Identity crisis renders Anastasia dull, derivative

Sep 05

Identity crisis renders <i>Anastasia</i> dull, derivative

As much as we might like to think that the future of Broadway looks like Hamilton or Hadestown, I'm pretty sure the future looks more like Anastasia, the inconsequential musical based on the 1997 animated film (in turn based on the 1956 movie starring Ingrid Bergman) that is now touring the country. Given how uninspired this show is, the fact that it ran for two years on Broadway is surprising, but perhaps lukewarm rehashes are just what audiences want.

Read More

Bouncy Island breezes blow at TheatreWorks

Mar 12

Bouncy <i>Island</i> breezes blow at TheatreWorks

Last Saturday I reviewed the TheatreWorks production of Once on This Island, the charming musical fairy tale by the Ragtime/Rocky team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. My review ran in the San Francisco Chronicle, and you can read it here.

Director Robert Kelley's production captures much of the show's charm and energy, and the cast is delightful. But I've been thinking about...

Read More

An Ahrens & Flaherty weekend

Nov 12

Broadway may have been pretty quiet last Saturday night (what with the stagehands strike and all), but the Broadway show tunes were ringing sweetly through the Bay Area. More specifically the show tunes of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty were in the air on both sides of the Bay. In Berkeley, the newly formed Berkeley Playhouse opened its inaugural production,...

Read More

Stephen Flaherty sings!

Nov 06

Sometimes you do everything you can do to be an organized person. Then the universe has other plans. Take, for instance, Stephen Flaherty, the composer behind such Broadway musicals as Ragtime, Once on This Island and Seussical the Musical. He and his writing partner, Lynn Ahrens, made plans about two years ago to create and appear in a short-run revue of their work...

Read More