In his introductory note on Marvin’s Room, playwright Scott McPherson distinguishes between death and dying: as a child, his father wrapped his car around a telephone pole—this was death. Also as a child, his grandmother gave way to her cancer as he watched Ed Sullivan on the television at the foot of her bed—that was dying. Marvin’s Room, then, is a play not about death but about dying. Continue reading “Laughing and Choking Looked the Same”
With the closing of the Pearl, the stakes have been raised for Theatre for a New Audience, our last, best hope for classical revival in New York City. Their new production of Measure for Measure is a fairly good sign. As we enter the theater, we are encouraged to stroll through Mistress Overdone’s brothel: through glass, we watch actors engage in light BDSM, while the walls are lined, museum-style, with sex toys, including a particularly heinous dildo featuring the face of Donald Trump. Continue reading “What’s Yours Is Mine”
Emily (Emily Bowker) is a derivative abstract impressionist painter who is defined by contempt: contempt for banks, for supermarkets, for corporations in general. Contempt for football, marriage, inherited wealth, private property, private education, and New Labour. Perhaps the only thing she holds in contempt more than this “hideous capitalistic gangbang” are its victims, people who, … Continue reading You Want to Live Like Common People?
The square-framed stage is divided into three rooms, two downstairs and one up, giving us the impression that we are staring into an ant farm or some kind of elaborate rodent cage. The animals inside, a collection of inept and corrupt small-town politicians, erupt immediately into action: a government inspector is on his way from the capital, may in fact already be in town, and this gaggle of grifters must quickly arrange for the appearance of honesty and stability. That means putting patients in the hospitals, getting the geese out of the courtrooms, and accepting no more bribes. All of which is complicated when these put-upon nincompoops mistake an aristocratic layabout (Michael Urie) for the inspector in disguise. Continue reading “If Your Face Is Twisted, It’s No Use Blaming the Mirror”