The Bald Soprano at the Pearl Theatre

Eugène Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano is a difficult masterpiece.  Subtitled Anti-play, it is, along with Waiting for Godot, a quintessential work of Theatre of the Absurd.  The action is set in a living room on an “English evening” in which the Smiths are having the Martins over for dinner—the drama is essentially plotless, and consists mostly of the couples’ struggle to have any kind of meaningful conversation; their chatter is interrupted once—by a fire chief aimlessly searching for a fire to extinguish.

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Cymbeline: Shakespeare’s Senioritis

A six-person Shakespearean production is a tricky thing to stage.  Actors and costume designers struggle with creating distinct characters, kings are executed only to reappear as rogues, and, since the small cast is often a monetary necessity, players tend to botch the language and confuse the action; the end result is the kind of stultifying mess that turns people off of Shakespeare in the first place.

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