Reviews

Only We Shall Retain the Name

Perhaps this production of King Lear was never going to live up to the story: after twenty-three years in Parliament, Glenda Jackson returned to acting with the most challenging Shakespearean role, typically reserved for actors of her caliber as a final achievement, one that spawns nostalgic reflections on a career that began with an historic performance […]

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Reviews

You’d Better Learn How to Say the Word Out Loud

A little Jewish play currently running at the Cort Theatre is packed with salacious taboos: mixed dancing, prostitutes, Torah desecration, and even a lesbian kiss.  When Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance made its Broadway debut in 1923, this was enough to warrant a successful conviction for obscenity. Ninety years later and eight blocks north, Paula Vogel’s Indecent follows that […]

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Reviews

She Excels Each Mortal Thing

For those of us who have made that greatest of life decisions—that is, for those of us who have a dog—A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia will prove amiably familiar: there are the invariably tangled leashes, the boundless and unconditional affection, and, of course, the projections of humanity onto an animal that usually cannot speak.  In upper-class Manhattan, the eponymous puppy […]

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Reviews

If Not Him, Who?

You can tell you’re at the Larry David play just by listening to the audience.  Someone complains that it’s too cold.  Another is outraged to hear that, should she have to get up to go to the bathroom, she won’t be readmitted until after the act break.  Phones are not turned off, and five minutes […]

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Reviews

Let’s Go Outside and Play

Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 play This Is Our Youth is a neat little love story about a sociopathic bike messenger and drug dealer, Dennis Ziegler (Kieran Culkin), and his sniveling, obsequious friend, Warren Straub (Michael Cera).  After Warren steals $15,000 in cash from his physically abusive father, he flees to the emotionally abusive Dennis, and the two spend […]

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Reviews

Buttoned Up and Constipated

Truman Capote famously said of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road that it “isn’t writing at all—it’s typing,” though the same accusation can now coincidentally be hurled at Richard Greenberg’s stage adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which—excepting one significant difference—is a beat-by-beat replication of the novella.  Of course, the iconic film has by this point eclipsed […]

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Reviews

The Secret Sits in the Middle and Knows

About halfway through Craig Wright’s Grace, Sam (Michael Shannon) explains his job to Steve (Paul Rudd).  He works for NASA, helping to purify the information they are receiving through probes in the solar system—“radio waves, X-rays, gamma rays, all kinds of energy” interfere with the information, so it is often corrupted by the time it […]

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