Nikolai and the Others, Richard Nelson's ambitious new offering at Lincoln Center, is basically a history play that aspires to shed philosophical light on the relationship between Art and politics and the plight of the Artist in Exile. As history, it is fascinating and engaging; as philosophy, it's not clear exactly what he wants to say.
Aside from the fact that she doesn't sing, the only trepidation I've encountered about Bette Midler's sensational one-woman show I'll Eat You Last, about the sassy, splashy, tart-tongued Hollywood super agent Sue Mengers, is the concern that the Divine Miss M might be playing a colorful "insider" so obscure that the general public has never heard of her. Well, the show is such a smash and the Divine Miss M never more divine that you'll be lucky if you can beg, borrow or steal a ticket to get in.
There is a Bountiful in everyone, an Edenic place of innocence and tranquility, the refuge to which we each yearn to return if only to replenish the strength to carry on. In a sublime performance in Horton Foote's classic play, Cicely Tyson transports her audience with her as she makes her own way back home.
Overwrought and odd, the Broadway revival of Orphans, a 1985 off-Broadway play by Lyle Kessler that was overrated by a lot of otherwise intelligent people, including director Alan J. Pakula, who turned it into a 1987 movie with Albert Finney, has gained nothing from time passed. If anything, it is odder and more inconsequential than ever.