Letters from Cuba

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Letters From Cuba By Maria Irene Fornes Maria Irene Fornes’ Letters from Cuba is an unprepossessing jewel. Directed by the author, this quietly beautiful, last production of the Signature Theater’s all-Fornes season comes as something of a relief, since the rest of the season has been, to varying degrees, a letdown. Mud, one of this [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Poor Early Sondheim; Dull Arthur Laurents

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Saturday Night By Stephen Sondheim and Julius J. Epstein When future historians look back in search of pithy snapshots of the particular self-satisfaction, obliviousness and amnesia of this bloated moment in time, they could do worse than choose the past week of openings in the New York theater. These included: an innocuous, 48-year-old Arthur Laurents [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

The Alchemist By Ben Jonson For theater directors, Ben Jonson is the toughest nut to crack in the English Renaissance. Of all the major dramatists, he poses the severest tests of imagination and reimagination–particularly in America, where Volpone is the only one of his great satiric comedies to be performed with any frequency (probably because [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Richard Foreman Meets Nietzsche

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Bad Boy Nietzsche! By Richard Foreman Consider the case of a remarkable man: awkwardly shy, a bit saturnine, with a glum mustache and a pronounced philosophical bent–whose inner life is so fertile, so turbulent with rich activity, that the routine continuum of ordinary life often depresses him, sending him retreating into himself. A polite, even [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

A Good King John; Two Solo Shows

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

King John by William Shakespeare Although it is rarely produced and deals with Shakespeare’s earliest historical material (the ruler of England from 1199-1216), King John is, in a crude sense, the Shakespeare history play most directly applicable to the modern world. A story about the conflict between honor and what Shakespeare calls “Commodity” (Machiavellian self-interest) [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Sexual Perversity in Chicago; The Duck Variations

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Sexual Perversity In Chicago & The Duck Variations By David Mamet Now, many people who know his 1974 play Sexual Perversity in Chicago–the work that first earned him wide attention, and the second production (along with The Duck Variations) of the Atlantic Theater Co.’s all-Mamet season–might well hear such a story and say, "It figures." [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Marie Christine; Amadeus

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Marie Christine By Michael John LaChiusa A great play, by contrast, is one whose cheating is earned, relevant to the action and necessary to the play’s eloquence–as when Euripides’ child-murderer Medea (conceived in 431 BC) escapes the scene of her crimes in a dragon-drawn chariot, offering not only a marvelous spectacle in itself but also [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Hamlet

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

"The remarkable thing about Shakespeare," said Robert Graves, "is that he is really very good–in spite of all the people who say he is very good." Even Shakespeare has prestigious detractors, though, among them Tolstoy, who once wrote after seeing King Lear and Hamlet: "If I had any doubts at all about the justice of [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

..