LISA DWAN: INHERITING BECKETT and more...


LISA DWAN: INHERITING BECKETT

 

(Anthony Lane’s article appeared in the New Yorker, 9/29.)

The Irish actress Lisa Dwan first performed “Not I,” by Samuel Beckett, in 2005, and has returned to the fray many times. It is not a piece for the fainthearted. Recently, an audience member suffered a panic attack and had to leave halfway through the play, even though it lasts a matter of minutes, less than most theatres allow for intermission. All that can be seen from the auditorium is a single mouth, held in a spotlight and chattering without cease—or, at least, pausing only to shriek. New Yorkers may feel they can get that kind of thing for free on a daily basis, but Dwan, undaunted, is bringing “Not I” to town. BAM will put its money where her mouth is and stage the play—plus Beckett’s “Footfalls” and “Rockaby”—as part of a one-woman hour-long trilogy, from October 7th through October 12th.

Back in summer, on a hot bright morning, Dwan put “Not I” through its paces at the Royal Court Theatre, in London. “I do it three times a day for a month before it opens,” she said. A vertical board, eight feet high, was wheeled onto the stage. At head height was an oval gap, not unlike the openings through which customers at amusement parks used to poke their faces to be photographed. This was the unamusing kind, with the hole lined in black felt. “There’s still some blood around the edges,” Dwan said. “It cuts my ears.”

(Read more)

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/29/chatterbox

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 .

     

NAMBI E. KELLEY: ‘NATIVE SON’ (REVIEW PICK, CHI)

  

(Chris Jones’s article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 9/22.)

In 1938, a young African-American named Robert Nixon, a man born in small-town Louisiana, was executed by the electric chair in Chicago for the murder of Florence Thompson Castle, whom Nixon was convicted of killing with a brick. Even by the standards of the time, the racist outpouring that followed Nixon's arrest was astonishing. "He is very black — almost pure Negro" read the last paragraph of the story in this newspaper on June 5, 1938. "His physical characteristics suggest an early link in the species."

That case — and, according to interviews at the time, that specific article — provoked a brilliant young Chicago writer named Richard Wright, the son of a sharecropper, to fully forge "Native Son." The 1940 story of a young black man named Bigger Thomas for whom racism, poverty and ill treatment become so imbued in his psyche as to turn his South Side existence into hell itself. "Native Son" is one of the most thematically crucial and formatively complex American novels of the first half of the 20th century. It sold 250,000 copies within three weeks of its publication. But, all boiled down, it's the story of an impoverished and oppressed man trapped in the very depths of human existence and in a destiny defined and compelled by others.

(Read more)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/reviews/ct-ent-0922-native-son-review-20140923-story.html

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 .

     

IVAN VIRIPAEV: ‘ILLUSIONS’ (REVIEW PICK, NY)

(Neil Genzlinger’s review appeared in The New York Times, 9/19; via Pam Green.)

Ivan Viripaev, a well-regarded Russian playwright and screenwriter, apparently likes a challenge. He certainly sets himself one with “Illusions,” his New York debut, at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. It’s as if he asked himself, “Can I create a play out of four actors who don’t act so much as recite, and who never address one another?”

He can, and he did, and it makes for a surprisingly engaging, oddly moving work about love, commitment and missed opportunities. The piece, translated and directed by Cazimir Liske, presents the fragmentary tale of two married couples who were lifelong friends. Four actors (Anthony Gaskins, Stephanie Hayes, Annie Purcell and Mickey Solis) relate the intertwined stories of their lives, not so much portraying the four as embodying their perspectives

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/theater/illusions-a-tale-of-two-couples-who-are-lifelong-friends.html

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 .

     

A. R. GURNEY: ‘LOVE LETTERS’ (REVIEW PICK, NY)

(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/18; via Pam Green.)

"Love Letters": Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy, who will be succeeded by other couples in A. R. Gurney’s two-person play at the Brooks Atkinson. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Continue reading the main story Share This Page

The dying art of putting pen to paper to exchange news is being celebrated on Broadway this fall. “Love Letters,” A. R. Gurney’s durable epistolary play, in which two actors sit on comfortable chairs onstage and read from the lifelong correspondence between a man and a woman from the East Coast upper crust, has made it to the big time, commercially speaking.

A rotating cast of stars, beginning with Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow, will be taking the stage of the Brooks Atkinson Theater, where the production opened Thursday night under the expert direction of Gregory Mosher, to remind us that before emails and texts, before emoticons and emojis and Facebook and Instagram, people communicated their fondest hopes, their casual observations and their lame jokes on paper, with pen or pencil or perhaps a typewriter, and then stuffed the results into quaint things called mailboxes.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/theater/brian-dennehy-and-mia-farrow-in-love-letters-on-broadway.html

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 .

 

     

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: ‘CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF’ (REVIEW PICK, UK)

(Alfred Hickling’s article appeared in The Guardian, 9/19.)

Tennessee Williams’s aim in writing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was to capture “that cloudy, flickering, effervescent interplay of live human beings in the thundercloud of a common crisis”. This joint production by Northern Stage, the Royal and Derngate and Manchester’s Royal Exchange certainly delivered that, though hardly in the manner the author intended.

Shortly before the press performance, Daragh O’Malley, who was due to play the central role of Big Daddy, was taken ill, and the production’s director, James Dacre stepped in to read in the part. It was a bold choice, highlighting the professionalism of the cast in rising to the challenge and shedding light on the troubled development of Williams’s play.

The playwright had reluctantly revised the work at the insistence of the original director, Elia Kazan, but was never satisfied with the suggestion that Big Daddy – the crude, bullish cotton patriarch who refuses to accept he is riddled with cancer – should make a conciliatory final appearance. The published text contains the alternative versions of the third act (the recent West Yorkshire Playhouse revival hedged its bets by incorporating elements of both).

(Read more)

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/sep/19/cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-northern-stage

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 .

     

More Recent Articles


Click here to safely unsubscribe from "Stage Voices." Click here to view mailing archives, here to change your preferences, or here to subscribePrivacy