Reviews

The World Smashed to Pieces

Kathryn Hunter is one of my favorite living actors, but she is white and British and spends the entirety of The Emperor playing eleven different Ethiopians.  This happens without any apparent self-reflection and is profoundly disheartening.  Indeed, one gets the sinking feeling that no one involved even considered the possibility that it might be a problem; […]

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Reviews

The Brief Sun Flames the Ice

The set, designed by Riccardo Hernandez, is extraordinary.  Snow falls throughout, first in large heaps and then intermittently, its color reflected in the large white arches and pale furniture; the actors, dwarfed by their monochromatic surroundings, bring a little relief with their colorful costumes.  But the main effect—a sheet of white peppered with spots of […]

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Reviews

They Went Up Yonder

In 1941, outside a “Boarding School for Colored” in Montefiore, Georgia, Kay (Juliana Canfield) watches as the students recite from The Paris Massacre, a play that has little relevance to their lives and was chosen by their white benefactor, Harrison Aherne.  Harrison’s son, Chris (Tom Pecinka), walks up beside her.  He calls her “Kay,” she […]

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Reviews

What’s Yours Is Mine

With the closing of the Pearl, the stakes have been raised for Theatre for a New Audience, our last, best hope for classical revival in New York City.  Their new production of Measure for Measure is a fairly good sign.  As we enter the theater, we are encouraged to stroll through Mistress Overdone’s brothel: through glass, […]

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Reviews

Not Long Now

Beckett blinded his characters.  He struck them mute, rendered them impotent.  He crippled them, starved them, widowed them, and burdened them with diseases.  But he never abandoned his affection for them.

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Reviews

In the Beginning…

Much will no doubt be made of Thornton Wilder’s claim that The Skin of Our Teeth “mostly comes alive under conditions of crisis.”  Indeed, this play about a “typical American family” seems unusually prescient.  Eschewing traditional narrative and chronological structure, The Skin of Our Teeth follows the Antrobuses through three fraught periods in human (and mythological) history.  In […]

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