I feel that I must reluctantly correct a serious error Oskar Eustis keeps making about his own theater.
The artistic director of the renowned Public Theater is known for his sometimes manic enthusiasm. He’s like the Music Man leading the parade while singing a rousing rendition of “Seventy-Six Trombones”—and no particular harm in that. Read More
“I was surprised—shocked, even—by the letter to The Times last Sunday that vigorously protested Phylicia Rashad being cast in the leading role of the white matriarch of August: Osage County. “Let’s keep white actresses playing white roles and blacks playing black roles,” Ronald Fernandez of Pittsburgh concluded sensationally.
His controversial letter raises a number Read More
I would like to begin my highly influential tips for the winners of this season’s Tony Awards with heartfelt congratulations to Dolly Parton.
Dolly has been nominated for Best Score of a Musical for the music and lyrics of 9 to 5. She isn’t going to win. I just think Dolly’s amazing.
On Read More
There is, I believe, a catastrophic error of judgment in Anthony Page’s production of Waiting for Godot, starring Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin.
Samuel Beckett’s seminal Modernist masterpiece—first produced in America in 1956—is famously set in a void with only a near-barren tree (a Beckett tree: one too fragile upon which to hang yourself). Read More
And so to the burning question: Which one of Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy of vintage 1973 English comedies, The Norman Conquests at Circle in the Square theater, must you see?
The first, Table Manners, is my favorite. Not only is it consistently, irresistibly funny; it contains a dinner-party scene so blissfully hilarious that I was Read More
It’s a pleasure to acclaim Geoffrey Rush in Eugène Ionesco’s 1962 absurdist masterpiece Exit the King. Put simply, Mr. Rush is giving one of the greatest virtuoso performances I’ve ever seen.
And, in the best of all possible ways, it’s a daringly old-fashioned performance—the kind we feel exceptionally lucky to witness nowadays. From his Read More
At the risk of seeming ungracious about Jane Fonda, I must confess that I didn’t quite recognize her when she first came briskly onstage at the start of 33 Variations. In her first Broadway role in 46 years, the star, at 71, looks simply marvelous! Not that I expected her to look anything less. But Read More
It doesn’t take a genius to know that what we need right now is a tonic. And what would do the trick better than Guys and Dolls, the greatest love letter ever written to New York City? The show is so good, Adam Gopnik enthused in a recent New Yorker, that it could be a Read More
Expression: Chew the scenery.
Definition: To act melodramatically; overact; ham it up.
We’ve all seen actors chew the scenery from time to time. It goes with the territory. But how many of us can claim to have seen an actor actually gnaw on a set?
My thanks to the Read More
Has a play ever been revived with more alarming frequency than Hedda Gabler (1890)? As Ibsen’s ghost was heard protesting in Kristiania, Norway, only last weekend: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
Hedda Gabler is apparently the only play that Henrik Ibsen ever wrote. While the derided revival Read More