King Lear at BAM: Review and pics

“King Lear” begins with a foolish ruler swayed by flattery, and ends with what Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Greg Doran calls “a strange, profound unease.” Shakespeare’s tragedy is, in other words, as relevant as ever. And Doran’s often visually arresting if rarely shattering production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater, which stars Antony Sher as Lear, is as good as any to remind us of the Bard’s insights into stormy times, and the self-delusions of the powerful.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

Click any photograph by Richard Termine to see it enlarged



Miss You Like Hell Review: Daphne Rubin-Vega on Immigrant Mother-Daughter Road Trip

“Miss You Like Hell,” a new musical by “In The Heights” book writer Quiara Alegría Hudes and singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, depicts the most American of adventures, the road trip. But this road trip takes place in the America of today, and so the discoveries and self-discovery are edged with some dark realities.
Daphne Rubin-Vega, portraying one of her most vibrant original characters since her Broadway debut in “Rent,” is Beatriz Santiago, a Mexican immigrant mother who drives from California to Philadelphia to pick up her troubled 16-year-old daughter, Olivia (the terrific Gizel Jiménez.) They have not seen each other for four years – Olivia’s American-born father has sole custody of her – but Beatriz has been reading Olivia’s blog, in which she asked her readers whether she should jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge. And so Beatriz insists that Olivia accompany her on a cross-country trip over the next seven days.
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This Flat Earth Review: Another School Shooting, and Two Teens Reel

In “This Flat Earth,” 13-year-old Julie (Ella Kennedy Davis) doesn’t understand why the newspaper article about the school shooting that killed nine of her classmates has the word “Another” in the headline.

“Has this happened before?”

Her father Dan (Lucas Papaelias) reluctantly informs her that it has.

“If this has happened before, why would everybody be acting so shocked?…Why don’t the grown-ups just fix it?”
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Feeding the Dragon Review: An Enchanted Childhood Living Inside a Library

In “Feeding the Dragon” — Sharon Washington’s delightfully acted memoir about an enchanted childhood spent literally living in a branch of the New York Public Library — we learn at least three ways her life was affected by the unusual arrangement.

Her father worked as the custodian at the stately 1906 granite St. Agnes branch at 81st and Amsterdam, and so from 1969 to 1973 his family was given the luxurious apartment above the three floors of wood and marble, books and brass that it was his job to polish every day.

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Lucille Lortel Award Nominations 2018 Off-Broadway: KPOP, Bella, Mary Jane Lead

Rachel Bay Jones and Steven Pasquale announced 2018 Lucille Lortel Award nominations, Pasquale showing off the new trophy

The nominations for 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards are:

Outstanding Play
Cost of Living
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival
Written by Martyna Majok

Miles for Mary
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto, Lila Neugebauer, and Stephanie Wright Thompson

Produced by Lincoln Center Theater
Written by Dominique Morisseau

School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Produced by MCC Theater
Written by Jocelyn Bioh

The Treasurer
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Max Posner

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April 2018 New York Theater Openings

The nine shows opening on Broadway in the month of April include four musicals and five plays – the old ones among the most beloved (Carousel, My Fair Lady) or respected (by Eugene O’Neill, George Bernard Shaw, Tom Stoppard), the new nes among the most anticipated (Harry Potter, Mean Girls.).

But Off-Broadway is generating excitement this month too — with, for example, a one-two punch at the Public, of a new musical by Quiara Alegria Hudes (In The Heights) and a new play by Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Sweat.) and the debut of new plays at Playwrights Horizons by up-and-comers Lindsey Ferrentino and Clare Barron

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
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Angels in America in 2010 — at Signature with Zachary Quinto, Christian Borle, Billy Porter


The National Theatre production of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” will open at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theater this Sunday, March 25, 2018, touted as the play’s first Broadway revival since its initial 1993-1994 Broadway run. This is true, but not the whole story. There have been a couple of relatively recent New York productions — including one at BAM directed by Ivo van Hove in 2014, and  one by the Signature Theater in 2010 that I reviewed  on October 31, 2010. I reprint the 2010 review below:

Early on in the first New York revival of “Angels in America,” the most praised American play of the last 20 years, Louis (Zachary Quinto) is talking to Prior (Christian Borle), the boyfriend with AIDS whom he will later abandon, about the differing views Jews and Christians have about the Read more of this post

Admissions Review: White people’s privilege and ambivalence

In “Admissions,” an aggressively provocative play by Joshua Harmon at Lincoln Center, a white admissions officer (Jessica Hecht), who is committed to increasing diversity at an elite prep school, comes face to face with her hypocrisy when her 17-year-old son Charlie (Ben Edelman) isn’t accepted into Yale, while his black friend and classmate Perry is.
In the playwright’s essay about his play on the Lincoln Center website, Harmon (the playwright of “Bad News” and “Significant Other”) says “Admissions” is not really about applying to college – not, in other words, about affirmative action. “At its core, this play is an examination of whiteness: white privilege, white power, white anxiety, white guilt, all of it.” Read more of this post

The Low Road Review: Bruce Norris’s 18th Century Romp Taking Aim at 21st Century Republican Economics

Modeled on an 18th century picaresque novel, Bruce Norris’s “The Low Road” on stage at the Public Theater presents the improbable adventures of a scoundrel, one Jim Trewitt, to whom an adversary rightfully attributes “a rather comprehensive wickedness.”

It is a wild ride through the first two decades of Jim’s life in Colonial America, which lead up to the American Revolution, peopled by some 50 vivid characters – whores and highwaymen and Hessians; celibates and slaves and British soldiers; Mohegan scouts , rich liberal benefactors and giant alien bees — portrayed by a superb cast of 17, including Chris Perfetti as the delightfully sniveling anti-hero, and the priceless Harriet Harris as the naïve Madame who raises him.

There is what some theatergoers might see as a catch, although others would view it as an enhancement. Norris intends “The Low Road” as a lesson in economics – or, more precisely, as a cautionary tale about the evils of Republican-style capitalism.
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Hangmen Review

At the beginning of Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen,” stout, bow-tied executioner Harry Wade is about to hang an unhappy man – unhappy not just because he’s innocent, but because he’ll be killed by a “rubbish hangman,” rather than the great Albert Pierrepoint.

“I’m just as good as bloody Pierrepoint!” says Harry, who whacks the prisoner with a billyclub to get him to stop grasping for dear life onto the metal frame of the bed in his prison cell. “If you’d’ve just tried to relax you could’ve been dead by now,” Harry’s assistant Syd says, trying to be helpful.

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