Reviews

Like int’ Old Days, or Not

The problem with being an enfant terrible is that eventually you grow up.  Martin McDonagh, the angry young man who banged out four plays in two years in his late twenties, is now nearing fifty.  The cynicism is still there; so is the black comedy, the moral ambiguity, and the penchant for spontaneous violence.  But the […]

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Reviews

Ink by the Carload

I tend to shy away from biographical readings of texts.  But consider: David Mamet’s new play, The Penitent, is about a psychologist, Charles (Chris Bauer), who treats a patient who goes on to murder ten people.  In his manifesto, this patient, frequently referred to as “the Boy,” accuses Charles of homophobia, and a newspaper covering […]

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Reviews

Yalla

“Once not long ago a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt,” read the supertitles.  “You probably didn’t hear about it.  It wasn’t very important.”  Unimportance is key to The Band’s Visit, a charming new musical based on the 2007 film of the same name.

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Reviews

Nothing Says You Have to Like Yourself

The first act of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine takes place in 1879, as colonial administrator Clive (Clarke Thorell) attempts to control a mild uprising by the indigenous population.  His wife Betty (Chris Perfetti) struggles with her attraction to the explorer Harry Bagley (John Sanders), who is himself harboring conflicted feelings about his homosexuality, though this does not prevent […]

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Reviews

Just by Looking

Doug Wright has clearly done his research.  His new play Posterity, about the meeting of Henrik Ibsen (John Noble) and Gustav Vigeland (Hamish Linklater), is full of assurance about its subjects.  Based on a true story, the young Vigeland, considered one of Norway’s greatest sculptors (he designed the Nobel Peace Prize medal), is offered an assignment: […]

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Reviews

I Have a Symptom

Death is good business in Moira Buffini’s Dying for It, a “free adaptation” of Nikolai Erdman’s 1928 The Suicide.  Semyon Semyonovich Podeskalnikov (Joey Slotnick) is an out of work Soviet who, somewhat accidentally, decides to kill himself.  The once unpopular schlemiel is now barraged by a horde of obsequious vultures who want to seize upon his upcoming death for their own gain, […]

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Reviews

Hurry Up and Become a Fuckin’ Man

I once saw Stephen Adly Guirgis speak at the 92Y, with Tony Kushner moderating a discussion on Arthur Miller.  He prefaced his praise for Mr. Kushner (“I don’t mean to suck your dick or anything…”) by noting that he was missing a Rangers playoff game to be there, which is a good indication of the tone of […]

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