Reviews

A Nightly Savonarola, Monday through Friday

The set for Network is spectacular.  On the left side of the stage is a television studio, the crew working noiselessly inside a series of glass booths.  On the right is a working bar and restaurant, one patronized not only by the play’s characters but by some of the audience, whose seats are onstage and not […]

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Reviews

Hidden Notes

Philippe V, the King of Spain (Mark Rylance), is not ill but indisposed.  He’s talking to goldfish, obsessing over clocks, and occasionally lapsing into violence.  The vultures are circling, while his second wife, Isabella (Melody Grove), provides a buffer between Philippe and his slavering council.  Sometimes, Philippe appears lucid, offering aphorisms that suggest he is aware of […]

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Reviews

Girls Will Be Boys and Boys Will Be Girls

Stomping around the stage like Godzilla terrorizing Tokyo, the “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig (Darren Criss) spends nearly two hours performing what is less a traditional musical and more an almost one-man drag/cabaret show.  An East Berliner who was seduced and abandoned by an American G.I., he finally made it to America after the botched sex change […]

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Reviews

Evoking Shakespeare

To start with, the prelude.  The actors, consistent with Shakespearean practices, get into their costumes on stage thirty minutes before curtain.  Mark Rylance, whose genius I will never understand, alternates between chatting with audience members who sit onstage, performing vocal exercises, and staring, eyes dilated, at some unremarkable point on the floor: at these moments, […]

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Reviews

Stay Golden, Joey Boy

The script for Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy reads like the third movie you would see at a Film Forum triple feature, like one of those early, sixty-five minute talkies with bad sound and stock characters.  People say things like “Use your noodle,” “cock-eyed gutter rat,” and “phonus bolonus” without a trace of irony, which makes […]

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Reviews

I’m Ready For My Closeup

Tracie Bennett dominates the stage in End of the Rainbow, Peter Quilter’s play about the final days of Judy Garland.  Her performance is wonderfully athletic—she bounds across the stage, striking poses, belting out songs, smoking cigarettes, laughing uproariously one minute and bawling uncontrollably the next.  She is not just playing Garland—she is playing Garland playing […]

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