Author Archive

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

Mae West’s Sex

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Nearly everyone who has looked into the matter now agrees that the real reason for this raid wasn’t Sex, whose greatest provocation was that its prostitute-protagonist didn’t apologize, shrink away or die in the end, but rather West’s other play, The Drag, a raucous and equally unapologetic transvestite spectacle that homophobic officials were determined to [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Millennium’s Neighborhood

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

My last month of the millennium began with a wonderful spectacle of civil disobedience, inaugurating a theatrical festival that got almost no preopening publicity but nevertheless deserves more attention than most of what passes for news in this city. Millennium’s Neighborhood (Not a Celebration of the Malling of New York) was the brainchild of the [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Dinner with Friends

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Admirably, Donald Margulies sees himself as part of this need. He has honesty and a Woody Allenish gift for observing the sad subtleties of language, humor, boredom and self-deception among today’s sated middle class. He’ll get where he’s going someday, I suspect. In the meantime, Dinner with Friends, which deals with two 10-years-plus marriages of [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Checkov, Modernized & Naturalized

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

The Group Theater itself began rehearsals in 1939 for a version of Three Sisters with Americanized dialogue by Clifford Odets, abandoning it before opening as a result of a feud between Stella Adler and Morris Carnovsky over what constituted "truthful" acting. Numerous later American playwrights, such as Lanford Wilson and David Mamet, have laid claim [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Lite As Air

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Lite As Air Few spectacles are closer to the American heart than that of the professional famous person. Celebrity-worship is our culture’s vernacular faith, and (as the sociologist C. Wright Mills once said) our star system is the inevitable result of making a fetish out of competition. We venerate people who have done remarkable things, [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

JAMES JOYCE’S THE DEAD James Joyce’s The Dead …

Written by Jonathan Kalb on . Posted in Posts, Theater

Playwright’s Horizons 416 W. 42nd St. (betw. 9th & 10th Aves.), 279-4200, through Nov. 28. The Deadly In 1939, Henry Miller added his voice to the chorus of prestigious detractors who had greeted James Joyce throughout his career: "At bottom there is in Joyce a profound hatred for humanity–the scholar’s hatred. One realizes that he [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

..