Reviews

Do the Insurance Companies Pay if a Man Is Shot after Curfew?

On the eve of partition, Donal Davoren (Adam Petherbridge, the understudy, in the performance I attended) is just trying to write some verse.  Living in a cramped Dublin tenement visited by a rotating cast of caricatures, Davoren is constantly interrupted by the havering of his neighbors, who are under the impression that he is an […]

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Reviews

The Brief Sun Flames the Ice

The set, designed by Riccardo Hernandez, is extraordinary.  Snow falls throughout, first in large heaps and then intermittently, its color reflected in the large white arches and pale furniture; the actors, dwarfed by their monochromatic surroundings, bring a little relief with their colorful costumes.  But the main effect—a sheet of white peppered with spots of […]

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Reviews

In the Beginning…

Much will no doubt be made of Thornton Wilder’s claim that The Skin of Our Teeth “mostly comes alive under conditions of crisis.”  Indeed, this play about a “typical American family” seems unusually prescient.  Eschewing traditional narrative and chronological structure, The Skin of Our Teeth follows the Antrobuses through three fraught periods in human (and mythological) history.  In […]

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Reviews

The Snail’s House

One of the toughest parts about playing iconic Shakespearean roles is convincing the audience that you are saying and thinking these lines for the first time.  How is one, for example, to recite “To be or not to be?” or “Never, never, never, never, never” without summoning up the legion of actors who have already […]

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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

A Very Merry War

Last year, Arin Arbus directed a wonderful Taming of the Shrew for TFANA and this season she returns with her star Maggie Siff for Much Ado About Nothing, an appropriate, complicated companion piece.  But where Shrew succeeded because it treated the text with the appropriate amount of irony, Much Ado falters because it fails to […]

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Reviews

I Am Much Old in Griefs

The stage is marble and the cast appears in dark hooded robes, their faces chalk-white and eyes sunken; the theater feels unusually cold.  A young woman slinks around the stage playing the waterphone, creating steely, alienating music, and King Amyclas of Sparta (Philip Goodwin) has a visage so wrinkled and worn that it gives Beckett’s […]

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