New York Stage Review publishes up-to-date reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway plays and musicals from veteran theater critics.
Melissa Rose Bernardo
With the continual changes in the media world, the number of outlets for theater criticism has dwindled to the point that even major New York daily newspapers have been forced to cut back on coverage. As an unofficial band of professional drama critics—long-time members of the New York Drama Critics Circle, each with former newspaper affiliations—we bemoan the diminishing coverage of the so-called legitimate theater.
It is our experience that informed dramatic criticism plays an important part in guiding readers to productions that they might not otherwise attend; not merely heralding the latest blockbusters, but offering readers a sense of whether they might find a specific production rewarding. With that goal in view, we have banded together to form New York Stage Review.
We are pleased and honored to continue to offer first-night theater criticism to those long familiar with our bylines and to new readers as well.
—Steven Suskin, Publisher
Elysa Gardner covered theater and music at USA Today until 2016, and has since written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, Town & Country, Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Tonight, Out, American Theatre, Broadway Direct, and the BBC. She has also been a contributor to The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and VH1. She served on the Pulitzer Prize drama jury in 2015 and chaired it in 2017.
Jesse Oxfeld was the theater critic of The New York Observer from 2009 to 2014. He has also written about theater for Entertainment Weekly, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Forward, The Times of London, and other publications. His first Broadway show was Peter Pan, starring Sandy Duncan, on the occasion of his fourth birthday, and he is the recipient of two coveted Joey Awards, presented by the staff of Joe Allen, the theater district standby.
Melissa Rose Bernardo has been covering theater for more than 20 years, reviewing for Entertainment Weekly and contributing to such outlets as Broadway.com, Playbill, and the gone (but not forgotten) InTheater and TheaterWeek magazines. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.
David Finkle is a freelance journalist specializing in the arts and politics. He has reviewed theater for several decades, for publications including The Village Voice and Theatermania.com, where for 12 years he was chief drama critic. Currently he reviews for The Clyde Fitch Report. Based in New York City and much less than 45 minutes from Broadway, he’s the author of People Tell Me Things, a story collection, The Man With the Overcoat, a novel, and the forthcoming Humpty Trumpty Hit a Brick Wall, a chronicle in verse of Donald J. Trump’s first year in office.
Michael Sommers has written about the New York and regional theater scenes since 1981. He served two terms as president of the New York Drama Critics Circle and was the longtime chief reviewer for The Star-Ledger and the Newhouse News Service. He was an editor and writer for Theatre Crafts, Back Stage, and the Best Plays series. He has contributed to The New York Times, Variety, and Equity News, among other publications. Currently he reviews for The Village Voice and is a consultant for the Howard Gilman Foundation.
Steven Suskin has been reviewing theater and music since 1999 for Variety, Playbill, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He has written 15 books, along with liner notes for numerous cast recordings. His books include Second Act Trouble, The Sound of Broadway Music, Show Tunes (now in its fourth updated edition), Opening Night on Broadway, and More Opening Nights on Broadway. Recent titles include The Book of Mormon: The Testament of a Broadway Musical (with Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone) and The Great Comet: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway (with Dave Malloy). Click the link for his Amazon Author Page. He has also long been productively engaged in the theater as a general manager and producer.
Bob Verini covers the Massachusetts theater scene for Variety. From 2006 to 2015 he covered Southern California theater for Variety, serving as president of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and producing five of the LADCC’s annual awards ceremonies. He has written for American Theatre, ArtsInLA.com, StageRaw.com, and Script. He holds an MFA in directing from Indiana University, and has acted and directed professionally. His daily “Play-a-Day” capsules appear on Facebook and are collected at ArtsInLA.com.