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 (115)
90
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

90
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

90
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

85
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

80
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

90
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

95
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

80
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

80
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

85
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

80
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

90
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

95
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

60
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

45
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

90
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

70
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

60
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

95
Musical Theater Review

"Cromer has maintained the show’s thrilling intimacy, exploring the meanderings of the human heart...Furthermore, it’s a story that Yazbek’s glorious score, overflowing with rhapsodic melody, mostly set against pulsating middle Eastern rhythms, lifts to a breathtakingly elevated plane...The passing of time has only deepened the masterful performances...One of the show’s triumphs is the authenticity and responsiveness of the entire company." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.com

“Keen Company’s trenchant and splendidly acted revival will eventually tug at your heartstrings...The script may well strike you as entertaining but unfocused...The interplay between Burton and McGrath and their deeply felt portrayals do more than justice to the wit and pathos in Dietz’s script. The sensitive, unforced direction of Silverstein further allows them to play the script’s most telling moments to their fullest...Despite its clever meanderings, it does make its point.” Full Review

70
TheaterScene.com

"The story’s a little muddy, but director John Doyle and company still fill this trip to Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden with lots of happy sightseeing...The cast all contribute to an eminently watchable production even if the storytelling sometimes seems muddled...The language–abounding in wit and poetry–begins to sound more archaic than usual...Nevertheless, it is a production packed with goodies...The songs give the show yet another extra frisson." Full Review

95
Musical Theater Review

“Imagine leafing through a richly embellished scrapbook in which just about every entry or memento comes magically–and vibrantly–to life. That’s the happy delirium that may well overtake you as you witness ‘Prince of Broadway’…The nine cast members are all supremely talented, and their numbers are staged with bone-deep insight and panache…The gulp-in-the-throat moments are served up for some two and a half hours, broken only by an intermission.” Full Review

90
Musical Theater Review

"A superb production of a difficult but absolutely necessary masterwork. Expertly staged by Anne Kauffman, it was thrillingly acted and sung by a top-notch cast, studded with Tony nominees and winners, and accompanied by an ear-filling 13-member orchestra, conducted by music director Chris Fenwick...It was the smartest and most devastating musical in town." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.com

“Kennedy has come up with a doozie of a deus ex machina for her initially meandering, ultimately rewarding family drama...These tribulations are spelled out through a series of scenes unfolding during the play’s first half. However, the continual shifting of locales and the brevity of the scenes themselves, lend the storytelling a choppy, remote feeling, Things, however, come together wonderfully with breathtaking intensity in the play’s second half." Full Review

80
Musical Theater Review

"Childs has concocted a gloriously overstuffed fantasia...A festive but meaningful salute to the indomitable perseverance and strength of American black women...In director O’Hara, she has found an interpreter who seems to be unfailingly attuned to her wildest flights of imagination...The author is also blessed with a cast that virtually explodes with talent...There is at times almost too much incident to keep straight...But when there is too much, it is too much of a good thing." Full Review

85
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

95
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

90
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

90
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

60
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

80
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

80
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

70
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

70
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

90
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

80
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

80
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

75
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

70
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

90
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

80
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

90
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

90
Musical Theater Review

"Wheeldon further validated his full-blown skill as a stage director along with his long-acclaimed reputation as a choreographer. His production brought to the fore all of the show’s romanticism in captivating fashion...And those folks on stage were pretty wondrous too...And of course, there is the orchestra giving symphonic grandeur to Loewe’s inspired score. It all makes you hope that it won’t be too long before 'Brigadoon' awakens again." Full Review

80
Musical Theater Review

"Despite a clunky book, it makes for a lively hoedown-cum-quasi-rock concert kind of show...The infectious twang of the music and the talents of the eight-person cast, who are in effect the band as well, give the show an energy that can be appreciated by more general audiences...While they can’t lend the goings-on much credibility, the general affability of the cast makes it tolerable, and once the music begins again, all is forgotten and forgiven." Full Review

80
Ace
TheaterScene.com

"A surprisingly moving tribute to his father...As a performer, Greenberg remains mainly himself, and the physical attributes he takes on in his evocations of the people who come into his tale are not all that distinctively drawn. What pulls you in is the aptness of the writing, and the joyous energy Greenberg exudes in his storytelling, directed with panache and impressive imagination by Elizabeth Margid." Full Review

85
TheaterScene.com

"There are compellingly explosive moments, to be sure, but what also grabs you–perhaps even more–is the understated web of feeling and enduring attachments created in Stephens' writing and beautifully realized by the cast under Neil Pepe’s sure but sensitive direction...At the center of the play is C.J. Wilson’s splendid portrayal of Peter...What is clear is Stephens’ deep compassion for his characters, his artfulness in bringing them to life and making you feel for them." Full Review

65
Musical Theater Review

“Sometimes engaging, sometimes irritating…Some of it is funny, some of it simply tries too hard to be candid…The piece gives Nancy Opel the chance to show off her formidable talents as a mature leading lady. She makes a lot of the more questionable episodes palatable…You can admire ‘Curvy Widow’ for tackling the curves life can throw a woman as she moves through middle age…You can also wish that it had done so with a little more grace and perhaps even a bit more reticence.” Full Review

80
Musical Theater Review

for a previous production "Political comedy has reached new levels of brazenness...A bright and shiny example of the trend, with a quartet of deliciously talented performers...They switch effortlessly from one impression to the next, often with split-second timing...Assuming that at least part of Holson’s mission is to make us laugh, she certainly succeeds. Not everything squarely hits its mark and there’s a lot of ‘preaching to the choir’ about this show, but if nothing else, it’s a very funny, well-delivered sermon." Full Review

65
TheaterScene.com

"It certainly can be said that Tolkien does not trivialize the Holocaust...However, the thickness of the narrative–blurred further at times by directorial flourishes–does dilute the visceral impact of the depicted terrors of Terezin. Also, there is an uneven quality to some of the portrayals in the 14-person cast...Despite its imperfections, it demonstrates enough passion and talent that would have hopefully made both Nicholas’s Roman Catholic great-grandfather and Redlich proud." Full Review

75
Musical Theater Review

"An exuberant quintet of ragtag youthful music-makers makes a lot of 'Sweetee' quite a satisfying theatrical journey...Birch’s fluid staging keeps the picaresque story pushing ahead with clarity and spirit, using the intimate venue and her talented cast to good advantage...Kriegel’s storytelling hits some bumpy patches, with plot developments that threaten to turn really dark and then somehow get glossed over…‘Sweetee’ may not yet be a total confection, but she’s a gal worth keeping an eye on.” Full Review