Howard Shapiro: If you're not sold on the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies by the time Bernadette Peters walks onto a lonely, red-lit stage on Broadway and gives desperate life to the torch song "Losing My Mind," well, there's nothing else to be done.
In what seems like, oh, a couple weeks since it was last on Broadway, the Public Theater production of the iconic tribal-love-rock-musical Hair is back again. You could call it the re-revival, and it returns to the Big Time in reverse form: What landed at the St. James Theatre and opened Wednesday night is the national tour version of the show that recently left.
Howard Shapiro: Oy, do you get ever schmaltz in The People in the Picture, a new musical with a book dipped in the stuff by Iris Rainer Dart, who also wrote the mostly uninspired lyrics to the show's generic tunes by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler. Dart is notable for having written the best-seller Beaches.
Howard Shapiro: The quirky play, whose 25-year Broadway revival opened on Monday night at the Walter Kerr Theatre, is blessed with an A-list cast in compelling performances: Ben Stiller and Edie Falco, and in lesser roles, Mary Beth Hurt, Allison Pill and others.
Howard Shapiro joined The Inquirer in 1970 and has held many writing and editing positions, including cultural arts editor and travel editor. He now writes for The Inquirer’s features section.
His “On Travel” column appears occasionally on Sundays in Travel, and his theater reviews appear in the Daily Magazine and Weekend.
Find his podcasts with theater artists at http://go.philly.com/theater