Reviews

Bad Chemistry

With his debut play, Hamish Linklater has written a generous work, one that offers substantial roles to all eight of its actors.  Like its title, the stage of The Whirligig spins round and round, unfolding a series of scenes in the lives of those who are in one way or another connected to Julie (Grace Van Patten), a drug […]

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Reviews

2147

It’s 2019 and historian Gloria (Tamara Tunie) interviews Rick (James Badge Dale), a prisoner who is waiting to hear if he’s received the death penalty.  Rick was an administrator whose private prison became a death camp after Trump declared martial law and began rounding up undocumented immigrants.  Much of the play is a familiar back-and-forth, with […]

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Reviews

My Love for You Is Artificial

When Saartjie Baartman (Zainab Jah), later known as “Venus Hottentot,” first walks onstage, she carries with her a skin-colored body suit.  This repurposed leotard transforms her figure into that of the woman who, because of her large buttocks, was exhibited in freak show attractions in the early nineteenth century.  This is, as far as I […]

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Reviews

You’d Better Learn How to Say the Word Out Loud

A little Jewish play currently running at the Cort Theatre is packed with salacious taboos: mixed dancing, prostitutes, Torah desecration, and even a lesbian kiss.  When Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance made its Broadway debut in 1923, this was enough to warrant a successful conviction for obscenity. Ninety years later and eight blocks north, Paula Vogel’s Indecent follows that […]

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Reviews

At Least Mr. Sloane Was Entertained

Sometimes, when you don’t have enough, you do too much.  Thus low-budget productions can feel overstuffed and higher-budgeted ones streamlined.  This is unfortunately the case with Entertaining Mr. Sloane, a wonderful play by Joe Orton that is currently being revived by the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble.  The stage is flanked by trash bags piled up to the ceiling […]

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Reviews

Not Long Now

Beckett blinded his characters.  He struck them mute, rendered them impotent.  He crippled them, starved them, widowed them, and burdened them with diseases.  But he never abandoned his affection for them.

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Reviews

The Practical Bird

In 1853, Japan remains a peacefully isolated nation, an isolation that is threatened when an expatriate fisherman, Manjiro (Karl Josef Co), returns home to announce the coming of the Americans.  Commodore Matthew Perry follows soon after, with a letter from President Millard Fillmore and plans to open trade between the two countries.  Manjiro and a newly-promoted […]

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