Reviews

Friends, Romans, Fellow Grocers

Over the next few years, I imagine there will be a revival of interest in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Brecht’s roman à clef about a Chicago gangster who represents Hitler during his rise to power.  We’ll probably see more productions of An Enemy of the People, too, as well as The Crucible and Julius Caesar.  Trump, unfortunately, […]

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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 […]

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Reviews

There’s No Clock in the Forest

When artistic director Brian Kulick left the Classic Stage Company, I was hoping his vapid, celebrity-addicted productions would go with him.  This season, the second helmed by his replacement John Doyle, begins with Mr. Doyle’s As You Like It, an affable if unambitious rendering that makes little use of setting or props and relies heavily on […]

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Reviews

The Practical Bird

In 1853, Japan remains a peacefully isolated nation, an isolation that is threatened when an expatriate fisherman, Manjiro (Karl Josef Co), returns home to announce the coming of the Americans.  Commodore Matthew Perry follows soon after, with a letter from President Millard Fillmore and plans to open trade between the two countries.  Manjiro and a newly-promoted […]

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Reviews

Enter, for Here Too There Are Gods!

A picture of a decrepit, present-day Jerusalem neighborhood is projected behind the actors, who sit in a row of chairs when they are not onstage.  They begin out of costume and inform the audience they are about to tell a story; during intermission, two perform the Muslim evening prayer.  The impetus, I assume, behind this revival of […]

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Reviews

It Staggers to Its Feet Again

I’m not an expert on Congolese music, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t sound like Spring Awakening—and this is essentially the problem with Brian Kulick’s staging of Mother Courage and Her Children, which ingeniously transplants Brecht’s play from seventeenth-century Europe to modern-day Congo but does little to establish the space beyond the vague gestures associated with the Africa of the American imagination.  That […]

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Reviews

A Rash and Bloody Deed

Peter Sarsgaard is a very good actor, and he shouldn’t be ashamed of his unfortunate and dreadful performance in Hamlet, since the role has swallowed up greater performers than he.  Still, the production currently running at the Classic Stage Company amounts to an embarrassing three hours, full of mistakes both slight and glaring.

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Reviews

All Are Punish’d

I am far from a traditionalist when it comes to Shakespeare, but I challenge anyone to justify restaging the Capulet party as a half rave, half middle school dance, with Romeo (Julian Cihi) in the middle dressed up as Winnie the Pooh.  Perhaps director Tea Alagić wanted to emphasize the youth of Shakespeare’s characters—but in […]

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Reviews

The Lord of Misrule

Azdak (Christopher Lloyd) is a difficult character.  As played by Mr. Lloyd—with a bright, shining bald head, a Neanderthal’s brow, and Dumbo ears—he looks like a man who got lost, and who was perhaps mauled by several rabid dogs, on his way to the set of The Hills Have Eyes.  Azdak is the backbone, if […]

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