Reviews

Watch Your Language

Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth, which originally premiered in 1979, continues Tom Stoppard’s longstanding fascination with restaging Shakespeare. While not quite as rewarding as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the work is playful, intelligent, and—if staged properly—utterly terrifying. The first act has a group of kids speaking a nonsense language called “Dogg.” The script provides a […]

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Reviews

Theater Plays

The backbone of the Potomac Theatre Project’s Havel: The Passion of Thought—performed in repertory with Tom Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth—are three interlinked one-acts by the dissident writer (and later President of the Czech Republic) Václav Havel. All were originally banned in his native country. In the first, Interview, Ferdinand Vaněk (David Barlow), a writer […]

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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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