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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 […]

Meaty “Pigs” Has Much to Feast On

Meaty “Pigs” Has Much to Feast On

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Bouncing off the walls of Chelsea’s Irish Repertory Theatre with the pent-up energy and destructive potential of a storm wave that’s finally made its way to shore, John Haidar’s “Disco Pigs” gleefully wallows in the twin-like bond between a boy (Colin Campbell as Pig) and a girl (Evanna Lynch as Runt) born on […]

Following in Fellow Travelers’ Footsteps

Following in Fellow Travelers’ Footsteps

BY ELI JACOBSON | On January 12, the Prototype Festival presents the New York premiere of “Fellow Travelers,” an opera with music by Gregory Spears and a libretto by Greg Pierce that debuted at Cincinnati Opera in June 2016. Prototype is bringing the Cincinnati Opera production directed by Kevin Newbury to the Gerald W. Lynch Theater […]

Pregnant Pause

Pregnant Pause

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | You might think that a play about a world where women are extinct would smack of misogyny. But Robert O’Hara’s wild, politically charged satire “Mankind” turns out to be highly sympathetic toward the female gender. The men, it soon becomes clear, are desperately lost without them. Both written and directed by O’Hara […]

Mark of Distinction

Mark of Distinction

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | A stunning dual highlight of the 2013 theater season was “Richard III” and “Twelfth Night” in repertory, imported from London’s Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and starring the wily virtuoso Mark Rylance. Aside from the spot-on performances, what made those works so exquisite was the obsessive attention to historical detail, with sumptuous period-perfect costumes, […]

Pot-Stirring ‘Spicy’ Playwrights Don’t Sugarcoat Reality

Pot-Stirring ‘Spicy’ Playwrights Don’t Sugarcoat Reality

BY REBECCA FIORE | Adult themes of compassion, redemption, and solidarity ran through “Stirring the Pot: The Spicy Plays” — 10 short works for the stage written by kids and performed Dec. 8-10 by professional actors, as part of the 52nd Street Project’s Playmaking program. The Playmaking program is the first of many available to kids […]

Strange Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | It’s a good thing “The Parisian Woman,” Beau Willimon’s talky new drama about politics and power, has no intermission. Because it takes nearly an hour to build up a decent head of steam, and if there were a break, I expect there’d be more than a few empty seats in the […]

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