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A Lear for Our Times

A Lear for Our Times

BY ANDY HUMM | First things first. This splendid production of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “King Lear”— directed by artistic director Gregory Doran with Sir Antony Sher as Lear in what he says will be his last Shakespeare performance (because what’s left for him?) — is at BAM only until April 29. Go. Now. It is […]

A Heartbreaking Comedy of Hope

A Heartbreaking Comedy of Hope

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | If you have seen “Angels in America” in any of its previous incarnations — the original 1993 Broadway production, the fine 2003 HBO film, many regional productions, or the 2010 Signature revival, you may understandably wonder whether you should see it again, invest another eight hours of your life in Tony Kushner’s […]

Losing Our Minds

Losing Our Minds

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | “Jerry Springer — The Opera” is a joyfully explosive satire of culture both high and low. With music and lyrics by Richard Thomas and the book and additional lyrics by Thomas and Stewart Lee, like the TV show that inspired it, “Springer” is completely over the top. Thomas and Stewart quite literally […]

Shared Histories

Shared Histories

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | “A Letter to Harvey Milk” is one of those rare musicals that dares to confront both LGBTQ history and Jewish history. And it does so with visceral wit, grace, and a full heart. With an imaginative if unfocused book by Ellen M. Schwartz (who also wrote the lyrics), Cheryl Stern, Laura I. […]

Art Isn’t Easy

Art Isn’t Easy

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Terrence McNally’s spellbinding new play “Fire and Air,” now at CSC, is ostensibly about the impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the fate of his Ballets Russes, and his artistic and sexual relationship with dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. As a chronicle of early 20th century art and a study of a complicated genius, it’s fascinating on […]

A Fine Bromance: Agile Blokes Go For Broke

A Fine Bromance: Agile Blokes Go For Broke

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | When best buds Beren D’Amico, Louis Gift, and Charlie Wheeller graduated from the National Centre for Circus Arts in London a few years back, they were faced with a thorny dilemma. The Barely Methodical Troupe, as they are now known, had the chance to craft a piece to showcase their distinct talents, […]

Off-Putting Topic, Terrific Show

Off-Putting Topic, Terrific Show

BY ANDY HUMM | We’ve embraced shows about killing people and turning them into meat pies (“Sweeney Todd”), domestic violence (“Carousel”), and suicide (“Dear Evan Hansen”). But when you hear that there is a new play with music about an enclave of people on the sex offense registry, the tendency might be revulsion or demurral. If […]

A Sunken Liner Whose Ship Will Never Sail

A Sunken Liner Whose Ship Will Never Sail

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Everybody’s gotta go from something — so if heaven is a place where the thing that killed you gets trotted out for everything from first impressions to party invitations, it helps to have a cause of death that leaves them thirsting for more once the ice has been broken. And for a Belfast […]

Telling Tales

Telling Tales

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Few human qualities pack the potency of being able to invent, tell, and believe stories. Along with the opposable thumb, it’s one of the things that distinguish us from the lower beasts. Our religions are based on stories. Our identities are the result of the narratives we tell about — and […]

When Process Overwhelms Purpose

When Process Overwhelms Purpose

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Upon entering the intimate Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons, we are struck by Amy Rubin’s meticulously curated set of a Phys Ed teachers’ lounge. And it’s a very dumpy lounge at that. The room is stuffed with filing cabinets, desks, a conference table, mismatched chairs, and, of course, the […]

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