Reviews

Starbucks!

At the beginning of the script for Slave Play, Jeremy O. Harris writes, “You should not work to make the audience comfortable with what they are witnessing at all.” True to this directive, the original production, which premiered last year at the New York Theatre Workshop, left its audience nowhere to hide. We viewed two […]

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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

Skinning a Cat

Glenda Jackson is brilliant.  Throughout Three Tall Women, her craggy face—one Beckett would have loved—alternately radiates wisdom, confusion, knowing cynicism, and puckish amusement, all with a firmly-pursed upper lip.  The primary difference, I think, between stage and film acting is the requirement for stage actors to use all of their body.  Too frequently, this means a series […]

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Reviews

The Name Your Mother and Father Gave You

In 2003, at the end of the Second Liberian Civil War, three women wearing American hand-me-downs live in a shanty as the wives of a commanding officer for the rebel group Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy.  For most of Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, they are referred to by their titles rather than their given names: Number […]

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Reviews

On a Dark, Dark Road in a Dark, Dark State

John Grisham’s South is an ethically uncomplicated place.  Racist hicks rape ten-year-old Black girls.  Idealistic lawyers, with rolled up sleeves and toothpicks planted firmly in their mouths, mosey into empty courtrooms—perhaps to spend a private moment with the smell of justice.  And fathers whose daughters have been harmed know the meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To […]

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Reviews

They Should Have Left Vanya and Sonia and Masha to Chekhov

Parody has roughly the same staying power as the latest YouTube video or a song written by a thirty-year-old about life in middle school.  Highbrow parody, I suppose, can last longer—indeed, Kevin Brewer’s Island; or, to Be Or Not to Be, a recent, wonderful sendup of Shakespearean comedy, could easily sustain decades of revivals.  Vanya […]

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Reviews

Who Killed David Mamet? It Was You and Me.

Critics are having a blast beating David Mamet’s newest play, The Anarchist, to a pulp, but something about this strikes me as culturally self-mutilating.  Of course, we have a history of snubbing our greatest playwrights.  How often do we see a Broadway revival of Williams that is not Streetcar or Cat on a Hot Tin […]

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