Reviews

I Have Screensavered the Forest

The premise of Dave Malloy’s Octet is terrific.  Staged as an Alcoholics Anonymous-style meeting for device addicts, a group of strangers congregate to share stories of their technological woes through song.  Jessica (Margo Seibert) admits she is the star of a viral video, “white woman goes crazy,” while Henry (Alex Gibson) cannot break the hypnotic […]

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Reviews

There’s Politeness an’ Politeness in It

In 1926, when an already-censored Plough and the Stars opened at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, the crowd, taking offense at uniformed actors carrying the flag of the Irish Volunteers, rioted, throwing objects at the stage, setting off stink bombs, and fighting with the actors. Barry Fitzgerald, living up to the spirit his character, Fluther […]

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Reviews

I Was Improvising, Which Everybody Just Loves

Over the course of three plays—Asuncion, The Revisionist, and The Spoils—Jesse Eisenberg has established himself as the premier satirist of guilt-ridden, ineffectual American liberalism.  His work is littered with a gaggle of narcissistic, white idiots, and Happy Talk, his latest, is no exception.  This is the first of his plays in which Eisenberg does not […]

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Reviews

The Cry of Women, My Good Lord

In Erica Schmidt’s adaptation, Mac Beth, a group of girls meet in an abandoned field to perform Shakespeare’s play. Very little of the text has been changed, but the staging is appropriately makeshift: the girls munch on Cheetos. Messages are sent via pink-encased iPhones. And Macbeth bears a felt crown complete with a candied ring […]

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Reviews

Only We Shall Retain the Name

Perhaps this production of King Lear was never going to live up to the story: after twenty-three years in Parliament, Glenda Jackson returned to acting with the most challenging Shakespearean role, typically reserved for actors of her caliber as a final achievement, one that spawns nostalgic reflections on a career that began with an historic performance […]

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Reviews

Some Superstitions Are Very Nice

In All My Sons, the play that would precede Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller offers another portrait of an American family withering under the pressures of capitalism.  The entire play is set in the backyard of Joe Keller (Tracy Letts), a successful suburban businessman who sold parts to the military during the war.  A scandal involving […]

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