Reviews

Serious Games

A man and a woman make ecstatic love. Afterward, the woman offers to make the man a sandwich before booting him out of her studio apartment. He eats the sandwich, but he doesn’t go anywhere. Over three decades after its debut, Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune may seem to possess […]

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Reviews

The Brief Sun Flames the Ice

The set, designed by Riccardo Hernandez, is extraordinary.  Snow falls throughout, first in large heaps and then intermittently, its color reflected in the large white arches and pale furniture; the actors, dwarfed by their monochromatic surroundings, bring a little relief with their colorful costumes.  But the main effect—a sheet of white peppered with spots of […]

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Reviews

In the Beginning…

Much will no doubt be made of Thornton Wilder’s claim that The Skin of Our Teeth “mostly comes alive under conditions of crisis.”  Indeed, this play about a “typical American family” seems unusually prescient.  Eschewing traditional narrative and chronological structure, The Skin of Our Teeth follows the Antrobuses through three fraught periods in human (and mythological) history.  In […]

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Reviews

The Norwegian and the Swede

Strindberg insisted on several occasions that his misogyny was entirely theoretical, but The Father is such a full-throated expression of hatred that this is hard to believe. Around the time he wrote the play, he prophesized a coming war of the sexes that would lead to a barbarous matriarchy and declared, “I shall fight as […]

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Reviews

The Snail’s House

One of the toughest parts about playing iconic Shakespearean roles is convincing the audience that you are saying and thinking these lines for the first time.  How is one, for example, to recite “To be or not to be?” or “Never, never, never, never, never” without summoning up the legion of actors who have already […]

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Reviews

A Very Merry War

Last year, Arin Arbus directed a wonderful Taming of the Shrew for TFANA and this season she returns with her star Maggie Siff for Much Ado About Nothing, an appropriate, complicated companion piece.  But where Shrew succeeded because it treated the text with the appropriate amount of irony, Much Ado falters because it fails to […]

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Reviews

A “Post-Feminist” Shrew

When we walk into the theater, there is man playing saloon music on a piano.  A woman passes out bags of peanuts, and Christopher Sly (Matthew Cowles), an old, drunken bum who has been tricked into thinking he is an aristocrat, loudly comments on the action of the play, so much so that the actors […]

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