Susan Granger

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Reviews (22)
Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W

"Working from a satirically playful script by Robert Horn, set to David Yazbek’s jazzy score, director Scott Ellis has cleverly re-imagined Larry Gelbart and Murray Shisgal’s subversive 1982 screenplay, updating its farcical concept with razor-sharp timing, energetic pacing and smartass feminist dynamics...Fontana’s meticulous transformation is miraculous." Full Review

“Unabashedly sentimental, one-man show...With book and scenic design by Felder – who duly credits historian Maiya – the performance is directed as a 1-hour-45 min. biographical songbook by Hay...My problem with Felder’s cynical portrayal of Irving Berlin is that it doesn’t resemble the elderly gentleman I met a few times and whose daughters I knew. Adding insult to injury, his caricatured imitation of Ethel Merman...goes beyond insulting.” Full Review

Pete Rex
Midtown E

"Opening with a video projection of a primitive homo sapiens battling a dinosaur, this inventive play explores man's inner feelings, showing how our species hasn't progressed much over the eons...The authentic presence of these giant, primal reptiles is established by eerie shadows...Written by Thompson and directed by Raimondo, it's an existential, absurdist comedy, a Dreamscape Theatre premiere that provides plenty of surprises, becoming an intriguing, if immature diversion." Full Review

The Mushroom Cure
East Village

“Over the course of 90 minutes, Strauss reveals perhaps more than anyone ever wanted to know about obtaining drugs, including psychedelic cacti which requires circuitous preparation before ingesting, and dealing with an unorthodox community of chemists...As a result, Strauss’s more banal ramblings caused a couple of audience members to nod off...It's astutely directed by Jonathan Libman.” Full Review

“Inevitably, the evening leads to curious confusion, a bit of chaos and a large measure of compassion. Pask’s minimalist set cleverly utilizes a rotating stage, astutely lit by Micoleau, evoking the Negev desert at night...'The Band’s Visit' is wistfully droll and charming, subtly incorporating various Middle Eastern influences, and should delight theater aficionados." Full Review

"A darkly satirical indictment of American rape culture...Sensitively directed by Tyne Rafaeli...The exciting, innovative concept–with its inherent complications–was inspired by the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio case which involved the rape of an intoxicated teenage girl by two football players. And it’s particularly timely since President Donald Trump is trying to dismantle the Obama administrations 2011 guidelines that require schools to investigate all complaints of sexual assault." Full Review

"Why do you go to theater? Because it’s entertaining and fun. Because it opens your heart, teaches life lessons and transports you to another time, another place. Because, occasionally, it conveys the essential goodness and resiliency of the human spirit at the same, shared moment in time. That’s why I stood up and cheered...Director Ashley cleverly utilizes his talented cast of 12...The crowd-pleasing performance fittingly concludes on a life-affirming note." Full Review

Anastasia (NYC)
Midtown W

"Unless you’re an impressionable tween, you’ll probably come out singing the sumptuous scenery–because that’s the most impressive aspect of the show...The immense set is stunning...Unfortunately, Flaherty’s insipid music and Ahrens's serviceable lyrics are almost immediately forgettable, as is McNally’s dutiful libretto. So director Darko Tresnjak and choreographer Hickey visually dazzle, ingeniously moving the cast like swirling, sparkling Swarovski crystals." Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W

"If you’re eager to see two dueling divas conquer the cosmetics industry, run to the box office...Artfully staged by Greif with Zuber’s chic period costumes, Korins’ artful set, and Posner’s flattering lighting. But the character-driven concept is only skin deep, something one realizes only at the conclusion when both ferociously competitive makeup mavens thoughtfully question: 'Did we make women freer? Or did we enslave them?' One only wishes they’d pursued this pertinent dilemma a bit furth... Full Review

Midtown W

"Stephens is back with this two-hander about a disparate couple who meet in a London train station...Parker overcomes Georgie’s volatile, inherently annoying demeanor to make this role captivating, particularly in contrast with Arndt’s reclusive Irish bachelor...Mark Brokaw’s astute direction is enhanced by Mark Wendland’s minimalist set, Austin R. Smith’s lighting, David Van Tiegham’s sound and Michael Krass’s costumes." Full Review

The Trojan Women

"Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptation focuses on the wasted lives that war leaves in its wake. And its theme, of course, is timeless…Modestly staged by Anne Cecelia Haney, this translation is performed by The Flea’s resident acting company, known as The Bats, not well served by Joya Powell’s distracting choreography. Perhaps because of their youth and relative inexperience, they declaim the choral text, never seeming to grasp the emotional subtlety, which is as relevant today as it was back then." Full Review

Midtown W

"So – at this festive gathering, filled with crackling confrontations – is there a chance for a reconciliation? A solid emotional payoff? Not much...While director Daniel Aukin has imported most of London’s West End cast and (director) John Tiillinger returns to the stage as an actor, the focus is clearly on sharp-tongued, yet acutely vulnerable Stockard Channing, whose provocateur performance is riveting." Full Review

Midtown W

“Darkly comedic drama explores sex, youth, beauty and family...Although the provocatively privileged situation and its resulting banter is droll and superficial, Aukin elicits excellent performances, especially from Menzel, and keeps the pace as taut as Botox will allow.” Full Review

Party Face
Midtown W

"Mills stars in Mahon's Irish comedy about a festivity that's full of surprises...While critical, controlling Connie holds center-stage throughout most of the forced gaiety that includes a conga line, the guest mix and mingle, trading barbs about men, marriage, mental health…and an unusual topiary...Now almost 72 years old, beguiling Ms. Mills deserves a better vehicle than this trifling two-act, occasionally clever cluster of clichéd canapes." Full Review

“Bishop delivers an astonishing introduction to magic – and while his show is perfect for children – adults will also be enthralled...This internationally touring magician immediately develops a firm connection with his audience, engaging eager young volunteers, handling them with gentle professionalism...Bishop’s illusions include swords and levitations, most involving his graceful assistant...For wondrous, family-friendly entertainment during this holiday season, catch Bishop.” Full Review

"McGovern slips artfully into the role of the arrogant, affluent, egocentric widow in J.B. Priestley’s dramedy about wealth, class and the illusion of linear time....Despite the inconsistent direction of Rebecca Taichman, this insightful, time-jumping play has a fine ensemble. Credit Patel’s dual sets for achieving continuity, along with Akerlind’s lighting, Hubbs’ evocative sound, and Young’s idiosyncratic costumes." Full Review

1984 (Broadway)
Midtown W

"Grimly intense...The contemporary parallels are abundantly clear...This wildly innovative production features so much sadistic political torture, punctuated by blinding lights, frequent blackouts and an ear-blasting soundscape that no one under the age of 13 is allowed in the audience...Since nothing in this depressing play is subtle, the audience seems to be numb by the time it concludes." Full Review

“A garishly grotesque new musical…Bizarrely, these obnoxious caricatures of ‘children’ are played by adults…The most memorable music is from the film score…Mark Thompson’s serviceable sets and costumes disappoint, as does Joshua Bergasse’s clunky choreography…Since family fare is always in demand on Broadway, it’s too bad that something magical must have been lost crossing the Pond." Full Review

In & Of Itself

"Magician Derek DelGaudio astounds audiences with his new one-man show, combining confessional storytelling with amazing effects, revolving around the philosophical concepts of illusion and identity...Adroitly staged by Frank Oz with mood music by Mark Mothersbaugh and subtle lighting by Adam Blumenthal, it’s a dazzling theatrical display of the magical arts." Full Review

for a previous production "For sheer fun and laughter, you’re 100% right in choosing the hilarious 'The Play That Goes Wrong'...While the supremely talent cast delivers farcical slapstick performances...the biggest kudos go to the scenic and lighting designers who create the visual mayhem...It’s cleverly scripted by twentysomethings Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields and adroitly directed by Mark Bell with utmost precision." Full Review

"Blending distinctive characters, engaging music and stylish choreography into surreal storytelling, it’s sensational – their best show in many years!...Perhaps the most amazing ‘staging’ emerges in 'Upside Down World,' a dinner party that transforms into a triumph of rigging with a man climbing on stacked-up chairs...Cirque du Soliel is currently touring 21 different productions but 'Kurios' is perhaps its best EVER!" Full Review

Clever Little Lies
Midtown W

"Marlo hasn’t left her wide-eyed sitcom sensibility far behind, meaning that the audience can anticipate the punchlines long before she delivers them. Director David Saint does his best to make these genial but obviously stock characters likeable, primarily by astute casting." Full Review