Enter at Forest Lawn

The Island of Misfit Sociopaths

“My love to Tovah,” producer Jack Story (Mark Roberts) barks into the phone at the end of the conversation that opens Enter at Forest Lawn.  The “conversation” is more of a monologue, an extended tirade into a hands-free telephone about Jack’s “hateful cunt” of a wife, a “maniacal bush-pig” who has left his asshole “drippin’ black blood.”…

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Arrivals & Departures

Private Fears in Private Places

Towards the end of Arrivals & Departures, Alan Ayckbourn’s seventy-seventh play (the author is seventy-five), the military handler Ez (Elizabeth Boag) tells Barry (Kim Wall), the man she is handling, that they have nothing in common.  “We’ll never know now, will we?” Barry asks, a line that epitomizes Mr. Ayckbourn’s central concern.  In the main action of Arrivals…

Holler If Ya Hear Me

California Love on Broadway

In recent years, jukebox musicals have been some of Broadway’s most durable and successful productions. Mamma Mia! repurposed ABBA’s Swedish pop and Jersey Boys has been running for nine years on the strength of 60s rock ’n’ roll nostalgia. However, there hasn’t been a great hip hop musical yet—how could there be? With hip hop’s vulgarity and counter-cultural…

Shakespeare in the Park

Everything You Need to Know About Shakespeare in the Park 2014

“Like one swallow,” wrote John Simon when reviewing the premiere of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, “one Shakespeare does not make a summer.”  Fortunately, for the first time since 2011, Shakespeare in the Park is eschewing musicals for two revivals from the Bard.  This year, they are presenting Much Ado About Nothing (June 3 – July 6) and King Lear (July 22 –…

The Killer

It’s Just Decor

Berenger (Michael Shannon), the everyman who stars in Eugène Ionesco’s later plays Rhinoceros, Exit the King, and A Stroll in the Air, made his first and perhaps most devastating appearance in The Killer, one of the purest expressions of the Theatre of the Absurd.  In the first act (during which the set is almost always bare, the white scratches on…

Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth

Any Tom, Dick or Bertolt

Tom Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth skirts very close to the kind of acting exercise you might find practiced by an improv group: in the first half, which is largely in gibberish (which is subtitled in the script but untranslated here), a builder who speaks English arrives to construct a set for actors about to perform…