Arthur Miller: His Life and Work , by Martin Gottfried. Da Capo Press, 484 pages, $30.
“A playwright lives in occupied territory,” Arthur Miller once said. “He’s the enemy.” Bitterness has become an occupational hazard for theater folk in modern times (blame the movies), but perhaps there are other reasons for the playwright’s siege Read More
All antiwar plays are plays of good will. But nowadays, so sanctimonious has the air become, it might teeter on the callous to suggest that a play described by its author as “a gigantic plea against war” is a plea made small by its own worn-out formulas and war-is-hell clichés. There will be those, for Read More
Baz Luhrmann’s much-anticipated production of La Bohème on Broadway is by no means the most moving version of the opera I’ve experienced, but without question it’s the chicest. You can understand why fashionistas rave over Baz. What you’re sure to remember the most is the lovely, cool design-or stylish surface of tragic things.
It’s a Read More
Here are two or three reasons why I love Ricky Jay and so should you:
It’s always an unexpected pleasure to be fooled by him. His new one-man show, Ricky Jay: On the Stem , at the Second Stage Theatre, is partly a stirring tribute to New York’s historic hustlers and mind-benders. But as con Read More
Some 35 years ago, the critic Harold Clurman asked the question, “What has the American theater to say about the present state of American politics?” His own answer was “Very little”–which was a polite way of saying “Next to nothing.” In 1965, when he wrote that, the Vietnam War was escalating and the civil-rights struggles Read More
Blonde , by Joyce Carol Oates. Harper Collins, 738 pages, $27.50.
Joyce Carol Oates brims with testosterone, and her new book is aggressive and daring. She wants us to re-see a mythic character not through the camera’s eyes but through human eyes. She means to show us how a squalid male culture industry distorted our Read More
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is the American play that defines our theater, making it great and profoundly humane. If I had to choose between the major work of Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill or Mr. Miller, I would always put Death of a Salesman highest. No play ever changed the world, but some have Read More
There can be no doubt that Anthony LaPaglia is giving a wonderful performance in the new production of A View From the Bridge at the Roundabout Theater. His Eddie Carbone, the Brooklyn longshoreman who is among Arthur Miller’s most affecting tragic heroes, is a magnificent achievement.
He will receive the lion’s share of the plaudits Read More