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The Tale of the Allergist's Wife At Lyric Stage

Charles Busch's Broad Comedy of Culture

By: Mark Favermann - 11/23/2014
Charles Busch's Broad Comedy of CultureA middle-aged Upper-West-Side doctor’s wife spends her mornings at the Whitney, afternoons at MOMA, and evenings at BAM. Plunged into a mid-life crisis of Medea-like proportions, she’s shaken out of her lethargy by the sudden reappearance of a fascinating and somewhat mysterious childhood friend. This is a comedy filled with cultural humor about mid-life malaise.

Brainy Funny Ruby Wax At Oberon

Absolutely Fabulous Writer/Actor Speaks Neuroscience

By: Mark Favermann - 11/20/2014
Absolutely Fabulous Writer/Actor Speaks NeuroscienceAmerican comedian/writer/television host Ruby Wax's Out Of Her Mind is a hilarious and a bit dark show. Brash but thoughtful, she touches on the contemporay toxins of envy, fame, television, getting rich, getting the perfect body, marriage, careers, the insatiable drive to win. And above all, staying busy while looking like you’re actually accomplishing something is a special annoyance. Ruby has written for and co-edited every episode of the British TV comedy Absolutely Fabulous, and her best-selling memoir How Do You Want Me? is a classic autobiography. She is a special talent.

Tamburlaine Today at the Theatre for a New Audience

John Douglas Thompson Rages at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center

By: Susan Hall - 11/16/2014
John Douglas Thompson Rages at the Polonsky Shakespeare CenterJohn Douglas Thompson is a great classic actor. As Tamburlaine, he conquers every corner of the stage, and the rafters too before his all-consuming lust for power crashes him. What a piece of work this actor is. At every turn he engages.

The Chosen by Aaron Posner

Season Opener for CV REP Rancho Mirage

By: Jack Lyons - 11/13/2014
Season Opener for CV REP Rancho Mirage“The Chosen” swoops into the audience’s heart and neatly captures the essence of Potok’s affecting human message of hope. Even in a diverse and secular America of 310 million citizens, every culture and every religion has the ability to leave the “old world” of European Jewry behind and blend into the “new world” of America, and still remain true to one’s Jewish traditions.

Odets' Stirring Awake and Sing! At Huntington

Depression Era Drama About Dysfunctional Family

By: Mark Favermann - 11/12/2014
Depression Era Drama About Dysfunctional FamilySet in a cramped Bronx apartment, three generations of a working-class Jewish family are frustrated in their dreams of a brighter future. Matriarch Bessie Berger's fierce determination keeps her family afloat, whatever the cost. Gritty, passionate, funny, and heartbreaking, With outstanding performances, Odets' 1935 drama captures both the hopes, disappointments and struggles of a memorable American family.

Hedda Gabler Quirky At Gamm Theatre

Caricatured Characters With Theatrical Energy

By: Mark Favermann - 11/02/2014
Caricatured Characters With Theatrical EnergyThe production of Hedda Gabler at Pawtucket's Gamm Theatre is a less than nuanced production of the 1889 Ibsen classic. Set when Gabler has returned from an extended honeymoon with her tediously academic and wimpy husband, carrying heavy personal baggage she is already bored of marriage. Suffocated by bourgeois society and disdainful of intellectual pursuits, she tries to fulfill her aimless often mean-spirited desires by manipulating those around her resulting tragically. A play with offering no easy answers, the focal point is a Hedda Gabler who is a troubled and troubling woman. Slipping into despair as her options narrow, even with directional script flaws, this is a compelling play.

Bad Jews Provocative at SpeakEasy Stage

Brilliant Layered Drama About Family, Faith and History

By: Mark Favermann - 10/27/2014
Brilliant Layered Drama About Family, Faith and HistoryDon't let the title put you off. This is not a negative play. The narrative concerns the war between two cousins over a coveted family heirloom, It is a biting comedy/drama about religion and culture. At odds are the annoyingly self-righteous Daphna, a young woman who wears her Jewishness like a badge of honor, and her equally self-centered first cousin Liam, an entitled graduate student who enjoys distancing himself from his cultural traditions. Thrown into the mix is Liam's younger brother Jonah and Liam's white bread girlfriend Melody. When the combatants are forced to spend the night in a studio apartment, all hell breaks loose resulting in a viciously funny brawl over family, faith, and legacy.

St. Germain's Freud's Last Session

At North Coast Rep Theatre in California

By: Jack Lyons - 10/25/2014
At North Coast Rep Theatre in CaliforniaSince its premiere at Barrington Stage in the Berkshires Freud's Last Session by Mark St. Germain has been produced all over the world. He was recently in Oslo for a production of his enormously popular play. Jack Lyons reviews a California production at North Coast Rep Theatre through November 9.

Biblical Themed Play by Scott Carter

Geffen Playhouse Through November 23

By: Jack Lyons - 10/25/2014
Geffen Playhouse Through November 23In the Geffen Playhouse’s current production “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord”, written by Scott Carter and directed by Matt August, three of history’s great thinker/writers come together in a blisteringly funny battle of wits to explain their divergently held opinions.

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