Reviews

Let Them Eat Bread

Arnold Bennett, no stranger to the quotidian himself, once accused James Joyce of selecting the “dailiest day” as the subject of his novel Ulysses.  Les Misérables, then, could be said to concern itself with the most epical epic: it is the story of a decades long feud between petty thief Jean Valjean (Ramin Karimloo) and police inspector Javert (Will […]

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Reviews

Everybody’s Out of Step But Me

In 1963, Lyndon Baines Johnson (Bryan Cranston) became the first Southern President of the “You-nited States of Am’rica” in one hundred fourteen years—that is, since Virginia’s Zachary Taylor, our twelfth commander-in-chief, who held that position for a total of sixteen months before succumbing to a stomach illness.  As written by Robert Schenkkan and played by […]

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Reviews

We’ll Meet Again

Heléna Altman (Nina Arianda), a young Viennese woman widowed by World War I and still dressed in mourning, finds herself turning to prostitution in order to survive.  An early stage direction reads, in reference to one of her johns, “He fucks her.  Heléna doesn’t cry,” which should give some indication of her frank and somewhat […]

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Reviews

What Measure Ye Mete

Before the play begins, the actors walk onstage to mill around and greet the audience.  Andy Grotelueschen nods his head and beams before bumming a mint from someone in the front row.  “James, my cousin is sitting behind you!” he calls out to a man he recognizes.  “Hi, Becky!” squeaks Jessie Austrian, using her hand to […]

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Reviews

We Are Each Our Own Devil

“Why, [you’re] the torturer, of course,” Inez (Jolly Abraham) says to Cradeau (Bradford Cover) as she enters Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit.  He says that this is “too comic for words,” but of course he is her torturer just as she is his.  Sartre’s underworld, after all, is not comprised of the burning, naked bodies of Memling’s The […]

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Reviews

Only One Is a Wanderer

The story goes that when A Doll’s House premiered in 1879, it was so controversial that party invitations in Stockholm requested that guests not mention the play.  In fact, the ending was shocking enough that Henrik Ibsen’s German agent forced him to rewrite the final scene before it could play in German theaters.  Unsurprisingly, the polemical […]

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Reviews

Daughter of Elysium

I experienced a sharp moment of panic in the first few moments of Ode to Joy, which begins with Adele (Kathryn Erbe) screaming and painting phantom brushstrokes across the fourth wall for some time before delivering the play’s first line, “This is the story of how the pain goes away.” My first thought was of […]

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