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Bleak AND Hilarious – A Show to Conjoin Contradictions

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Photos by Joan Marcus

THIS WILL HAVE BEEN another Happy Day … after all” is one of the many repeated and deeply ambiguous refrains that we hear. It forms a rough, hemp-like strand running through Samuel Beckett’s horribly ironic, indeed cuttingly satirical play Happy Days.

A new production of this notorious piece (or at least dauntingly hard to stage) was opened tonight by the Yale Repertory Company, under the illuminating direction of James Bundy. Continue reading “Bleak AND Hilarious – A Show to Conjoin Contradictions” »

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Modern Classic Gets Fresh Do-Over: The Art of Persuasion

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IT’S ENTERED THE LANGUAGE and become a fixture, that not-entirely-convincing adage: Six Degrees of Separation. Only four other intervening people, supposedly, are needed to connect any two individuals in the world that we might pick.

What is indisputably convincing … is Allison Janney’s performance in the new Broadway revival of John Guare’s compelling, unsettling social satire from 1990, which opened tonight at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Continue reading “Modern Classic Gets Fresh Do-Over: The Art of Persuasion” »

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Badly Needed: All the Star-Quality Available

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BETTE MIDLER – “Hello Dolly” – On Broadway!What else do you need to know?” ask the TV commercials for this apparently hard-to-fail concoction.

Well, in response to those ads … I’d say that, apart from dates, times, ticket-prices, etc … we might also need to know that this classic musical from 1964 is these days looking and feeling tired.

The great (indeed ‘Divine’) Miss M, is having to call upon every inch of her legendary on-stage majesty to carry this venerable star-vehicle – so wacky and kinda weird … in this, its fourth revival on the Great White Way. It opened tonight at the Sam S Schubert Theatre. Continue reading “Badly Needed: All the Star-Quality Available” »

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Kline Plus “Laughter” – Movement is All

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THE KKK IS A BENIGN FORCE. That is, when it’s the Kinetic Kevin Kline.

Of course this multidextrous actor repeatedly brings his universally acknowledged comic genius to film, tv and theater performances – as well as, just as often, profoundly serious dramatic mastery. But this time it’s his movements that dominate, during his tent-pole performance in the new Broadway revival of Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter”, at the St James Theatre until July.

His constant mobility provides the key to his repellent but somehow (through Klein’s craft) sympathetic character.

Continue reading “Kline Plus “Laughter” – Movement is All” »

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