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  • Magic Moments: Two Unconventional Musicals Celebrate Love, Doughnuts

    Article

    Magic Moments: Two Unconventional Musicals Celebrate Love, Doughnuts

    In Black Wizard/Blue Wizard, at Incubator Arts, two sorcerers undertake a metaphysical duel with cosmic implications. Or maybe several Dunkin' Donuts cashiers amuse themselves on a late shift. Or possibly a few theater-makers meditate on the sacrifi...

    by Alexis Soloski on December 11, 2013
  • The Pigeoning Is a Fiendish Morsel of Puppet Theater

    Article

    The Pigeoning Is a Fiendish Morsel of Puppet Theater

    Pigeons go hand in hand with city life: its public spaces, its trash, its park-dwelling nutcases. Frank, an obsessive-compulsive office worker, is especially intimate with the latter; in fact, he's one of them, convinced that the pigeons in the park...

    by Molly Grogan on December 11, 2013
  • Chéri: A Bogged-Down Adaptation

    Article

    Chri: A Bogged-Down Adaptation

    Director-choreographer Martha Clarke consistently searches for a kind of theatrical alchemy, trying to bring fine arts to fuller life on the stage. Since the 1980s, she has devised wonderfully evocative dance-theater hybrids inspired by the painting...

    by Tom Sellar on December 11, 2013
  • Lincoln's Log: Skylar Fein Probes Honest Abe's Sexuality

    Article

    Lincoln's Log: Skylar Fein Probes Honest Abe's Sexuality

    Norman Mailer once said that Marilyn Monroe "lived in a swamp of legends, lies, and factoids." The author coined the word "factoid," which he defined in an interview as "a fact which has no existence on earth other than that what's appeared in the n...

    by R. C. Baker on December 4, 2013
  • Our Planet: Keeping Us in Perpetual Orbit

    Article

    Our Planet: Keeping Us in Perpetual Orbit

    Our Planet, an ambitious new work by Japanese playwright Yukio Shiba, offers a cosmic riff on Thornton Wilder's Our Town. This sprawling narrative traces the lives of Terri (Julian Rozzell Jr.) and Luna (Jenny Seastone Stern) -- emblems of Earth and...

    by Tom Sellar on December 4, 2013
  • Kin and Tonic: Daughters Lie, Bake, and Steal in Three New Dramas

    Article

    Kin and Tonic: Daughters Lie, Bake, and Steal in Three New Dramas

    You can change your address, your politics, your nose, your hair. But your DNA? That's trickier. Once your parents pass on those nucleotides, there's little escape from biology. You can hear that genetic expression loud and clear in three new pla...

    by Alexis Soloski on December 4, 2013
  • One Night ... Is a Well-Intentioned (if Heavy-Handed) Melodrama

    Article

    One Night ... Is a Well-Intentioned (if Heavy-Handed) Melodrama

    Trauma's aftermath is an awfully difficult thing to stage. It mostly happens in the sufferer's head -- making it hard to show an audience -- and it's chronic, making it slippery material for drama. Both problems plague Charles Fuller's well-intentio...

    by Miriam Felton-Dansky on November 27, 2013
  • Art for the Heart: Ad Reinhardt's Century of Inspiration

    Article

    Art for the Heart: Ad Reinhardt's Century of Inspiration

    A world-class abstract painter and an ebullient polemicist, Ad Reinhardt (1913-67) once said, "Art is art-as-art and everything else is everything else." For good measure, he also stated, "My paintings are the last paintings one can make." At D...

    by R. C. Baker on November 27, 2013
  • Comic Trip: Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Clown Around With the Avant-Garde

    Article

    Comic Trip: Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Clown Around With the Avant-Garde

    'Nothing happens," wails Samuel Beckett's Estragon. "Nobody comes, nobody goes. It's awful." Does Estragon have a point? Not much happens in either Beckett's Waiting for Godot or in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, the two plays now running in reperto...

    by Alexis Soloski on November 27, 2013
  • Regular Singing: Back in the Apple's Living Room

    Article

    Regular Singing: Back in the Apple's Living Room

    In Richard Nelson's Regular Singing, now running at the Public Theater, the Apple family gathers to rehearse a funeral for Adam, the unseen ex-husband of Marian (Laila Robins) who lies dying upstairs. Set on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassinati...

    by Alexis Soloski on November 27, 2013
  • Ethan Hawke Hath Murdered Macbeth

    Article

    Ethan Hawke Hath Murdered Macbeth

    Macbeth is usually the one who does the murdering. But in Jack O'Brien's misbegotten Lincoln Center production, the character -- and the play -- is the victim of involuntary dramatic manslaughter committed by its star, Ethan Hawke. There's no malice...

    by Jacob Gallagher-Ross on November 27, 2013
  • Holiday Arts Guide: Art Picks

    Article

    Holiday Arts Guide: Art Picks

    Dotty Attie: The Lone Ranger November 21-December 21 Best known for arrangements of small paintings that appropriate and rebuke Old Master portraits of women, Dotty Attie has more recently turned to kooky vintage photographs as source material...

    by Robert Shuster on November 27, 2013
  • Holiday Arts Guide: Book Picks

    Article

    Holiday Arts Guide: Book Picks

    Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him By David Henry and Joe Henry November 5, Algonquin, 400 pp., $25.95 "We didn't set out to write the definitive cradle-to-grave biography of Richard Pryor," say the Henry Brothers, "We ...

    by James Hannaham on November 27, 2013
  • Holiday Arts Guide: Dance Picks

    Article

    Holiday Arts Guide: Dance Picks

    Streb: Forces Through December 22 David Van Tiegham provides music and Jim Lewis, who wrote Fela!, words for the high-impact hijinks of Elizabeth Streb's Extreme Action Company. A live-action adventure for daredevils of all ages and the people...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on November 27, 2013
  • Holiday Arts Guide: Theater Picks

    Article

    Holiday Arts Guide: Theater Picks

    Much Ado About Nothing Performances begin November 25 Sigh no more, ladies. And gentlemen, you can stifle your groans, too. Those tempted to grouse at how little Shakespeare reaches the outer boroughs will have less cause for complaint now tha...

    by Alexis Soloski on November 27, 2013
  • Holiday Arts Guide: Philosopher King - Choreographer Tere O'Connor lets it Bleed at BAM

    Article

    Holiday Arts Guide: Philosopher King - Choreographer Tere O'Connor lets it Bleed at BAM

    Comedian Steven Wright has observed that you can't have everything. "Where would you put it?" Dilemmas like that don't faze choreographer Tere O'Connor, who wants to put everything into his latest dance. Bleed, a rich stew of material from three ...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on November 27, 2013
  • Holiday Arts Guide: Inside Mullingar - Stage heavy Brían F. O'Byrne confronts a "slight" romantic comedy

    Article

    Holiday Arts Guide: Inside Mullingar - Stage heavy Bran F. O'Byrne confronts a "slight" romantic comedy

    He was a pedophile priest. She was a nave nun. How could they not fall in love? Depending on your predilections, the Tony-nominated actors Bran F. O'Byrne and Heather Goldenhersh met cute or met queasy, starring in John Patrick Shanley's Doubt,...

    by Alexis Soloski on November 27, 2013
  • The Voice's Holiday Arts Guide

    Article

    The Voice's Holiday Arts Guide

    Dance Philosopher King by Elizabeth Zimmer Choreographer Tere O'Connor lets it Bleed at BAM Holiday Dance Picks by Elizabeth Zimmer Theater Inside Mullingar by Alexis Soloski Stage heavy Bran F. O'Byrne confronts a "slight" romantic co...

    by The Village Voice on November 27, 2013
  • Movin' On Up: Two New Musicals Champion the Underdog

    Article

    Movin' On Up: Two New Musicals Champion the Underdog

    Upward strivers have always held a special place in the heart of Broadway bards, for the same reason they're at the heart of melodramas and Hollywood pictures: Americans adore them, every time. Last week, two new musicals, A Gentleman's Guide to L...

    by Tom Sellar on November 20, 2013
  • Water: A Sweet, if Somewhat Scattershot, Collaboration

    Article

    Water: A Sweet, if Somewhat Scattershot, Collaboration

    How can we save the planet when we can't even save ourselves? That's the essential question posed by Water, a sweet if somewhat scattershot collaboration by Filter, a lively British troupe with a zesty approach to the classics, and director David F...

    by Alexis Soloski on November 20, 2013
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Audra McDonald Brings Billie Holiday to Life in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

Any theatergoer expecting in this revival of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill an excuse for an Audra McDonald concert won't find the singer's full-bodied, mellifluous voice here. Instead,… More >>

The Heir Apparent Brims With Linguistic Panache and Stellar Performances

"I'm a one-man Comédie-Française," boasts the scheming servant Crispin, comparing his acting skills to France's national theater. Crispin (Carson Elrod) isn't totally exaggerating: In the course of The Heir Apparent,… More >>

Photographic Fiction and Fact in the LES Photographic Fiction and Fact in the LES

Within a block of each other on the Lower East Side, two photographers who dig into genres we thought we already knew — Heather Bennett uses self-portraiture to don various… More >>

Shameless and Uncharismatic, Bullets Over Broadway Loses The Sophistication of Its Source Material

Bullets Over Broadway is an old-fashioned musical, if for you the term "old-fashioned" connotes a version of 1920s New York in which Italian-American stereotypes are the only ethnic other, most… More >>

Infidelity and Architecture Underpin the Meditative Isolde

Richard Maxwell’s new play is about myth, memory, and a house that never gets built. Lighter and more sardonic than the playwright-director’s recent work (especially 2013’s densely poetic Neutral Hero),… More >>

Scott Z. Burns and Steven Soderbergh Team Up For Post-Colombine Psychological Mystery The Library

Audiences today need little urging to accept age- and color-blind casting on the stage, but Steven Soderbergh and Scott Z. Burns's life-in-the-aftermath drama The Library perhaps pushes viewers to accept… More >>

A Hilarious Ride Through the Inner Workings of a Small Town Arts Council in The Most Deserving

Sotheby's and Christie's may have cornered the real-world market for bitchiness and backstabbing in the name of art, but in The Most Deserving, Catherine Trieschmann's newest play, produced by Women's… More >>

Will Eno and Lorraine Hansberry Write Home in Two New Productions

Is New York theater suffering a housing crisis? How else to explain the glut of this season's plays (Fun Home, The Open House, A Doll's House, The Tribute Artist, The… More >>

Beautiful and Violent Art from the Civil Rights Movement at New Brooklyn Museum Show Witness

Something is terribly wrong with the sedan in this black-and-white photo: The doors gape open, glass is shattered, dark drips trail down the seat back. In 1965, civil rights activist… More >>

Rich Visual Schemes Undermine Dramatic Subtlety in The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera, now at Atlantic Theater, is no conventional, rough-hewn beggars' tale. For this staging, director Martha Clarke applies her sophisticated visual sensibilities to Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's… More >>

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