Reviews

Surrounded by All the Things That Love Me

runboyrun and In Old Age are parts three and five, respectively, of Mfoniso Udofia’s nine-part play cycle about a single Nigerian-American family. In both works, the same house serves as the stage for an intergenerational haunting by ghosts of the Nigerian Civil War. runboyrun finds Abasiama Ufot (Patrice Johnson Chevannes) in her mid-fifties, ready to […]

Read more
Reviews

The Lion’s Mouth

Before Pygmalion and its Covent Garden flower girl Eliza Doolittle, George Bernard Shaw penned Caesar and Cleopatra, another comedy of metamorphosis. After arriving in Egypt, Caesar (Robert Cuccioli) finds himself charmed by the headstrong, teenaged Cleopatra (Teresa Avia Lim) and decides to assist in her transformation into Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Despite plotting on […]

Read more
Reviews

What Is Essential Is Invisible to the Eye

“Please don’t mention anything that happens in the show.” This request is made by Derren Brown early in his solo magic show, Secret. While reasonable—spoilers would ruin the fun for future audiences—it puts the review in a bit of a bind: how to describe the show without mentioning anything that happens? It may be best […]

Read more
Reviews

A Game of Squash Isn’t Simply a Game of Squash

The stage design is minimal to the extreme. More often than not, the actors speak facing outward rather than one another. When they do face each other, they stand on opposite sides of the stage, perhaps twenty feet apart. When only two are in a scene, the third remains hovering around the corners of the […]

Read more
Reviews

I Won’t Do That

Bat Out of Hell may be the most inevitable jukebox musical ever staged.  Meat Loaf’s twin albums, written by Jim Steinman, sound more like musical theater than most musical theater; it doesn’t hurt, I’m sure, that together they’ve sold almost sixty million copies.  In other words, it would be hard to screw this up: toss […]

Read more
Reviews

The Limbs of This Great Sport

STRATFORD, ON— The fate of Shakespeare and Fletcher’s late history Henry VIII has been tumultuous, to say the least.  Cannon fire from the first production burned down the original Globe Theatre in 1613.  Defying augury, the new Globe Theatre mounted a respectable but ultimately forgettable revival in 2010.  Popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, […]

Read more
Reviews

The Best Part of Breakin’ Up Is When You’re Making Up

STRATFORD, ON—Noël Coward said that the critical response to his Private Lives “connoted in the public mind ‘cocktails,’ ‘evening dress,’ ‘repartee’ and irreverent allusions to copulation,” and director Carey Perloff seems to have similar ingredients in mind with her current staging of the play at the Stratford Festival. When Elyot Chase (Geraint Wyn Davies) first […]

Read more