Mothers and Sons (Bway - Golden, May 8, 7pm) - Tyne Daly can do no wrong, but I'm sure even she is sick of getting typecast in "nightmare mother" roles. The play poses interesting question of what constitutes family in these days of shifting definitions, but seems like a draft rather than a finished product.
A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder (Bway - Walter Kerr, May 14, 8pm) - Nice to see legit singing back on Broadway. Clever staging, great performances, a dry, almost British comic sensibility, site gags a-plenty. Not earth-shattering, but an enjoyable evening of theatre.
If/Then (Bway - Richard Rodgers, May 29, 8pm) - Idina Menzel is in incredible voice, sounding better than ever (including Wicked). The dual story lines, while not necessarily confusing, seem a bit contrived. Especially the whole *spoiler alert* plane crash. Weird set design that basically cuts the stage height in half, with no apparent pay-off visually. Tom Kitt knows how to write a driving pop ballad. See it for Menzel's performance.
Holler if Ya Hear Me (Bway - Palace, Jun 5, 8pm) - Unlike every legit reviewer on the planet, I actually enjoyed this show. It wasn't perfect by any means. But I found the earnest, yet wildly shifting tone - one minute hardcore street, the next minute a J-Lo music video - enough to keep me interested. Tupac's music and lyrics are worth a listen.
Lady Day (Bway - Circle in the Square, Jun 7, 2pm) - Audra is a goddess and I just needed to see the show for a third time.
Piece of My Heart (OB - Signature Center, Jun 26, 7:30p) - I had no idea that Bert Berns was behind so many hit songs of the 60s. The book is a little rough and the criminally under-used Leslie Kritzer needs more to sing, but you can't beat the score of pop hits.
Violet (Bway - AA, Jul 5, 2:00p) - Sutton Foster is just about perfect and the score is one of Tesori's best. Ensemble cast is uniformly excellent. Glad to have caught this production as a Broadway revival isn't likely again anytime soon.
This Is Our Youth (Bway - Cort, Aug 30, 2pm) - An usher randomly offered to move Trish and I to front row seats, so we got plenty of up-close time with Kieren Culkin and Michael Cera. Solid production, well-cast.
Found (OB - Atlantic Theater, Sep 21, 7pm) - Went in cold and thoroughly enjoyed this quirky musical full of unexpected wit and charm about the pitfalls of success. Always nice to see colleague Orville Mendoza on stage. The show is unique and idiosyncratic, so sadly it probably won't be a hit with the masses.
On The Town (Bway - Lyric, Sep 27, 8pm) - Huge-scale Broadway revival of the Bernstein/Comden/Green musical about sailors on shore leave in the 1940s. Cried when they played the National Anthem to open the show and everyone stood up and sang. I'm sucker for sentimentality. Athletic choreography, virtuoso dancing, huge ensemble, full orchestra, Bernstein score. What's not to like?
The Last Ship (Bway -Neil Simon, Oct 6, 8pm) - Haunting, tuneful score by pop icon Sting in a gorgeous production with a stunning final tableau. And Rachel Tucker should be a star in America (not just in her native Ireland/UK). I honestly don't understand the bad reviews.
On The Town (Bway - Lyric, Oct 23, 7pm) - With another large-scale Broadway revival highly unlikely within my lifetime, had to make a second visit.
Side Show (Bway - St. James, Oct 1, 8pm) - I'm definitely a fan of the much-maligned original production. I found this re-imagined "revisal" less affecting than the original, but appreciated the more realistic approach to the staging and make-up. And you really can't beat the score chock full of driving power ballads. What can I say? I'm a child of the 80s. It's near impossible to match the balls-to-the-wall original performances of Ripley and Skinner, but Erin Davie and Emily Padgett are worthy successors.
Fortress of Solitude (OB - Public, Nov 8, 8pm) - Wonderful score, inventive staging, the always charming Adam Chanler-Berat heading a top-notch Broadway caliber cast rocking a nostalgia-driven period pop and R&B driven score. Hope to see a move uptown in a bigger production that I think would only elevate the piece given the scope of the material.
You Can't Take It With You (Bway - Longacre, Nov 13, 7pm) - I have just three words - James Earl Jones. Annaleigh Ashford is pretty spectacular, too. Nice to see this chestnut lifted out of high-school-production purgatory and given a full-scale Broadway production.
Honeymoon in Vegas (Bway - Nederlander, Nov 20, 8pm) - Jason Robert Brown just can't catch a break. As always, a fantastic score saddled to a problematic book that maybe clung too literally to the source material. Honestly, I found my 2014 sensibilities unable to fully warm to the idea of betting your spouse in a poker game. But always great to see one of my old Grease tour castmates, Gaelen Gillilend, in yet another Broadway show (yes, I will continue to name drop!).