Who would’ve bet that a musical, by turns wacky and heartfelt, guided by a suicidal narrator struggling with his sanity—himself a metafictional send-up of anachronistic boys’ detective fiction—populated by cartoon characters and plotted as an unsolved murder mystery while actually a poignant survivors’ tale of healing, would work? Signature Theatre took the bet and it […]
Archives for September 2011
In the very first scene of Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl, Frank Elgin (Brian Crane), is auditioning for a play. In the course of improvising a character, he says: “I have to like him or I can’t get inside him.” This single line of dialogue turns out to be a harbinger for all that follows.
In 2001, twelve days after the 9/11 attacks, Anne Nelson, a teacher of journalism at Columbia, performed an act of kindness for a NYC fire captain. He had lost eight men in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and needed help writing their eulogies.
“Bernie, do you follow baseball?” asks gnomish, delightful Solomon Galkin (Mike Nussbaum). He is talking to Bernard Madoff (Rick Foucheux), the most notorious criminal of the twenty-first century. “It’s a marvelous game…It just goes on and on, there’s no clock! Always, we live by the clock, but not in baseball!” And so Deb Margolin’s Imagining […]
Arena Stage celebrates with a three day ticket sale Arena Stage has announced that, as of September 1st, more than 100,000 audience members have seen its award winning production of Oklahoma!. Originally staged in October, 2011 to open the new Mead Center for American Theater, it quickly broke box office records, prompting Arena Stage to […]
I’ve been to the Hill District in Pittsburgh many times … but I’ve never visited Pittsburgh. I’ve been to Aunt Ester’s House at 1839 Wylie Avenue and I’ve witnessed Harmond Wilks’ planning to tear it down. I’ve heard the phone ring on the wall of the jitney station three blocks to the east.
Perhaps the philandering professor is a dramatic cliché. Perhaps a professor who is angst-ridden and self-absorbed is just as much a dramatic cliché. And perhaps, just perhaps, the professor as a character is just a dramatic cliché, period. Perhaps. On the other hand, when a play features a formerly philandering, angst-ridden and self-absorbed professor bringing […]
This wickedly clever Restoration comedy has enough twists and turns to keep the magical moments bouncing along from beginning to end. The opening prolog sets the tone beautifully, with the adorable Christine Demuth challenging the audience to ease the lines of demarcation between either and Or. Listen carefully to catch the underpinnings of the entire […]
The pre-production version of Deborah Margolin’s Imagining Madoff was largely composed of dialogue between the notorious criminal named in the title and the famous writer, holocaust survivor and philosopher, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. The choice was easy to justify: there is probably no one living more widely respected for his moral responsibility that Wiesel, whereas […]
Greek playwright Zoe Mavroudi entrusts the world premiere of her new play to Venus Theatre Two strangers sharing a private room over drinks might not typically turn to talk of “Crime and Punishment.” But this is no ordinary evening, and, for Venus Theatre, The Stenographer is no ordinary play. Written as one scene, told in real-time between […]
In the days of my youth I, like many of you, took the Peter Pan Pledge: “I won’t grow up, I won’t grow up/Never gonna go to school…” Regrettably, I neglected to take the Peter Pan Supplemental Pledge: “I won’t grow old, I won’t grow bald/Never gonna have a mortgage…” Thus I approach the touring […]
“I’m all about wild stuff”, he says, and shows he really means it with the baby-in-the-microwave play Bump! In the underworld of Baltimore’s theatre, success comes, but it usually involves heading out of the Beltway for good. At least that’s the assumption. Director Jim Knipple is one of those Baltimore artists who checked out. But […]