“It’s a helluva” On the Town

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I was apprehensive when I entered the central lobby of the vast Lyric Theatre on 42nd Street to see the latest revival of Bernstein-Comden and Green’s On the Town. I have to be one of the few left who vividly remembers the original production, and the mid-WWII lift it gave us when it opened in […]

The Belle of Amherst

Joely Richardson as Emily Dickinson
(Photo: Carol Rosegg)

In 1976 Julie Harris, at the peak of her onstage career, brought this one woman play to Broadway. She managed to keep it afloat for over 100 performances at the Longacre Theatre where the revival of You Can’t Take It With You is currently enjoying an equally successful run. Joely Richardson, best known for her […]

Deliverance

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James Dickey’s novel Deliverance was a critical and popular success when it was published in 1970. It won the National Book Award, and was the basis of the equally popular film that was released in 1972. The film helped catapult Burt Reynolds into major stardom, and it launched a big film career for character actors […]

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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This title of a new play by Simon Stephens may seem long-winded and awkward, but it is an accurate account of what a child with Asperger’s Syndrome might answer when asked to describe a moment in his recent past. That startling moment in the play happens the moment the lights come up on the figure […]

This Is Our Youth from Steppenwolf Theatre

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Playwright Kenneth Lonergan has much to be grateful for, to Scott Rudin and his consortium of partners who brought us Steppenwolf’s revival of This Is Our Youth, which established Lonergan as a writer of great promise in 1982.

Stoppard’s Indian Ink from Roundabout Theatre Company

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If the Mitford sisters, who attracted attention in social circles in the 1930s, didn’t fascinate or even interest you, then you might have trouble cozying up to Tom Stoppard’s very long play about his fictional Crewe sisters, Flora and Eleanor. Written with his usual grace and elegance, well researched in the manners and general behavior […]

The Country House

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Inspired by Chekhov’s The Sea Gull, Donald Margulies’ new play The Country House makes good use of some of the same raw materials. Chekhov liked country houses and actresses and unhappy sons and disgruntled lovers and rebellious youngsters and Mr. Margulies has brought them all, and more, to a lovely old house near Williamstown, Massachusetts […]

Uncle Vanya at The Pearl in New York

Uncle Vanya, now at The Pearl Theater

Chekhov’s play, now at The Pearl Theater for a few more weeks, offers so many unhappy characters, all rusticating in the country (rural Russia, circa 1890) it’s difficult to follow all their through lines as they interact with each other. The estate on which they are presently living is managed by Ivan Petrovich, (Uncle Vanya). […]

A. R. Gurney and The Wayside Motor Inn at Signature, New York

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A.R.Gurney is a national treasure, who earned his sobriquet slowly and surely by writing over forty plays in the past 60 years, rivaling his contemporary Sir Alan Ayckbourn in productivity. Like his British colleague, Gurney chose to stick pretty close to home in writing about his own clan — the middle class WASPs and their […]

The Fatal Weakness

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There was for a time, in what we call the golden age of Broadway, a genre known as “the drawing room comedy”. A select few of the major playwrights of the day wrote them, dressed them up in sets often designed by Donald Oenslager or Jo Mielziner. These rooms were so opulent they could only […]

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