AARON LANDSMAN: EMPATHY SCHOOL & LOVE STORY (SV PICK, NY) and more...


AARON LANDSMAN: EMPATHY SCHOOL & LOVE STORY (SV PICK, NY)

(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in the New York Times, 4/22.)

Because theater is an inherently social form, most plays are date shows — capital-E events that you want to attend with someone else, so you can rehash the pleasures and problems of them afterward. But there are also those rarer plays to which you to want to go solo, works that make you savor the pleasures of being solitary.

Take “Empathy School & Love Story,” the writer and director Aaron Landsman’s engaging diptych on varieties of loneliness, which runs through Saturday at the Abrons Arts Center. Made up of two monologues (but of course), it’s an ideal single-ticket show, perfect for pondering on a quiet walk home by yourself, especially on a spring night in Manhattan that draws out those ephemeral human butterflies called New Yorkers.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/theater/review-empathy-school-love-story-plumbs-the-varieties-of-loneliness.html?rref=collection%2Fdu-guide-theater%2Ftheater-guide&action=click&contentCollection=undefined®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest-stories&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


DRAMA DESK NOMINATIONS 2016 (FULL LIST)

 
 

DRAMA DESK NOMINATIONS 2016 (FULL LIST):

Outstanding Play 
The Christians, Playwrights Horizons 
The Humans, Roundabout Theatre Company 
John, Signature Theatre 
King Charles III
The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater 

Outstanding Musical 
First Daughter Suite, Public Theater 
Daddy Long Legs 
School of Rock
Shuffle Along
Waitress 

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Cloud Nine, Atlantic Theater Company
Death of a Salesman, New Yiddish Rep
Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse at St. Ann’s Warehouse
Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Roundabout Theatre Company
A View From the Bridge
Women Without Men, Mint Theater Company 

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple 
The Golden Bride, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
Fiddler on the Roof 
She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company
Spring Awakening 

(Read more)

http://dramadeskawards.com/nominees

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


ROBERT GOTTLIEB: BRILLIANT, TROUBLED DOROTHY PARKER

(Gottlieb’s article appeared in the New York Review of Books, 4/7.)

What are we to make today of this famous woman who, beginning almost a century ago, has fascinated generations with her wit, flair, talent, and near genius for self-destruction? For some, what registers most strongly is her central role in the legend of the Algonquin Round Table, with its campiness of wisecracks, quips, and put-downs—a part of her life she would come to repudiate. For others, it’s the descent into alcoholism, and the sad final years holed up in Manhattan’s Volney Hotel. Pick your myth.

As for her writing, it has evoked ridiculous exaggeration from her votaries, both her contemporaries and her biographers. Vincent Sheean: “Among contemporary artists, I would put her next to Hemingway and Bill Faulkner. She wasn’t Shakespeare, but what she was, was true.” John Keats in his biography of her, You Might as Well Live (1970): “She wrote poetry that was at least as good as the best of Millay and Housman. She wrote some stories that are easily as good as some of O’Hara and Hemingway.” This is praise that manages to be inflated and qualified at the same time.

(Read more)

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/04/07/brilliant-troubled-dorothy-parker/

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


TO BE OR NOT TO BE. PRINCE CHARLES, CUMBERBATCH, DENCH, MCKELLEN, ET AL. (SHAKESPEARE LIVE AT THE RSC)

 
 

(via Pam Green)

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

PATRICIA N. SAFFRAN ON ‘TOAST’ BY RICHARD BEAN

It’s hard to imagine how Richard Bean’s early play, from 1999, has come back on stage, now at 59 East 59th St Theaters (as part of the annual Brits Off Broadway festival).  There is nothing but offensive, sophomoric crotch grabbing, swearing, and fist pumping, standing in for sex, with no recognizable plot.  The play takes place in an outmoded, filthy bakery that should have been closed down by any kind of health inspector, but hey, these are lower-class bakers just doing their jobs, without any dignity given to them by the playwright.  The set is comprised of all gray, dirty walls--from flour and used tea bags constantly being banged against them (the bags somehow always miss the over-filled, never-changed trash can).  Matthew Kelly, as Nellie, leads a fine cast who have nowhere to go in this play.  None of the actors seemed comfortable with their lines, nor should they be.  Bean’s One Man, Two Govnors had the same problem regarding juvenile swearing.  It made a US star of James Corden, but he would have been even funnier in the real Goldoni play, from 1743, which didn’t need updating to be relevant or comical.  We saw a revival of the original not long before Bean’s version.   Pass up Toast.   

© 2016 by Patricia Saffran.  All rights reserved.

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

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