Reviews

Seldom Forward

When Merrily We Roll Along opened in 1981, Frank Rich wrote, “to be a Stephen Sondheim fan is to have one’s heart broken at regular intervals.”  However, this time around, it was not simpy the songs that led to the heartbreak.  “Mr. Sondheim has given this evening a half-dozen songs that are crushing and beautiful—that soar […]

Read more
Reviews

Blame Not This Haste of Mine

Fiasco Theater, a group of Brown alumni best known for their streamlined, energetic stagings of Shakespeare, is back, this time at the Classic Stage Company for a revival of Twelfth Night.  Fiasco is at its best when the material is light and conducive to their zany inclinations and at its worst when they select plays too […]

Read more
Reviews

Exchange the Bad for the Better

The Two Gentlemen of Verona has unjustly been dismissed by most scholars.  Harold Bloom, for instance, calls it “the weakest of all Shakespeare’s comedies.”  But if it doesn’t have the meat of later plays like The Merchant of Venice or All’s Well That Ends Well, it does offer humbler pleasures.  Fiasco, a company that previously mounted amiable if underwhelming productions […]

Read more
Reviews

What Measure Ye Mete

Before the play begins, the actors walk onstage to mill around and greet the audience.  Andy Grotelueschen nods his head and beams before bumming a mint from someone in the front row.  “James, my cousin is sitting behind you!” he calls out to a man he recognizes.  “Hi, Becky!” squeaks Jessie Austrian, using her hand to […]

Read more
Reviews

Cymbeline: Shakespeare’s Senioritis

A six-person Shakespearean production is a tricky thing to stage.  Actors and costume designers struggle with creating distinct characters, kings are executed only to reappear as rogues, and, since the small cast is often a monetary necessity, players tend to botch the language and confuse the action; the end result is the kind of stultifying […]

Read more