Pocatello

When You’re Here, You’re Famiglia

Despite every indication that he should try his luck in a less barren locale, chain restaurant manager Eddie (T.R. Knight) clings to his hometown of Pocatello. His franchise is failing, his family is vocally disinterested in spending time with him and his romantic prospects as a single gay man in a foundering Midwestern town are…

The Invisible Hand

That Stockholm Thing

Ayad Akhtar, whose excellent Disgraced won the Pulitzer last year and transferred to Broadway this year, is quickly becoming one of the most important (if not the most important) new voices in contemporary American theater.  His follow-up, The Invisible Hand, currently running at the New York Theatre Workshop, is thematically consistent with the last work but narratively superior, more emotionally…

Side Show

One of Us! One of Us!

Daisy and Violet Hilton (Erin Davie and Emily Padgett) were a pair of British conjoined twins who found success in the United States as a vaudeville act in the 1930s and eventually appeared in Tod Browning’s Freaks and the later, more exploitative Chained for Life.  Side Show, the musical based on the Hiltons’ lives, was a commercial failure when…

Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby

The Top Ten Plays of 2014

2014 was a year for Brooklyn-based revival theaters.  Though BAM often has mixed fare—one of its strengths, since it is willing to take risks on stranger work—it hosted a slew of phenomenal productions this fall (four are on this list), from some of the best Beckett I’ve ever seen to Isabella Rossellini’s delightfully weird Green Porno.  And Ivo…

The Illusionists

Now You See Me…

I have a friend who says that as a kid, he had trouble understanding the expression “suspension of disbelief,” because he had no disbelief to suspend: Jurassic Park made as much sense to him as Clarissa Explains It All.  This is the ideal state for a viewer of The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible, an endlessly silly…

A Particle of Dread

A Glimmer of Guts

In Sam Shepard’s A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations), Sophocles’ tragedy has been rewritten (with Irish accents) and then paired with a modern variation set in California, where the past is reconstructed through forensic evidence and kingdoms are measured in Chevy dealerships.  Stephen Rea plays both Oedipus and Otto, the latter an elderly amateur crime…

Allegro

Proving the Need of It

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro is a deeply flawed show.  The songs aren’t particularly great, especially considering that they came from the same writers who gave us Some Enchanted Evening, If I Loved You, and the whole damn Sound of Music.  The story, which follows Joseph Taylor Jr.’s (Claybourne Elder) development from infancy to angst-ridden big-city doctor, isn’t…