Reviews

Where’d You Go?

Molière’s Don Juan is an amiable little comedy, a recklessly blasphemous sendup of religious faith and other hypocrisies, with the title character (Justin Adams) abandoning all calls for decency and kindness in favor of a monomaniacal pursuit of sexual gratification.  And he really does seem sincere every time, worshipping each successive woman and then quickly abandoning her once a new one appears. […]

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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 […]

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Reviews

Brains Turned by Reading

Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s career falls right in-between Shakespeare’s and Oscar Wilde’s, so if you know Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, you’ll already have a decent sense of The Rivals: Captain Jack Absolute (Cary Donaldson), the wealthy son of Sir Anthony Absolute (Dan Daily), has fallen in love with Lydia Languish (Jessica Love).  But Lydia, an […]

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Reviews

Hey, Ho, the Wind and the Rain

Last season, the Pearl produced an excellent Richard II, and this year they are continuing the Henriad with an admirable Henry IV, Part 1.  Shakespeare’s histories have never interested me as much as his comedies and tragedies, but Henry IV blurs all three genres and, through Falstaff (Dan Daily), becomes a kind of historical tragicomedy, […]

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Reviews

A Laugh Riot at the Pearl

It is said that Pierre Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro foreshadowed the French Revolution—though Figaro (Sean McNall) is based on Brighella, a stock Commedia character, a servant who often outwits his master, Beaumarchais’ text is far more political and is packed with polemical monologues against social inequity.  “How came you to be rich and mighty, […]

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Reviews

The Pearl Theatre Knows How to Philander

In a 1930 introduction to The Philanderer, George Bernard Shaw writes, “There is a disease to which plays as well as men become liable with advancing years.  In men it is called doting, in plays dating.  The more topical the play the more it dates.  The Philanderer suffers from this complaint.”  Reading it, one might be inclined to […]

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Reviews

Richard II at the Pearl Theatre

Walter Pater once wrote, “Shakespeare’s kings are not, nor are meant to be, great men,” something that is deeply understood by director J.R. Sullivan in his new production of Richard II at the Pearl Theatre.  Sean McNall, playing the title role, presents both a physically and politically diminutive figure: slim, pale, and sickly looking—a kind of deflated […]

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