Ron Cohen

Ron Cohen is a critic with Musical Theater Review. 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 (130)
Toni Stone
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"Entertaining as well as importantly informative...Mathis’s Toni is totally beguiling....The teams of the Negro League were expected to provide a sort of vaudeville entertainment for their ticket buyers, and that’s well suggested in the lively staging of director Pam MacKinnon, along with a couple of energetic interludes choreographed by Camille A. Brown. But just as compelling are MacKinnon’s handling of intimate dugout conversations and the relationships entwining Toni." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“If you feel even the slightest hint of a migraine coming on, you might want to skip venturing into this funhouse/madhouse...It’s an incredibly noisy experience aimed primarily at scaring the living. And it’s done with a riotous score...The show has been directed with what feels like unhinged imagination...Coherence is thrown to the winds...What remains pretty constant is the playful obnoxiousness and energy of Brightman as Beetlejuice. It’s a monumental performance.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"With a decade-long peripatetic journey of development and furbishing, 'Hadestown' has finally ignited on Broadway. The wait was worth every minute. With book, lyrics and music by singer-songwriter Mitchell, this deep dive into Greek mythology works like an hallucination you may never want to end...Under Chavkin’s non-stop inspirational direction, the five are giving spectacular performances that fairly seethe with magic, combining contemporary vibrancy and attitude." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"Fish has found and brought to the fore the dark, dark colours underlying R&H’s buoyant tale...The orchestrations and arrangements...have a country-western twang or pop flavouring, but they still delight...Along with the festivities, though, there’s a hint of violence...Splendid cast...The move to Broadway has maintained the show’s intimacy, while somehow enriching the musicality, and added even a bit more ingrained depth to its characters...Dynamic theatre.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“A brilliantly-tooled entertainment, bursting with explosive onstage talent, fortified with Olympian stamina...You don’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool Temptations fan to want to start gyrating in your seat...While it never quite escapes the feeling that we’re being...fed a checklist of narrative points, it’s a fairly compelling story...McAnuff’s staging is masterful...The numbers exponentially heighten the excitement with great singing and Trujillo’s choreography.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"It’s smashing. The production has gained some points for its conscientious effort to drain the show of its purported sexism...But beyond that is the production’s appreciation of ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ as a knock-’em-dead entertainment, with one glorious Porter song after another, the buoyancy and shrewdness of the book, and its opportunities to dazzle with production numbers....O’Hara is the centerpiece...Her singing has never been more brilliant.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“If you’re into chick flicks...’Chick Flick the Musical’ may well be a show for you...The script supplies a happy ending...The score...is serviceable, sometimes more than that, but also a bit monotonous...All the razzle-dazzle doesn’t obscure the work of the four performers who impress with their tireless energy and talent, even though the material they have to work with could be more compelling, at least for those of us who are not chick flick zealots.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"The show once again proves its brilliance, with Sondheim’s ear- and soul-filling score and the poignancy of its intention overcoming whatever clunky defects remain in its unconventional storytelling...That energy, with the cast pared down to just six terrific performers under the inspired direction of Noah Brody is one of the key elements making this redo such an exhilarating experience...The score has been thinned but with no feeling of disruption." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"McCraney’s writing vibrates with a universal appeal in its understanding of the turmoils of simply growing up and in colorfully revealing the foibles and the strengths of his characters...With Trip Cullman, who directed the original production, again guiding the proceedings, the script is given a life that crackles with urgency and meaning...Has the earmarks of become a seminal work of its time." Full Review

King Kong (NYC)
Midtown W
Musical Theater Review

“The 20-foot-tall animatronic puppet of Kong is indeed a gasp-inducing marvel, but there’s plenty to admire elsewhere...Thorne’s script works hard at developing the tale’s mythic qualities...The orchestral scoring are richly ear-filling, heightening the mood and excitement at just about every turn...McOnie masterfully pulls all the elements together into one coherent and affecting piece of musical theatre storytelling...It’s a boldly conceived, legitimate piece of musical theatre.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"In Fish’s reimagining, the show...seethes with darker and visceral currents, currents that deal with sexuality and politics...There are times when director Fish perhaps overdoes his credentials as a conceptualist...For the most part, Fish’s approach while risky, daring and sometimes just showy, doesn’t violate the basic appeal of this wonderful piece, and if it means endowing it with updated relevance for present and future generations, so be it." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"A stunning piece of theater...Gardley’s writing pulsates with affection for these women, but what’s more astounding is the deep understanding he shows of their predicament...Gardley whips up a galvanizing storm of sexism and racism with a similar skeleton of story, revving it up with grand melodrama. Yet under the fierce and knowing direction of Lileana Blain-Cruz, it all seems entirely organic...The cast of seven women delivers a gallery of indelible portraits." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“This new jukebox Broadway musical has a tendency to wallow in some low-grade smirking, even as it offers a celebration of love...Mayer keeps the action moving in blithe fashion, except for a tendency to linger a bit too long on the salacious bits...Perhaps the most endearing elements...are the lovingly old-fashioned sets...Enclosed in a plushy fake proscenium, they emit a gently embracing storybook welcome. It’s a quality that this sometimes off-putting...raucous offering could use a bit mor... Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“While the production doesn’t turn this half-ugly duckling of a show into a beautiful swan, it certainly makes the point that it’s worth trying...Worth the time spent clucking over the bumpy script...Errico delivers her big numbers with grand aplomb, giving full value to Lerner’s witty, wise and expressive lyrics and Lane’s lush melodies...But Daisy’s oblique kookiness is not a natural fit for her...When a show boasts a score like this one, maybe it’s time to just ignore its deficiencies.” Full Review

Lonesome Blues
Midtown E
Musical Theater Review

“Lemon is embodied with stunning authority by Babatundé...’Lonesome Blues’ hits the stage with a grand assuredness about what it wants to say and wants to do...The narrative is fairly short on specifics....But it’s the music that is the heart of the show, and Babatundé delivers it with a rich musicality...If the show falters in any way, it’s that it threatens at times to become survey-like...Nevertheless, ‘Lonesome Blues’ impresses one mightily with the scope and feeling of its subject’s art.” Full Review

Exquisita Agonia
Gramercy
TheaterScene.com

“A complex drama that’s both provocative and poetic...A significant new work..Brisk, no-frills directing style...Until the explosive moments toward the close of the second act, the production has the aura of a mild-mannered family dramedy. It brings out the comedy and a smattering of pathos but eschews the mysteriousness of the magic realism that gives much of Cruz’s writing its seductive appeal...The performers are commendable in their verisimilitude.” Full Review

The Gentleman Caller
West Village
TheaterScene.com

“An intriguing – if sometimes questionable – depiction of these two pillars of 20th Century American theater at a crucial point in their lives...The appeal lies to a great extent in the performances of its two actors...Performances worth watching. Still, the proceedings aren’t convincing enough to keep you from wondering, while it’s going on, what Inge and Williams themselves would have thought about this attempt to lay bare their friendship.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"Sher's modus operandi is a deep appreciation and luxuriant refurbishing of a show's virtues with no great proclivity for reinterpretation, although in 'My Fair Lady' he does give the ending a surprise twist...Shavian brilliance glitters throughout...with Lerner's book enacted to perfection by a cast headed by Hadden-Paton...and Ambrose...Sher's work gives the revival its own impressive sense of importance, with a series of breath-taking moments." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"At times, it all makes for a frisky funny entertainment...There are other times when the abrupt plot and character turns begin to feel a little messy and overworked...Script is laced with Fey's off-kilter brainy humour that seeps into the lyrics as well...Nicholaw's blithely inspired direction further matches Fey's tone, and his angular choreography exudes both a youthful exuberance and a sense of humour...The company exhibits seemingly bottomless reserves of talent and energy." Full Review

Rocktopia
Midtown W
Musical Theater Review

"Basically a concert, but with its Broadway trappings, it could be a final step in the evolution of the jukebox musical...Make sure that just about every number gets a tumultuous arrangement, with a compact 20-piece symphony orchestra well amplified, a rock band, an energetic chorus and featured singers...And voila!...You've got yourself a show...'Rocktopia' may well be a shortcut to tinnitus, but it’s also surprisingly inventive and at times exhilarating. Be tempted and be warned." Full Review

Babette’s Feast
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"An example of low-tech stagecraft elevated with imagination and enthusiasm by a company of nine skilled actors...It’s an affecting story, tying together several motifs – the passion of the artist, the goodness that can from the stranger in our midst, and the unpredictable human connections that can shape our lives...This version of 'Babette’s Feast' may not satisfy completely your appetite for soul-grabbing drama, but it certainly provides a stage filled with well-prepared small plates." Full Review

Three Wise Guys
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"A tasty slice of that quality known as Runyonesque...Not exactly the madcap caper it may well intend to be...Squeezes in more plot than laugh lines...Still, it's a likeable entertainment, thanks in large part to an ingratiating cast, and Evans' light but imaginative hand as director of the show as well as its co-writer...May not be a 'great' play, but...It should leave the company’s final audiences with smiles on their faces." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"While it unreels in intimate surroundings, it’s a show of epic proportions. It’s epic in the blasphemous hijinks and unbridled profanities of the book and lyrics...Rando has assembled a company of 17 actors...The glory of their singing is matched by the enthusiasm they bring to the show’s celebration of the basest dimensions of human relationships...The non-stop movement of Rando’s staging keeps the thrust stage pulsating with action...An audaciously entertaining adventure." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“Wolf’s script provides an arresting mirroring of the creative imagination with the unpredictability of reality...The plain-spoken delivery is a bit jarring against the eloquence of the words themselves, the heightened atmosphere created by the music, and the aura of the characters involved...But such criticism aside, Wolf – and Fairchild – deserve monstrous credit for providing another look at and dimension to this oft-told tale of science and creativity gone awry.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“Can seem a bit overburdened. But in this new Broadway revival, director Michael Arden and choreographer Camille A. Brown bring so much energy and enthusiasm to the tale that it hardly matters...However all that may strike you (maybe a little too mythic?), Arden’s theatrical inventiveness, Brown’s ground-shaking, hip gyrating choreography, the Ahrens-Flaherty score and an exemplary cast make it a jubilant, sometimes moving experience." Full Review

A Strange Loop
Midtown W
Musical Theater Review

"For much of the early part of the show, the anguish and mental grime that Usher is going through is barely noticeable through Jackson’s scintillating, propulsive score. The music...has a genuine Broadway vivacity...The give-and-take between Usher and his Thoughts is spiked with humour...Jackson has created a musical that in extraordinarily courageous fashion pulls us deep into another person’s soul...And when it’s done with exciting music as well, it’s especially rewarding." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Musical Theater Review

"Under Scott Ellis’ sure-footed direction, embellished with Denis Jones’ snappy choreography, the show moves forward with the confidence of an old-school Broadway musical comedy, one that knows it’s going to make at least most of its audience happy. And for extra punch, the dialogue is occasionally peppered with a sprinkling of #MeToo era sensitivities...The score is truly just about as good as a score can be without slipping into the realm of marvellous." Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

“Wilson’s 1987 improbable, meandering love story, is given an expertly calibrated revival...An unquestionable showcase for two actors who can generate romantic heat burning through personality clash, and...Driver and Russell, do that...wonderfully...The play is most alive when Driver is on stage...It’s a gratifying experience to see Driver and Russell bringing validity as well as marquee glamour to this sensitively, sometimes flashily written but not always convincing work." Full Review

The Cradle Will Rock
East Village
Musical Theater Review

"Could be seen as a relic of Great Depression-era agitprop: recurringly relevant, but still a product of times gone by...However, this Off-Broadway revival...is triumphantly alive, with its 10-member ensemble bringing passion, immediacy and theatrical acuity to the script’s thesis, its music and sardonic, bitter humour...What Doyle and company succeed in doing is making it thrillingly relevant." Full Review

Smart Blonde
Midtown E
TheaterScene.com

"An affectionate, often affecting sketchbook of Holliday’s life...In its 90 minutes or so, it’s fairly cluttered, but then, so was Holliday’s life...The production’s bare-bones feeling doesn’t detract irretrievably; on the positive side, you could just say it’s all a coup de théâtre. But...the seemingly makeshift physical production values are all too apparent, diminishing clarity and dramatic effect. Holtzman’s writing and, particularly, Holliday’s story deserve more." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"The story unwinds in a forthright, unsentimental manner, in a series of short scenes with colorful dialogue...Keen Company deserves credit for bringing to New York this rather gentle, uplifting work, depicting African Americans living life without guns, drugs and racist police or pimps on every corner. Unfortunately, it’s given the play a problematic production, marked by a notable gaffe in casting...Nevertheless, 'Surely, Goodness and Mercy' deserves to be seen." Full Review

The Cake
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"It wraps a highly charged topic into a pleasant but sometimes gooey confection...The play’s most gripping moments come when Macy relates the experiences of her youth as a gay black woman...For the most part, though, Brunstetter’s writing has a soft-focus grace, with easy-to-take jokes and likable characters...In trying to give us both a thorny problem play and a feel-good entertainment, Brunstetter may be proving the old adage that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too." Full Review

On Blueberry Hill
Midtown E
TheaterScene.com

“This is a stunning and eventful narrative, yet made totally credible by Barry’s writing and the arresting work of the two actors, beautifully balanced one against the other...There are times when Buggy’s intensity takes his voice to a low volume level you may have to strain to hear him...Nevertheless, the magnetism of this actor keeps the audience rapt...The exceptional attentive stillness that both Ganly and Buggy engendered in their audience...became a memorable part of the event." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“A youthful revel, smartly and lovingly put together with a satiric edge, one that should satisfy the film’s legion of fans...With a jukebox of tunes, the music has a bouncy pop sound...Heckerling’s tangy writing...never dissolves into saccharine...The physical production is first-rate...’Clueless, the Musical’ may indeed be helpless when it comes to avoiding that sight feeling of redundancy. Still, it infatuates as a bright, expansive bubble of a musical.” Full Review

Renascence
Lower E Side
Musical Theater Review

"Rather than a bio-musical, the show, with a score that fits Millay’s poetry to lush and invigorating music, is more an evocation of a personality...No fourth wall here. When they aren’t singing or speaking intently to each other, they’re doing so to the audience. And the singing is indeed prodigious, often gorgeous...It’s hard to believe that the inventive theatricality of the show, the music, and the majestic talents of the performers won’t win you over." Full Review

Private Peaceful
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"Irish actor Shane O’Regan magnetically holds the stage...O’Regan brings the title character to vibrant, often ebullient life...Tommo becomes an actual person desperate to recount the days of his life and the value of them before they end in an unjust death. And with O’Regan’s intensity, Reade’s staging, Anshuman Bhatia’s lighting design, and Jason Barnes’ sound, the trenches and the battlefields become a virtual reality." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"It’s not transcendent Shakespeare but it’s a sturdy chunk of entertainment...A joyful community celebration as well...Taub’s hefty score has a bright bouncy feel, with vaudeville-like character songs intermingled with soul-tinged ballads...Lorin Latarro’s choreography is pretty basic hip-hop, but to see it performed in unison by a legion of some 50 enthusiastic folks of all ages, shapes and sizes, is pretty impressive. So, it’s hats off to all these game citizens." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“A top-notch revival...Director-choreographer Bergasse...has infused the proceedings with a sense of joy that ripples through the superlative nine-person company...There’s no strongly discernible narrative theme...Rather it’s that sense of joy that provides the context. And the surprising variety of the songs themselves gives them a plentitude of opportunities to win over the audience...There is indeed probably something for everybody.” Full Review

Carmen Jones
East Village
Musical Theater Review

"Glorious singers all...What dominates the stage is an intensely intimate distillation of the opera’s story of a potentially great love affair gone bad...The denouement is overwhelming. You feel as if you’re experiencing it for the first time...Some might say his lyrics are too fancifully black or stereotypical...The terrific cast makes the words totally organic, bringing truth to just about every moment of the show...Thrilling musicality of a night at the opera galvanized with gut-grabbing t... Full Review

Desperate Measures
Midtown W
Musical Theater Review

"The show’s book by Kellogg, while not exactly a one-joke affair, is pretty close to one. Luckily, there’s no effort to take anything seriously, and the dialogue is filled with rhyming verse, heightening the larky flavour. With the aid of an appealing cast and Bill Castellino’s lively direction and choreography, it manages to work up its share of pleasant merriment...All in all, 'Desperate Measures' is a respectable addition to the canon of musicals that have found their inspiration in the Ba... Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“In between the pieces of text are several of Tchaikovsky’s chamber pieces and songs, certainly not his most familiar works, but thrilling to hear, especially the lengthy segments from his Piano Trio in A minor. With its rapturous lyricism and shattering crescendos, it is resplendently performed by three musicians...it makes for great theatre simply to watch them...Against the show’s dramatic deficiencies, it is Tchaikovsky’s music which keeps you enthralled.” Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"As vivid and surprisingly entertaining a group of humans as you are likely to find on a Broadway stage this season...Washington proves once again to be as dynamic a performer on stage as he is on screen...The 19-person company is simply chockablock with terrific performances...Wolfe's direction also crackles with urgency, infusing the story-telling with suspense...The only off-note in Wolfe's direction would be the rather limp endings he gives to the first three of play's four acts." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"Impressive if overloaded...Along with some serious storytelling, it also has accomplished music...and poetic and sometimes affecting lyrics. Its narrative, though, may be a little too complicated for its own good...The book loses impact as it shifts back and forth from old-time Persia to contemporary New York...Ortman, however, manages to get emotional value out of the shifting proceedings...The cast handles the heavy load with admirable skill and dedication." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"Albee's meditation on aging, dying and death, is undoubtedly among the most vibrantly alive shows on Broadway...Three superlative actresses tear into Albee's incomparable writing with intelligence, passion and wit in a production that shimmers with theatrical sorcery...Under Mantello's impeccable direction, it is hard to imagine a production more fulfilling of Albee's intentions...Mantello has delivered an ambiance in which the three actresses work together almost as one." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"A reason for rejoicing...Nearly two hours of virtually non-stop, thrillingly dark musical theatre...Time has lent the score and book an endearing patina...The score can be appreciated for its echoes of and borrowings from the sounds of Weimar Germany and the soaring aspirations of its classic Broadway balladry...The invigorating staging...following much of the Tommy Tune template, and a vibrant cast afforded the musical another chance for evaluation." Full Review

Later Life
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"In his affable but uptight banker Austin, Gurney has created a sympathetic and entertaining embodiment of the breed. The play’s punch is lessened, however, by some stretches of glib dramaturgy, made all too evident in this appreciative but uneven revival...The suspense in this production is never terribly enthralling...On the other hand, Laurence Lau as Austin gives a finely etched rendering of a polite, chronically reserved fellow." Full Review

Party Face
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"The play Hayley's headlining in is a rather wan affair...One-liners that don't quite land, and zingers that don't zing...Bearse gets the actors through their paces in brisk fashion to the play's somewhat upbeat conclusion about self-acceptance, but she also seems to have pushed them - or let them slip -- into occasional caricatures, losing any sense of reality and dimming the intended fun...As Pollyanna might say, better luck next time, Ms. Mills." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"Peters bring to the role all the authority, magnetism and variety she has displayed and perfected in a career stretching over five decades...Like Midler before her, Peters and her fans – not to mention the wily promotion and ad campaigns – elevate the show to an event, not simply just a first-class Broadway remounting of a classic musical comedy...The grace and liveliness of the production numbers make up for the occasional hardening of the show’s many riotous moments." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

“A drawing-room comedy of the old school, where emotion and plot are intriguing if not quite real...Willimon lards his romantic twists and turns with a lot of political savvy giving the script a contemporary edge...Under MacKinnon’s rather middling direction, the acting isn’t quite as assured...She may not elevate Willimon’s writing, but she rarely denigrates it...In short, a lot of ‘The Parisian Woman’ may be old hat, but like an old chapeau it still has its chic.” Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"The show is relentlessly good-spirited. Nothing wrong about that, but it could use a little variety in tone...The problem is that most of it begins to sound alike, with driving, slick quasi-big band up-tempos dominating both the carols and the pop stuff. The vocal dexterity of the performers cannot be faulted...To sum up, 'Home for the Holidays' registers like several gulps of non-alcoholic eggnog. It will give you a taste of the season but hardly intoxicate you." Full Review