Reviews

Paradise, Right?

“Our father, who art in heaven.”  So far, so good.  “Howard be thy name.”  This is where Angel (Sean Carvajal) begins to struggle.  “Howard?  How art?  How?  How-now?  Fuck!”  As Angel gropes his way through the Lord’s Prayer, other inmates join in.  “Shut the fuck up!” shouts one.  “Both a y’all, shut the fuck up!” […]

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Reviews

Bloody Aprons and Yellow Dresses

In Fucking A, flesh is inseparable from its economic value, often bearing wounds that remind its owners of past transactions: the First Lady (Elizabeth Stanley) of this unnamed town is desperate to conceive as her family’s money is no longer enough to keep her husband, the Mayor (Marc Kudisch), in her bed, but her “pussy is […]

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Reviews

Bad Chemistry

With his debut play, Hamish Linklater has written a generous work, one that offers substantial roles to all eight of its actors.  Like its title, the stage of The Whirligig spins round and round, unfolding a series of scenes in the lives of those who are in one way or another connected to Julie (Grace Van Patten), a drug […]

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Reviews

My Love for You Is Artificial

When Saartjie Baartman (Zainab Jah), later known as “Venus Hottentot,” first walks onstage, she carries with her a skin-colored body suit.  This repurposed leotard transforms her figure into that of the woman who, because of her large buttocks, was exhibited in freak show attractions in the early nineteenth century.  This is, as far as I […]

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Reviews

Human Head Body Like a Goat

In The Flick, Annie Baker rejected virtually every rule of theatrical storytelling to find the drama in the minutiae of everyday life.  Now, those rules are the subject of her new play, The Antipodes, which puts eight writers around a conference table trying to find inspiration for their new project.  They know it will deal with a monster—or something […]

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Reviews

Can There Be a Smoke Machine?

Early on in Wakey Wakey, Guy (Michael Emerson) tells us, “however you think of it right now is probably how you’ll think of it when it’s over.” He’s probably right. For the most part, Wakey Wakey is a discursive existential monologue addressed directly to the audience. It is a multimedia presentation with a calculated feeling […]

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Reviews

Let Us Be Sort of Your Managers with Regards to All Things Existential

At each turn, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody is designed to get its audience members to project themselves onto its characters.  The house lights are up about half the time, preventing us from relaxing into the darkness.  Many of the actors begin the play among us, only joining their co-stars fifteen minutes into the show as a reminder that we too […]

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Reviews

Somebody Planted This on Me

The title says it all: The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World aka The Negro Book of the Dead is about the death and burial of a character named only Black Man with Watermelon (Daniel J. Watts).  His wife, Black Woman with Fried Drumstick (Roslyn Ruff), remains haunted by this death and […]

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