Reviews

The Power to Remember, the Power to Forget

Around the corner from where it debuted in 1907, Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance is being revived by the New Yiddish Rep.  When the play transferred to Broadway in 1923, the cast and crew were arrested and convicted on charges of obscenity.  But the drama, about the Russian brothel proprietor Yankl (Shane Baker) who wants to buy his […]

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Reviews

Mauling and Muttering

They called them the “angry young men,” but Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey is filled with enough class rage to argue for an amendment to the term.  Originally produced in 1958, the play follows the down-and-outs Jo (Rebekah Brockman), a seventeen-year-old girl lurching toward womanhood, and her mother Helen (Rachel Botchan), who quickly abandons her daughter for […]

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Reviews

Things Dying and Newborn

When Peter Francis James, who plays Leontes in the Pearl’s current revival of The Winter’s Tale, says the word “issue,” he pronounces it as if the first syllable rhymed with with piss instead of dish.  Or, perhaps more appropriately, as if it rhymed with hiss.  Thus, he virtually spits at Antigonus (Dominic Cuskern) of the child he presumes to be […]

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Reviews

The Days Are Getting Shorter

Fall has come and all of New York’s institutions are waking from their summer slumber, including the Pearl Theatre, the best revival company in the city.  They are opening their 2014-15 season with Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, a chronicle of old, disappointed Russians who have been doing nothing but “talking and talking for the last fifty years.”  The […]

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Reviews

Brains Turned by Reading

Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s career falls right in-between Shakespeare’s and Oscar Wilde’s, so if you know Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, you’ll already have a decent sense of The Rivals: Captain Jack Absolute (Cary Donaldson), the wealthy son of Sir Anthony Absolute (Dan Daily), has fallen in love with Lydia Languish (Jessica Love).  But Lydia, an […]

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Reviews

O Brave New Word

To call Terrence McNally’s delightful And Away We Go a love letter to the theater would be to do it a disservice, since that would be to offer a cliché before a work that is anything but ordinary.  Granted, one could easily imagine how this play could go wrong: set backstage, it travels in time […]

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Reviews

Barrie’s Women

If only there were ten more theaters like the Pearl, New York would be in great shape.  Their most recent production, This Side of Neverland, combines two J.M. Barrie one-acts, “Rosalind” and “The Twelve Pound Look.”  Barrie was one of those authors, like Maurice Sendak, who understood that childhood is far more complicated and melancholy […]

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