Reviews

Wrestling with Reality

Eldwood P. Dowd (Jim Parsons) must be the nicest character in American theater.  Within a minute of being onstage, he has enthusiastically accepted two subscriptions to Lady’s Home Journal and Good Housekeeping and invited the telemarketer over to his home.  Later, an elderly lady (Carol Kane), tells him that a Dr. McClure is having a […]

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Reviews

I’m Ready For My Closeup

Tracie Bennett dominates the stage in End of the Rainbow, Peter Quilter’s play about the final days of Judy Garland.  Her performance is wonderfully athletic—she bounds across the stage, striking poses, belting out songs, smoking cigarettes, laughing uproariously one minute and bawling uncontrollably the next.  She is not just playing Garland—she is playing Garland playing […]

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Reviews

Take My Whole Life Too

It’s the early ‘sixties and the counterculture movement has not quite caught up to the small Midwestern town that provides the setting for David Rabe’s An Early History of Fire.  In fact, they are still not ready to let go of the ‘fifties: Jake (Dennis Staroselsky) insists that Elvis will live forever while Terry (Jonny […]

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Reviews

You Sure You’re Jewish?

Four executives from an unnamed corporation sit around a table and discuss the various items on their agenda.  The first: should airport security devices be allowed to take pictures of your genitals?  The second: should pizza be banned in public school cafeterias?  The third: should we kill the Jews?

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Reviews

Goodbye, Cruel World

The script for Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis contains no stage directions and does not assign its lines to any characters.  Words, numbers, and snippets of dialogue are littered across the page, and we only slowly become aware that the action concerns a psychiatrist and his or her suicidal patient.  This offers directors, designers, and actors […]

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Reviews

Peter Gets His Name, Starcatcher Drags J.M. Barrie’s Through the Mud

Before Peter (Adam Chanler-Berat) met Wendy—before, in fact, Peter even had a name—he met his famous companion’s mother, Molly Aster (Celia Keenan-Bolger).  In Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher, a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s play, the two embark on their first quest, to protect “star stuff” from falling into the (two) hands of the Black […]

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Reviews

Fare You Well, Señor Satan

The Irish Repertory has not had a good year.  First, there was Brian Friel’s stultifying, cringingly sentimental Dancing at Lughnasa, then Eugene O’Neill’s bloated, unbearable Beyond the Horizon.  A Shavian comedy is just the kind of play that is needed to inject some life into this theater—and at first glance, Man and Superman seems to […]

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Reviews

Who Rushed Like Lions to the Roaring Slaughter

Ben Lyons (Dick Latessa) is dying of cancer while his wife Rita (Linda Lavin) leafs through a home decoration magazine, deciding whether she should redo the living room in a Marrakech theme or in Chinese modern.  Ben likes the room the way it is, but, as Rita observes, he “won’t actually be there to enjoy […]

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Reviews

Seminar, Redux

When I first saw Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar five months ago, I thought it was a wonderful piece of fluff that was ruined by several failed attempts at profundity.  The second time around, the fluff feels more accented and the failed profundity falls into the background.

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