Myra Chanin

Myra Chanin is a critic with Theater Pizzazz. 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 (41)
Hannah Senesh
Financial
Theater Pizzazz

"'Hannah Senesh,' an emotional, inspiring yet totally non-sentimental biographical drama about a prescient and unbelievably valiant young woman whose enemies declared her the bravest person they'd ever met." Full Review

Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "The abundant twists and turns in most narrative arcs ultimately boil down to a series of themes...There is no wall between the characters and the audience. The characters tell their problems, secrets and intentions to the audience and often ask for their advice and opinions which the audience has no problems sharing...The play is never boring, the language is funny. The situations are ludicrous. The best reason to go is to watch Austin Pendleton own the stage." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "A hip and funny as well as a very sad show...Marmo is the most Bruce-like of all the actors I’ve seen portray Lenny...Marmo doesn’t dig extensively into Lenny’s bits and the laughter they received...Marmo deals more with Lenny’s refusal to bow to the powers-that-be...Marmo’s Lenny becomes the M.C in the wry story of his life. He stumbled into a life in comedy, after his ad-libs were greeted with laughter, and he died in agony." Full Review

Unraveled
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

“’Unraveled’ left me snarled and it shouldn’t have. Despite my ignorance of physics, I am unfortunately familiar with ‘Unraveled’s’ subject and theme: the effect on family of late-in-life loss of selfhood...I was indifferent to most of the characters — Joy, George the Younger, and Joy’s swain Michael— but I found Ladonna Burns the hospice caregiver and Susanna Hay as Old George very moving in roles that were well written.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The current revival of 'Comfort Women' is difficult to watch, think about, and certainly sing about...It’s hard to imagine that a tragedy of this depth and these dimensions could be regarded as the basis for entertainment. Good intentions are not enough. Everything has to have artistic coherence...It just didn’t work for me...All I could think of during and since the play was the horror the women suffered. This subject needs to be shown, not in a musical, but as a film documentary." Full Review

The Whore From Ohio
West Village
Theater Pizzazz

"'Hanoch Levin Squared' is a magical back-to-back New Yiddish Rep presentation of two of Levin tragi-comic tours de force...Holbitter (miraculously portrayed by Yiddish Rep’s Artistic director David Mandelbaum) is the protagonist of 'The Whore from Ohio'...Brilliantly directed in both languages by Ronit Muszkatblit...The resulting performances were breathtaking." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Mandelbaum has gradually unearthed enough aspiring young actors who grew up in Yiddish-speaking households and can express the emotions behind the words with their voices and body movements because the subtleties of Yiddish are ingrained in their DNA...The actors really inhabit the souls of their characters and bring them to life in ways that make your heart stand up and cheer...A moving, nostalgic but realistic play with a plausibly happy ending and titles that are easy to see.” Full Review

Desperate Measures
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "A toe-tapping unforgettable score of fifteen hummable tunes and precise expressive lyrics...A brilliant book without an extra syllable in it...strewn with low jinx bawdy enough to amuse the baseborn and observations astute enough to impress the scholarly, yet capable of making both of the above mutually burst into billowing roars of laughter...An unspoiled, impeccable, picture perfect catch of performers...Every person in the audience walked out laughing." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Dietrich’s fearless history deserves an audacious reiteration, and in 'Dietrich Rides Again,' Conant and Kostek reward her with exactly that...Kostek adds curiously comic, impish touches to her passionate interpretation. Her performance was greatly enjoyed by the audience...Just remember 'Dietrich Rides Again' is a work in progress. I would have liked to know a bit more about her husband and her friendships with stars with whom she worked." Full Review

Zero Hour
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"The absolutely best solo performance I’ve ever seen in my life...Those 90 minutes were the 100% most enjoyable hour and a half I’ve spent in years. Jim Brochu deserves a double A+ for impeccable playwriting and a flawless performance. Director Piper Laurie rates several hip, hip, hip, hurrahs for her discrete direction and for impeccably maintaining the ideal balance between Mostel/Brochu’s chutzpah and anguish." Full Review

Yours Unfaithfully
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"I never thought that a previously unproduced play written the year I was born by someone whose name I’d never heard would still be so emotionally and intellectually riveting and relevant four score and four years later, but Miles Malleson’s 'Yours Unfaithfully' easily accomplishes that feat and more…It is a truthful, funny and touching play–a complex play about complex characters with great opposing facial and body language under Jonathan Bank’s subtle but clear direction." Full Review

Man in Snow
East Village
Theater Pizzazz

"The confrontation between Emily and her father is one of the most agonizing and powerful scenes in the play…A very dense, haunting and beautifully performed and author-directed 80-minute drama. Its one drawback? David’s poetry. It made me think it might not have been such a terrible blow to literature for him to have given it up." Full Review

Einstein!
East Village
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "Jack Fry reinvented, wrote the play and portrays the young Einstein...Fry’s Einstein is both intriguing and amusing. He plays the fiddle. He’s distressed by the downside of his celebrity, i.e. tee-shirts on which his likeness is printed, and even worse, bobble-head dolls of him...The theater may be on the Fringe, but the production is not. Fry is an endearing performer with wonderful and changing accents." Full Review

Getting Out
East Village
Theater Pizzazz

"Ultimately the play, like life, offers no simple answers—but it conveys, with heartrending honesty and compassion, the struggle of someone fighting for her life against incredible odds. As usual, the direction by Erin Cronican and all of the performances was outstanding...Both Erin Cronican who plays Arlene and Candice Oden who plays Arlie touched my heart." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“All in all, think forty minutes of skits written and performed by the inhabitants of ‘Animal House’ at that point during a toga party when they can still hold a pencil...If you’re one of those who secretly smile at inappropriate salacious material, like everyone did in the old days, you might enjoy ‘Brokenhearted,’ but naturally in a very, very, very guilty way. The audience only filled one third of the seats in the theater, but their laughter sounded like the house was Standing Room Only.” Full Review

Himself and Nora
West Village
Theater Pizzazz

"Does the writing life, plus quotes from sexually explicit letters, seem to you to be the stuff of interesting drama? The opening scene made them appear to be!...After that, the play went downhill...The performers were exceptional as directed by Michael Bush...Still no one left the theater looking very happy...Jonathan Brielle wrote the book, music and lyrics of this very Las Vegas pastiche...The plot was indecisive. It wasn’t sure where it wanted to go and what it wanted to be." Full Review

Murrow
East Village
Theater Pizzazz

“Murrow, the man, furnishes the frame for Murrow, the reporter. Both are magnificently brought to life via a superb collaboration between playwright Joseph Vitale, performer Joseph J. Menino and director Jeremy Williams...Merino’s Murrow is the class act that the original deserved. His resemblance to Morrow was impressive and I was utterly enthralled by his performance. It never felt like a one-man show...To follow Vitale’s ‘Murrow’ through recent history is a privilege.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"To me 'Land of Fire' was more a debate than an artistic work. Director Moshe Yassur did his best but it must have been difficult to direct...The roles and performances of the male characters were more compelling than that of the heroine." Full Review

The Pillowman
Gramercy
Theater Pizzazz

"The Clarion Theater’s intimate performing space totally connects the audience to the performers. The play’s eerie past, present and future villainy is ably co-directed by Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker who also stars as Katurian. Their spooky result sent chills up my spine. Daniel Michal Perez’s Michal was just amazing...Two other equally impressive 'Pillowman' performers were Logan Keeler as the frantic bad cop Ariel." Full Review

Professor Brenner
Soho/Tribeca
Theater Pizzazz

"I’ve seen and enjoyed several of New World Theater’s previous productions, but I found their current translation and performance of David Pinski’s Professor Brenner neither interesting, enjoyable, nor appealing...The professor’s story had failed the test of time. The set and the lighting were prosaic. The direction by Paul Tacacs was tedious and sent David Greenspan as Professor Brenner down a path that made me unable to connect with him emotionally." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production “The first half of ‘Love, Linda’ depends more on Cole’s music than on the book...The second half of ‘Love, Linda’ is very powerful and moving. The songs that open the show...seem especially appropriate to this saga. Stevie plays Linda beautifully at any and all stages of her life and she really does justice to Cole’s music. If Linda could have sung as brilliantly as Stevie does, she could have made a glorious life on her own.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Stunned by a performance which would have knocked your socks off if you were wearing any...The five-character play...tells the story of an unlikely connection that develops between a middle aged non-religious Jewish woman and a young Hasidic man struggling with schizophrenia...Henderson did an excellent job of making an unusual situation come believably alive. Coleman has written an interesting and moving first play and she was touching as Lenora.” Full Review

Vilna
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

“’Vilna’ was a very difficult play to write but...Fuchs, inspired by the discovery of an underground escape tunnel dug by a few survivors...manages to cover significant moments in 18 years in the lives of one Jewish family, the Zeidels. Most of the characters in the play were real people. And while the scenes depicted are fiction, they align with actual chronological events...Ably directed by Discher, cleverly lighted by Feiner, with very convincing fight direction by Sordelet.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“A rare bird in today’s musical theater, Sonnenblick is a genuine tunesmith whose danceable rhythms urge your legs to stand up and fox trot and your lips to hum along. His lyrics may still lack the clever rhymes...but some of his lines are already quite striking for a 28-year-old artist...A memory play with all its ensuring virtues and vices...There are intriguing twists along the way...Friedman’s fluid direction...keeps your attention glued to the stage, where it should be.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"One of the two best one-man shows I’ve seen in my longer-than-I-prefer-to-admit life...Birbiglia’s an amazingly honest and truthful storyteller...He’s mastered the creation of humorous concepts along with a nuanced, good natured unhurried delivery...Birbiglia’s smart. He has stage presence. His measured pacing is honed to get the biggest response from the stories he tells. He covers all the bases in his very precise commentary." Full Review

Tevye Served Raw
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "When Jews weren’t weeping and lamenting, they laughed about their recognition of truth...Sholem Aleichem recorded their doings in the tricky Yiddish outsider/underdog vernacular, difficult-to-impossible to translate into warm and amusing English. Yet this task was accomplished...Try to see it. This amazing trio, Baker, Rickman and Shmulenson are doing something very honest and special. They deserve everyone’s support." Full Review

The Labor of Life
East Village
Theater Pizzazz

"'Hanoch Levin Squared' is a magical back-to-back New Yiddish Rep presentation of two of Levin tragi-comic tours de force...'The Labor of Life' would have made a wonderful script for Groucho Marx...Brilliantly directed in both languages by Ronit Muszkatblit...In the future, anytime you hear about a Yiddish Rep production, listen to me, take a chance and buy yourself a ticket." Full Review

Diaspora
West Village
Theater Pizzazz

"Nathanial Sam Shapiro’s splendid 'Diaspora' is so packed with feelings, history and ideas that it’s easier to laud than to describe...Director Saheem Ali deserves great credit for his sensitivity to the 8 actors in search of 22 characters in two time zones...Nathaniel Sam Shapiro is a playwright with a future. Three days after seeing the play, I’m unable to stop thinking about it...His scenes are intriguing. His dialogue is bold and funny." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Mamma mia! Wotta production! Wotta performance! Profound. Touching. And even more contemporary now than when it was written...I found the New Yiddish Rep’s production remarkable...I am totally thrilled with the New Yiddish Rep’s ability to find actors who grew up speaking Yiddish and act as well as this cast...Bravo for your emotional clarity. Rosen and Twersky are especially commendable...Yassur’s superb direction was elegant, spare and direct, even-handed...An exquisite production." Full Review

Jerry's Girls
Midtown E
Theater Pizzazz

"Svejcar’s arrangements of Jerry Herman’s tunes astounded the theatergoers, lifted their spirits and put everyone in the happiest of summer moods...Director Hunt has successfully encouraged and allowed Christine Pedi and a pair of Stephanies–D’Abruzzo and Umoh–to do justice to Herman’s style, wit and lyrics, each in her own inimitable way...Only one drawback. I felt 'Movies Were Movies'...needed to be sung by the baritone voice for whom it was composed." Full Review

Vanity Fair
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"Great and glorious, equal parts cabaret, circus and non-judgmental morality play...Go see the play. It’s fun, interesting and often even touching...Kate Hamill, the adapter and star, and Eric Tucker, the director, are a smashing duo, as in turning classic stories into theatrical smash hits...I thought the second act could have been cut slightly. As for Eric Tucker’s direction, triple wows for turning an ancient classic into a fun show with a considerable undercoating of content." Full Review

God of Vengeance
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "Thanks to excellent English super-titles and the body language and facial expressions of the cast, the thoughts and feelings of the shtetl Jews become real, personal and present...This production is exceptional because of Eleanor Reissa’s skill as both actor and director...Her work is elegant, unique, honest, radiant, and authentic; and her profound, understated direction shields the actors from the vengeance of melodrama by helping the cast present the characters’ complex layers." Full Review

Two Class Acts
Soho/Tribeca
Theater Pizzazz

"I found Gurney’s 'Ajax' offensive, not because it spread the same old lies about Jews but because it was artificial and jerky. I think it needs to be rethought and turned into a longer play with more depth and less superficial characters. I presume it’s a comedy, but the humor didn’t come through to me...'Squash:' I found very little feeling in this play as well. It was a clever idea but not quite clever enough. Laughter was sparse. The characters were too superficial to be funny." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "A gripping, first full-length play about a compelling subject...Mickele Hogan, the very young playwright, demonstrates a deep understanding of the conflicting, complex emotions of everyone involved...The play was very well acted and very moving thanks to subtle performances by all under Alan Souza’s sensitive direction. The closing scene was especially devastating...I recommend this play highly. You’ll be hearing about this play and the playwright Mickele Hogan again quite soon." Full Review

The Golden Bride
Financial
Theater Pizzazz

"This re-revival is even more splendid and joyful than the one I saw first...One great joy of this production is the exuberant 14-piece orchestra under the jubilant baton of Zalmen Mlotek, filling the theater with endless melodies that has 2016 audiences dancing in their seats. Equally enthralling were the glorious operatically trained voices of the lovers...'The Golden Bride' will give you a golden evening. I can’t imagine who wouldn’t enjoy this joy-filled production." Full Review

Hero's Welcome
Midtown E
Theater Pizzazz

"It’s an ironic play with amusing but bitter elements. The irony is tinged with wisdom-of-the-ages sadness, but it does end on a hopeful note…The acting is first-rate as is the direction, with twists and turns created by a first-rate intelligence. 'Hero’s Welcome' is a play you take home with you, furrow your brow and think about, It’s proof that even at 79, Alan Ayckbourn can still create diverse plays with interesting characters. Anything he writes is well worth seeing!" Full Review

Indecent
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "A powerful drama...'Indecent' is beautifully staged and performed. It’s hard to find the words to describe the complexity of the story, the emotions it evokes and the personal, as well as professional, relationships depicted. Among the most outstanding performances are the love scenes between Katrina Lenk and Adina Verson…’Indecent’ is a remarkable theater piece — a pleasure to watch and feel. A veritable tour de force!" Full Review

One Funny Mother
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"Dena is a world-class household goddess, a member of the continuum begun by Erma Bombeck and branded by Roseanne Barr. She’s observational but respectively sexier than Bombeck and less aggressive and angry than Barr. Being slender, pretty and smart is a help...Best of all, Dena connects perfectly with her audience, both male and female...Dena shares her life and observations, rightly certain, that you share her humanity." Full Review

The Golden Bride
Financial
Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "'The Golden Bride,' in Yiddish with English and Russian subtitles, looks like a tri-lingual hit...One great joy of this production is the exuberant 14-piece orchestra filling the theater with melodies that had 1923 audiences dancing in the aisles. Equally enthralling were the glorious operatically trained voices..'The Golden Bride' is a perfect holiday gift. You don’t have to be Jewish to love it. You just have to enjoy melody and charm." Full Review

Gidion's Knot
Gramercy
Theater Pizzazz

"That suspension from school was the reason for Gidion’s suicide struck me as nonsense...It contains a brilliant performance by Erin Cronican, who always convinces me that she actually is the character she is playing. As for Ms. Clark, I could not understand how she could read that horrible composition without screaming at the mother about who she’d made her son...Interesting but difficult to watch...Troubling and affecting. " Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"I simply can’t get this production out of my mind. Both the company and the cast deserve an abundance of praise for their talents and achievement. Both were inspired. Once again deliberate simplicity produced consequential significance." Full Review