Issue Categories Archives: Theatre

Playwrights Who Rewrote the Rules

By writing plays that call attention to the unreality of theater, Albee and Shaffer called attention to the inauthenticity of modern life: both how people are influenced by movies and commercials and how they fashion their sexuality to conform to socially celebrated norms. Relying heavily upon the conventions of Greek tragedy, plays like Albee’s The Goat and Shaffer’s Equus attempted to return theater to its ancient roots in which one wore a mask to deliver a primal authenticity that could not be enacted in everyday life.

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Can Falsettos Still Be Relevant?

WILLIAM FINN’S Falsettos, the AIDS-era musical now revived on Broadway, may be viewed by some as an odd period piece, by others as an operatic pastiche, a manipulative emotion-fest, or a stirring work of historical reconstruction. What may determine your response to the play—which shifts from 1979 to 1981 between two acts—is your willingness to believe in the musical comedy as a vehicle able to convey emotional truth rather than just cheap sentiment.

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A Farewell to Edward Albee

Edward Albee died on Friday, September 16th, 2016, at the age of 88. He passed away at his summer home in Montauk, New York, after a short illness. He was one of the most important and iconic American playwrights of the 20th century.

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The Definitive ‘Miss Bette Davis’

Write That Down is a compilation of notes and reflections on Frederick’s personal and professional friendship with Charles Pierce.

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No Modifier Required

Although [Terrence] McNally’s gay bona fides are beyond question, he resists being labeled a “gay playwright.”

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The WOW of Theater

  Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the WOW Café Theatre Edited by Holly Hughes, Carmelita Tropicana, & Jill Dolan University of Michigan Press. 242 pages, $35.   The Only Way Home Is through the Show: Performance Work of Lois Weaver Edited by Jen Harvie & Lois Weaver University of Chicago Press. 248 […]

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The Passion of the Wilde

  The Judas Kiss A play by David Hare Directed by Neil Armfield Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, March 22–May 1 Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC, May 11–June 12     THE MOST POPULAR playwright of his day, Oscar Wilde’s professional reputation was temporarily overshadowed at the end of his life by his private notoriety—as either […]

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Scenes from a Modern Marriage

  Dada Woof Papa Hot A play by Peter Parnell Directed by Scott Ellis At the Lincoln Center Theater   IN OUR AGE of same-sex marriage and parenting, a play titled Dada Woof Papa Hot seems sure to tap into the GLBT zeitgeist. Playwright Peter Parnell, as if to pick up where Terrence McNally left […]

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Arts Briefs

Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank Directed by Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler Pack Creek Productions   The title of this documentary refers to former Congressman Barney Frank’s standard rejoinder when answering those who complain that GLBT equality isn’t happening fast enough. Sure, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” wasn’t a perfect solution in 1993, […]

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Tennessee’s Small Circle of Friends

         In his plays, Williams depicts writers who know each other socially as squabbling rivals, trading banter: Hemingway and Fitzgerald bicker in his Clothes for a Summer Hotel; and in The Notebooks of Trigorin, Williams’ version of Chekhov’s Seagull, the short-story writers Treplev and Trigorin describe each other with withering dismissals. In Williams’ life, catty […]

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