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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Review: ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ at Marquis Theatre Offers Lessons for Innkeepers

Perhaps the most important lesson one can take away from “Escape to Margaritaville” is how innkeepers at otherwise questionable establishments can offer thousand thread-count sheets.
“Margaritaville,” the Jimmy Buffet jukebox musical that opened in March in the Marquis Theatre on Broadway, has a decidedly tropical look from the ushers’ tropical shirts to the obligatory margaritas to Walt Spangler’s colorful set that belies its past as the theater where I saw revivals …

Restaurant Review: Mamo Brings Cannes to New York City

Celebrities flock to Mamo Le Michelangelo during the Cannes Film Festival for its Provençal/Italian cuisine, but now there’s a much closer option in New York City.
Located south of Grand St. on West Broadway, a parking spot right in front of Mamo was a good omen and things only improved from there.  The original Mamo was opened by Herve “Mamo” Mammoliti in 1992 and the New York version is helmed by …

Restaurant Review: DaDong in New York Elevates Peking Duck

Roast duck has been a staple in China for centuries and Peking duck, developed during the Ming Dynasty, is notable for its thin, crisp yet meaty skin, often carved tableside and served with either pancakes or steamed buns and a variety of accompaniments that might include hoisin or sweet bean sauce, spring onions, and cucumber.
DaDong is a Chinese restaurant group founded by chef Dong Zhenxiang, who is known for his Peking …

Review: ‘Frozen’ at St. James Theatre Left This Reviewer Cold

“Frozen” has a problem. Modeled after the 2013 blockbuster Disney movie of the same title and loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” the movie has everything you’d want in a musical: great casting, an enthralling story, romance, and a princess who shows her mettle when the going gets rough.
The Broadway show that just opened at the St. James Theatre, not so much.
To review, “Frozen,” …

Review: ‘Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes’ at Neil Simon Theatre

It’s 1985 in New York City. The AIDS crisis is about to hit home for Louis Ironson when he finds out at his grandmother’s funeral that his partner, Prior Walter, has become infected.
Thus starts “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” a two-part and rather complex play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner, a work that is a frequently metaphorical examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America.
Indeed, “History is …

New York Auto Show 2018: Hail the SUV, but Plug in the Mini

NEW YORK — The auto industry is showcasing dozens of new cars this week at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. The show, which dates back more than a century and was previously held at the New York Coliseum, the old Madison Square Garden, and the Grand Central Palace, will run through April 8.
Prior to the show’s official opening to the press, BMW’s Mini unit …

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto – Review

With the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, the hotelier has returned to its roots. Its very first property, the Four Seasons Motor Hotel, opened its doors to guests here in 1961 under the watchful eye of Isadore Sharp. Over the years, there were three other Four Seasons hotels in the city including the Inn on the Park, which I visited with my parents several times in the 1980s, and the new …