Reviews

Time Takes a Cigarette, Puts It In Your Mouth

Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit follows the lives and times of five literary men in England.  Each scene jumps ahead about five or six years, beginning in the group’s undergraduate years in Cambridge and concluding about twenty years later.  The scenes are snapshots and in only a few hours, we are given the same sense […]

Read more
Reviews

These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends

About halfway through David Adjmi’s 3C, Brad (Jake Silbermann) confesses to his new roommate, Connie (Anna Chlumsky), that he is gay.  She tells him she has “these same feelings,” but she thinks he’s talking about being traumatized in the Vietnam War.  Connie, who compulsively seeks the approval of men but is also terrified of them, […]

Read more
Reviews

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

What a bizarre, wonderful first act.  Derek Ahonen’s new play, The Bad and the Better, opens with a breathless series of intertwined vignettes, each an ironic sendup of hardboiled fiction: there’s the alcoholic detective who hates his wife (William Apps), the secretary who is secretly in love with him (Sarah Lemp), the misogynistic undercover cop […]

Read more
Reviews

Whiplash Girlchild in the Dark

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs is a political treatise disguised as a love story: it follows Severin von Kusiemski, a man who has been sexually and emotionally damaged by a scarring incident involving his aunt and his subsequent intellectualizing of women (for him, a man can either “be the tyrant or the slave.”)  He […]

Read more
Reviews

Spell My Name Correctly

Is there anything more delicious than a good play about politics?  Joseph Alsop (John Lithgow) is a nationally syndicated op-ed writer who believes the words “terrorize” and “interrogate” are synonymous with “interview.”  The Columnist follows Alsop for two decades of his forty-year career—from his battles with Joe McCarthy in the early ‘fifties to his cheerleading […]

Read more
Reviews

Is He Up Yet? Strindberg’s Playing with Fire at the New School

August Strindberg’s “cynical life” one-act Playing with Fire is a powder keg of emotional repression: Newt (Nathan James), a rich but unsuccessful painter, has never cared more than passingly for his wife Kerstin (Toccarra Cash).  They remain cordial to each other but turn elsewhere for love and lust.  Knut satisfies himself with cousin Adele (Jaleesa […]

Read more
Reviews

Throwing Away the Peel

When Philip Seymour Hoffman walks onstage, he sits down and takes a long beat before exhaling his first line: “Oh boy, oh boy.”  He says it so quietly, so privately that we would probably miss it if we didn’t know it was coming.  He says it like it’s not meant to be heard by over […]

Read more