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Articles by John Buckley

Review: ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’ at Wyndham’s Theatre

LONDON—The legendary Billie Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan and nicknamed Lady Day by her friend, musician Lester Young, had in her short 44 years a major influence on jazz and pop music. Another legend, Audra McDonald, who holds the record for the most Tony Awards (six), portrays Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” which crossed the pond from Broadway to the West End for a limited engagement.
The show …

Review: ‘Puffs’ at New World Stages: It’s ‘Third or Nothing’ for Those Other Three Student Wizards

This week, the hit play “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic” moved seven blocks uptown to New York’s favorite off-Broadway theatre, New World Stages, for its third staging of the show.  Even if you’ve been one among the lucky few thousand to have seen one of the original adaptations of the play, you’ll want to return to your favorite school of magic if …

Review: ‘Mary Poppins’ at Paper Mill Playhouse is ‘Practically Perfect’

Gliding through the air powered by an umbrella, everyone’s favorite nanny, Mary Poppins, is back in the New York area, that is until the wind changes course.
The Paper Mill Playhouse version is a vast improvement on the production that graced Broadway not too many moons ago. The cast is stronger, the book by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame is tighter, and the score has the revisions that critics and …

Review: ‘Puffs’ at Elektra Theatre

Can’t wait for “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” to make its way to the Great White Way next year? No need to fret as there’s currently a play off-Broadway called “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic” that is sure to delight any fan of the Harry Potter franchise. So if you find yourself anxious to see Harry Potter on stage, you don’t …

‘Great Comet’ and ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Lead 2017 Tony Award Nominations

“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” and “Hello, Dolly!” came out on top of this year’s Tony Award nominations that were announced Tuesday morning.
“Comet,” which earned 12 Tony nominations and is based on a few pages of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” is so complex and has so many characters that a tutorial – in the form of a song of course – is necessary to set the scene.
A …

Review: ‘Babes in Toyland’ at Carnegie Hall

While Victor Herbert is hardly a household name today, he was well known to audiences at the turn of the last century. Herbert was born in Dublin, Ireland, and began his career as a musician in Vienna so it was not surprising that, when he immigrated to the United States, he became best known for the operettas he composed, including the smash hit, “Babes in Toyland,” which made its debut …

Tony Awards 2016: ‘Hamilton’ Makes History with 16 Nominations

“Hamilton,” the popular hip-hop musical about the nation’s founding fathers, made history Tuesday with a record 16 Tony Award nominations.
The groundbreaking show, which is playing to sold out crowds, was recognized in every category from acting to writing to directing to design, with multiple nominations in some.
The previous record for the most Tony nominations was held by “The Producers” and “Billy Elliot,” each of which garnered nominations for 15 Tony …