Reviews

We Just Sorta Echo Each Other

For a time, I thought Ethan Hawke was the worst, most destructive stage actor in New York City.  Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht—it seemed there was no canonized playwright he was unwilling to defile, no production safe from his histrionics, his loud, heavily gestural, and self-absorbed brand of performance.  So it is with great delight and more […]

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Reviews

Don’t Forget What Your Good Book Said

Considering the rich and vital contributions to Black theater this season, is it any surprise that the hottest ticket in town is for an adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, that behemoth of self-congratulatory liberalism that continues to haunt our middle school classrooms?  Luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Joe Biden, and James Comey have all […]

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Reviews

Getting Fixed

J. Marion Sims, often called “the father of modern gynecology,” is best remembered for his pioneering treatment of fistulas.  A key breakthrough was the use of silver rather than silk or lead sutures.  The technique no doubt relieved the suffering of a great deal of women.  But to reach that breakthrough, Sims experimented on at […]

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Reviews

We Stopped Talking

Pharus (Jeremy Pope) is the bright and confident lead singer in the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys’ prestigious choir.  He has a quick, endearing smile, and he makes little effort to temper his flamboyant body language.  A few minutes into Choir Boy, and a few verses into Pharus’ solo at the school’s commencement, […]

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Reviews

Learn, Learn, Learn

Were it not for its anachronisms, the opening of Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play might read like an ugly exploitation movie from the ‘seventies.  Overseer Jim (Paul Alexander Nolan) interrupts Kaneisha (Teyonah Parris) while she’s twerking to Rihanna’s “Work” and rapes her.  Meanwhile, Alana (Annie McNamara), a bored and thirsty housewife, summons her husband’s light-skinned […]

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Reviews

I Dream of Fish

Undine Barnes Calles (Cherise Boothe) is a boutique public relations executive catering to the Black bourgeoisie.  She wears gold jackets and leopard-print coats; her hair rests atop her head like a crown.  When the play opens, she is sitting behind her desk, barking orders at her assistant (Nikiya Mathis) and scrambling to find a celebrity […]

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Reviews

A Nightly Savonarola, Monday through Friday

The set for Network is spectacular.  On the left side of the stage is a television studio, the crew working noiselessly inside a series of glass booths.  On the right is a working bar and restaurant, one patronized not only by the play’s characters but by some of the audience, whose seats are onstage and not […]

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