Reviews

I Wish Madame to Be Lovely

CHICAGO—It’s a terrific idea, really: The Artistic Home has mounted a production of Jean Genet’s The Maids with two drag queens in the title roles.  The play, about a pair of sisters who play-act the murder of their mistress every night, always without reaching the violent conclusion, is ideally suited to the uncanny exaggerations of […]

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Reviews

Martha Deserves a Better Avenger

Leslie Nielsen did it for years, and after him the Wayans Brothers: take an image or scene from popular culture, then repeat it in a sillier context.  In The Man Who Knew Too Little, for example, it’s Bill Murray saying “Here’s Johnny!” instead of Jack Nicholson, and he’s wielding a croquet mallet rather than an axe.  […]

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Reviews

So How Long Since Your Last Confession?

“What kinda fuckin’ world is this?”  So begins Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street, with Vic (John Procaccino) screaming in his underwear in the main viewing room of the Ortiz Funeral Home.  Sister Rose is to be buried the following day, but her body has gone missing.  Thus Vic’s consternation.

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Reviews

Humans Are Coming!

Critical readings of Aristophanes’ The Birds, a comedy about two Athenians building a city in the sky, vary widely.  Some view it as political allegory, drawing connections to contemporary democratic revolutions in Athens.  Others see in “Cloudcuckooland” a vision of utopia.  Still others argue that it is a literary satire on gigantomachy (Google it).  While attempting […]

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Reviews

Skinning a Cat

Glenda Jackson is brilliant.  Throughout Three Tall Women, her craggy face—one Beckett would have loved—alternately radiates wisdom, confusion, knowing cynicism, and puckish amusement, all with a firmly-pursed upper lip.  The primary difference, I think, between stage and film acting is the requirement for stage actors to use all of their body.  Too frequently, this means a series […]

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Reviews

What Gladsome Looks of Household Love Meet in the Ruddy Light

A Brief History of Women, the new play by Alan Ayckbourn, bears a somewhat misleading title.  It is really the history of a home, specifically Kirkbridge Manor, which between 1925 and 1985 serves a variety of purposes: as a Georgian country house, as a preparatory school, as an arts center, and finally as a hotel.  […]

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