Reviews

The World Smashed to Pieces

Kathryn Hunter is one of my favorite living actors, but she is white and British and spends the entirety of The Emperor playing eleven different Ethiopians.  This happens without any apparent self-reflection and is profoundly disheartening.  Indeed, one gets the sinking feeling that no one involved even considered the possibility that it might be a problem; […]

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Reviews

It’s Amazing How Well We Get Along, All Things Considered

If nothing else, the Gingold Theatrical Group has done us a great service in producing this version of George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House.  The play, inspired by Chekhov, was begun in 1913 and rewritten before its publication in 1919 and its premiere in 1920.  Director David Staller has attempted to resurrect an earlier, darker take on the […]

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Reviews

I Like Him if He’s Real but I Love Him if He’s Fake

This Ain’t No Disco, announces the title of a new rock opera about Studio 54, which was, in fact, a disco.  There seems to be some confusion between artist and art: a recent promotional piece in the New York Times chronicles the fortunes of the Mudd Club, which was not a disco but is also not the subject […]

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Reviews

Of Course We Don’t Want to Be Political

The Potomac Theatre Project has been staging Howard Barker and Caryl Churchill for decades, and this can mean one of two things: mastery or stagnation.  Unfortunately, it’s a little of both this season, with the company pairing two short works, Mr. Barker’s The Possibilities, a series of vignettes linking the mundane and the momentous, and Ms. […]

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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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