Reviews

The Facts

Contemporary American drama is a brittle affair, stuck in the shadow of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for over fifty years now.  The number of works that begin with a stable upper-middle-class families and end in drunken dinners and secrets revealed, with witty and high-brow one-liners peppered throughout, has reached an agonizing level of self-parody.  These […]

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Reviews

Let’s Go Outside and Play

Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 play This Is Our Youth is a neat little love story about a sociopathic bike messenger and drug dealer, Dennis Ziegler (Kieran Culkin), and his sniveling, obsequious friend, Warren Straub (Michael Cera).  After Warren steals $15,000 in cash from his physically abusive father, he flees to the emotionally abusive Dennis, and the two spend […]

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Reviews

People Hurt Me—So I Hurt Them Back

“It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry,” writes Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter, “whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom.”  This certainly seems to be the case in August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, a brutal exercise in misanthropy during which an elderly military captain, Edgar (Daniel Davis), […]

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Reviews

Death of a Fucking Salesman

2012 has been a year of great Broadway revivals—first Death of a Salesman, followed by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—and now David Mamet’s masterpiece Glengarry Glen Ross, likely the best American play of the last thirty years.

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Reviews

Who Killed David Mamet? It Was You and Me.

Critics are having a blast beating David Mamet’s newest play, The Anarchist, to a pulp, but something about this strikes me as culturally self-mutilating.  Of course, we have a history of snubbing our greatest playwrights.  How often do we see a Broadway revival of Williams that is not Streetcar or Cat on a Hot Tin […]

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Reviews

The Play About the Babies

A writer for Vanity Fair once declared that Lolita was “the only convincing love story of our century,” perhaps because he had not yet seen Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  George (Tracy Letts) and Martha (Amy Morton) have spent a lifetime playing games—Humiliate the Host, for example, or Hump the Hostess—verbally whipping each […]

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Reviews

In the Woods We Could Eat Rabbits

Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit is yet another entry in the never-ending American tradition of theater about angry drunk families who have secrets that will be revealed after the intermission.  You know these people already: Williams’ Kowalskis, O’Neill’s Tyrones, and Albee’s George, Martha, Nick and Honey.  Last year, we suffered through Jon Robin Baitz’s unimaginative, stultifying Other […]

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