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Emmys 2017
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This Week on Stage: Darren Criss exits ‘How to Succeed’; Cynthia Nixon brings ‘Wit’ to Broadway

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WIT NIXON 02
Joan Marcus

If there is a truth now universally acknowledged on Broadway, it is that producers in need of a fortune should cast Darren Criss. The Glee star’s 24-show tenure in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which ended on Sunday, took in a total of just over $4 million dollars—besting all but one of his predecessor Daniel Radcliffe’s per week grosses and putting some extra pressure on his replacement Nick Jonas, whose stint runs until July 1.

In non-teenybopper theater news, this week saw the cast of Wet Hot American Summer reunite for a live “radio play” version of the film and Andrew Lloyd Webber speak out about Love Never Dies’ Broadway aspirations and his “tacky” reality shows. The stage musical adaptation of Rebecca moved its April opening back to next season. The Book of Mormon’s principal cast extended their contracts through February 2013. And our critics reviewed four very adult plays in New York and Los Angeles. Check out the highlights below.

West Coast staff writer Tanner Stranksy gives Phylicia Rashad’s revival of the 1959 drama A Raisin in the Sun an A, calling it “warm and comfy at times, hard to watch in several moments, and full of laughter and tears throughout.” Stransky also gives an A to the Los Angeles debut of Bruce Norris’ Raisin-inspired, Pulitzer-winning, “lighting rod” Clybourne Park, which he writes is “racially charged,” “brilliantly acted,” and “clever.”

In New York, editorial assistant Stephan Lee experienced the Avant-garde off-Broadway stylings of Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had it So Good), an interactive, improvised recreation of Andy Warhol’s 1965 film Kitchen by the titular British-German collective. “There’s no real narrative or structure to the onstage-onscreen antics—and that seems absolutely intentional,” Lee says, giving the show a B-, “but all that randomness soon grows tiresome.”

On the Main Stem, writer Melissa Rose Bernardo watched Cynthia Nixon in the “lovingly crafted, profoundly moving” A-grade Broadway debut of Margaret Edson’s Wit. “Fearless doesn’t even begin to describe Nixon’s performance,” writes Bernardo about the actress’ turn as a cancer-stricken English professor. “Even in the shadow of the red baseball cap covering her bald head, her blue eyes flicker wildly with intelligence…and rage.”