DAN DWYER is an independent theatre reviewer and radio interview host. His radio show, OFF SCRIPT, is broadcast on NPR-affiliate WHDD Robin Radio. Podcasts of his interviews, along with his reviews, are posted on www.offscriptdandwyer.com. Dan’s reviews of Broadway musicals appear translated in BLICKPUNKT MUSICAL, the German magazine of international musical theatre. Dan completed a workshop in directing at Yale in the summer of 2015, and will be directing rehearsed readings at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in August 2017. Dan is proprietor of Johnnycake Books, specializing in rare and collectible books, in Salisbury Connecticut.
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Articles by Dan Dwyer
THEATRE REVIEW: Manhattan Theatre Club’s ‘The Cake’ proposes that sugar makes moral medicine go down
Friday, 8 Mar 2019 - “The Cake” isn’t bold or provocative; it’s considered and gentle in confronting political and cultural divisions.
THEATRE REVIEW: Barrington Stage’s 10×10 New Play Festival an oasis in a bleak, wet Berkshire winter
Friday, 1 Mar 2019 - The 10 10-minute plays, divided by one intermission, feature 10 playwrights who, each with remarkable economy, illuminate some aspect of life—in the everyday, in the home or in the news—as we are living it, like it or not, in this 2019 winter of discontent.
Saturday, 23 Feb 2019 - If you don’t get a lump in your throat in the final scene when the youthful Frank, Charley and Mary sing “Our Time” looking skyward with wonder and wide-eyed innocence at Sputnik in 1957 nighttime sky from a Brooklyn rooftop, you have no heart.
THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Chasing the New White Whale’ at La MaMa uses ‘Moby Dick’ as a metaphor for opioid addiction
Friday, 14 Dec 2018 - The playwright wrote the play in response to the heroin overdose of his brother, who was a fisherman out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, capital of the 19th century’s booming whaling industry.
REVIEW: Range of jazz selections brought new definition to Fisher Center’s ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’
Friday, 9 Nov 2018 - The film’s Expressionistic visual style of odd angular forms and dark shadows fits perfectly with the unexpected, sometimes jarring, contours of jazz, and vice versa.
Wednesday, 7 Nov 2018 - The adapted play has been reduced four to two hours and 45 minutes, but its narrative weaknesses get exposed and its shortened length seems endless.
THEATRE REVIEW: Solid productions of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘Naked’ conclude a versatile summer theater season
Saturday, 13 Oct 2018 - The conclusion of “Naked” is riveting, all the more so for its prescient reverberations to the temper of our times.
Monday, 24 Sep 2018 - Hitchcock, believing the murder scene would be most dramatic with no music, instructed Hermann not to score it, but Hermann did anyway. When he insisted Hitchcock listen, after just a few notes, Hitchcock changed his mind (and increased Hermann’s fee).
Monday, 3 Sep 2018 - Director Allyn Burrows places Shakespeare’s romantic comedy in The Roaring Twenties, tapping into the abandon and changing values of the rollicking Prohibition era.
THEATRE REVIEW: In Shakespeare & Co.’s outstanding production of ‘Mothers and Sons’ Annette Miller’s performance is riveting
Friday, 31 Aug 2018 - With impeccable timing, nuanced vocal shifts and calibrated movement—the adjusting of the skirt, the nervous twitching of hands, the folding of the arms in self defense—Ms. Miller creates an indelible, psychologically credible, pathetic character.
THEATRE REVIEW: Barrington Stage’s ‘Well Intentioned White People’ lacks character development despite a powerful message
Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 - The real drama lost somewhere in Lynett’s confused work is the tragedy of a person who, by fateful combination of shortcomings in her own judgment and events foisted upon her for which she has no control, sees her life goal at risk.
Wednesday, 22 Aug 2018 - If “The Actor’s Nightmare” ranks among the blackest of farcical comedy, then “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You” is among the blackest of black comedy.
REVIEW: Tanglewood’s Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert a fitting tribute to both Bernstein and Tanglewood
Wednesday, 22 Aug 2018 - Most impressive was how conductor Andris Nelsons held the orchestra still long after it at had ceased playing for what the audience perceived as an odd, even uncomfortable, period — silence is a sound, too.
Monday, 20 Aug 2018 - Like the trooper Patsy was — and in keeping with the school of hard knocks her songs celebrated — the show moves swiftly into a double encore.
THEATRE REVIEW: Chester Theatre Company’s ‘The Aliens’ is pitch-perfect, impeccably rhythmed production
Friday, 17 Aug 2018 - The play progresses on subtly revealed aspects about each character as well as carefully calibrated pacing and movement.
Thursday, 16 Aug 2018 - Everything about “Dangerous House” is clean, straightforward and uncluttered. Playwright Silverman neither preaches nor condescends.
Tuesday, 14 Aug 2018 - In a quietly elegant revival at Williamstown Theatre Festival, director Gaye Taylor Upchurch and a phenomenal leading cast reveal how deep in its recesses the timelessness of the 1950 drama lies.
THEATRE REVIEW: ‘West Side Story’ at Barrington Stage is one of the most rapturous, thrilling evenings of musical theater anywhere
Friday, 10 Aug 2018 - Many theater companies aspire to recreate faithfully AND freshly great American musicals but few achieve the drama and vitality that’s currently on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage.
Wednesday, 8 Aug 2018 - Most acutely sensitive, though, and way ahead of its time, is the second-act speech Sherwood gives Mrs. Chisholm that proclaims a woman’s emancipation decades before the bra-burning ‘60s.
THEATRE REVIEW: ‘The Chinese Lady’ at Barrington Stage a lovely production of noble and current import
Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018 - 'The Chinese Lady' muses about the philosophic nature of history, cultural appropriation and similar serious topics.
Monday, 30 Jul 2018 - Strindberg was way ahead of his time in probing the psychological recesses of adult relationships.
Monday, 30 Jul 2018 - Most gratifying was the spontaneous roar from the crowd when the names of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim appeared in the end credits.
Friday, 27 Jul 2018 - “Lempicka” could use a lot of trimming — cutting, too.
Sunday, 22 Jul 2018 - The play appears plotless, but is anchored by the most classical narrative structure—conflict underpins everything that happens.
Friday, 20 Jul 2018 - “Artney Jackson” creates a world where dreams and the workday co-exist.
Monday, 16 Jul 2018 - The 90-minute show was packed with about a dozen and half songs, thematically grouped in five sets with some rollicking comedy routines and brash, political commentary in between.
Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018 - Sexual liberation — but in the dark? It just plays silly. Why bother? Act 2, too, has some peculiar directorial choices, especially a cringe-inducing routine involving a poster of Mick Jagger.
Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018 - The entire performance is mesmerizing. Narration by actor Kathleen Chalfant and original music by Finish composer Kaija Saariaho fit perfectly with the dance.
Tuesday, 10 Jul 2018 - A stunning new production that combines a subversive adaptation of Leonard Bernstein’s 1950 version with his nearly forgotten, full original score. Enter a “Peter Pan” for the 21st century.
Monday, 9 Jul 2018 - Lady Rizo works a song portfolio from Nina Simone to Leonard Cohen with a set of pipes that would make both Janis Joplin and Donna Summer be sure she never opened for them — she’d be too good.
Friday, 6 Jul 2018 - When it comes to witty and double-entendre rhyming, Sondheim, eat your heart out. Lee Kalcheim’s dialogue is crisp and snappy.
Wednesday, 4 Jul 2018 - If Beane weren’t gay, he probably couldn’t get away with this parody, but that kind of thinking is exactly what Beane is lampooning.