Reviews

Time for Rehearsal

Before Beckett or Ionesco there was Luigi Pirandello, whose Six Characters in Search of an Author was allegedly so shocking to its original audience that people could be heard crying out, “Madhouse!” in response to what they were seeing.  Now, unfortunately, its impact has dulled, and we are left with a play that feels very much like […]

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Reviews

The Monolith Is Missing

Last weekend, the American masterpiece Angels in America was revived in a Dutch translation at the BAM Harvey Theater in Brooklyn.  Belgian director Ivo van Hove has pared down Tony Kushner’s play—which one character, commenting on the spectacle of it, calls “Very Steven Spielberg”—so that all that remains are the characters and their conversations.  There […]

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Reviews

The Gap

It seems that the surest way to win a Pulitzer is to write a comic drama about a bad dinner between couples and preferably one in which, as the night progresses, secrets are revealed.  It has worked, albeit with some variations, for Edward Albee, Donald Margulies, and Tracy Letts.  And now we can add Ayad […]

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Reviews

The Tonic of Wilderness

Staging an adaptation of Deliverance in the round with no props or set decoration for a black box theater audience seems more like the result of a lost dare than a deliberate creative undertaking. Four urban adventurers set out for a weekend of canoeing down a river before the river valley is flooded by a […]

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Reviews

The Reference Is Obscure

“I began with a desire to speak with the dead,” Stephen Greenblatt writes at the beginning of Shakespearean Negotiations.  “Literature professors are salaried, middle-class shamans.”  For a few years in the ‘nineties, Tom Stoppard also desired to speak with the dead.  His plays Arcadia and Indian Ink (the latter is currently being revived by Roundabout) both concern people in […]

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Reviews

Will You Never Have Done?

At first, there is only darkness.  Then, we see a small light on the left side of the stage—but even for those sitting up close, it takes a moment to realize that it is a mouth suspended in the air.  The mouth delivers a breakneck monologue, a torrent of language punctuated by gasps that sound like jet engines.  For […]

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Reviews

When You Don’t Have a Real Life, You Make Do with Dreams

While the Pearl Theater revives Uncle Vanya, Donald Margulies is rewriting it with The Country House, a drama that takes Chekhov’s interest in aging and disappointment and transplants it to the lives of people in show business.  As she prepares to star in George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, the matriarch and aging actress Anna Patterson (Blythe Danner) collects her […]

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