Reviews

I Know Why the Caged Bird Slays

When they first meet, Jason (Alex Hernandez) confuses Medea (Sabina Zúñiga Varela) for a bird, “El Guaco” or “the laughing falcon.” Likewise, when the audience first sees her, she is flapping a pair of large banana palms, like the guaco ready to take flight. But the comparison is misleading: in Luis Alfaro’s Mojada, an adaptation […]

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Reviews

Anger’s My Meat—I Sup upon Myself

Coriolanus (Jonathan Cake) is Shakespeare’s most baffling protagonist, an ornery Roman general who seethes with contempt for both the political elite and the commoners. After the conquest of a Volscian city, Coriolanus returns home and briefly runs for consul. But he refuses to participate in symbolic gestures of respect for the plebeians and is summarily […]

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Reviews

A Bird of My Tongue Is Better than a Beast of Yours

Much Ado About Nothing is a lighter Shakespeare play, in part because the love-lorn pair, Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Benedick (Grantham Coleman), have no parents and in part because its villain, Don John (Hubert Point-Du Jour), never poses much of a threat. He lies with the Machiavellianism but not the talent of Iago. Still, Much […]

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Reviews

Not Silence but the Sound of Silence

Leo (Daveed Diggs), an artist living in an unnamed metropolitan city, has been plagued by insomnia since childhood.  His best friend, Ralph (Thomas Sadoski), bought him a white noise machine once, and while it helped Leo sleep, it blocked him artistically.  He ditched the machine, and the insomnia came back—but not the work.  When Leo […]

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Reviews

Any Baggage You Don’t Claim, We Trash

We open with an esctatic funeral celebration led by the Jheri-curled Pastor Freeman (Marchánt Davis).  Esctatic because Barack Obama has just won the presidency, and therefore Freeman is burying not only Righttocomplain, another victim of white supremacy, but their “suffering as people in this wretched land.”  From now on, “the President of these United States […]

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Reviews

On the Tip of Your Tongue

There is a crack running down the dining room wall.  Deborah (De’Adre Aziza) tries to hide it, to cover it up with—of all things—Ellis Wilson’s Funeral Procession.  Some of the floorboards are rotting, too, so she moves the table over those.  You see, Deborah lives the politics of respectability; all flaws must be covered up.  […]

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Reviews

Fix Me

Transformation has been the only constant of Bob Dylan’s career.  Yet there are clear strains of American mythology throughout his body of work, from his early idolization of Woody Guthrie to peak-year releases like John Wesley Harding.  It can even be found in his born again years and embrace of gospel.  In “Gotta Serve Somebody,” his […]

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