Author Archive

Good Fences Make Fascist Neighbors

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

“Beware of the British spinster” might as well be the tagline for Neighbourhood Watch, the first-rate Alan Ayckbourn play being given a second-rate production by director Alan Ayckbourn at 59E59 Theaters. When first we meet her, Hilda (a superb Alexandra Mathie) is a grief-stricken sister, mourning the tragic loss of her younger brother while dedicating a [&hellip
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Overcast, With a Chance of Boredom

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

connick The original book to the 1965 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is widely acknowledged as abysmal—but it is solely on the basis of that show and The Apple Tree that Barbara Harris’ towering status as an icon of musical theater rests. Not bad for a show that is frequently dismissed, despite its gorgeous score by Alan [&hellip
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The Milkman Cometh

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

milkman What people seem to ignore—or shrug off—in our mad for Mad Men times is that the past was not necessarily simpler. Under the lacquer of nostalgia lies a time of community, when grocery store clerks who sold you goods on credit existed in place of self-check-out aisles and neighbors greeted new arrivals with casseroles. But that same [&hellip
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Too Close For Comfort

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

tooclose Manhattan Theatre Club has given theatergoers a lump of coal this holiday season with Close Up Space,a tedious new comedy-drama about editing, the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, feminist literature and family failures. That the cast includes pros like David Hyde Pierce and Rosie Perez makes the whole 80 minutes just that much sadder.Book editor Paul Barrow, [&hellip
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Strangers in a Familiar Land

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

chinglish Anyone with a tight budget and a hankering to see Chinglish, David Henry Hwang’s Broadway comedy about how radically—and hilariously—different American and Chinese cultures are, should head to the Off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre, where a scaled-down version of Chinglish called Outside People is being performed. Of course, it’s not playwright Zayd Dohrn’s fault that his 90-minute play was produced the same [&hellip
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To Hell With Gravity

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

gravity The charming if slight Leo grows gradually less charming as its slightness grows more pronounced over the course of its 60-minute running time. A stylish and snappy silent one-man show conceived by and starring Tobias Wegner, Leo boasts a one-joke premise that finds Wegner sliding around on the stage in various postures that translate into gravity-defying feats of acrobatics [&hellip
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Fight or Flee? Choose Flee

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

art22930nar The worst aspect of the super strain of SARS that is terrorizing the South in Matthew Maguire’s new drama Instinct is that it’s targeting the wrong people. Mothers of triplets are dropping, and kindly old men with basset hounds are falling down dead in their kitchens—but the two couples working at Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control are, [&hellip
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A Long, Hard "Road"

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

art Plays lit by candlelight are reliably murderous on one’s consciousness—but never more so than in the Broadway revival of Athol Fugard’s intimate three-hander The Road to Mecca. Stranding both Fugard’s story and actors Rosemary Harris, Carla Gugino and Jim Dale on a giant stage to chatter away for two-and-a-half hours with a marked lack of dramatic [&hellip
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The Ties That Strangle

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

family Family is a funny thing—especially in Joel Drake Johnson’s The Fall to Earth at 59E59 Theaters. Estranged mother and daughter Fay (Deborah Hedwall) and Rachel (Jolie Curtsinger) fractiously reunite to complete a gruesome task: identify and bring home the body of Kenny, their son and brother. Things immediately get off to a rocky start when Fay and [&hellip
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Someone's In the Kitchen With Andy

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

gobs Sometimes I love my job. It’s my great pleasure to direct you to Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good), the first must-see of an unusually busy 2012. A mesmerizing, intellectually rigorous, laugh-out-loud funny recreation of Andy Warhol films (including Kitchen), Gob Squad’s Kitchen is smart about a lot of things, but most importantly about the pitfalls [&hellip
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