Scott Harrah

About:  Scott Harrah is Editor and Publisher of StageZine.com, the theater website first launched in March 2010. Prior to starting StageZine.com, Mr. Harrah worked in print as an arts, entertainment and features journalist for several years and wrote theater reviews, interviews and features for such publica... Read more Read less
Reviews (69)
Ink
Midtown W
StageZine

"A fast-moving look at the Machiavellian underbelly of Fleet Street journalism, with an engrossing script by James Graham, a clever set by Bunny Christie, and explosive performances from most of the cast...'Ink' is a masterpiece because as well as being meticulously written by Mr. Graham and tightly directed by Rupert Goold, it is an eerily prophetic tale of how Rupert Murdoch saw the potential for selling populism to the masses decades ago." Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
StageZine

"Letts and Walker have superb onstage chemistry as father and son. One of their last scenes is especially effective and riveting...O’Brien keeps things straightforward here, with a simple black and white video projection of war planes preceding the first act. O’Brien keeps the focus on the story. Although not all cast members are up to the par of the task at hand, O’Brien gets superlative performances from the actors playing the lead roles." Full Review

StageZine

"Ms. Schreck is a gifted storyteller and her enthusiasm for the Constitution and her own progressive politics and feminism shines through her ebullient delivery... She is such an entertaining speaker that it is easy to overlook the way she sometimes repeats her points...However, we soon realize repetition is not the show’s only flaw. Would have worked great as a one-woman monologue, but unfortunately the remainder of the show becomes jumbled with unnecessary filler." Full Review

StageZine

“For those that remember and care to reminisce about Studdard and Aiken...this ‘first annual’ Christmas Show might be something worth taking the entire family to, but anyone else expecting a razzle-dazzle Broadway seasonal extravaganza will be disappointed...Both men still have fantastic voices, and Aiken’s is particularly soaring and suitable for live theater...They would be wise to add a bit more glitz to make everything more 'spectacular' and trim the padding if they return." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
StageZine

"Butterworth’s third Broadway drama is also his most provocative...Butterworth’s saga is a multi-layered, searing reminder of centuries-old animosities, exquisitely directed and produced...Granted, some of what is presented here seems riddled in Irish clichés, but the narrative is often compelling and there is a haunting sincerity to the characters and their predicament...Mendes brilliantly directs the amazing ensemble of actors." Full Review

StageZine

“The show grows on you if you simply go along with it and accept it for nothing other than the mindless, splashy entertainment it is...Go-Go’s classics...are woven into the wacky narrative of changing genders, revolution in the monarchy, and sexual discovery. The story’s humor is sometimes riddled with corny visual puns...In comparison to some of the dreadful jukebox musicals recently...‘Head Over Heels’ is a vast improvement for the genre.” Full Review

StageZine

"A stellar cast under Joe Mantello’s tight direction...It’s still a flawed play, dated and inherently off-putting by 21st century standards, but if one looks beyond the now 'politically incorrect' content, the show remains a curious masterpiece, and was groundbreaking for being the first drama to show a microcosm of the gay-male subculture...Joe Mantello directs the amazing ensemble of actors beautifully, but the biggest disappointment is Jim Parsons." Full Review

Travesties
Midtown W
StageZine

"If one can get past the convoluted and confusing narrative, 'Travesties' has a lot going for it, including exquisite performances from a gifted ensemble...and Stoppard’s witty, crisp, erudite dialogue...Making sense of everything, from the dialogue to the rambling narrative, can be a chore, and Act II does not flow as easily as Act I. Fortunately Patrick Marber directs the cast with breezy precision and gets entertaining, jaunty performances from the actors." Full Review

StageZine

"Still a riveting show despite being slightly dated...What makes the story so engrossing is the manner in which James and Sarah interact...Mr. Jackson and Ms. Ridloff give outstanding performances...The supporting cast members are all first rate...Kenny Leon’s scattershot direction is often cumbersome...Mr. Leon could have improved the pacing of the material and brought more focus to the ending." Full Review

StageZine

"The first part is a masterpiece and one of the most provocative American plays of all time. The cast is superb and many of the performances are among the best in the past decade...Elliott certainly puts a new spin on 'Angels in America,' but her directorial choices may not please purists...As the adage goes 'less is more,' and that is certainly the case here in an epic saga that is already so complicated, but there is no doubt this revival is a memorable one." Full Review

StageZine

"It’s certainly been worth the wait because this off-Broadway production is original and marvelously entertaining...The cast is uniformly superb, with strong and melodic voices...Tony winner John Rando directs all the insanity with amazing precision, and that’s no easy task in a small venue with a 17-member cast in a production as ambitious as this, with performances that are consistently and beautifully outrageous in all the right places." Full Review

StageZine

“One of the best shows of the season...One doesn’t even need to have ever seen an episode of ‘SpongeBob’ to enjoy this magical piece of theatrical cotton candy...There are so many impeccable performances from the mega-talented cast...Deserves to run for years and entertain and inspire many with its universal message of teamwork, inclusiveness and hope, making it a badly needed tonic for these troubled times, but it’s also just a lot of harmless merriment and so much fun.” Full Review

StageZine

“A pleasant evening or afternoon of Yuletide carols, but the overall feeling reminds one more of a glitzy school swing choir or a Christmas variety show on cable TV than a bona fide Broadway celebration of the holidays...The main reasons to see the show are Glover and Kaufman...The rest of the singers are entertaining but otherwise forgettable...Tessero’s creative and musical direction of these gifted young vocalists unfortunately never goes anywhere beyond the pop style of ‘American Idol.'” Full Review

Junk
Upper W Side
StageZine

"As confusing as corporate finance can be to the layperson, Akhtar makes everything unfold seamlessly as if it were a fun escapist Hollywood movie...Director Hughes deserves credit for keeping 'Junk' moving at a wonderfully fluid pace, but with so many characters and subplots, the story might have been more focused and powerful with minor trimming of the narrative fat...'Junk' is an entertaining epic but it curiously has nothing new or insightful to say." Full Review

StageZine

“It is so intricately constructed, timeless, and a classic…An outstanding revival…The true beauty of the show is how Ms. Hellman’s story holds up nearly 80 years after it was first mounted…The show is flawlessly directed, designed and acted. Laura Linney as Regina is evil incarnate, and Cynthia as Birdie Huddard, Regina’s sister-in-law, is the charm that was the South…Richard Thomas is simply wonderful…One of the year’s best revivals.” Full Review

StageZine

“The overall product will likely thrill many, but is mostly cotton candy without the substance or edgy humor of the book and original film…The weakest by far of all the adaptations…There are spectacular production numbers…Director Jack O’Brien and book writer still David Greig have not solved the main problem: The awkward first act…It is truly a shame the people behind the show simply did not come up with fresh ideas to make this a more memorable musical.” Full Review

StageZine

for a previous production "What sets this play apart from its predecessors is its complete lack of nuance, suggestion and cleverness...Good comedy, no matter how inane, should have an element of surprise, but in this 'Play That Goes Wrong,' one often knows the punch lines to all the jokes and gags beforehand because the laughs are too obvious and trite...Frenetic energy keeps everything moving at a dizzying pace, but it is hardly enough to sustain the lowbrow humor for two full acts." Full Review

StageZine

“Brilliant…It is this show’s ability to surprise and touch even the most cynical, jaded New York theatergoer that makes it so unusual and emotionally powerful… In addition to the outstanding cast, expertly directed by Christopher Ashley, there is innovative choreography by Kelly Devine…A musical that celebrates and glorifies humanity…It’s a new type of never-before-seen, uncharted musical territory much like 'Hamilton' was, and should also make musical-theater history." Full Review

All The Fine Boys
Midtown W
StageZine

"Schmidt weaves the narrative of the two girls together beautifully, showing the parallels of each and their troubling twists...The cast are all so natural, and the dialogue so believable that we are left rattled by the many twists, even if some are ultimately a bit cliché. Although Ms. Schmidt has not chosen the most original subject matter, there is enough stellar acting here to make us overlook the sometimes too-familiar territory of adolescent angst and teenage sexuality." Full Review

StageZine

"Noteworthy for its historical value if nothing else...The acts are hit and miss...The show stays true to the nostalgic intent by not overloading us with too many special effects, so one really gets the feeling of seeing a variety show circa 1903...While other editions mostly featured male illusionists, we have wonderful female performers here, too...Is the show groundbreaking or original? Hardly. However, as a Broadway history lesson on outdated gimmickry, it never fails to entertain." Full Review

Falsettos
Midtown W
StageZine

"'Falsettos' remains a fresh, authentic slice of unconventional New York life...Although Mr. Finn’s music and lyrics are repetitious at times, most songs are infectious and reveal each character’s feelings and frustrations vividly...The show’s biggest asset is Stephanie J. Block...Lapine's direction highlights the humanity, quirks and vulnerabilities of these characters’ lives and sheds humor and truth on them without coming across as heavy-handed." Full Review

StageZine

"Whether one 'gets' the show’s humor or not, one cannot ignore the fact that Mr. Kroll and Mr. Delaney have a marvelous chemistry together as a comedy team. The actors, both in their 30s, rely a bit too heavily on old-man stereotypes and insider jokes, but they get laughs regardless, and have a winning gift for improv and highbrow pratfalls. The shtick in 'Oh, Hello on Broadway' isn’t for everybody, but there’s enough hammy humor here to make the show an offbeat hit." Full Review

Cats
Midtown W
StageZine

“One wonders if Mr. Nunn’s revival might have been more powerful had he put a modern, fresh spin on the show...However, gimmicky revivals almost never work so Mr. Nunn was wise not to tamper too much with Mr. Lloyd Webber’s winning formula. It is debatable whether this production will win over new generations, but if you enjoyed ‘Cats’ before and want to relive the ‘Memory’ again, there is plenty to enjoy here.” Full Review

StageZine

“You’ve not truly seen Jessica Lange perform until you catch Roundabout’s revival, for this is probably her best performance in years, if not ever...Michael Shannon gives a solid depiction of a man overcome by his demons...Unfortunately, John Gallagher, Jr. is less effective...In a season of unorthodox revivals, it’s refreshing to see one that’s simple, straightforward and free of gimmicks, allowing audiences to appreciate everything that is great about an American classic.” Full Review

The Crucible
Midtown W
StageZine

"The focus is on the paranormal and the creep factor...Mr. van Hove’s touches may seem affected, but this remains a gripping, intense piece of theater...The 'mean girls' of Salem give some of the show’s best performances...However, there are inconsistencies in the casting of other roles...This revival won’t please Miller purists. It might outrage some. Regardless, the most telling aspect of 'The Crucible' is how much the message holds up today, even in a production as unconventional as this." Full Review

StageZine

"The musical is a theme park unto itself and a fun, offbeat roller-coaster ride from start to finish. It stands out as a superior adaptation for so many reasons, but mostly due to Brown and King’s clever book and outrageously effervescent performances by Brightman, Kritzer and Caruso, plus whimsical sets by Korins and over-the-top costumes by William Ivey Long...Director Alex Timbers holds everything together beautifully and gets noteworthy performances from the rest of the cast." Full Review

StageZine

"Taylor Mac’s jet-black comedy falls flat on so many levels that, despite the initial laughs, we are left scratching our heads halfway through. Other than being a star vehicle for Nathan Lane, why is 'Gary' even on Broadway?...Taylor Mac’s narrative is dull, puerile and fails to make any real comedy out of tragedy. Like 'Titus Andronicus,' much of 'Gary' is written in iambic pentameter, but this is all the more confusing to anyone unfamiliar with Shakespeare’s tragedy." Full Review

StageZine

“Science fiction is the uninspired twist that sets ‘Be More Chill’ apart from other teen angst musicals...The narrative often seems like an excuse to pad the story...The performances from the cast are mostly forgettable...There is ultimately nothing redeeming whatsoever about the characters...An unsatisfying evening of theater and reeks of amateur writing...Watching the show is akin to being on a bad acid trip—awkward, painful, jarring and unsatisfying." Full Review

StageZine

"Everything here is nothing new and truly more 'illusion' and gimmickry than 'magic'...'The Illusionists' shows have never been exactly original, but they have mass appeal for tourists during the holidays and obviously have enough of an audience to keep returning to Broadway each December. The evening is simply mindless, entertaining fun and amusing enough to satisfy anyone hungry for seasonal family fare." Full Review

StageZine

“A colorful, entertaining but otherwise middling rom-com musical that will thrill fans of the film...The musical isn’t advanced further by Adams’ pleasant yet forgettable power-pop score, so it is difficult for Mitchell to infuse any real imagination and 21st century sensibility into the narrative...What does work is the delightful Barks...and Karl...They elevate the material to a reasonably enjoyable evening...The most glaring flaw...is how anachronistic it is in the ‘#MeToo’ era.” Full Review

My Life on a Diet
Midtown W
StageZine

“Taylor certainly has spunk and delivers loads of laughs, but ‘My Life On a Diet’ might have been more satisfying if she would have talked more about her ‘Nanny’ years, given more details about her famous marriage instead of endless lame jokes...and spent less time focusing on celebrity encounters...While amusing and hilarious at times, ultimately leaves audiences hungry for something more structured, true and meaningful.” Full Review

StageZine

"It will always be known as the theatrical masterpiece that redefined how high-tech special effects should be done for the stage, but it is not merely a tour de force because of a bag of Broadway magic tricks. This is a classic saga of parents and children and the things in life threatening to tear them apart...They have taken beloved characters from Ms. Rowling’s popular franchise of books and films and created a stage book that is accessible to everyone." Full Review

StageZine

"Blame it on the scattershot, ineffective book and the choppy direction by Mr. McAnuff...All three women do justice to Ms. Summer’s vintage hits, but of course no one could ever replicate the late singer’s inimitable, multi-octave vocal range, but Ms. Lever, Ms. DeBose and LaChanze are all outstanding in their own right regardless...The most puzzling and downright offensive fault of 'Summer' is its depiction, and lack thereof, regarding Donna Summer’s enormous gay male following." Full Review

Rocktopia
Midtown W
StageZine

"Much of the evening is basically like watching an enormously talented cover band performing classic rock oldies, it is nonetheless consistently entertaining. However, although most of the mash-ups are melodic and innovative, not everything works...Gifted singers...Not really a Broadway show. It's also nothing like a traditional rock concert or a classical recital at Carnegie Hall. Whatever it is, it's certainly unique and that must be why the show has such a following worldwide." Full Review

StageZine

"As colorful, festive, and good-intentioned as this show is, it’s likely something only Parrotheads will appreciate...A pedestrian, by-the-numbers story that offers an excuse to weave Mr. Buffett’s songs into a narrative...Full of bad TV sitcom humor and jokes that are 'groaners'...Ashley certainly tries to direct this mess of musical...Most of the actors’ performances are sincere and serviceable...The musical’s time here on Broadway will likely be 'wasting away' rather quickly." Full Review

The Children
Midtown W
StageZine

"Unfolds with lots of talky exposition, but fortunately the three cast members give performances full of energy and the right amount of shading to make the characters’ tragic fate all too real...At nearly two hours long without an intermission, the show, with many unnecessary scenes, can be a slog to sit through...Ms. Annis, Mr. Cook, and Ms. Findlay are exquisite even when the material they have been given is not." Full Review

StageZine

“Arden offers a unique twist in this charming, innovative revival...A lot of confusing talk about gods and sorcery, but all one needs to believe in is the magic of the music...Although the narrative conflict is fairly standard, the message still packs an emotional punch...More about the celebration of life and the gorgeous Afro-Caribbean songbook than anything else...A colorful, immersive experience for everyone, giving audiences a helluva joyful ride." Full Review

StageZine

“A master at solo performances...Leguizamo is most enjoyable when he’s imitating everything from friends and relatives to famous folks...Granted, not everything works here...Taccone allows Leguizamo free rein to do what he does best: Satirize history while bringing colorful characters to life with energy, wit and enthusiasm, making us all laugh about the delicate and controversial topic of diversity while showcasing the absurdity of bigotry and ignorance in American society.” Full Review

1984 (Broadway)
Midtown W
StageZine

"This is not an enjoyable or intellectually stimulating, intermission-free 101 minutes of theater...The narrative as adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan is simply so disjointed that it’s often puzzling to understand what’s happening, even if one is already familiar with the book’s plot...This '1984' adaptation, while ambitious, fails to 'scare' and instead just disappoints us." Full Review

StageZine

"Despite some elements that make the show 'dated,' playwright Guare’s drama remains relevant because it has volumes to say about class, race and American society. There is plenty to enjoy in this reboot, including some fine performances, but Cullman’s direction is puzzling and dilutes the tone and theme of the story...Although the show has many funny lines, ultimately 'Six Degrees' should be presented as a tragedy, and Mr. Cullman just misses the mark in all the wrong places." Full Review

Indecent
Midtown W
StageZine

"Complex, fascinating, and sometimes confusing drama...It’s exhausting yet riveting to watch from the opening scene...Despite the heavy subject matter, 'Indecent' is a visually arresting piece of theater...There is a frenetic lyricism to Rebecca Taichman’s direction of the actors...It is Ms. Taichman’s manic pacing of the evolving plot, musicians and actors dancing in circles—and the endless projections of the supertitles—that keeps us glued to the action but grows tiresome at times." Full Review

Sweat
Midtown W
StageZine

“The ensemble cast is so powerful and the performances so strong that it is easy to overlook most of the thematic clichés and directing flaws...Although Whoriskey gets first-rate performances from everyone, she and fight director Toppo have trouble choreographing a violent fight scene...Although Nottage’s twists are a bit hackneyed, the cast brings a sense of authenticity to these hard-working people...Despite some shortcomings, ‘Sweat’ is a thought-provoking drama." Full Review

StageZine

"It is always a thrill to see Tennessee Williams’ plays revived, but this bare-bones production falls flat in comparison to the excellent John Tiffany-directed version or even the 2004 production. Mr. Gold brings a new spin indeed to the show, but because the set lacks key elements of the show to anchor the story, this 'Glass Menagerie' seems more like a first week’s dress rehearsal than a full-fledged production, lacking the polish needed to make the classic truly shine." Full Review

StageZine

"A powerful debut on Broadway with a superb ensemble cast…It is August Wilson’s florid, slang-riddled soliloquies that give 'Jitney' its heart and soul. Although it takes a while for audiences to catch up with the show’s rapid-fire rhythm in the first act, one is soon riveted to every word each character utters…This is a brilliant production of a story that, although set in 1977, has enough timeless appeal and human themes to more than ring true in 2017." Full Review

StageZine

"As a puppet paean to four of TV’s most beloved comic icons, it definitely works, and is the perfect escape for anyone looking for laughs this holiday season...There’s another reason to see the show other than to laugh at tried-and-true 'Golden Girls' one-liners: The amazing onstage puppetry of the gifted cast, with their exaggerated facial expressions and spot-on vocal impersonations of the real-life actresses that played the original 'girls' back in the day." Full Review

StageZine

"Chekhov and his famous director Stanislavsky must be rolling over in their graves regarding this misguided, unfocused adaptation...Ms. Lane certainly shows off her emotional range an as actress here, but her performance, like so many in the cast, never gels with the others because director Simon Godwin doesn’t rein in any of the actors, and it’s frustrating trying to figure out the myriad acting styles on display here...This new 'spin' on 'The Cherry Orchard' is simply the pits." Full Review

The Encounter
Midtown W
StageZine

"Audiences must wear low-tech headphones to actually hear the show, giving things a gimmicky feel, but McBurney gives a consistently fine performance so it’s worth keeping one’s eyes open...There are many twists in the story of Loren McIntyre...Compelling? Yes, but the show drags at times...This isn’t the easiest show to follow. Although 'The Encounter' is not for everyone, fans of '3D audio,' radio plays and one-man monologues will find a lot to love in this ambitious production." Full Review

StageZine

"This time around God is in the body of Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes, with mostly heavenly results...Sean Hayes as God is more sarcastic, delivers the dialogue with more of an edge and, well, does at times seem like Jack McFarland as our Heavenly Father...Worth a second look, even if you caught it last year with Parsons...Besides Hayes, the other true star is the clever script by David Javerbaum...Joe Mantello has a fine gift for extracting the best from his actors who engage in monologues." Full Review

American Psycho
Midtown W
StageZine

"The show unfolds like an extended MTV music video from back in the day. Benjamin Walker is instantly riveting as antihero Patrick Bateman...Throughout the first act, Mr. Walker really carries the show with his arresting stage presence, despite the fact that his Patrick Bateman and nearly all the characters are vapid, one-dimensional stereotypes...By Act II, the narrative becomes far too puzzling and unfocused...The plot twists are just too muddled and convoluted for musical theater." Full Review

Bright Star
Midtown W
StageZine

"This down-home tale has a lot going for it, from energetic choreography by Josh Rhodes to a great cast directed by Walter Bobbie and a breakout performance from golden-voiced Carmen Cusack in the lead role...If one overlooks the two things that bog down 'Bright Star'—Ms. Brickell’s rhyming, often repetitious lyrics and the somewhat predictable plot—it’s easy to suspend disbelief and go with the saga…Cusak brings badly needed depth and veracity to the paper-thin material." Full Review