Reviews

We Just Sorta Echo Each Other

For a time, I thought Ethan Hawke was the worst, most destructive stage actor in New York City.  Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht—it seemed there was no canonized playwright he was unwilling to defile, no production safe from his histrionics, his loud, heavily gestural, and self-absorbed brand of performance.  So it is with great delight and more […]

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Reviews

Don’t Forget What Your Good Book Said

Considering the rich and vital contributions to Black theater this season, is it any surprise that the hottest ticket in town is for an adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, that behemoth of self-congratulatory liberalism that continues to haunt our middle school classrooms?  Luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Joe Biden, and James Comey have all […]

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Reviews

We Stopped Talking

Pharus (Jeremy Pope) is the bright and confident lead singer in the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys’ prestigious choir.  He has a quick, endearing smile, and he makes little effort to temper his flamboyant body language.  A few minutes into Choir Boy, and a few verses into Pharus’ solo at the school’s commencement, […]

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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

The Whole Place Is Changing

Sometimes death takes years.  Gladys Green (Elaine May) is a former lawyer and Greenwich Village socialite who now spends her days in an art gallery she runs down the street from her apartment.  Once a week she has dinner with her daughter (Joan Allen) and her daughter’s husband (David Cromer), and her grandson, Daniel (Lucas […]

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Reviews

Woman and Simian Alike

Anyone complaining about the music in King Kong is missing the point.  Sure, there aren’t all that many songs, traditionally considered a handicap for a musical, and those that we do hear are all forgettable.  Sometimes they are even incomprehensible.  Why, for example, is Ann Darrow (Christiani Pitts), the beauty to Kong’s beast, asking us if […]

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Reviews

I Started with the Facts

“All this is fact,” Marilynne Robinson writes late in her novel Housekeeping.  “Fact explains nothing.”  In other words, facts are just naked data waiting for interpretation.  It is in that interpretation, in that carving out of a story from the facts, that one reaches truth.  If the facts have to be massaged to reach a greater truth, so […]

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