Reviews

Like int’ Old Days, or Not

The problem with being an enfant terrible is that eventually you grow up.  Martin McDonagh, the angry young man who banged out four plays in two years in his late twenties, is now nearing fifty.  The cynicism is still there; so is the black comedy, the moral ambiguity, and the penchant for spontaneous violence.  But the […]

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Reviews

The Truth Is What Happened

In the 1920s, Isaac Babel (Danny Burstein), a Russian journalist stationed in Poland, enters his thoughts in a diary. He writes about the night, the field, the soldier with whom he shares a pilfered wine bottle (Zach Grenier). In 2010, a plane crashes, the Polish government is instantly obliterated and the diary slips into unlikely […]

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Reviews

Ink by the Carload

I tend to shy away from biographical readings of texts.  But consider: David Mamet’s new play, The Penitent, is about a psychologist, Charles (Chris Bauer), who treats a patient who goes on to murder ten people.  In his manifesto, this patient, frequently referred to as “the Boy,” accuses Charles of homophobia, and a newspaper covering […]

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Reviews

Yalla

“Once not long ago a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt,” read the supertitles.  “You probably didn’t hear about it.  It wasn’t very important.”  Unimportance is key to The Band’s Visit, a charming new musical based on the 2007 film of the same name.

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Reviews

When Wick and Oil Are Clean

Long before we learn that Ellis (William Apps) has an estranged daughter, a terrible secret, and a real thing about lamps, we know something is off. We see him nervously fussing about his apartment, a sizing sticker still attached to his pants, a hastily forgotten stick of deodorant wedged in the couch cushions. Ellis is […]

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Reviews

I Laughed, He Cried

In the wake of his mother’s death, country superstar Strings McCrane (Timthoy Olyphant) is a colossal wreck. He can’t play the guitar without crying. He can’t converse without crying. He withdraws from his engagement to a fellow country star to be with a hotel masseuse named Nancy (Jenn Lyon), drops Nancy after falling for his […]

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Reviews

Nothing Says You Have to Like Yourself

The first act of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine takes place in 1879, as colonial administrator Clive (Clarke Thorell) attempts to control a mild uprising by the indigenous population.  His wife Betty (Chris Perfetti) struggles with her attraction to the explorer Harry Bagley (John Sanders), who is himself harboring conflicted feelings about his homosexuality, though this does not prevent […]

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