IF THEATER IS a temporary rearrangement of life to spark discovery, the musical Fun Home, adapted from cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s bestselling graphic memoir of the same name, exceeds requirements, not only yielding insights but whipping up exuberance out of anguished chaos in the process.
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When Leonard Bernstein died on October 14, 1990, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, and Stephen Sondheim gathered for an intimate funeral service with Bernstein’s closest friends and family. It was the last time the four men were together.
Indecent is at once a compressed history of a daring Yiddish play, God of Vengeance, written by the Polish novelist Sholem Asch in 1907, and a celebration of the stagecraft that makes theater distinct from film.
Afterglow, based in part on S. Asher Gelman’s own experience with an extra-marital relationship, shows that he can write strong individual scenes for his actors that have the ring of truth.
Lane’s performance in this production is simply jaw-dropping. Kushner’s pleasure in writing such a dark character is evident: he gave Cohn a lot of the best lines.
In keeping with its name, Gently Down the Stream proceeds at a leisurely pace, but Gabriel Ebert’s hyperactive Rufus keeps the emotional narrative percolating.
Sweet Bird of Youth, however, is how sexual it is. … Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Sweet Bird of Youth to even a one-act like “At Liberty”—though in a play that I see two nights later, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, that life force is nearly spent.
New faces emerged when in January 2017 a series of mosaics became part of the tiled walls of the 72nd Street Station at the new Second Avenue Subway. Vik Muniz’ Perfect Strangers was the transformation of photographs into life-size mosaics installed throughout the mezzanine and entrance area.
Reading this book, which is subtitled My Life in Stories and Pictures, is akin to sitting with Cumming as he leafs through his ever-growing scrapbook of accomplishments, loves lost and won, and collaborations with other name-brand stars.
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.