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

Et cetera

Neil LaBute has always struck me as occasionally nastily observant but mostly just plain nasty, though his play Some Girl(s), currently running at the Chain Theatre, suffers more from endless tedium than anything else; “predictably shocking” is an oxymoron, and once you figure out what Mr. LaBute is up to, he loses about ninety percent […]

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Reviews

People Hurt Me—So I Hurt Them Back

“It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry,” writes Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter, “whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom.”  This certainly seems to be the case in August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, a brutal exercise in misanthropy during which an elderly military captain, Edgar (Daniel Davis), […]

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Reviews

In What Land of Dreams I Am Living I Know Not

August Strindberg, who isn’t known for his cheerfulness, was especially depressed while composing what he called the “child of my greatest pain” and considered suicide two months before completing it: “The impulse to die by my own hand grows stronger,” he wrote in his diary.  The finished work, A Dream Play, reads a bit like […]

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Reviews

For Many Be Called, But Few Chosen

When you walk into the Drilling Company, a small theater on the Upper West Side, the woman who plays the title role in Miss Julie, Louise Seyffert, shuffles out of her dressing room to check your reservation.  The lobby, marked by a wheezing heater, has a few chairs, a couple of cans of coke, a […]

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Reviews

Is He Up Yet? Strindberg’s Playing with Fire at the New School

August Strindberg’s “cynical life” one-act Playing with Fire is a powder keg of emotional repression: Newt (Nathan James), a rich but unsuccessful painter, has never cared more than passingly for his wife Kerstin (Toccarra Cash).  They remain cordial to each other but turn elsewhere for love and lust.  Knut satisfies himself with cousin Adele (Jaleesa […]

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