Reviews

The Norwegian and the Swede

Strindberg insisted on several occasions that his misogyny was entirely theoretical, but The Father is such a full-throated expression of hatred that this is hard to believe. Around the time he wrote the play, he prophesized a coming war of the sexes that would lead to a barbarous matriarchy and declared, “I shall fight as […]

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Reviews

French Quarrels Enough

CHICAGO—Anniversaries are wonderful excuses for obscure or ambitious productions, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater combines both four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death in Tug of War: Foreign Fire, the first half of a marathon revival that includes Edward III, Henry V, Henry VI Parts 1, 2, and 3, and Richard III.  The main draws here are Edward III, which was likely co-written by Thomas Kyd […]

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Reviews

All Friendship Comes with Conditions

The Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) of David Hare’s The Judas Kiss is deliberately written against type. The stage directions describe him as “solid, tall and fleshy” and “not at all the pansy of legend.” The signature wit is slightly dulled, though when it surfaces it does so with acidity; here his satire is meant to […]

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Reviews

Pshaw!

The School for Scandal is a kind of opera buffa version of Les Liaisons dangereuses—and in fact, only six years separate Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play (1776) from Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ novel (1782).  But where the comedy in Laclos is devastating, in Sheridan it is forgiving: the gossip-mongers who dominate his stage are toothless, equal-opportunity offenders, and most are […]

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