Author Archive

Bash Compactor: Grand Old Party Indeed

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Bash Compactor, Posts

Blazers and ties abounded for the men, while women genteelly fingered single strands of pearls around their neck Thursday night, when the Metropolitan Republican Club and the New York Young Republican Club came together on the Upper East Side to watch John McCain’s Republican National Convention speech. When my boyfriend—yes, I took my boyfriend to [&hellip
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Children To Go: In ‘There or Here,’ outsourcing provides technical support—and kids!

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

At what point did baby hunger become the hot cultural topic? 2008 has been saturated with cinematic tales of women lusting after children, from the hilarious Baby Mama to the dour Then She Found Me. Now playwright Jennifer Maisel has tossed her hat into the kiddie ring with There or Here.

But not content to settle for just one hot topic, Maisel has her childless couple Robyn (Annie Meisels) and Ajay (Alok Tewari) opt for outsourcing their pregnancy in India. This gives Maisel plenty of opportunities to comment on culture clashes, the lengths some couples will go to for children, and even cancer.

Unfortunately, Maisel relies on temporal shifts too often to give her stale material the illusion of freshness. As scenes jump from the present to the past, keeping up with the narrative thread isn’t too difficult—but you wonder why you’re being forced to work at paying attention when what you’re watching is so thin...

Continue reading "There or Here" review here.
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A Perpetual Peter Pan: ‘Kidstuff’ is a hilarious look at one incessantly navel-gazing, whining woman

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


People who force their therapy into polite conversation are like those people who still believe that everyone else finds their dreams as endlessly fascinating as they do. And in both cases, they are mistaken. Paradoxically, however, the therapy scenes in Edith Freni’s new play Kidstuff are the most interesting ones in the whole play—probably because the focus is taken away from main character, the self-indulgent Eve (Sarah Nina Hayon).

But how could a therapy session that involves other people acting out scenes from your own past—and putting their own interpretations on your actions in the process—not be entertaining? Especially when the people riffing on your life are played by the smart and funny Vincent Madero, Sharon Freedman and Cynthia Silver. Battling with one another over eating habits, personal issues, and their own tangled romantic triangle, the only thing they seem to agree on is that Eve is pathetic...

Continue reading "Kidstuff" here.
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At the Ballet: Edgar Degas is seduced by the dance, but we’re unmoved by ‘The Seduction of Edgar Degas’

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

Featuring a welter of different accents, acting styles, and direction by playwright Le Wilhelm that makes a hash out of the script, The Seduction of Edgar Degas feels frustratingly incomplete, despite some fine performances and a fascinating look at the artistic process.

The trouble begins early (at least with Cast A; there is also an alternate cast), when the decidedly twentieth-century Colleen Summa and Gabrielle Rosen scamper on stage as Marie-Auguste and Copine, respectively. Trading gossipy stories and giggles, they both seem more suited to dialogue as NYC gossip girls than 19th-century ballerina, despite their slippers...

continue reading "edgar degas" here.
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