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David Finkle
David Finkle is a New York-based writer who concentrates on the arts. He's currently the chief drama critic for 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: Schilling, Dinklage, Edwards Spend 'A Month in the Country'

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 12:43 AM

If you go by Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country, revived at Classic Stage Company, you might conclude the revered Russian literary man was more of a city lover. As we used to say to someone stating the obvious, "What was your first clue?" Here, it's the script's implication...

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First Nighter: John Tiffany's 'Let the Right One In', Parallel Exit's 'Everybody Gets Cake!', Poe in 'Nevermore'

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2015 | 8:18 PM

If you ask me, the prolific John Tiffany and the prolific Steven Hoggett -- whether prolific together or apart -- are responsible for the best play ever presented about the Iraq War. It's Black Watch, produced for the National Theatre of Scotland and twice a gotta-see-it-again attraction at St. Ann's...

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First Nighter: Hugh Leonard's 'Da,' Aaron Mark's 'Another Medea,' Damon Chua's 'Film Chinois'

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

In Da, now revived by the Irish Repertory Theatre during its DR2 season, Hugh Leonard deals with a couple of irrefutable psychological truths. He contends that we all internalize our parents as well as keep track of our younger selves.

He does it--not that he's the first to do something...

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First Nighter: Halley Feiffer's 'I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard' Needs More Prayer

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 8:43 PM

Although we may loathe the very suggestion, it's undoubtedly true that to some extent, we all eventually become our parents. Halley Feiffer believes we do to the most extreme extent. She demonstrates as much and more in her highly dramatic, highly theatrical, highly-problematic-bordering-on-laughable I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard,...

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First Nighter: Tony Danza, Honeymoon in Vegas Pay Off

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 11:59 AM

(Reviewer's note: I covered Honeymoon in Vegas when it tried out at Millburn's Paper Mill Playhouse in 2013. Taking into account the improvements inserted for its transfer to Manhattan's Nederlander, I'm rerunning the previous notice.)

Tony Danza on stage -- or anywhere, for that matter -- is just about impossible...

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First Nighter: Broadway's Richard Thomas, Anna Chlumsky, Café Carlyle's Cheyenne Jackson and the Duplex's Ben Rimalower

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 5:49 PM

One of the Broadway season's very highest lights, the George S. Kaufman-Moss Hart You Can't Take It With You, at the Longacre, remains brightly illuminated now that replacements Richard Thomas and Anna Chlumsky have joined the hilariously accomplished ensemble under Scott Ellis's eloquent direction.

In this riotous look at the...

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First Nighter: Gyllenhaal, Wilson Illuminate Nick Payne's 'Constellations'

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 7:07 PM

Nick Payne's Constellations arrives at the Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman after winning the 2012 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play and receiving a clutch of rave reviews that encouraged the move from its initial production at London's Royal Court to the West End.

Depending on whether or...

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First Nighter: Sam Harris' Expertly Baked Ham, Victor L. Cahn's Sly Villainous Company

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 7:40 PM

If you were to ask me who the best male pop singer in the country is -- not that anyone has -- I wouldn't immediately name bestsellers Michael Bublé or Josh Groban. I wouldn't say Tony Bennett, who, in his advancing 80s, remains among our most impressive singers. I wouldn't...

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First Nighter: Sting in "The Last Ship," Barney Josephson and "Café Society Swing"

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 10:10 PM

In his first-rate autobiographical musical The Last Ship, Sting -- also Gordon Sumner, son of a ship builder -- has come full circle, after a fashion.

By joining the cast, at the Neil Simon, for a month (through January 24 and in an admitted move to boost box office), he's...

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First Nighter: Samuel D. Hunter Puts Pocatello on the Theater Map

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 10:14 PM

Throughout MacArthur Fellowship recipient Samuel D. Hunter's outstanding play The Whale, at Playwrights Horizons in 2012, the main character is a gay man isolating himself by virtue of his obesity. Now back at PH with Pocatello, Hunter watches -- in a series of highly animated scenes -- another gay man...

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First Nighter: Jonny Donahoe's Brilliant 'Every Brilliant Thing'

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 9:57 PM

Even before Every Brilliant Thing began I realized the spunky, balding fellow racing about the in-the-round Barrow Street Theatre to hand out sheets of paper and chat with audience members was undoubtedly the solo show's performer, Jonny Donahoe. I also decided there was something instantly likable about him.

Then the...

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First Nighter: Bradley Cooper in Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 3:31 PM

While reading this generally favorable review of The Elephant Man, the revival of Bernard Pomerance's 1979 play -- at the Booth (where it first played) and brought in from the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival -- bear in mind that the title character (played extremely well by Bradley Cooper) isn't seen...

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First Nighter: "El gato con botas," "Le Nozze di Figaro," Carlisle Floyd One-Acts as Opera Magnets

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:20 PM

Since perfect things come along infrequently, it's absolutely required that when they do, a whole lot of carrying on attends them. The perfect thing about which I'm now holding forth is the Gotham Chamber Opera and Tectonic Theater Project's revival of El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), at El...

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First Nighter: 'Send for the Million Men,' 'The Invisible Hand' Ripped From Headlines

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 8:25 AM

Imagine: The Sacco-Vanzetti case as a 2014 play called Send for the Million Men, created and directed by Joseph Silovsky, as part of the HERE Artist Residency Program.

Just imagine: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti remembered so explicitly almost a full century after the South Braintree, Massachusetts crime on April...

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First Nighter: Capote's 'Christmas Memory' Set to Sweet Music

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 6:52 PM

Come Christmas every year, new offerings are presented with the hope they'll become holiday perennials. In 2010 TheatreWorks Silicon Valley launched a musical adaptation of Truman Capote's autobiographical short story, A Christmas Memory, adapted by Duane Poole with songs by lyricist Carol Hall and music by composer Larry Grossman.


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First Nighter: The Bedlam Company Shoots and Wounds Chekhov's 'Seagull'

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 5:08 PM

Before I get to the many reasons for my strongly objecting to the Bedlam company's attack on Anton Chekhov's great play, The Seagull, I want strongly to recommend their Sense & Sensibility adaptation, which my Huffington Post colleague has already praised.

Having seen that production earlier in their current two-play...

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First Nighter: 'Tamburlaine Parts I and II,' 'Tristan & Yseult' Blood Spillage

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 5:45 PM

Late in the Kneehigh production of Tristan & Yseult, at St. Ann's Warehouse, a character says, "It's hard to keep things white." She's referring to how easily white apparel can be soiled, often by blood.

I'd been thinking the same thing, since my attending the evening performance of Tristan &...

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First Nighter: Frederick Douglass, Simon Wiesenthal and Mat Smart's 'Naperville' on Stages

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Phil Darius Wallace, with director and co-creator Melania Levitsky, has given himself a plum role in Self Made Man: The Frederick Douglass Story, at the Arclight.

Perhaps he noticed one day that if he had a full beard, he would resemble portraits of the former slave who bought his own...

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First Nighter: Shepard's "A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)," Behar's "Me, My Mouth and I"

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:48 AM

Sam Shepard and Stephen Rea have collaborated on projects for 40 years, ever since Shepard directed Rea in a Royal Court production of Shepard's Geography of a Horse Dreamer. More recently, Rea appeared in Dublin's Abbey, London's Almeida and New York City's Public doing a transferring production of Shepard's disappointing...

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First Nighter: Albee's 'Delicate Balance' Not Entirely Balanced

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 11:04 PM

Edward Albee has often, if not always, written about educated people whose learning has devolved into cutting banter as the years have marched on. They've honed their intelligence in such a way that they can be sarcastic and cynical on an impressively erudite level. From time to time as they...

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