BY Brandon Voss
December 16 2010 6:00 PM ET
Last year the Civilians tackled Ted Haggard’s gay sex scandal in This Beautiful City. In their plucky In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards, which closed December 11 at the Irondale Center, the docu-theater troupe created an informative exposé — culled from interviews with angry protesters, bloggers, and city officials — on a controversial Brooklyn development project that’s displaced hundreds in favor of a new stadium for the New Jersey Nets. With pro-development players represented by basketballs and bulldozers, it’s easy to see on which side the company’s sympathies lay, but a small voice is given to those residents who were happy to take the buyout money and run. Written and directed by Steve Cosson, In the Footprint also features serviceable tunes by out composer Michael Friedman of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
Finally, I’m not a big Donny and Marie Osmond fan — I don’t remember their variety shows and I don’t watch Dancing With the Stars — but gosh-darn it if those Mormon sibs don’t deliver one shamelessly entertaining evening in Donny & Marie: A Broadway Christmas, which jingles all the way to January 2 at the Marquis Theatre. This revised version of their Las Vegas spectacle, which may be the only show in New York where flash photography is encouraged, is an endlessly charming crowd-pleaser. Marie, who chokes up during an operatic tribute to her late son, shows impressive vocal versatility in a variety of diva styles. Donny, who laughs it off when getting winded beside his younger backup dancers, relives his Bieber-haired beginnings in one of many classic video clips. It’s a little bit cheesy, it’s a little bit rockin’ olds, but it’s also a whole lot of wonderful.
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