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Theater

    Rabbit foodRabbit food:  Donnie Darko takes to the stage
    Though he believes in the spiritual quality of Donnie’s quest, he doesn’t want to tie the play to any one religion, or to religion at all.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Grief encounterGrief encounter:  The Huntington’s Brendan and the Lyric’s Dying City
    The protagonist of Ronan Noone’s Brendan bestrides the narrow world, but hardly like a colossus.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Razor’s edgeRazor’s edge:  Judy Kaye on reuniting with Sweeney Todd’s Demon Barber
    According to the Tony-winning actor, there’s always more to discover about the Demon Barber’s culinary accomplice.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    College boardsCollege boards:  Truth meets satire in The Pursuit of Happiness
    Overachieving Maine teen Jodi has a bone to pick with the Founding Fathers.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    History tourHistory tour:  Zeitgeist’s compelling Kentucky Cycle; Double Edge’s Republic of Dreams
    Whitewash has floated like a soap scum on the bloodbath of America’s past as told in the history books.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Arabian nightsArabian nights:  Roosen's monologues considers sex beneath the veil
    Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues was frank — nay, explicit — in its exploration of women’s sexuality.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    Perfect TennPerfect Tenn:  Jeremy Lawrence’s one-man show Everybody Expects Me to Write Another Streetcar
    When Tennessee Williams summered in Provincetown in the early 1940s, Eugene O’Neill was the playwright most associated with the tip of the Cape.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    ThirtysomethingThirtysomething:  tick, tick ... BOOM! at New Rep; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by BTW; American Buffalo at WHAT
    When Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer-winning composer of Rent, wrote tick, tick . . . BOOM!, he could not have known what the “boom” would be.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Bye-bye blarneyBye-bye blarney:  Brendan introduces the American Ronan Noone
    Ronan Noone is flummoxed.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    DynastyDynasty:  Small troupes take on The Kentucky Cycle
    What would induce a tiny fringe contingent to take on the six hours of Robert Schenkkan’s 1992 Pulitzer-winning spectacle, The Kentucky Cycle?
    By: IRIS FANGER


    AdaptationAdaptation:  The 39 Steps winks at the Huntington; All the King’s Men thrills at Trinity
    If your inner Mr. Memory — not to mention your outer Blockbuster — is operating, you recall The 39 Steps.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    The witching hourThe witching hour:  Wicked, plus The Atheist, A Streetcar Named Desire, Zanna, Don’t!
    WICKED is a very different witch hunt from the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel on which it is based.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Impossible dreamerImpossible dreamer:  The Lyric Stage resurrects Man of La Mancha
    If it’s “The Impossible Dream” you’ve come for, you’ll hit paydirt.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Master-servant/Master-mistressMaster-servant/Master-mistress:  Figaro at the ART; The English Channel at Suffolk
    Figaro and Count Almaviva are holed up in a sacked mansion opposite the Bastille.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Stage worthiesStage worthies:  Fall on the Boston boards
    The roar of the greasepaint precedes that of the autumn wind this year.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Don ho!Don ho!:  On the road with Mozart and Molière in Don Juan Giovanni
    In 1665, when it made a brief appearance before being suppressed for a couple of hundred years, Molière’s Don Juan was a “machine play.”
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Channeling HitchcockChanneling Hitchcock:  The 39 Steps Lead from the Huntington to Broadway
    The classic British hero is cool, collected, witty, slightly bored, well-mannered, and possessed of lightning-fast reflexes when needed.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    Bard in the barBard in the bar:  Shakespeare navigates Brustein’s English Channel
    Will Shakespeare is holed up in the Mermaid Tavern, where he’s writing sonnets rather than plays because it’s 1593 and the London theaters are shut against the raging plague.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Sword playSword play:  The Three Musketeers fights on at NSMT
    Some ideas die hard — especially when they’re good ones.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Old acquaintanceOld acquaintance:  The Autumn Garden in Williamstown; The Widow’s Blind Date in Gloucester
    Lillian Hellman turned the pot down from boil to simmer for The Autumn Garden, her 1951 attempt to be Chekhovian.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Would you like Mozart with that?Would you like Mozart with that?:  Don Juan Giovanni and Figaro fuse theater and opera
    Tracy Chapman sang about revolution that “sounds like a whisper,” but at the American Repertory Theatre the French Revolution will be broadcast loud and clear.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    BewitchedBewitched:  Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at S+C
    Critic Harold Bloom compares Cleopatra, more in her infinite vitality than in her “infinite variety,” to that Shakespearean life force Sir John Falstaff.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Wake-up callWake-up call:  What Then dreams up a better world
    Life is but a dream — or so Rinne Groff would have us believe.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    When in Rome . . .When in Rome . . .:  TBTS returns with A Funny Thing
    Pretty soon the last four years might seem like just an unusually long winter break.

    By: BILL RODRIGUEZ


    Teen spiritTeen spirit:  The Corn Is Green at Williamstown; Romeo and Juliet at the Publick
    The Williamstown Theatre Festival revival of Emlyn Williams’s The Corn Is Green marks the first time this play has been trotted out in years.
    By: STEVE VINEBERG


    Balloon moonBalloon moon:  A Midsummer Night's Dream on Boston Common, plus Hunter Gatherers in Wellfleet
    Sometimes less is more when imagination rules.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Visiting hoursVisiting hours:  Dear Liar and The Belle of Amherst in Gloucester
    George Bernard Shaw liked to call Shakespeare “the other one.”
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Conquering CleopatraConquering Cleopatra:  Shakespeare + Company’s Tina Packer boards the barge
    Packer returns to Shakespeare’s far-flung tragedy as Cleopatra.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Dream teamDream team:  Bringing the Bard to Boston Common
    The fairies are creeping on their bellies along the carpet of the Wang Theatre rehearsal-hall floor.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Love bitesLove bites:  A Marvelous Party; Mr. Marmalade; Misalliance
    Noël Coward may not have been born in a trunk, but he moved into one early.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Send in the clownsSend in the clowns:  Side by Side by Sondheim; Disney High School Musical
    They might as easily have titled it Half and Half by Sondheim.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Pass the jellyPass the jelly:  John Kuntz toasts Mr. Marmalade
    It came about “because I knew a girl who wanted to wear a tutu on stage.”
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    Pony talePony tale:  OTB meets the INS at Gloucester Stage
    Playwright Mike Batistick stirs the melting pot in Ponies, a brief, Mametesque dark comedy that’s getting its New England premiere at Gloucester Stage.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Party animalsParty animals:  ART celebrates Noël Coward
    Sir Noël Coward remains one of the most bankable of dramatists.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Sea foamSea foam:  Rough Crossing, plus West Side Story and Herringbone in the Berkshires
    In Rough Crossing, British playwright Tom Stoppard demonstrates that even in the manufacture of abject silliness he’s smarter than anyone else.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Feels like teen spiritFeels like teen spirit:  Disney's HighSchool Musical graduates to the stage
    Forget Tony and Maria, or Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    CouplesCouples:  Kiki & Herb; Lucia’s Chapters; Our Son’s Wedding
    The Eternal Feminine gets a workout this week.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Wily ScotWily Scot:  Billy Connolly slays 'em at the Loeb
    When Billy Connolly checked the time after nearly two hours of performance and said, “I could go on for days,” he was met with cheers and applause.
    By: JON GARELICK


    Flying soloFlying solo:  And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Judy Garland; RFK; Nightingale
    No man is an island — not even in solo performance.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Build it and they will comeBuild it and they will come:  WHAT opens its new Julie Harris Stage

    The drive out Route 6 past the Orleans rotary gets ever more twee as the landscape changes to the scrubby pine and sandy margins of outer Cape Cod.


    By: IRIS FANGER


    Daddy’s girlDaddy’s girl:  Mabou Mines looks into James Joyce’s daughter
    Repressed, talented women lurk in the background of Western cultural history.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    That’s amoreThat’s amore:  The Light in the Piazza; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Love’s Labour’s Lost
    The Light in the Piazza is an ambitious if old-fashioned musical.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Garry glitterGarry glitter:  Present Laughter shines at the Huntington; plus Hillary and Monica
    Youth may be “a stuff will not endure,” but Noël Coward’s Present Laughter — which takes its title from the Shakespearean ditty that tells us so — certainly does.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Scotch on the rocksScotch on the rocks:  Billy Connolly perseveres with his ad-libbed life
    Billy Connolly regularly has sex with farm animals.
    By: JIM SULLIVAN


    ‘Rainbow’ tour‘Rainbow’ tour:  Kathy St. George channels Judy Garland
    Kathy St. George bends close to the piano, as if hoping to absorb the rhythms into her body while she concentrates on perfecting the song.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Norton Awards go silverNorton Awards go silver:  Kudos
    The Elliot Norton Awards turned 25 on Monday night — though that’s nothing compared with Norton himself, who lived to be 100.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Endurance actEndurance act:  Backstage at the Boston Theater Marathon
    Playwright Janet Kenney was wearing a tiara and serving as a kind of royal den mother when I checked in at the Calderwood Pavilion Sunday for the Boston Theater Marathon.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Dead men walkingDead men walking:  ART ventures into No Man’s Land; SpeakEasy stages a Parade
    Hamlet’s “undiscovered country” is the subject of Nobel laureate Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Sweeping dramaSweeping drama:  The Clean House at Trinity, plus Secret Order at Merrimack
    There are doctors in the house at both Trinity Repertory Company and Merrimack Repertory Theatre.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Not about heroesNot about heroes:  Lyric Stage’s Arms and the Man; Gold Dust Orphans’ The Milkman Always Comes Twice
    Guns and cocoa butter are the subjects of George Bernard Shaw’s 1894 Arms and the Man, the first of the great Irish contrarian’s “Plays Pleasant.”
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Lynch pinLynch pin:  Parade pushes the musical-theater envelope
    The tragedy of Leo Frank seems an uneasy fit for a musical.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Land ahoyLand ahoy:  Vintage Pinter takes the ART stage
    Unlike The Birthday Party and The Homecoming, now staples of the repertory, this play by the 2005 Nobel laureate is seldom mounted.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Dry DaiseyDry Daisey:  The monologist opens Monopoly!
    Fortunately for Mike Daisey, Bill Gates is on the other coast and Thomas Edison and Sam Walton are dead.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    To Hell in a handbasketTo Hell in a handbasket:  The Wild Party; Confessions of a Mormon Boy; Buried Child
    The epic poem The Wild Party is most famous for inspiring two musicals that appeared in the same millennial year.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Theater offensive?Theater offensive?:  Eff bombing at the ART
    Every night, prior to his monologue Invincible Summer, Mike Daisey says the audience is warned.
    By: MIKE MILIARD


    Close quartersClose quarters:  The Theater Offensive’s Surviving the Nian; Devanaughn’s [sic]
    Surviving the Nian is a love story, a cultural study, and a sprawling musical in the tradition of a home-for-the-holidays play — sort of.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Dream timeDream time:  Einstein's Dreams at MIT
    MIT professor Alan Lightman's first novel Einstein's Dreams doesn't have a plot or developing characters.
    By: IAN SANDS


    Hit or mythHit or myth:  Persephone debuts at the Huntington; Valhalla comes to Zeitgeist
    From Shakespeare to Shaw, statues have come to life on stage.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Mounting the NianMounting the Nian:  The Theatre Offensive unveils an award winner
    If you’re 23 years old and about to premiere your first full-length musical, you probably don’t mind the climb up five steep flights of stairs to the rehearsal hall.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    September songsSeptember songs:  Invincible Summer; The Fantasticks; I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda
    “Try to remember the kind of September/When life was slow and oh, so mellow,” sings El Gallo at the top of The Fantasticks.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Games people playGames people play:  The Conquest of the South Pole; Memory House
    They’ve lost their jobs, and pinball and schnapps aren’t cutting it as amusement any longer.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Out on a limbOut on a limb:  Titus Andronicus from ASP; Syncopation at MRT
    Actors’ Shakespeare Project handles Shakespeare’s biggest bloodbath without turning on a single spigot.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Demeter’s daughterDemeter’s daughter:  Noah Haidle keeps mum about Persephone
    This preview was almost never written.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Faith-based anticsFaith-based antics:  Miss Witherspoon at the Lyric; Theresa at Home at BPT
    If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you took Comparative Religion and crack cocaine simultaneously, the answer may be Christopher Durang’s Miss Witherspoon.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Coming up DaiseyComing up Daisey:  Invincible Summer and Monopoly! head for Cambridge
    Mike Daisey has a blog. But unlike millions, Daisey also has an archive that goes back to 2001.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Sick comedySick comedy:  Well at the Huntington; Fat Pig at SpeakEasy
    Lisa Kron calls her “multi-character theatrical exploration of issues of health and illness both in an individual and in a community” Well.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    It’s a man’s worldIt’s a man’s world:  Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s all-male Titus Andronicus
    It’s hardly Shakespeare’s most frequently produced work, but in the Bard’s early career, Titus Andronicus was one of his most popular plays.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Crimes and misdemeanorsCrimes and misdemeanors:  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Six Rounds/Six Lessons; White People
    There are more echoes in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels than rattle around the Grand Canyon.
    By: CARLOYN CLAY


    Spring stagesSpring stages:  From hoofers to Mormons and more
    As we recover from turning the clocks ahead and making our day’s journey into night a bit longer, area stages are taking a cue from Mother Nature.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Plus-size lovePlus-size love:  SpeakEasy embraces Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig
    For a playwright and filmmaker known for pinpointing every possible human folly, Neil LaBute is candid about his reputation as a master mocksmith of bad behavior.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    Perfect BalancePerfect Balance:  Trinity polishes Albee’s Pulitzer winner
    Harold Pinter once said that his plays were about “the weasel under the cocktail cabinet.”
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Pawns in a plot of horrorPawns in a plot of horror:  Leslie Epstein's King of the Jews on stage
    When Leslie Epstein’s novel King of the Jews was published in 1979, it was hailed as ambitious by all and deemed controversial by many.
    By: LIZA WEISSTUCH


    Still queenStill queen:  Dinah Washington evoked at MRT
    Rare is the biographical theater piece that seems to create a new genre of theater.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    Fagin’s folliesFagin’s follies:  Neil Bartlett's Oliver Twist
    Forget the pint-sized urchin asking for “more.”
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Black and white?Black and white?:  Jones brings complex colors to Doubt
    The slickly written, shifting  Doubt   is no simple, purgative vigilante drama.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    State of the UnionState of the Union:  Bread and Puppet takes on Bush’s horrorists
    Peter Schumann’s Bread and Puppet Theater rolls into town next week with a carnival of political art whose main event is the not-very-family-friendly puppet pageant The Battle of the Terrorists and the Horrorists.
    By: GREG COOK


    History toursHistory tours:  Silence at New Rep; trying at MRT; Olympia Dukakis in Rose
    Silence could be golden, but British playwright Moira Buffini can’t resist throwing in cheaper metals.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Nun senseNun sense:  Cherry Jones has no doubt about Doubt
    Theatergoers who attended American Repertory Theatre in the 1980s saw an exquisitely versatile actor, Cherry Jones.
    By: SALLY CRAGIN


    Rethinking ChekhovRethinking Chekhov:  The Huntington steps intoThe Cherry Orchard
    Conventional wisdom and introductory drama classes describe Anton Chekhov’s final masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard, as a prescient statement about his country’s future, written in 1903 as the playwright was dying.
    By: IRIS FANGER


    Ach, du lieberAch, du lieber:  Revels rides with Siegfried and Sankt Nick
    If your name is Susan, you might not want to sit too close to the stage at the 36th annual Christmas Revels.
    By: JEFFREY GANTZ


    Regrets/RockettesRegrets/Rockettes:   Dublin Carol; The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
    Scrooge is inclined to blame a mean night before Christmas on a badly digested bit of beef or a blob of mustard.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Flights of angelsFlights of angels:  Wings of Desire takes the stage
    In Wim Wenders’s iconic 1987 film Wings of Desire, the Berlin Wall is a character. In Ola Mafaalani’s theatricalization of the work for Toneelgroep Amsterdam and the American Repertory Theatre, the Fourth Wall is.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Urban renewalUrban renewal:  Wings of Desire at the ART
    Wim Wenders’s 1987 film Der Himmel über Berlin — Wings of Desire, as it’s known to us — had two defining characters that would seem impossible to re-create outside of the film itself.
    By: MATT ASHARE


    Dancing queenDancing queen:  Kirsten Childs’s Bubbly Black Girl effervesces for SpeakEasy
    Don’t anyone break Viveca Stanton’s bubble; she has a whole musical in which to do it herself.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Life and deathLife and death:  Rabbit Hole  from the Huntington; Twelve Angry Men at the Colonial
    When the author is David Lindsay-Abaire, what you expect from a play called Rabbit Hole is Alice, not astrophysics.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


    Satire versus spoofSatire versus spoof:  Gina Gionfriddo’s After Ashley; A.R. Gurney’s Screen Play
    The American media have long pigged out on titillation and tragedy. And in After Ashley, Gina Gionfriddo has written a frighteningly funny work about that particular eating disorder.
    By: CAROLYN CLAY


* *
BLOGS
  Funny Gamesnanship
posted at 7:18 PM / 10.26.2007
  Terror campaign
posted at 6:23 PM / 10.24.2007
  More Lust, More Caution: Ang Lee II
posted at 6:11 PM / 10.10.2007
  Cautionary tale: Lee on "Lust"
posted at 4:38 PM / 10.5.2007
  This Thing Is A Lot Like That Thing
posted at 3:53 PM / 10.19.2007
  Friday Literary Links: Ungrateful Edition
posted at 12:26 PM / 10.12.2007
  Wednesday: Iron Chef Morimoto at the BU Barnes & Noble
posted at 6:30 PM / 10.9.2007
  Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night
posted at 11:13 AM / 10.5.2007


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