Reviews

A Nightly Savonarola, Monday through Friday

The set for Network is spectacular.  On the left side of the stage is a television studio, the crew working noiselessly inside a series of glass booths.  On the right is a working bar and restaurant, one patronized not only by the play’s characters but by some of the audience, whose seats are onstage and not […]

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Reviews

A Rival Hypothesis

Tom Stoppard is a giant, a playwright whose enormous talent has endured for decades: Arcadia, written almost thirty years after he first experimented with a one-act titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Meet King Lear, is among his best work.  The Hard Problem, his latest, is not.  It pains me to write this, since Stoppard is an idol […]

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Reviews

The Whole Place Is Changing

Sometimes death takes years.  Gladys Green (Elaine May) is a former lawyer and Greenwich Village socialite who now spends her days in an art gallery she runs down the street from her apartment.  Once a week she has dinner with her daughter (Joan Allen) and her daughter’s husband (David Cromer), and her grandson, Daniel (Lucas […]

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Reviews

I Know This Wasn’t Much

  When writing about The Unnameable, some critics prefer to use the term “interlocutor” rather than the “narrator,” since narrator implies a subjective position that is difficult to locate in Beckett’s novel.  Indeed, while reading, it sometimes feels like the words are not being spoken so much as they are foaming out of some unknown source.

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Reviews

Friends, Romans, Fellow Grocers

Over the next few years, I imagine there will be a revival of interest in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Brecht’s roman à clef about a Chicago gangster who represents Hitler during his rise to power.  We’ll probably see more productions of An Enemy of the People, too, as well as The Crucible and Julius Caesar.  Trump, unfortunately, […]

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Reviews

On the Tip of Your Tongue

There is a crack running down the dining room wall.  Deborah (De’Adre Aziza) tries to hide it, to cover it up with—of all things—Ellis Wilson’s Funeral Procession.  Some of the floorboards are rotting, too, so she moves the table over those.  You see, Deborah lives the politics of respectability; all flaws must be covered up.  […]

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Reviews

Woman and Simian Alike

Anyone complaining about the music in King Kong is missing the point.  Sure, there aren’t all that many songs, traditionally considered a handicap for a musical, and those that we do hear are all forgettable.  Sometimes they are even incomprehensible.  Why, for example, is Ann Darrow (Christiani Pitts), the beauty to Kong’s beast, asking us if […]

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