Reviews

If Your Face Is Twisted, It’s No Use Blaming the Mirror

The square-framed stage is divided into three rooms, two downstairs and one up, giving us the impression that we are staring into an ant farm or some kind of elaborate rodent cage.  The animals inside, a collection of inept and corrupt small-town politicians, erupt immediately into action: a government inspector is on his way from the […]

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Reviews

First Sight of Woman

In 1621, Thomas Middleton and William Rowley rewrote the story of the fall of man with their Jacobean tragedy The Changeling: Beatrice (Sara Topham) is engaged to marry Alonzo de Piracquo (John Skelley), but she is in love with Alsemero (Christian Coulson), who is equally smitten.  He tells his friend, Jasperino (Justin Blanchard), “I love her beauties to the holy purpose, / […]

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Reviews

Her Sickness Is a Fullness of Her Blood

When Declan Donnellan directed ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore at BAM three years ago, he stripped the play of everything but its core plot—the incestuous and ultimately fatal affair between Giovanni (Matthew Amendt) and his sister Annabella (Amelia Pedlow)—and the result was cinematic, highly stylized, and saturated with melodrama. In a new revival by Jesse Berger, John Ford’s […]

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Reviews

Stop—and Look Around

“People are profoundly bad, but irresistibly funny.”  This quotation, from playwright Joe Orton, serves as the epigraph to a revival of his Loot, currently running at the Lucille Lortel Theater.  It is staggeringly misleading.  Applied to a work by, say, Edward Bond, or Tom Stoppard, or Sarah Kane, it would be appropriate.  But Loot is […]

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Reviews

A Rare Meal of Laughter

Like Christopher Marlowe’s Barabas and William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Ben Jonson’s Volpone (Stephen Spinella) is one of the great comic villains of the theater.  Through a mixture of genius, amorality, and boredom, he uses his wealth and his social standing to turn the greediest men of Venice into a series of drooling zombies.  Pretending to […]

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