Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Object of Adulation

Hugh Sinclair and Crystal Field in Worship.

Cuban playwright Eduardo Machado usually writes about his heritage, but Worship is about the often unhealthy, tumultuous relationship between students and the mentors they, well, worship. It's impossible to watch this problematic play without wondering how Machado's own interactions with his mentor, Maria Irene Fornes, influenced it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Political Extremes

What do Pussy Riot, Edward Snowden and Toronto mayor Rob Ford have in common? Aside from being extreme political figures, they're all subjects of new books rounded up in this Time Out New York article I coauthored with Matthew Love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Modest Middle

Jonathan Hadary and Nicole Lowrance in Middle of the Night.

Similarities abound between Marty, Paddy Chayefsky's best-known work from the 1950s, and Middle of the Night, a less-familiar play from that same decade, now being revived Off Broadway by the Keen Company. Both are about lonely people longing to connect with a soul mate, yet despite a polished and well-acted production, I wasn't terribly touched by Jerry and Betty's relationship in the latter piece. It did call to mind last year's Talley's Folly revival with Danny Burstein and Sarah Paulson, but that was the more stirring piece.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Working Girls

Elise Kibler and Stephen Plunkett in London Wall.

Merriam-Webster dates the term sexual harassment back to 1973, but John Van Druten was aware of it decades earlier when he wrote London Wall, the latest forgotten play to be given a choice Off Broadway production by the Mint Theater Company. It's not the play's main focus, however. That would be the personal lives of four single women employed as typists at a British law firm. Think office life is hard now? It was even tougher for the working girl in 1931.