Reviews

With Forms to Her Conceit

The first and most important thing about Yaël Farber’s revival of Hamlet is that it is one of the best-spoken Shakespeares I have heard in years. These are actors who both understand the meaning of the language and respect the rhythm of the poetry. They remind us that Shakespeare, despite his reputation to the contrary, […]

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Reviews

An Ol’ Weepin’ Willer Is Laughin’ at Me

A handful of musicians—on the mandolin, the banjo, the fiddle, more bluegrass than the traditional, big-band orchestration—sit onstage, watching and reacting to the action.  Actors enter and exit the barn-like auditorium through the same doors as the audience.  Chili and cornbread are served at intermission.  This Oklahoma!, then, wisely staged at the smaller Circle in […]

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Reviews

Humans Are Coming!

Critical readings of Aristophanes’ The Birds, a comedy about two Athenians building a city in the sky, vary widely.  Some view it as political allegory, drawing connections to contemporary democratic revolutions in Athens.  Others see in “Cloudcuckooland” a vision of utopia.  Still others argue that it is a literary satire on gigantomachy (Google it).  While attempting […]

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Reviews

Unarming Troilus

I am not a Shakespearean purist.  There is nothing inherently wrong with, say, relocating The Merchant of Venice to present-day Las Vegas, with handing Macbeth a machine gun, or with reading The Tempest and deciding it should look like this.  But the ideas should always be generated by the text instead of imposed onto them.  The problem […]

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