Elysa Gardner

Freelance writer

Location icon United States of America

Elysa covered music, theater and occasionally books, films and television as a reporter and critic for USA Today, where her interview subjects ranged from the late Arthur Miller to Beyonce. She has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Town & Country, Harper's Bazaar, Vibe and numerous other publications, and contributed to VH1, NPR and the BBC. She is a board member of the Drama Desk and chaired the 2017 drama jury for the Pulitzer Prize. She can be reached at [email protected]

Portfolio
EW.com
12/01/2016
'A Bronx Tale': EW stage review

Beware the show that questions too plainly your grasp of the obvious. "This is a Bronx tale," a young man sings at the beginning of A Bronx Tale, based on Chazz Palminteri's semiautobiographical one-man play that inspired the Robert De Niro-directed 1993 film adaptation.

USA TODAY
10 ways that Frank Sinatra changed the world

CLOSE With the centennial of Frank Sinatra's birth approaching (Dec. 12), USA TODAY's Elysa Gardner counts the ways - a few, at least - in which the Chairman of the Board made his mark. 1. He made the popular song immortal. Before Sinatra, notes Will Friedwald, author of Sinatra!

Out
09/07/2016
Revisiting the Jellicle Ball: Forget 'Memory,' Let's Give 'Cats' a New Life

It seems impossible, in retrospect, that I managed to avoid seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber's as long as I did. A drama critic for 16 years and a lifelong musical theater fan, I came of age in the 1980s, a decade in which commercial musical theater was dominated by Lloyd Webber and the bombast that characterized his shows (and those of a few fellow spirits), right down to their ad campaigns.

Usatoday
07/22/2017
USATODAY.com - Springsteen's 'Rising'

Springsteen's 'Rising' By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY NEW YORK - For more than 25 years, Bruce Springsteen has examined the promise and the price of American dreams through the eyes of some of the most vivid characters in popular music. In a new...

Nytimes
01/19/2017
A Playwright Who Puts Her Demons, and Family, to Work

At 28, Ms. Lázaro is as effervescent as her wit is sometimes morose, and she sees no contradiction in that. "The pain comes in through my back," she explained. "I'm always questioning: How do my characters stay sane? How do I stay sane in the world?

EW.com
04/14/2017
'Oslo': EW stage review

It may seem like a strange time for a play about diplomacy. For those who haven't made a career of it, the concept isn't very much in vogue right now, with politicians and pundits preaching loudly to their separate choirs under a president who, even his supporters would admit, hasn't made getting along well with others a top priority.

EW.com
05/17/2016
Indecent: EW stage review

Don't worry if you've never heard of The God of Vengeance; Sholem Asch's controversial play, originally written in Yiddish in 1906, had only a blink-and-you-missed-it Broadway run nearly 100 years ago that ended with the cast and producer being arrested for obscenity.

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