Reviews

An Intact Originality and Character

David (Jesse Eisenberg), the protagonist of Mr. Eisenberg’s new play, bears some resemblance to Edgar, the part he played in Asuncion, his first work for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: he is an entitled, pot smoking vegetarian whose condescension does not prevent him from prefacing every sentence with, “Sorry.”  But unlike Edgar, David is not particularly […]

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Reviews

Leaving a Doll’s House

The Madrid is difficult to write about.  It is not good, but it is not bad, either.  It is not interesting, but it is not boring.  It seems to simply exist and it is difficult to imagine anyone in the cast and crew feeling passionately about Liz Flahive’s play or anyone in their audience either […]

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Reviews

Out of Place Everywhere, at Home Nowhere

In the summer of 1867, a group of Chinese-American railroad workers (“coolies”) go on strike for a ten dollar raise and an eight hour workday: “Good for white man, all same good for Chinaman.”  While they wait for the negotiations to end, they gamble and tell outrageous stories, placated by opium and big dreams.  But […]

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Reviews

A Very Merry War

Last year, Arin Arbus directed a wonderful Taming of the Shrew for TFANA and this season she returns with her star Maggie Siff for Much Ado About Nothing, an appropriate, complicated companion piece.  But where Shrew succeeded because it treated the text with the appropriate amount of irony, Much Ado falters because it fails to […]

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Reviews

Lord, Don’t They Help Themselves?

A night of drunken revelries on the eve of midterms finds Leigh (Zosia Mamet) in bed with Davis (Matt Lauria) while her boyfriend, Jimmy (Evan Jonigkeit), is out of town.  Leigh cries rape—and Davis, who blacked out, can’t remember—though both Leigh’s best friend, the closeted lesbian Grace (Lauren Culpepper), and Davis’ roommate, Cooper (David Hull), […]

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Reviews

With Ethan Hawke at the Helm, Unreality Bites, Too

The only interesting thing about Ethan Hawke is that no actor so lousy has tried so aggressively to trade in his celebrity for artistic credibility.  In Clive, a rewriting of Bertolt Brecht’s Baal, he plays a pretentious, narcissistic rocker with bleach-blond hair and a penchant for drinking and womanizing—quite the stretch.  And yet he can’t […]

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Reviews

I Am Not That I Play

It seems appropriate to begin Women of Will, a personal exploration of gender, sex, and power in Shakespeare, with an excerpt from The Taming of the Shrew.  But despite a lifetime of working with the Bard, Tina Packer, the show’s creator and star, gets the play thoroughly wrong.  She jokes that as a “card-carrying feminist,” […]

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