Reviews

In What Land of Dreams I Am Living I Know Not

August Strindberg, who isn’t known for his cheerfulness, was especially depressed while composing what he called the “child of my greatest pain” and considered suicide two months before completing it: “The impulse to die by my own hand grows stronger,” he wrote in his diary.  The finished work, A Dream Play, reads a bit like […]

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Reviews

Pink Ladies on the House!

“Through These Portals Pass the Nicest People in Newark,” reads as a sign at the entrance of the Jersey Mecca, the saloon that provides the set for Anita Loos’ Happy Birthday.  It’s a reverse of the famous inscription Dante placed before the ninth circle of hell, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”  The Mecca […]

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Reviews

Gee Whizz, How Far Will We Go?

In Longview, a man’s truck is like his ten gallon hat.  So it should be no surprise that every year, a group of out-of-luck Texans compete to keep their hands on a truck—whoever removes his or her hand last gets to take the truck home.  Hands on a Hardbody, based on S.R. Bindler’s documentary, is […]

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Reviews

Buttoned Up and Constipated

Truman Capote famously said of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road that it “isn’t writing at all—it’s typing,” though the same accusation can now coincidentally be hurled at Richard Greenberg’s stage adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which—excepting one significant difference—is a beat-by-beat replication of the novella.  Of course, the iconic film has by this point eclipsed […]

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Reviews

They Should Have Left Vanya and Sonia and Masha to Chekhov

Parody has roughly the same staying power as the latest YouTube video or a song written by a thirty-year-old about life in middle school.  Highbrow parody, I suppose, can last longer—indeed, Kevin Brewer’s Island; or, to Be Or Not to Be, a recent, wonderful sendup of Shakespearean comedy, could easily sustain decades of revivals.  Vanya […]

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Reviews

Backwards and in High Heels

“More guns in people’s pockets means more people dead.”  That’s Texas Governor Ann Richards in Holland Taylor’s new play Ann, and it’s straighter talk than we’re used to from our elected officials—even from our uncensorable vice president, who recently advised America’s women to protect themselves by firing double-barreled shotguns into the air.  The line elicited […]

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Reviews

This Is Not My Prop Gun

In July 1981, Ruth Elizabeth Davis (Carol Kane), an aging Golden Age Hollywood actress, sneaks into the home of an elderly couple in a seaside village in Maine, hiding out until after she has secured its purchase.  Her plans are slightly altered when Minnie Bodine (Mickey Sumner), a young, naïve girl—the first to admit, in […]

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