Reviews

I Like Him if He’s Real but I Love Him if He’s Fake

This Ain’t No Disco, announces the title of a new rock opera about Studio 54, which was, in fact, a disco.  There seems to be some confusion between artist and art: a recent promotional piece in the New York Times chronicles the fortunes of the Mudd Club, which was not a disco but is also not the subject […]

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Reviews

Of Course We Don’t Want to Be Political

The Potomac Theatre Project has been staging Howard Barker and Caryl Churchill for decades, and this can mean one of two things: mastery or stagnation.  Unfortunately, it’s a little of both this season, with the company pairing two short works, Mr. Barker’s The Possibilities, a series of vignettes linking the mundane and the momentous, and Ms. […]

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Reviews

I Wish Madame to Be Lovely

CHICAGO—It’s a terrific idea, really: The Artistic Home has mounted a production of Jean Genet’s The Maids with two drag queens in the title roles.  The play, about a pair of sisters who play-act the murder of their mistress every night, always without reaching the violent conclusion, is ideally suited to the uncanny exaggerations of […]

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Reviews

Martha Deserves a Better Avenger

Leslie Nielsen did it for years, and after him the Wayans Brothers: take an image or scene from popular culture, then repeat it in a sillier context.  In The Man Who Knew Too Little, for example, it’s Bill Murray saying “Here’s Johnny!” instead of Jack Nicholson, and he’s wielding a croquet mallet rather than an axe.  […]

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Reviews

So How Long Since Your Last Confession?

“What kinda fuckin’ world is this?”  So begins Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street, with Vic (John Procaccino) screaming in his underwear in the main viewing room of the Ortiz Funeral Home.  Sister Rose is to be buried the following day, but her body has gone missing.  Thus Vic’s consternation.

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Reviews

Humans Are Coming!

Critical readings of Aristophanes’ The Birds, a comedy about two Athenians building a city in the sky, vary widely.  Some view it as political allegory, drawing connections to contemporary democratic revolutions in Athens.  Others see in “Cloudcuckooland” a vision of utopia.  Still others argue that it is a literary satire on gigantomachy (Google it).  While attempting […]

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Reviews

Skinning a Cat

Glenda Jackson is brilliant.  Throughout Three Tall Women, her craggy face—one Beckett would have loved—alternately radiates wisdom, confusion, knowing cynicism, and puckish amusement, all with a firmly-pursed upper lip.  The primary difference, I think, between stage and film acting is the requirement for stage actors to use all of their body.  Too frequently, this means a series […]

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