Reviews

Stop—and Look Around

“People are profoundly bad, but irresistibly funny.”  This quotation, from playwright Joe Orton, serves as the epigraph to a revival of his Loot, currently running at the Lucille Lortel Theater.  It is staggeringly misleading.  Applied to a work by, say, Edward Bond, or Tom Stoppard, or Sarah Kane, it would be appropriate.  But Loot is […]

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Reviews

Three Actors in Search of a Director

If we’ve learned anything from director Will Detlefsen, it’s that Sarah Kane’s Blasted should be done very, very well or not at all.  This is a play that hits us so many times over the head that we should leave the theater weak kneed and punch drunk.  But when, early on, Ian (Jason de Beer) […]

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Reviews

The Absence of Desire

Howard Barker is a sixty-four-year-old enfant terrible.  He is a playwright who does not believe in collaboration, who has no interest in sympathetic characters, and who dismisses politics in theater.  And he is ruthlessly attached to the idea that “a good play puts the audience through a certain ordeal” while a good author “produce[s] a […]

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Reviews

Like Science Fiction. Or Hitler.

Radical Islam has invaded the United States.  The streets are patrolled by “eggheads” (Arabs wearing white helmets), the major cities are devastated by bombings, and Americans are forced to remain inside—if they go outside, they risk being hanged (the women) or castrated (the men).  Some form of Sharia Law runs the country.  In other words, […]

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Reviews

Goodbye, Cruel World

The script for Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis contains no stage directions and does not assign its lines to any characters.  Words, numbers, and snippets of dialogue are littered across the page, and we only slowly become aware that the action concerns a psychiatrist and his or her suicidal patient.  This offers directors, designers, and actors […]

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