Reviews

How We Used to Be

Larissa (Gretchen Mol) is a terrible person, though that is only gradually revealed in The Good Mother, Francine Volpe’s ironically titled new play currently running at the Acorn Theatre.  A former wayward youth, Larissa is now in her mid-thirties, single, with a child, and reinserting herself into the life of Joel (Mark Blum), her high […]

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Reviews

For the Loser Now Will Be Later to Win

Depending on how much you love the Bard, a six-hour, Dutch-language Shakespeare trilogy could either sound like the seventh circle of Hell or proof that God loves us very much.  Ivo van Hove, who has combined Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra into Roman Tragedies, is certainly trying to turn his marathon production into […]

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Reviews

For Life, As It Were

Though Donald Call claims, “Everybody likes Washington Square, even the denigrators of Henry James,” it is only through performance that James’ novel has ever come alive for me—both in William Wyler’s 1949 movie, The Heiress, and now, in a current Broadway revival of Ruth and August Goetz’s play.

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Reviews

Scenes From a Marriage

Ethan Hawke wants you to know that he’s a really serious actor.  When he’s not busy mentally masturbating with his pal Richard Linklater, he’s performing Shakespeare at the Old Vic in London.  Now, he’s dabbling in Chekhov, playing the title part in Ivanov at the Classic Stage Company. In it, he saws the air with […]

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Reviews

A Laugh Riot at the Pearl

It is said that Pierre Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro foreshadowed the French Revolution—though Figaro (Sean McNall) is based on Brighella, a stock Commedia character, a servant who often outwits his master, Beaumarchais’ text is far more political and is packed with polemical monologues against social inequity.  “How came you to be rich and mighty, […]

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Reviews

A Monstrous Fable

The last words of the abolitionist John Brown are reported to be, “This is a beautiful country”— right after failing to free the slaves, right before being hanged for murder and treason.  A similar baffling optimism inhabits the protagonist of Samuel D. Hunter’s new play, The Whale.  Charlie (Shuler Hensley), a gay man weighing somewhere […]

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Reviews

Short Time Companion

In 1986, Paula Vogel’s brother, Carl, invited her on a trip to Europe—because of time and money, she declined, not knowing that he was HIV positive.  He died two years later.  As an act of expiation, she wrote The Baltimore Waltz in 1990, a tragicomic daydream of what that excursion might have been.

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