Reviews

Further Disclosure: I Am a Clown

Bill Irwin—who reminds us several times throughout On Beckett that he is in his “dotage”—is a member of a fading profession.  In the ‘seventies, he trained at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, a defunct school named after a company that closed after over a century just last year.  The vaudeville tradition he adores […]

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Reviews

Fix Me

Transformation has been the only constant of Bob Dylan’s career.  Yet there are clear strains of American mythology throughout his body of work, from his early idolization of Woody Guthrie to peak-year releases like John Wesley Harding.  It can even be found in his born again years and embrace of gospel.  In “Gotta Serve Somebody,” his […]

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Reviews

Pleasing Herod

Oscar Wilde’s Salomé is a fascinating play, one that breathes life into the woman who is only called “the daughter of Herodias” by the authors of Mark and Matthew.  In the New Testament, this daughter (Laura Butler Rivera) is just following her mother’s orders when she asks for the beheading of John the Baptist.  In Wilde’s play, […]

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Reviews

Oh, wretched!

Ellen Lauren is a terrific Dionysus.  Lanky, agile, and puckish, she even quips with the audience in a way that feels unforced: “Wanna touch an actor?” she asks moments into The Bacchae, making a beeline for the front row.  “I know you do.”  I’m not sure he did.  But Lauren seemed like she would be delighted with […]

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Reviews

I Don’t Eat Anything with a Brain, Do I?

Richard Bean struck gold with One Man, Two Guvnors, an adaptation of The Servant of Two Masters that ran for 172 nights on Broadway and effectively launched James Corden into late night.  I have to admit that my initial, favorable sense of the show has faded with time, especially after seeing Goldini’s play revived at Theatre for […]

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Reviews

The World Smashed to Pieces

Kathryn Hunter is one of my favorite living actors, but she is white and British and spends the entirety of The Emperor playing eleven different Ethiopians.  This happens without any apparent self-reflection and is profoundly disheartening.  Indeed, one gets the sinking feeling that no one involved even considered the possibility that it might be a problem; […]

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Reviews

It’s Amazing How Well We Get Along, All Things Considered

If nothing else, the Gingold Theatrical Group has done us a great service in producing this version of George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House.  The play, inspired by Chekhov, was begun in 1913 and rewritten before its publication in 1919 and its premiere in 1920.  Director David Staller has attempted to resurrect an earlier, darker take on the […]

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