Posted on 14 May 2013 | By Geary Danihy
Sometimes it just all comes together, and when it does there’s magic on the stage. Such is the case with The Dining Room, A. R. Gurney’s nostalgic look back at a way of life—a way of thinking, a way of dining—currently on the boards at the Westport Country Playhouse. The production, under the sure directorial hand of Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, satisfies on many levels, and although it may initially generate a bit of confusion amongst the audience members as to who is who, the smart theatergoer should simply sit back, not worry about such trivialities, and just soak it all in. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 6 May 2013 | By Geary Danihy
There are those who say that the Yale Repertory Theatre often dabbles in post-modernistic-theater-of-the-absurd-nihilistic-surrealism, that those in charge of the venerable establishment conceive of their audience as a blend of the Marquis de Sade and Krafft-Ebing, that what is sometimes offered fulfills only the needs of those who dwell in dark attics reading Henry Miller as they sit naked, sucking on lemons, and fantasizing about Lolita, but to these people I say nay! And I offer up as rebuttal to such calumny the Rep’s current production of “In a Year With 13 Moons,” an adaptation by Bill Camp (who also headlines) and Robert Woodruff of the 1978 film written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. I mean, ‘13 Moons’ is the essence of Hollywood cliché: boy wants to become girl; boy becomes girl; boy rues becoming girl and suffers the consequences. Can there be anything more mainline, Main Street, Mom and apple pie than that?
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Posted on 1 May 2013 | By Mark Favermann
There is always a bit of an edge to any production at the A.R.T. and by extension its satellite Oberon. This is true of Beowulf—A Thousand Years of Baggage now at the Oberon. This version of the English/Danish epic poem uses song and silliness to tell the story of the hero and the blood-thirsty monster. In this production, like some less than sterling stanzas in overly long epic poems, the parts are much better than the whole. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 17 April 2013 | By Geary Danihy
Talk about schizophrenic. Hartford Stage’s last offering was the engaging “Man in a Case,” a somewhat enigmatic, surreal re-working of two of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, light on plot and heavy on atmosphere and multi-media. Now, we have Beth Henley’s “Abundance,” (deftly directed by Jenn Thompson), an equally engaging, yet old-fashioned tale,of two women who go west as mail order brides and experience heartache, trauma, triumph and defeat, all told in a linear fashion—albeit surrounded by the briefest of presentational, yet creative sets—created by Wilson Chin. You just never know. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 11 April 2013 | By Edward Rubin
The Revisionist, which opened at the intimate Cherry Lane Theatre on February 28 for a limited run, has been extended through April 27, with great, good cause—a couple of times.
In this case, the great, good cause is 76 year old Vanessa Redgrave at her incandescent best. Excellence, a plateau, is a goal that she, or any great actor for the matter, might fail to reach on every outing. I am thinking, in particular, of her two most recent Broadway appearances. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 9 April 2013 | By Geary Danihy
How much do you know about John F. Kennedy, our 35th president? If little or nothing, then don’t read on, just go to Long Wharf Theatre and see “Ride the Tiger,” a dramatized history lesson (of sorts) with a little nudity thrown in for good measure.
If, however, you were born, say, in the `50s or before, then what’s played out in just under two and a half hours at the renovated Long Wharf will be, well, old news, neither shocking nor, for that matter, dramatically gripping. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 25 March 2013 | By Mark Favermann
Prescient in its expression, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun is a masterpiece about the struggle for dignity over prejudice. Based upon her own family’s experience in suburban Chicago, it is not only a story of racism and housing discrimination, but it expresses a strong naturalistic Black voice as well as a Black consciousness.
Left: LeRoy McClain as a drunk Walter Lee Younger. All photos: T. Charles Erickson artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 25 March 2013 | By Geary Danihy
I’ve seen all sorts of Hamlets. I’ve seen morose Hamlets and intellectual Hamlets, flighty Hamlets and swash-buckling Hamlets (well, only one of those), but I can’t say I’ve ever seen a bratty Hamlet before, but that’s essentially what we have in Yale Repertory Theatre’s current production of one of the Bard’s greatest tragedies, a production featuring Yale School of Drama graduate and film star Paul Giamatti.
Left: Paul Giamatti, in Hamlet. All photos © Joan Marcus. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 28 February 2013 | By Geary Danihy
Acting wisdom says don’t do a scene with an adorable kid or a puppy. Well, to that you can add stay away from any scene with a lamb, especially a lamb that seems to have an uncanny sense of timing when it comes to emitting “Baaas.” However, the cast of Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class, which recently opened at Long Wharf Theatre under the direction of Gordon Edelstein, really doesn’t have a choice, so there they are, delivering their lines as the encaged lamb does its adorable bit and responds…often on cue…to what the actors are saying. Ah, but lambs, being what they are, or what they symbolize in literature (and religious texts), often meet with less than felicitous ends, and Shepard, who isn’t above milking a good metaphor for all it’s worth, starts by giving us a humorous look at a dysfunctional, hardscrabble family clinging to their California land by their fingernails, a look that, eventually, also meets a less than felicitous end as message trumps drama, symbolism runs riot, and we are left with an existential silence that seems something of a cop-out. artes fine arts magazine Read more
Posted on 12 February 2013 | By Geary Danihy
Now, don’t you know, the Yanks are in town and they’re makin’ a filllem. What’s it about, you’re askin’? Well, I don’t rightly know, but, Jaysus to Jaysus, they’re payin’ forty quid a day for us just to stand around lookin’ like the poor Irish sods we are, so if I was you, I’d get me arse down there and not ask any questions.
Good advice, for “Stones in His Pockets,” runs only until Feb. 16 at the Yale Repertory Theatre, and you don’t want to miss the acting tour de force on display there…plus the cows…and the occasional horse. artes fine arts magazine Read more