• Greensboro: A Requiem at American Theater Company.

    Chicago Production by ATC Youth Ensemble

    By: Nancy Bishop - Jul 31st, 2015

    The play tells the story of the demonstration by mostly black textile mill workers in Greensboro to protest the Ku Klux Klan. The march was publicized as taking place on November 3, 1979, and the marchers had obtained a police permit. It resulted in five deaths.

  • "Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity”

    Breathing Life into the Words of Gertrude Stein

    By: Edward Rubin - Jul 07th, 2015

    Here, curiously, Edward Rubin conflates his passion for Gertrude Stein and Ludwig Wittgenstein! Go figure. The Off Off production that prompts him to quote generously from Stein has, alas, closed at the time of posting this review. If you are intrigued by "A rose is a rose is a rose" then this is a name that surely will smell as sweet.

  • Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in Chicago

    Durang Play at Goodman Theatre Through July 26

    By: Nancy Bishop - Jul 06th, 2015

    Steve Scott's new Goodman Theatre production is funny and charming and much of its wit rests on the many theatrical references and stage in-jokes (fond references to Chekhov and Greek tragedies, and to theater masters such as Stanislavski and Meisner). In addition, monologues by three of its characters are compelling and humorous set pieces.

  • Legacy by Daniel Goldfarb at Williamstown

    World Premiere with Hecht, Bogosian, Long and Feiffer

    By: Charles giuliano - Jul 04th, 2015

    The new Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director, Mandy Greenfield, has launched her tenure with a double header of world premieres. In the smaller Nikos Stage a fine cast is performing Legacy by Daniel Goldfarb. There are tons of laughs and then it gets very grim and dark.

  • William Inge’s Off the Main Road

    Rediscovered Play at Williamstown Theatre Festival

    By: Charles giuliano - Jul 03rd, 2015

    Among works in the estate of the Tony and Pulitzer winning playwright, William Inge, was a 1966 teleplay now reconfigured for stage and having its world premiere as Off the Main Road at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Directed by Evan Cabnet it stars Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick as Faye the battered, alcoholic wife of Manny (Jeremy Davidson) a now abusive, alcoholic former baseball star.

  • Come From Away at La Jolla Playhouse

    By Irene Sankoff and David Hein

    La  Jolla
    By: Jack Lyons - Jun 29th, 2015

    The musical “Come From Away” by the Canadian husband-and wife team of Irene Sankoff and David Hein, directed by Ashley made its World Premiere debut at the Sheila and Hughes Poitier Theatre last weekend to thunderous applause and standing ovations.

  • The Who and the What at Victory Gardens

    Play by Ayad Akhtar in Chicago

    By: Nancy Bishop - Jun 29th, 2015

    The Who and the What is a smart, funny play about a conservative Pakistani-American family and their attempts to come to grips with modern realities while maintaining respect for tradition. Playwright Ayad Akhtar has written believable characters who fight articulately about what they believe in.

  • Henry V at Shakespeare & Company

    Ryan Winkles Triumphant in Title Role

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 27th, 2015

    The cycle of history plays by Shakespeare continues and unfortunately ends this season with a chamber production of the ever popular Henry V. This scaled back drama with four male and four female actors playing multiple roles has been directed by Jenna Ware. In the title role Ryan Winkles is magnificent. It adds another dimension to a superb actor who previously has been featured in comic roles.

  • Intimate Apparel at Dorset Theatre Festival

    Vermont's Dorset Makes a Bold Choice for Season Opener

    Intimate Apparel
    By: Leanne Jewett - Jun 27th, 2015

    This is superb production of a beautifully written play that looks at the lives of African-American women in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century. It is a bold opener for Vermont’s Dorset Theatre Festival season. An uptown white socialite, a downtown black prostitute, and a self-deprecating Jewish cloth salesman are just three of the disparate characters who populate the world of Esther, a hard-working and humble black woman who makes her living fashioning ladies’ intimate apparel.

  • Moby Dick at Lookingglass

    New Production Adapted from Melville's Novel

    Moby Dick
    By: Nancy Bishop - Jun 23rd, 2015

    Lookingglass's black box theater in the old Water Works on Michigan Avenue in Chicago becomes the interior of a great whale with steel hoops extending from stage rear to the top of the theater.

  • Conor McPherson's Shining City at Barrington Stage

    Irish Drama Features Mark H. Dold as Priest Turned Therapist

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 22nd, 2015

    The title Shining City is a Bliblical reference that "A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." But there is much that is obscure and repressed in this drama by the Irish playwright Conor McPherson.

  • Heisenberg with Mary Louise Parker

    Simon Stephens Brings Quantum Entanglement to Life

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 20th, 2015

    Heisenberg is a dashing new play by the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog, a hit on Broadway. His new play is more complete and satisfying, although its subject might disturb people who need predictability and order. Certainly Mary Louise Parker doesn't, as she loosey-goosey's through her life. Don't be put off by hints of quantum physics in the title. The play is uproarious and the best take on a May-December romance you'll see. It begins with a kiss, passes through the usual, and ends with indeterminacy.

  • Thoreau or, Return to Walden

    David Adkins Bonkers in the Woods

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 21st, 2015

    If you have read Walden and think you know Henry David Thoreau guess again. The world premiere Thoreau or Return to Walden written by and starring David Adkins, directed by Eric Hill presents the New England transcendentalist and abolitionist as an eccentric just short of lunacy.

  • Monteverdi Trilogy Heads to the Berkshires

    Early Music Festival Travels to Great Barrington

    By: David Bonetti - Jun 18th, 2015

    Every two years the Boston Early Music Festival schedules a week of concerts and operas that make Boston the world capital of early music. This year's focus was on Claudio Monteverdi, the first great opera composer. All three of his surviving operas were given stylish productions and featured some of the best singers of early music in the world. Taken from Greek myth and ancient Roman history, the stories resonate with the lives we live today.

  • New Country at Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC

    Intimate Show Makes a Big Noise

    By: Edward Rubin - Jun 16th, 2015

    The good news is that the edgy. enticing New Country, due to popular demand, has been extended to June 27 at Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. It is good enough to see twice. This is the kind of show that comes along every once in awhile. Presented by Fair Trade Productions in association with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and written by Mark Roberts this is a must see production.

  • Deathtrap at Berkshire Theatre Group

    Now Kissing in Stockbridge

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 08th, 2015

    In this staging of Ira Levin's enduring 1978 comic-mystery the men do not kiss. That cause a sensation decades ago on Broadway. The lip smacker is now banned by Levin's estate. But in a play that is chock full of clues you would have to be utterly clueless not to conclude that the washed up playwright Sidney (Gregg Edelman) isn't shagging his former student Clifford (Tom Pecinka). For a fun evening with no heavy lifting get thee to Stockbridge.

  • Foreign Affairs, Berliner Festspiele, Germany 2015

    International Performing Arts Festival ended July 5

    Foreign Affairs 15
    By: Angelika Jansen - Jul 08th, 2015

    Artistic Director Matthias von Hartz offered a 'Gesamtkunstwerk,' combining performance and visual arts aspects during the ten day long festival. Included were the 24 hour long lasting 'Mount Olympus' by Belgian director/choreographer Jan Fabre with Troubleyn Company. Then, Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment offered 'Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare' - all 36 Shakespeare plays, reduced to each 45 minute plots, over nine days. A stunning success! As intended, performers and audiences were challenged to their limits.

  • Tony Winning Actor/Director Roger Rees at 71

    Artistic Director of Williamstown Theater Festival 2004 to 2007

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 11th, 2015

    Roger Rees, who has died following a medical procedure in May, had a long association with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The renowned Tony winning actor/ director first came to Williamstown as an actor. From 2004 to 2007 he was the artistic director of WTF. He returned last summer for a revival of the Kander and Ebb musical The Visit which is currently on Broadway starring Chita Rivera.

  • Feast a Celebration of Ethnic Diversity in Chicago

    Albany Park Theater Project and Goodman Theatre

    By: Nancy Bishop - Jul 31st, 2015

    No food is consumed by audience members in Feast, although by the end of the production, I was thinking fondly of a plate of lamb biryani with pappadums or perhaps some chicken mole.

  • Rezo Gabriadze's Ramona at Lincoln Center

    An Enchanting Puppet Romance Between Two Engines

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 29th, 2015

    "The long forgotten and warm word 'locomotive' awoke in my mind - breathing vapor clouds, hoarse, smelling of coal smoke, even in wet weather." The passionate romance of two engines began here and takes an improbable journey as Ermon reminds his wife Ramona that you never say no when someone is in trouble. This is grown up puppetry from a great Georgian artist.

  • Side by Side by Sondheim

    North Coast Repertory Theatre through August 16

    By: Jack Lyons - Jul 28th, 2015

    The North Coast Repertory Theatre production of “Side By Side By Sondheim”, does Mr. Sondheim proud! That enormous canon is selectively and lovingly brought to life by four gifted and talented singer/actors in a 90 minute free flowing tribute to his genius under the inspired direction of North Coast artistic director David Ellenstein.

  • Girlfriend at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

    World Premiere Musical by Todd Almond & Matthew Sweet

    By: Jack Lyons - Jul 28th, 2015

    Todd Almond’s new rock musical “Girlfriend” with music and lyrics by Matthew Sweet is a vanguard production that addresses the issues of understanding, acceptance, as well as the hopes and dreams of two gay teenage boys who discover one another in rural Nebraska in the summer of 1993.

  • Kafka on the Shore at Lincoln Center

    Murakami's Tale Adapted for the Stage by Frank Galati

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 26th, 2015

    When the director, Yukio Ninagawa, was a small boy he was struck by the dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History. In Murikama's book, Ninagawa found the perfect use for dioramas in theatre. Ninagama writes that this tale has intimate detail in scenes as well as dynamic narrative scale. On stage, the 'dioramas' move fluidly between scenes, which are enacted in one frame, but surrounded often by others.

  • Yasmina Reza Two-Hander at S&Co;. in Lenox

    The Unexpected Man Directed by Seth Gordon

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 25th, 2015

    From 1987 to 2006 the French playwright, Yasmina Reza, has written seven plays of which two, Art (1994) and God of Carnage (2006) have been hits. From 1995 Shakespeare & Company is presenting the rarely produced two-hander of strangers on a train, an author and a woman who has read him in depth, The Unexpected Man.

  • Partch's Delusion of Fury at Lincoln Center

    Heiner Goebbels Expands the Experience

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 25th, 2015

    The stage at City Center was beautifully packed with an array of instruments designed by Harry Partch, a modern American composer of original theatrical events. Classifying him as a composer of concert music is, as Partch said, as foolish as saying he is a kangaroo. The brilliant director Heiner Goebbels expands the Partch experience with set objects and lighting. Here is the future of American musical production conceived over a half century ago.

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