Reviews

What Was He Doing—Down in the Reeds By the River?

About halfway through Amy Herzog’s The Great God Pan, an elderly babysitter, Polly (Joyce Van Patten), says to one of her former children, Jamie (Jeremy Strong), “Look at you.  You’re so old.  You have wrinkles here and here.”  “It’s not polite to point out a gentleman’s wrinkles,” Jamie replies, somewhat good-naturedly.  It’s a small, almost […]

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Reviews

Death of a Fucking Salesman

2012 has been a year of great Broadway revivals—first Death of a Salesman, followed by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—and now David Mamet’s masterpiece Glengarry Glen Ross, likely the best American play of the last thirty years.

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Reviews

Nothing Rhymes with America

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Melissa James Gibson’s What Rhymes with America is that it is not quite as bad as it should be.  As the title suggests, it is riddled with portentous dialogue; characters ask questions like, “Do you think God has long hair?” and end sentences with the phrase, […]

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Reviews

A Rare Meal of Laughter

Like Christopher Marlowe’s Barabas and William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Ben Jonson’s Volpone (Stephen Spinella) is one of the great comic villains of the theater.  Through a mixture of genius, amorality, and boredom, he uses his wealth and his social standing to turn the greediest men of Venice into a series of drooling zombies.  Pretending to […]

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Reviews

Stay Golden, Joey Boy

The script for Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy reads like the third movie you would see at a Film Forum triple feature, like one of those early, sixty-five minute talkies with bad sound and stock characters.  People say things like “Use your noodle,” “cock-eyed gutter rat,” and “phonus bolonus” without a trace of irony, which makes […]

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Reviews

Who Killed David Mamet? It Was You and Me.

Critics are having a blast beating David Mamet’s newest play, The Anarchist, to a pulp, but something about this strikes me as culturally self-mutilating.  Of course, we have a history of snubbing our greatest playwrights.  How often do we see a Broadway revival of Williams that is not Streetcar or Cat on a Hot Tin […]

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