Reviews

Win—or Die

Les Liaisons Dangereuses is one of the great art works of the twentieth century.  Cynical and sentimental, personal and political, every line drips with subtext, and each moment is written with the same precision that the two principals, Marquise de Merteuil (Janet McTeer) and Vicomte de Valmont (Liev Schreiber), bring to their games of sexual conquest. Advertisements

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Reviews

To the Fairest

I must admit I’ve never been particularly taken with ancient Greek theater. I’ve seen everyone from anonymous high schoolers to Vanessa Redgrave attempting it and I’ve always found it to be plodding and dull. Not the case with Paris. Company XIV uses movement, burlesque, pop opera, instrumental interlude and stage magic to tell their version […]

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Reviews

Is This It, Sir? History?

Just as William Snelgrave (Gordon Joseph Weiss) and his wife, Darcy (Concetta Tomei), are nearing the end of their quarantine, two interlopers break into their home and the clock resets.  It’s 1665, the year of the Great Plague that would kill almost one quarter of London’s population.  King Charles II and his family have fled […]

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Reviews

Why Are You Talking to Me?

The forty-two-year-old Georgie Burns (Mary Louise-Parker) approaches the seventy-five-year-old Alex Priest (Denis Arndt) in the St. Pancras Train Station.  In that aggressively confessional manner that is typical of some Americans, she immediately unloads on him, forcing an intimacy that has not yet been earned.  And in that icily reserved manner that is typical of some Englishmen, […]

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Reviews

The Dancers May Disappear

CHICAGO—Boho Theatre, a tiny company without a permanent home, has in many ways surpassed its larger-scale competitors with its current production of Next to Normal, an unsentimental musical about premature death, bipolar disorder, and suicide.

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Reviews

Heresies Are Experiments

Steampunk—the combination of Victorian and science fiction styles—never had its mainstream breakthrough, and yet at the same time it feels played out.  This contradiction means that context is important: at a bar in Bushwick, I might roll my eyes at top hats or driving goggles.  But in Cirque du Soleil?  It’s a perfect fit.

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Reviews

Is This the Government of Britain’s Isle?

CHICAGO—Barbara Gaines concludes her marathon production of Shakespeare’s War of the Roses with Tug of War: Civil Strife, and this time, the tug comes not from without but from within.  The initially stable if timid reign of Henry VI (Steven Sutcliffe) faces a challenge from the House of York, but York is a house divided, and as soon as the […]

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