Reviews

The Bloody Sequel

Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Hamlet that stages the action of the play from the perspective of the prince’s childhood friends, Taylor Mac’s Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus locates the drama in supporting characters.  The eponymous Gary (Nathan Lane) is a clown who has been promoted to maid and dreams of one day becoming […]

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Reviews

A Rival Hypothesis

Tom Stoppard is a giant, a playwright whose enormous talent has endured for decades: Arcadia, written almost thirty years after he first experimented with a one-act titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Meet King Lear, is among his best work.  The Hard Problem, his latest, is not.  It pains me to write this, since Stoppard is an idol […]

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Reviews

The Puffs Don’t Exactly Have the Best Reputation Here…

In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard shifted the focus at Elsinore Castle from the melancholy Dane to his two school chums, hapless pawns in the battle over the crown whose deaths are so unremarkable that they are relegated to one throw-away line in a play of nearly four thousand.  In Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful […]

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Reviews

The Show Must Limp On

There’s been a mix-up, and the Cornley Drama Society has landed on Broadway.  Though student interest is usually low—the Society is mostly known for its productions of Two Sisters, The Lion and the Wardrobe, and Cat—this time around the number of parts matches the number of actors.  But the optimism behind The Murder at Haversham Manor is misguided; in […]

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Reviews

The Reference Is Obscure

“I began with a desire to speak with the dead,” Stephen Greenblatt writes at the beginning of Shakespearean Negotiations.  “Literature professors are salaried, middle-class shamans.”  For a few years in the ‘nineties, Tom Stoppard also desired to speak with the dead.  His plays Arcadia and Indian Ink (the latter is currently being revived by Roundabout) both concern people in […]

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Reviews

Any Tom, Dick or Bertolt

Tom Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth skirts very close to the kind of acting exercise you might find practiced by an improv group: in the first half, which is largely in gibberish (which is subtitled in the script but untranslated here), a builder who speaks English arrives to construct a set for actors about to perform […]

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Reviews

Stop—and Look Around

“People are profoundly bad, but irresistibly funny.”  This quotation, from playwright Joe Orton, serves as the epigraph to a revival of his Loot, currently running at the Lucille Lortel Theater.  It is staggeringly misleading.  Applied to a work by, say, Edward Bond, or Tom Stoppard, or Sarah Kane, it would be appropriate.  But Loot is […]

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