Reviews

Mauling and Muttering

They called them the “angry young men,” but Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey is filled with enough class rage to argue for an amendment to the term.  Originally produced in 1958, the play follows the down-and-outs Jo (Rebekah Brockman), a seventeen-year-old girl lurching toward womanhood, and her mother Helen (Rachel Botchan), who quickly abandons her daughter for […]

Read more
Reviews

Things Dying and Newborn

When Peter Francis James, who plays Leontes in the Pearl’s current revival of The Winter’s Tale, says the word “issue,” he pronounces it as if the first syllable rhymed with with piss instead of dish.  Or, perhaps more appropriately, as if it rhymed with hiss.  Thus, he virtually spits at Antigonus (Dominic Cuskern) of the child he presumes to be […]

Read more
Reviews

Come and Make Explosives with Me

Major Barbara at first appears like a rather innocuous play, nothing that would inspire the economist Beatrice Webb to call it a “dance of devils” and “the triumph of the unmoral purpose”: Her children all grown up, Lady Britomart Undershaft (Carol Schultz) finds herself in a precarious position: her husband, the weapons manufacturer Sir Andrew (Dan […]

Read more
Reviews

The Days Are Getting Shorter

Fall has come and all of New York’s institutions are waking from their summer slumber, including the Pearl Theatre, the best revival company in the city.  They are opening their 2014-15 season with Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, a chronicle of old, disappointed Russians who have been doing nothing but “talking and talking for the last fifty years.”  The […]

Read more
Reviews

We Are Each Our Own Devil

“Why, [you’re] the torturer, of course,” Inez (Jolly Abraham) says to Cradeau (Bradford Cover) as she enters Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit.  He says that this is “too comic for words,” but of course he is her torturer just as she is his.  Sartre’s underworld, after all, is not comprised of the burning, naked bodies of Memling’s The […]

Read more
Reviews

C’est la Vie, Say the Old Folks

George Bernard Shaw is at his best when he doesn’t take his social mission too seriously, when he is upending gender and class norms like a merry prankster instead of a dogmatic moralist.  Thus, a line like, “Women have to unlearn the false good manners of their slavery before they acquire the genuine good manners […]

Read more
Reviews

Barrie’s Women

If only there were ten more theaters like the Pearl, New York would be in great shape.  Their most recent production, This Side of Neverland, combines two J.M. Barrie one-acts, “Rosalind” and “The Twelve Pound Look.”  Barrie was one of those authors, like Maurice Sendak, who understood that childhood is far more complicated and melancholy […]

Read more