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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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

Skinning a Cat

Glenda Jackson is brilliant.  Throughout Three Tall Women, her craggy face—one Beckett would have loved—alternately radiates wisdom, confusion, knowing cynicism, and puckish amusement, all with a firmly-pursed upper lip.  The primary difference, I think, between stage and film acting is the requirement for stage actors to use all of their body.  Too frequently, this means a series […]

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Reviews

The Way to the Future

During the mid-sixties, the Holocaust was very much on American minds. This wasn’t always the case. At the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Germany (or West Germany) flipped from foe to friend faster than you could say Zyklon B. American Jews, hesitant to criticize this now-ally and be […]

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Reviews

Bring Some Extra Blankets

David Auburn won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his play Proof, which is probably the only reason that Lost Lake is being produced now by the Manhattan Theatre Club.  This is a textbook mediocre American play: Veronica (Tracie Thoms) is a nurse practitioner and a single mom who is looking to rent a cabin for a […]

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Reviews

Hurry Up and Become a Fuckin’ Man

I once saw Stephen Adly Guirgis speak at the 92Y, with Tony Kushner moderating a discussion on Arthur Miller.  He prefaced his praise for Mr. Kushner (“I don’t mean to suck your dick or anything…”) by noting that he was missing a Rangers playoff game to be there, which is a good indication of the tone of […]

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Reviews

First You Take a Drink…

Derek Ahonen writes terrific first acts.  His newest work, The Qualification of Douglas Evans, follows its eponymous protagonist (Mr. Ahonen) for thirty years, from the child of an alcoholic father to the bright-eyed acting student fresh off the bus to New York City and finally to the bitter alcoholic himself, destroying relationships with a series of women while […]

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