Les Liaisons Dangereuses is like any play by Oscar Wilde, except when it isn’t. Wilde punctured the piety and pomposity of 19th-century England, to show us the underbelly of lust and greed. In the epistolary novel upon which Liaisons is based, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos punctured the freewheeling lust and libertinism of 18th-century France, to […]
A play like this, where actors play fictional actors who play roles in an entirely different play, gives you a sort of double vision. You see not Joe Brack playing George Bailey, but Jake Laurents — a fictional character being played by Joe Brack — playing George Bailey. His interpretation of the character is not […]
In Alana Valentine’s Soft Revolution, Meera Narasimhan as Aunt Sarrinah cooks a feast of Afghani foods for herself and her niece Shafana (Nayab Hussain). After the production you will find a dish waiting for you. It is delicious; Narasimhan has an excellent touch. Regrettably, Valentine’s play remains undercooked.
This may be the best thing you’ll see in theater all year, so hold on — to your hat, to your significant other, to your life.
You are in Church. The magnificent voices of the choir (opening night was the Refreshing Spring Church of God in Christ James E. Jordan Jr. Choir) rise in song. You see them, in Theater J’s balconies, clapping, swaying, moving with the grace of God. They are in service (as all artists are) of something greater than […]
Sarah Ruhl, receiving Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, challenges writers to help America recover its soul
Playwright Sarah Ruhl, whose Eurydice has just closed at NextStop Theatre in Herndon, called upon writers to work “with new urgency” as she accepted the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at New York’s Lincoln Center last Monday.
In the ancient tale immortalized by Ovid, the great poet and singer Orpheus married a woman named Eurydice. Shortly after the wedding, a poisonous snake bit Eurydice, and she died. Orpheus was inconsolable — so inconsolable that he entered the Underworld and begged its Lord, Hades, that he allow Eurydice to live out her normal […]
It is a brave company which takes on Hamlet, the most difficult play in the Bard’s canon and one of the most difficult plays in the English language. When done correctly, it yields not only great dramatic rewards but deep insights into the human character. When done badly, it is not only excruciating but three […]
There is art, and there is proselytizing. Great art can contain proselytizing — if you doubt me, go to Round House this month — but proselytizing is not art. That, in a nutshell, is the problem that besets The Loser Letters, Jeffrey Fiske’s adaptation of Mary Eberstadt’s novel of the same name, getting a […]
This isn’t Dante’s Inferno. It isn’t disco inferno either. I don’t know whose inferno this is. But it’s not Dante’s. Dante’s Inferno is a story of a poet’s visit to Hell, where he views the wrath of God being visited upon sinners, each in their own measure. Dante’s Inferno may be a hell of a […]