Reviews

Sittin’ in the Railway Station, Got a Ticket for My Destination

The emotions are easy and the pleasures simple in Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful—but they are emotions and pleasure nonetheless.  Mrs. Carrie Watts (Cicely Tyson), an elderly woman who seems to feel “Death [standing] in the doorway, clipping his nails,” as Ken Cosgrove would put it, desires to leave the house of her docile […]

Read more
Reviews

Tell Us About the Fruit of Thy Womb

There is enough in Colm Tóibín’s novella and subsequent play The Testament of Mary to set a biblical literalist’s head spinning.  It is the story of Mary (Fiona Shaw), the mother of Christ, which she relates after her son’s death.  She has abandoned Judaism and only attends pagan temples, she refers to the apostles as […]

Read more
Reviews

Is Jekyll & Hyde the Best Broadway Show of the Season?

“Did anyone laugh?” James Whale asks his gardener, Clayton Boone, in Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters.  Clayton had just caught Whale’s movie, The Bride of Frankenstein, on TV the night before.  Covering, and afraid of insulting his employer, Clayton lies: “No.”  “Pity,” replies Whale. “People are so earnest nowadays.”  Shocked, Clayton asks, “Why?  Was it […]

Read more
Reviews

Match Me, Charlie

I’ve never been too enthusiastic about Clifford Odets’ dated, left-wing didacticism, and even if The Big Knife leans closer to Sweet Smell of Success than Waiting for Lefty, it waters down the former’s cynicism with the latter’s heavy-handedness.  Towards the end of the play, after identifying himself as a Hamlet, the Hollywood star Charlie Castle […]

Read more
Reviews

People Hurt Me—So I Hurt Them Back

“It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry,” writes Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter, “whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom.”  This certainly seems to be the case in August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, a brutal exercise in misanthropy during which an elderly military captain, Edgar (Daniel Davis), […]

Read more
Reviews

This Little Bastard Is Changing My Life!

“You’re my kidnap victim!” shrieks the hot-blooded Treat (Ben Forster) halfway into Lyle Kessler’s Orphans.  He is addressing Harold (Alec Baldwin), a big-time Chicago gangster who spent the previous scene casually untying the knots around his wrists while chatting with Treat’s younger, retarded brother, Phillip (Tom Sturridge), about Houdini—a “Yiddisha boy … don’t let the […]

Read more