Wolf Hall

Too Much i’ the Sun

Wolf Hall is a blockbuster in the best sense: running nearly six hours, it chronicles the rise of Thomas Cromwell (Ben Miles) from his early and lifelong friendship with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (Paul Jesson) to his domination of Henry VIII’s (Nathaniel Parker) court, specifically detailing his orchestration of Henry’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon (Lucy Briers) and…

TWG_CRYTROJANS_22_photo-by-Paula-Court_Scott-Shepherd_Ari-Fliakos

Unarming Troilus

I am not a Shakespearean purist.  There is nothing inherently wrong with, say, relocating The Merchant of Venice to present-day Las Vegas, with handing Macbeth a machine gun, or with reading The Tempest and deciding it should look like this.  But the ideas should always be generated by the text instead of imposed onto them.  The problem…

Heidi Chronicles, TheMusic Box Theatre

Keep the Faith

Art historian Heidi Holland (Elisabeth Moss) is a true believer.  Worse, she is “that unfortunate contradiction in terms: a serous good person.”  This means, among other things, that she is a feminist who is skeptical of the radical and divisive feminist politics in the ‘seventies but who maintains her integrity as she watches those same…

Seltzer Nights

Who’s on Forty-Second?

My grandparents spoke Yiddish, especially when they didn’t want their children to understand what they were saying.  My dad speaks some, though his German is better, and I know the same handful of words that a gentile might learn after five years of living in New York City.  There’s no question the language has been…

Posterity

Just by Looking

Doug Wright has clearly done his research.  His new play Posterity, about the meeting of Henrik Ibsen (John Noble) and Gustav Vigeland (Hamish Linklater), is full of assurance about its subjects.  Based on a true story, the young Vigeland, considered one of Norway’s greatest sculptors (he designed the Nobel Peace Prize medal), is offered an assignment:…

The Feast

Plumbing the Depths

Matt (Ivan Dolido) is not the type to freely admit that anything in his life is going poorly. He thinks secrets are a sign of adulthood and performing is an important part of life. So if you were to ask him how he’s doing, chances are he would rave about the quality of his painting…

Placebo

Brush Clearing

When Louise (Carrie Coon) finds out her mother may be dying, she lies and tells her that she’s marrying her boyfriend Jonathan (William Jackson Harper).  That is, she offers fake information in order to please.  As “I shall please” is the literal meaning of the word “placebo,” Louise has given her mother a placebo wedding.  “Placebo,” as we…