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David Finkle
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David Finkle is a New York-based writer who concentrates on the arts. He's currently the chief drama critic for TheaterMania.com and writes regularly on music for The Village Voice and Back Stage. He's contributed to many publications, including The New York Times, The New York Post, The Nation, The New Yorker, New York, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and American Theatre.

Entries by David Finkle

First Nighter: London Offers Ralph Fiennes as "Richard III," Mike Bartlett's Somewhat Wild "Wild," Michael Crawford as "The Go-Between"

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2016 | 6:53 AM

London-- It's been four years since the skeleton discovered in a Leicester parking lot was confirmed to be what's left of Richard III. That would be in addition to accounts of him and William Shakespeare's treatment of the briefly ruling monarch (1483-85) and how he murdered his way to the...

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First Nighter: London Hosting Terence Rattigan's "The Deep Blue Sea," Alexi Kaye Campbell's "Sunset at Villa Thalia" and Arthur Miller's Previously Unproduced "No Villains"

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2016 | 7:45 AM

London--It was 1956 and the Royal Court's production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger that turned Terence Rattigan, the leading local playwright of the previous few decades, into a captain of the old guard.

How gallant of the pertinent critics to jettison everything that had gone before--not unlike what...

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First Nighter: London Currently Serving Multi-Star Takes on "The Threepenny Opera," "Funny Girl," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hobson's Choice"

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2016 | 4:15 AM

London--Bertolt Brecht would likely approve of The Threepenny Opera as Rufus Norris directs it, Imogen Knight choreographs it, Vicki Mortimer designs it and Rory Kinnear leads the confrontational cast as Captain Macheath, known to you as Mack the Knife. The commanding Kinnear sings with relentless conviction in a Hitler mustache...

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First Nighter: In 'Hello, Dillie!' Dillie Keane Celebrates Love Gone Wrong. Gone Very Wrong And Gone Right

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 7:14 PM

With her songs and stories, Dillie Keane is interested in--no, possessed by--the lives, mostly romantic, as lived by women of a certain age. Often it's herself about whom she's chatting and chanting, and she's funny about it as well as, from time to time, angry as Mother Nature in a...

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First Nighter: Five Worthies From Alan Ayckbourn, Eugene O'Neill, The Marx Brothers, Philip Ridley and God

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 12:49 PM

Confusions, at 59E59 Theatres - As the author of 79--count 'em, 79--plays, Alan Ayckbourn rarely falls below a certain laugh level. Many of his rib-tickling jokes--and the situations from which he derives them--involve rancorous marrieds. That's the case with two of the five one-acts stuffing this jolly evening. In "Mother...

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First Nighter: Dan Hoyle's Outstanding "The Block," Jonathan Brielle's Not Outstanding "Himself and Nora"

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2016 | 6:37 PM

Mark Plesent, the Working Theater producing artistic director--in tandem with managing director B. J. Evans and Tamilla Woodard, artistic director of Five Boroughs/One City--has come up with an intriguing project: developing a play about each of the five boroughs that will then tour each borough.

After their working on the...

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Easy Listener: Sizzling-Hot Jazz/Cabaret CDs From Barb Jungr, Dane Vannatter, Barbara Fasano, Tony Yazbeck

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2016 | 10:22 AM

There was a time not that long ago when cabaret rooms and jazz rooms were considered distinct territories. You might say the difference came down to--this is an extreme generalization, of course--the former venues being a place where lyrics took precedence and the latter venues being a place where melodies...

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First Nighter: 'You a Good Man, Charlie Brown' Revival Weirdly Miscast, "Friend Art" Drama No Friend to Art, Marin Mazzie, Daniel Dae Kim Superb in 'The King and I'

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 9:40 PM

You can hear the conversation when the folks at the York Theatre Company started thinking about their current You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown revival.

Someone said, "What can we do to make it really fresh?" After a few suggestions that didn't catch fire, someone else said, "Since Charles M....

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First Nighter: John Doyle's Stripped Down 'Peer Gynt,' Cirque du Soleil's Broadwayed Up 'Paramour'

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2016 | 10:26 PM

Henrik Ibsen is often considered the father of realism, but the citation is, more likely than not, a result of plays written later in a career that began in1850. It was Ghosts (1879) and A Doll's House (1881), that we think of as having conferred the realist title on him.

...
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First Nighter: Joe Morton as Dick Gregory in "Turn Me Loose," The Irondale Ensemble Takes on Shakespeare in "1599," The Sluggish "A Better Place" and "Cal in Camo"

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2016 | 11:31 AM

Dick Gregory isn't playing himself in Turn Me Loose, at the Westside Theatre, although, at 83, he certainly could. Right now Joe Morton, whom current tv viewers know from Scandal, is impersonating Gregory in the Gretchen Law play that also has John Carlin taking on several roles, among them William...

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First Nighter: Rupert Everett a Grand Oscar Wilde in David Hare's 'The Judas Kiss'

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 10:52 PM

David Hare, who turns his plays out one on top of the next, can be sly when he wants. The Judas Kiss--about Oscar Wilde on the day he's arrested (April 6, 1895) for indecency and then, in the second act, revisited sometime after he's been released from Reading Goal--doesn't begin...

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First Nighter: Cheryl Stern's Shoes and Baggage Lively Clothes-Horse Confession

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2016 | 2:31 PM

If you loved Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which opened off-Broadway in 2009 and is the Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron adaptation of Ilene Beckerman's book of the same title, you're likely to revel in Cheryl Stern's Shoes and Baggage, now at The Cell.

Even if you missed the...

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First Nighter: Melissa Errico, Richard Troxell in the Richard Rodgers-Stephen Sondheim "Do I Hear a Waltz?"

(1) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 5:34 PM

Richard Rodgers, ladies and gentlemen! Those melodies! The abundance! This isn't news, of course, but maybe these days it needs to be a reminder. The King and I continues at the Beaumont with Marin Mazzie having replaced Kelli O'Hara as Anna Leonowens, but that, of course, is top-drawer Rodgers and...

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First Nighter: "Evening-1910" a Valuable Musical Evening-2016

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2016 | 12:52 AM

If you're the kind of musical lover who gets discerning every once in a while, preferring something other than one boffo number after another--not that there's anything wrong with it--then the musical for you is Evening-1910, being presented by Axis Company at 1 Sheridan Square.

When I watched it at...

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First Nighter: What the Tony Nominees Have to Say forThemselves

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2016 | 9:10 PM

Michael Shannon, sitting in a tufted, black leather chair on rollers, is trying to get comfortable with it. Shifting in the way actors uneasy talking about themselves often do, he says that his fellow Long Day's Journey Into Night actors--Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne, John Gallagher Jr., Colby Minifie--behave towards each...

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First Nighter: Jordan Jaffe's 'Crude' Drills the Oil Industry

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2016 | 10:08 PM

While I was watching Jordan Jaffe's Crude, I thought that this is one play I can't see ever being done anywhere in or near Texas. That tells you how uninformed about it I was on going into the small Ars Nova space, from which so much solid theater emerges these...

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First Nighter: Richard Bean's Workplace "Toast" is Nicely Buttered, Dostoevsky's "Idiot" Transferred Giddily to the Stage

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 11:42 PM

Call them gang comedy-dramas, if you like. The truth is, you might want to get in the habit, because they appear to be coming our way. Is it a trend? Will it pass? Probably. All trends eventually pass.

Nevertheless, a few months ago Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew opened at the...

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First Nighter: St. Ann's 'Streetcar Named Desire' Leaves a Certain Amount to Be Desired

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2016 | 11:31 PM

Although there's much to praise in the Young Vic-Joshua Andrews co-production of Tennessee Wiliams's superb A Street Car Named Desire, now transported to St. Ann's Warehouse, the laurels go mostly to the cast. About other prominent aspects, there's much to question.

Indeed, the off-kilter impression begins not when the play,...

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First Nighter: Red Bull Theater's "School for Scandal" Resoundingly Rings the Bell

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 10:10 AM

Jesse Berger has been devoting his Red Bull Theater company to presenting first-rate productions of the classics, which isn't the sort of thing that happens all that frequently on these shores, certainly not often enough that anyone can become complacent about it. Now, at the Lucille Lortel, he's emerged with...

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First Nighter: Musicalized "American Psycho" Frighteningly Beautiful to Behold but Insufficiently Psychotic

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2016 | 11:51 PM

No, American Psycho, an imported Almeida and Headlong production, is not about the current Republican presidential campaign. On the other hand, yes, it is very much Sweeney Todd for the 21st century. But while it deals with a compulsive protagonist of the homicidal kind, is it compulsory viewing for the...

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