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Nicole Serratore

Arts, Culture, and Travel Journalism

NEW YORK, NY

Nicole Serratore

I write about US and UK theater and my travels to and fro.

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James Comey and the Predator in Chief

As I listened to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, tell the Senate Intelligence Committee about his personal meetings and phone calls with President Trump, I was reminded of something: the experience of a woman being harassed by her powerful, predatory boss. There was precisely that sinister air of coercion, of an employee helpless to avoid unsavory contact with an employer who is trying to grab what he wants.
The New York Times Link to Story
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Hercules review at Delacorte Theater, New York – ‘community musical staging of the Disney film’

UK audiences were introduced to the Public Theater’s Public Works programme through Kwame Kwei-Armah’s production of Twelfth Night at the Young Vic last year. Uniting community groups with professional actors on stage, these theatrical pageants typically are musical adaptations of Shakespeare or classic texts. But their newest venture, Hercules, is adapted from the Disney film.
The Stage Link to Story
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Edinburgh fringe review: The Canary and the Crow by Daniel Ward

Daniel Ward’s play with music, The Canary and the Crow, gives a semi-autobiographical window into the experiences of a young black boy at a mostly white private school. His story reflects the code switching he’s forced to do to exist between black and white spaces, and the extra pressure on a scholarship student to use this opportunity he’s been given.
Exeunt Magazine Link to Story
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Ejaculation review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘earnest but confusing’

Finnish artists Essi Rossi and Sarah Kivi set out to educate themselves and the audience on women, sex, and desire in Ejaculation: Discussions About Female Sexuality. Using audio recordings of interviews with women and live music by Kivi, they offer an ultra-low-key theatre work that operates as a haphazard audio documentary.
The Stage Link to Story
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Watching Glory Die review at Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh – ‘heartbreaking tale of teen in prison’

Watching Glory Die makes clear from its title where it is going to go. Based on a true story about a young woman who died in prison in Canada, it’s a bleak and unrelenting work looking at a dysfunctional criminal “justice” system that trapped this teen, her mother and her prison guard in a place none could escape from.
The Stage Link to Story
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Shit review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘riveting performances’

Getting a brief glimpse of the shattered, abused child within the aggressive adult woman standing before us is a remarkable achievement of acting and writing. That the stellar actors in Patricia Cornelius’s play Shit can hold those two moments in time together gives this searing, uncomfortable play its power.
The Stage Link to Story
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A Brief History of the Fragile Male Ego review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘walks a wobbly line’

A Brief History of the Fragile Male Ego walks a wobbly line between poking fun at the oversensitivity of men and expressing true concern about how men are desperate for emotional outlets and support. Buried within this piece is an important subject, but its intentions are often hard to follow. For these men, their fragile egos led to violence, death and destruction.
The Stage Link to Story
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IvankaPlay review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘cartoonish and lacking in insight’

Imagine if Ivanka Trump had a heart! Suspend your disbelief. This is the fictional speculation that playwright Charles Gershman engages in for IvankaPlay. If she was capable of a modicum of empathy, he thinks maybe she would challenge her father on the current policy of separating children from their parents at the US border.
The Stage Link to Story
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Passengers review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘probing physical theatre’

Physicalising the exhausting, throbbing struggle when parts of your mind do battle with each other, Passengers is a probing look at both dissociative identity disorder and a divided self through physical theatre. Max has had a violent episode in a cafe after being served the wrong sandwich. Revealing itself slowly, this show is the manifestation of Max’s mind realising what has happened.
The Stage Link to Story
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Algorithms review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘spirited debut play’

Sadie Clark’s Algorithms is a romcom with more com than rom. Using movie references, pop music, and online dating as its framework, it charts one bisexual woman’s quest for love while reflecting on the relationships of her 20s. While none of this is new ground, Clark’s assured performance and solid writing in this relatable one-woman show brings an array of distinct characters to life.
The Stage Link to Story
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Edinburgh fringe review: The Incident Room by New Diorama

I’ve never been someone who was into “true crime” as entertainment, save a Lizzie Borden biography phase as a teen. But lately, I’ve seen a number of stage shows that have sent me into an ethical quandary over their use of real-life murders in the narrative. In some of these shows there has been a strange placement of empathy, with it falling more on bystanders and those impacted by the murders than those actually murdered.
Exeunt Magazine Link to Story
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Wild Swimming review at Beneath, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘confident comedic exploration of gender rights’

Wild Swimming is an anachronistic romp tackling history, gender politics and art. With fourth-wall breaking, audience assistance and improvised elements, the work has the sensation of both a hurricane and its eye-swirling intentional chaos between scenes. Then in the still we are yanked back into focus with skewering commentary on the historic shifts in privilege and power of cis white men and women.
The Stage Link to Story

About

Nicole Serratore

Nicole Serratore is a New York City-based freelance journalist.

She has written opinion pieces, reviews, and features for the New York Times, American Theatre magazine, Variety, The Stage (UK), the Village Voice, Exeunt magazine, TDF Stages, Flavorpill, and The Craptacular.

She is the New York Managing Editor at Exeunt NYC, the New York portal for Exeunt magazine. She is a current member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics Circle.

She was a co-host and co-producer of the Maxamoo theater podcast. She was a Fellow at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Critics Institute in 2015.

She has written about travel and world adventures for Shermans Travel and Frommers.com.

She has a B.F.A. in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has a J.D. from Fordham University. She is a former film executive and producer. She once had a prize-winning cow.