Blog-Theater

29 posts

LAURIE ANDERSON in her Studio in New York, USA.

Laurie Anderson Surveys the Wreckage


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Appearing in a loose-fitting white shirt and tie, black slacks and white shoes, and sporting a scruffy do that was its own hybrid—punk plus low maintenance—she, herself, especially when she tucks her violin into the crook of her neck as if it were her heart—evokes something sculptural and pleasantly exotic. She is Electronica Untamed and also Electronica Informed—by a classical education in music, philosophy and science.

Poster: John Lithgow in The Magistrate

Upcoming Season at the National Theatre, London: Sept. ‘12 – Feb. ‘13


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Arthur Wing Pinero is another British talent getting a lot of attention at the moment, though sadly he is somewhat too dead to enjoy it. He lived from the 1850s to the 1930s, and seems to be having a bit of a revival at the moment.

Dark Hollow

Is there life after Fringe? Four shows that deserve longer runs.


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In the meantime we Fringe attendees enjoy compiling our personal wish lists. Here, in addition to the shows praised in previous columns, is a critic’s lineup of productions that show promise.

Michelle Ramoni as June

NYC Fringe Report: Domestic Disturbances


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Two of the standouts, Michelle Ramoni’s June and Nancy and Camilla Ammirati’s In the Ebb take place in very different times and places, but they share a common theme. Both stories include searching, imaginative female protagonists who struggle to discover themselves as they question the stability of their marriages.

Pulp Shakespeare

NYC Fringe Report: Murder and Mayhem, California Style


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East Coasters rarely think of Los Angeles as a great theater town. But, as two ambitious entries in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival prove, there’s a talent pool out there that has much more to offer than just good looks and cry-on-cue naturalism.

Ben Vereen Opens Up About Fame, Addiction and Love


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I love my public, and if I’m walking down the street and someone wants to take a picture with me, I’m happy to do it. After all, they’ve taken the time to come to my show. Gilda Matthews sent me t-shirts that say “Spread the love,” and I think we should, we don’t have to hoard love any more than we’d hoard water; there’s enough for everyone.

The Cunning Little Vixen, Live-streamed from Glyndebourne Opera House


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It has not been an altogether popular production, not least with the huffy Glyndebourne reactionaries who have found plenty to be affronted about in this raunchy, grotty vision of Janácek’s world.

Theatre Review: The Duchess of Malfi, the Old Vic, London


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It has an older woman marrying her employee in secret, her incestuously-inclined brother who believes he has become a werewolf and a Cardinal who murders his mistress with a poisoned Bible and then sees demons in the fishponds. What’s not to enthuse about?

Less Than Kind by Terence Rattigan: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England.


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It’s Rattigan’s attempt to take the basic Hamlet situation and write a play which is both funnier (more jokes and stronger sense of the ludicrous in life) and more serious (more realistic and less willing to solve everything with corpses.) If you’ll allow him the chutzpah, it’s much more fun than it sounds.

Neighbourhood Watch by Alan Ayckbourn. Pre-West End Tour.


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Neighbourhood Watch never feels like an “issue” play, but the London riots, the increasingly draconian Law and Order rhetoric from the Conservative-led government, and a series of police shootings make it exceptionally timely.

Hamlet, starring Michael Sheen at the Young Vic, London


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The psychiatric setting also forces – or helps – the production into a particular vision of the play. In some ways this is quite an old-fashioned take, with Hamlet framed as a study of a mind in disintegration.

One Man, Two Guvnors, Adelphi Theatre, London


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For this show is funny. I mean, it is really funny. Not the kind of funny you might associate with a National Theatre adaptation of an eighteenth-century Italian play. It’s splutteringly, potato-throwingly, unreasonably hilarious.

Ross Noble and Friends, Cranleigh Arts Centre, England


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It showcased all of Noble’s best points: the delight in the ludicrous, the ideas tripping over each other to get out and the revelling in how foolish he may look to an audience. And of course The Voice.

Theatre Review: Noel Coward’s Star Quality, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England


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There’s a feeling you get about ten minutes into a Noel Coward play. The lights have come up, the set has been admired, the opening salvoes exchanged and then – whether it’s Hay Fever, Present Laughter or Private Lives – you realize that we’re in here for the duration. It’s like a moment of mild claustrophobia.