By Lori Perkins
I was fortunate enough to score preview tickets to Lin Manuel Mirada’s Broadway re-interpretation of New York, New York, the Liza Minnelli/Robert DeNiro movie from the ‘70s that includes the classic song, “New York, New York” that Sinatra then rerecorded.
Since this was originally a movie directed by Scorsese, new songs have been commissioned and Miranda was lucky enough to collaborate with the original songwriters, John Kander & Fred Ebb. The new version of what was honestly a mediocre movie with great music is stupendous! Gone is all the sexism and misogyny of the original, and the odd chemistry between DeNiro and Minnelli. The necessary dramatic tension has been replaced with references to racism for a mixed race couple in the post-war ‘40s, as the female lead is now played by the amazingly talented, Anna Uzele, who makes you believe in the enemies to lovers affair between herself and Jimmy Doyle, the Irish band leader. It does make you feel that in old New York, your dreams can come true.
The set is also incredibly, constantly changing every five minutes, even including a Manhattanhedge moment (a day twice a year where the sun sets just right in the caverns of the city’s skyscrapers). The set alone is a moving love mural to the city.
And the cast is pitch perfect too. So many incredibly talented singers, dancers and actors.
This is “classic” Broadway with up-to-date art, technology and music. Anna Uzele is going to be a major Broadway star. This is going to be nominated for every Tony (which actually makes me feel a little sad for anything that competes with it). It’s going to run for years, so get your tickets NOW, while the show is in previews (it opens April 26th). Most of us real New Yorkers probably won’t be able to afford tickets after that.