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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: 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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First Nighter: Alice Birch's 'Revolt, She Said, Revolt Again' Introduces the Feminist Absurd

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 10:48 PM

Yoo-hoo, theater cognoscenti! Remember Theater of the Absurd, the new strain of writing that--to fall into reviewer's clichés--burst on the scene in the 1950s? That's when playwrights like Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco began making names for themselves.

Don't look now, but it's back as Theater of the Absurd 21st-Century-style--and...

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First Nighter: Agatha Christie's "and Then There Were None" in Smashing New Treatment

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 4:24 PM

According to some statistics, And Then There Were None is bestselling Agatha Christie's all-time bestseller. It's been filmed more than once, perhaps the favorite adaptation until recently being the 1945 20th Century Fox version.

Now Acorn is putting in a bid to snare the "favorite" title with a version shown...

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First Nighter: Dena Blizzard's 'One Funny Mother,' Neal Brennan's '3 Mics'

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 9:37 PM

It's been a while since Roseanne Barr flaunted her domestic-goddess self before the public. Therefore, room should exist for Dena Blizzard, as Miss New Jersey of 1995, no less, who's now cracking wise about her post-beauty-pageant home life in One Funny Mother, at New World Stages.

A Philadelphia working mother...

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First Night: Van Gogh Lovers Will Want to See Leonard Nimoy's 'Vincent'

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 5:26 PM

If you're searching for an example of genuine brotherly love, you don't start with Cain and Abel. Perhaps the choicest place to look is Vincent and Theo Van Gogh.

Although Vincent only did one portrait of his brother, he wrote hundreds of letters--often asking for funds, granted--in which it makes...

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First Nighter: Ike Holter's 'Exit Strategy' About Failing Public Schools Not Sufficiently Strategic

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 10:43 PM

Since Ike Holter's Exit Strategy, a Primary Stages production at the Cherry Lane, takes place in a foundering Chicago high school called Tumbldn, you wouldn't be surprised to encounter at least a few students dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But in his cast of characters Holter only includes one...

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First Nighter: The Royal Shakespeare Company Turns Four Shakespeare History Plays into Solid Gold

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 4:14 PM

Anyone devoted to William Shakespeare and, specifically, to his history plays had better make plans instantly to see The Royal Shakespeare Company's King and Country: Shakespeare's Great Cycle of Kings, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey. It's guided with thrilling pomp and virtuosity and just about flawlessly by company...

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First Nighter: A. Rey Pamatmat's Two-Families Drama "House Rules," Peter Mills Teams With Long-Gone Carlo Gesualdo in "Death for Five Voices"

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 11:00 AM

Why deal with one dysfunctional family when you can handle two? A. Rey Pamatmat apparently considered the question and decided there was no reason to stick to a limit. Hence House Rules, empathetically directed by Ralph B. Pena at HERE, in which Vera (Mia Katigbak) and feuding daughters Momo (Tiffany...

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First Nighter: Ivo van Hove Skews Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2016 | 7:22 AM

It's only a few months since Ivo van Hove brought his startlingly strong production of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge from London to Broadway. On its heels -don't forget the View From the Bridge cast performed in bare feet--he's directed The Crucible, Miller's sly take on the 1950s...

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First Nighter: Tarell Alvin McCraney's 'Head of Passes' Is the Play of the Year, With Phylicia Rashad Giving the Performance of the Year

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 10:50 PM

If superlative acting interests you -- and you probably wouldn't be reading this if it didn't -- you're well advised to make every effort you can to see Phylicia Rashad as Shelah in Tarell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes, at the Public. Rashad is all but literally bringing down the...

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