Author Archive

The Astonishing Sarah Jones’ Surface Transit

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Surface Transit By Sarah Jones Childs gets away with this little oversight largely because of her show’s infectious ebullience and earnestness. As we know all too well, identity has become a battleground today, both in society and in theater. The safe stability Viveca seeks (and purportedly finds) is widely considered a naive fiction; chameleonesque, actorly [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin Proves the Musical’s Far From Dead

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin By Kirsten Childs Reports of the demise of artistic forms are always grossly exaggerated, manufactured by snarky critics who just want to be first at the fictional finish line. The epic novel, figurative painting, kitchen-sink drama, the avant-garde: all have been declared dead so often, you’d have [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Rinde Eckert’s And God Created Great Whales; Shange’s for colored girls…, 25 Years Later

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Nathan, Eckert’s character in this 75-minute piece directed by David Schweizer, is a composer suffering from a disease that is destroying his memory, and he is intent on finishing his magnum opus–an opera based on Moby Dick–before his mind disappears. He orients himself each day with the help of a tape recorder tied around his [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Mary-Louise Parker Shines in David Auburn’s Middling Proof

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

In the second act of David Auburn’s Proof is a sweet father-daughter exchange that turns suddenly, chillingly sour. Robert, a world-class mathematician at the University of Chicago who has been mentally ill and unable to work, explains with exuberant lucidity to his brilliant offspring Catherine that he’s had a major breakthrough; he’s spent the day [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

The Laramie Project Remembers Matthew Shepard, with Sanctimony

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

The Laramie Project By Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project Among the many traps that our intensely politicized, media-glutted age has laid in the way of good art is the tendency to confuse fine intentions with fine results. We all–artists, the art public, even most critics–want to think of ourselves as sensitive, engaged human [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Eric Bogosian’s Latest Solo Work

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Extreme Exposure Edited by Jo Bonney (TCG Books, 450 pages, $18.95) George Jean Nathan once said that critics shouldn’t bother denying their prejudices. They should just be up-front about them, explain the experiences that led to them and let readers decide whether they are justly held. In this spirit, I confess my longstanding prejudice against [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

A New Uncle Vanya

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Uncle Vanya By Anton Chekhov Six years after he virtually showed up in Times Square in Louis Malle’s brilliant though somewhat misleadingly titled film Vanya on 42nd Street, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya has become something of a regular visitor to New York. The last Lincoln Center Festival included a mostly good Uncle Vanya from the Gate [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

London Hit Copenhagen Comes to New York

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen is written as a speculative reconstruction of a difficult 1941 reunion between two famous theoretical physicists, the German Werner Heisenberg and the Danish Jew Niels Bohr. No one really knows why Heisenberg, head of the German nuclear program, went to see his old mentor and friend, at considerable risk to both, in [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Beth Henley’s Family Week and Anna Deavere Smith’s House Arrest

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Family Week By Beth Henley (Closed) There are some theater artists, not many, whose work I’m always glad to see, even when it isn’t their best. Their presence, the mere fact that they are working, is happy news, and their ambition feels like a gift whether it’s realized or not. Strong, original vision tends to [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

..