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 […]

Read more
Reviews

The Cry of Women, My Good Lord

In Erica Schmidt’s adaptation, Mac Beth, a group of girls meet in an abandoned field to perform Shakespeare’s play. Very little of the text has been changed, but the staging is appropriately makeshift: the girls munch on Cheetos. Messages are sent via pink-encased iPhones. And Macbeth bears a felt crown complete with a candied ring […]

Read more
Reviews

Only We Shall Retain the Name

Perhaps this production of King Lear was never going to live up to the story: after twenty-three years in Parliament, Glenda Jackson returned to acting with the most challenging Shakespearean role, typically reserved for actors of her caliber as a final achievement, one that spawns nostalgic reflections on a career that began with an historic performance […]

Read more
Reviews

Some Superstitions Are Very Nice

In All My Sons, the play that would precede Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller offers another portrait of an American family withering under the pressures of capitalism.  The entire play is set in the backyard of Joe Keller (Tracy Letts), a successful suburban businessman who sold parts to the military during the war.  A scandal involving […]

Read more
Reviews

Doesn’t Mean Anything, It’s Just Happening

Late in Ink, Larry Lamb (Jonny Lee Miller), the editor of the Sun, asks his boss, “What does Rupert Murdoch want?”  Murdoch (Bertie Carvel) demurs, talking instead about his love of hotels: “You can check in, turn it over, spill a glass of wine, take a shit in the toilet, fuck in the bed, make a mess […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
Reviews

Skinning a Cat

Glenda Jackson is brilliant.  Throughout Three Tall Women, her craggy face—one Beckett would have loved—alternately radiates wisdom, confusion, knowing cynicism, and puckish amusement, all with a firmly-pursed upper lip.  The primary difference, I think, between stage and film acting is the requirement for stage actors to use all of their body.  Too frequently, this means a series […]

Read more