Reviews

Thou Art Changed

Well.  Last season I was worried that the Pearl Theatre had become complacent.  Years of working together can turn actors and directors lazy, and there were signs that this company’s members were no longer challenging each other.  Productions of The Winter’s Tale and Don Juan were not only stale but betrayed a lack of faith in the texts, […]

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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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Reviews

Hey, Ho, the Wind and the Rain

Last season, the Pearl produced an excellent Richard II, and this year they are continuing the Henriad with an admirable Henry IV, Part 1.  Shakespeare’s histories have never interested me as much as his comedies and tragedies, but Henry IV blurs all three genres and, through Falstaff (Dan Daily), becomes a kind of historical tragicomedy, […]

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Reviews

A Laugh Riot at the Pearl

It is said that Pierre Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro foreshadowed the French Revolution—though Figaro (Sean McNall) is based on Brighella, a stock Commedia character, a servant who often outwits his master, Beaumarchais’ text is far more political and is packed with polemical monologues against social inequity.  “How came you to be rich and mighty, […]

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Reviews

More Melancholy Than Ten Hamlets is Pretty Damn Melancholy

Early in A Moon for the Misbegotten, Josie Hogan (Kim Marten-Cotten) describes the love of her life, Jim Tyrone (Andrew May), as “like a dead man walking slow behind his own coffin.”  This march towards the inevitable seems to make up the entire play, which follows characters who are obsessed with helping each other and […]

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