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‘July, 2015’

“The King and I” – gorgeous spectacle of 1860s British governess & Asian despot

“The King and I” – gorgeous spectacle of 1860s British governess & Asian despot

In the mid-19th century, the King of Siam, now called Thailand, was struggling to modernize his country. Much of the struggle was against himself. He was a despot who thought of himself as a god. He had numerous wives and everyone — wives, children, commoners — had to keep their heads lower than his, even if it meant prostrating themselves. And King Mongkut had slaves.

“An Act of God” is Jim Parsons’ very witty take on religious hokum

“An Act of God” is Jim Parsons’ very witty take on religious hokum

If cleverness is next to godliness, Jim Parsons soars on both counts. His send-up of religion, believers and politicians is a holy hoot.

Parsons wears a white robe over slim black pants and red sneakers and speaks avuncularly with the slight southern accent he picked up in his native Houston.

“An American in Paris” is a stairway to dance paradise

“An American in Paris” is a stairway to dance paradise

It’s the end of World War II, Liberation in Paris. Former soldier Jerry Mulligan (Robert Fairchild), a New Yorker who wants to be a painter, stays. This modern jazz ballet with brilliant music by George Gershwin and unforgettable lyrics by Ira Gershwin is wrapped around a story inspired by a 1951 movie. Jerry becomes friends with Adam Hochberg (Brandon Uranowitz), a very NY-accented pianist and composer who hits the keys at the Dutois café. Uranowitz is a charmer, It’s still a dark time in the city of light, there’s hunger. The men find rooms at a hotel where artists don’t get charged.

“On The 20th Century” is a Kristin Chenoweth musical tour de force  

“On The 20th Century” is a Kristin Chenoweth musical tour de force  

Part operetta, part farce, part screwball comedy, this musical revival is about the behind-the-scenes relationship of Lily Garland (Kristin Chenoweth), a temperamental actress, and Oscar Jaffee (Peter Gallagher), a bankrupt theater producer. On a luxury train traveling from Chicago to New York, Oscar tries to cajole the glamorous Hollywood star, once his protegée, into playing the lead in a not-yet-written drama, and perhaps into rekindling their romance.