Reviews

The World Smashed to Pieces

Kathryn Hunter is one of my favorite living actors, but she is white and British and spends the entirety of The Emperor playing eleven different Ethiopians.  This happens without any apparent self-reflection and is profoundly disheartening.  Indeed, one gets the sinking feeling that no one involved even considered the possibility that it might be a problem; […]

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Reviews

The Secret of a Drop of Rain

At 89, Peter Brook, whose Midsummer shocked audiences back in 1970, is still producing interesting work.  The Valley of Astonishment, co-written and co-directed with Marie-Hélène Estienne, follows three people who lead unusual lives of the mind: the first, Sammy Costas (Kathryn Hunter), has a nearly perfect memory and unconsciously uses techniques similar to those outlined in Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking […]

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Reviews

Discoursing Wonders (and Terrors)

Hippolyta (Okwui Okpokwasili) has become something of a litmus test for me, her casting a fair indication of how serious any given director is about A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  An Amazonian Queen, Hippolyta’s marriage to Theseus (Roger Clark) frames the play but the context of this marriage is often ignored.  In his second line, Theseus admits […]

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Reviews

Beckettian Mash-Up at the Baryshnikov Arts Center

Peter Brook, the theater legend who directed the original run of Fragments in London, writes, “Today, with the passage of time, we can see how false were the labels stuck on Beckett—despairing, negative, pessimistic.  Indeed, he peers into the filthy abyss of human existence.  His humor saves him and us from falling in.  He rejects theories, dogmas, […]

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