimmering allure, thanks to its Albee-esque delight in language and its vivid portrayal of their willingness to be taken in by Paul's reflected celebrity…Janney's performance is a lesson in perfectly manicured manners. She is well partnered by John Benjamin Hickey, as the urbane Flan. But the revelation is rising actor Corey Hawkins' performance as the interloper Paul. He brings an innocence to the character that makes his lie feel plausible.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“With a new director, plus new, and notably less expensive, designs and an extensively revised book and score, it moves faster and establishes its relationships far better…Charlie's obnoxious fellow claimants for Wonka’s factory tour are now played by adult actors, not kids; the Oompa Loompas are newly kitted out in body suits from which the actors' own heads pop out, while the new and less embellished design allows the audience to make its own imaginative leaps.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“At 71, Midler still has expert comic timing…Jerry Herman's 1964 score contains more earworms than virtually any show in history…Zaks' traditional, if sumptuous, production makes sure it feels constantly fresh and funny…The performances mix and match realism with caricature. Midler's Dolly is naturally larger-than-life, and if she sometimes overdoes the comedy, there's a knowing charm that is completely disarming.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Tim Minchin’s musical is as hilarious as it is bracing. Matthew Warchus' production has only grown in vividness and confidence since its premiere at the Old Vic last summer...Warchus and his expert collaborators have brought a finely tuned balance of Broadway-scale polish and an English-infused ironic pathos to the show that makes its constant repetitions worth revisiting." Full Review