What’s Yours Is Mine

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”

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You Want to Live Like Common People?

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?

If Your Face Is Twisted, It’s No Use Blaming the Mirror

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”

Bad Chemistry

With his debut play, Hamish Linklater has written a generous work, one that offers substantial roles to all eight of its actors.  Like its title, the stage of The Whirligig spins round and round, unfolding a series of scenes in the lives of those who are in one way or another connected to Julie (Grace Van Patten), a drug addict who has returned home to die at age twenty-three.  Her alcoholic father (Norbert Leo Butz), her depressive mother (Dolly Wells), her best friend (Zosia Mamet) and ex-boyfriend (Jonny Orsini), among others, visit her deathbed and reflect on their role in this suburban tragedy. Continue reading “Bad Chemistry”