Reviews

Oh, wretched!

Ellen Lauren is a terrific Dionysus.  Lanky, agile, and puckish, she even quips with the audience in a way that feels unforced: “Wanna touch an actor?” she asks moments into The Bacchae, making a beeline for the front row.  “I know you do.”  I’m not sure he did.  But Lauren seemed like she would be delighted with […]

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Reviews

Richard Lieben Richard

I thought I had seen my zaniest Richard III in Mark Rylance, and before that in Kevin Spacey.  But compared to Lars Eidinger, these performances feel like those of mildly rambunctious children.  Mr. Eidinger abandons all pretense that Richard is an adult—or even a human being—and before the night is over, he has sat naked […]

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Reviews

I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee

Four older women chat idly in a garden as the afternoon wanes.  Sally (Deborah Findlay) discusses her fear of cats.  Vi (June Watson) is grateful to still receive phone calls form her children.  They reflect on their past lives, which include middle-class jobs and, in one case, mariticide.  A conversation about punchlines in jokes touches on national boundaries and […]

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Reviews

The Crux of the Matter

Written during an enviable period in his mid-twenties that would yield four major productions in two years, Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane transplants the playwright’s mixed feelings about the bucolic Ireland he would visit on holidays while growing up in London into a space of domestic menace.

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Reviews

If You Go Down in the Woods Today

The puppets are gorgeous but the meaning hazy in Memory Rings, a silent, eighty-minute production by the Phantom Limb Company that is centered around the California Methuselah tree, which at over 4800 years old was once thought to be the oldest on the planet.

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Reviews

All Friendship Comes with Conditions

The Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) of David Hare’s The Judas Kiss is deliberately written against type. The stage directions describe him as “solid, tall and fleshy” and “not at all the pansy of legend.” The signature wit is slightly dulled, though when it surfaces it does so with acidity; here his satire is meant to […]

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Reviews

A Smooth and All-Able Pen

Many of the pleasures of seeing a complete Henriad are expected.  We witness the full transformation of the bawdy Prince Hal (Alex Hassell), in whom his father once saw “riot and dishonour stain the brow,” into King Henry V, capable of such rousing rhetoric as the St. Crispian’s Day Speech.  We watch old Jack Falstaff, the endlessly charismatic […]

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