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Brooklyn-based theater company the Debate Society creates their shows in an unusual way. The three core members of the group, Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, and Oliver Butler, often spend years researching elements that might make a play. In the case of The Light Years, which just opened at Playwrights Horizons, Bos took her love of the Chicago World’s Fairs of 1893 and 1933 and this was merged with Butler’s interest in Steele MacKaye, an...
Sam Gold’s very risky production of Tennessee Williams’s autobiographical The Glass Menagerie challenges all easy assumptions about this play and it also challenges our more facile responses about what “works” when it comes to acting and staging. The house lights stay up for the first two or so minutes as Amanda Wingfield (Sally Field) and Laura (Madison Ferris) climb onto the stage, and it becomes apparent by degrees that Ferris has an actual physical...
While the Russian Tea Room is almost as iconic as neighboring Carnegie Hall, it’s the Russian Samovar where expats flock for authentic grub. Tucked into a narrow spot on West 52nd Street near 8th Avenue amidst Broadway theaters, this restaurant feels like a portal to Moscow with its extensive menu of infused vodkas, dim lighting, and an overly enthusiastic piano player who can be heard from their second floor. It’s up here in the aptly named Tolstoy’s Lounge...
The musical Sweet Charity was originally done on Broadway as a vehicle for Gwen Verdon, and it was directed by her husband Bob Fosse, who later made it into a 1969 movie starring Shirley MacLaine. Sweet Charity was based on Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957), which starred Fellini’s wife Giulietta Masina as a hard-luck prostitute who desperately smiles through her tears. This Fellini film was re-envisioned by Fosse as a dance spectacle with...

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