887 by Ex Machina

How is it that I have only just discovered Robert Lepage’s fascinating work? No surprise that Brooklyn Academy of Music introduced me to him, by way of the utterly absorbing multimedia theater performance called 887. He and his unbelievably talented group of collaborators, Ex Machina, created an entire world on the stage, taking us not…

By Morning

Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do? — Buddhist koan In a darkened room, a young man in a black suit runs his finger across a lampshade. On the coffee table is a bottle of whisky and three half-finished drinks. Dead flowers slump in a vase. Light shines…

Aging Magician

Last summer in Prospect Park, at Celebrate Brooklyn, I just happened to sit next to the parents of one of the members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. We were all there to experience composer Paola Prestini’s ambitious virtual reality opera, The Hubble Cantata, and the chorus was part of the performance. The parents happened to…

Escaped Alone

I came very close to adding Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill to my BAM subscription this winter but in the end, it did not make the cut (I had to be very selective at the time.) Luckily, my friend Rebecca ended up with an extra ticket and I had the privilege of seeing this terrific play…

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

My week began with a sudden and painful dental emergency, but antibiotics worked their magic and I felt back to normal as the lights dimmed at BAM’s Harvey Theater on Thursday evening. The Beauty Queen of Leenane commenced, and it was not long before I felt a new kind of pain — an uncomfortably real and heart-wrenching…

The Winter’s Tale

This was a bittersweet 2016 Next Wave Festival for me this year. For numerous reasons, I missed out on many shows I wish I could have seen. Thank goodness for the BAM social media team for sharing so much about the performances I could not attend. It was kinda sorta like being there. That said, I…

Finian’s Rainbow

Sometimes you just get lucky. You find money on the sidewalk. You get an unexpected check in the mail — or you find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, like Finian did. In my particular case, I was generously gifted with two tickets to see Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre…

Ardor

Noun, meaning enthusiasm or passion. I like that. I have been savoring the new play, Ardor, by Matthew Gasda, ever since I had the privilege of experiencing it Saturday evening, and I wanted to be sure I understood the exact meaning of its title. How to write about it coherently, however, eludes me. The play…

Kings of War

I sat on the G train on Friday evening — headed to Brooklyn Academy of Music — wondering if I had made a big mistake. Kings of War, performed in Dutch (with surtitles) by Toneelgroep Amsterdam and directed by Ivo van Hove had seemed like a no-brainer. (His Antigone at BAM last fall was fantastic.)…

Letter to a Man

A jarring buzz. The sound of a whip cracking? There are voices all around me. I am not sure where they are coming from. The voices repeat themselves exhaustively — sometimes in Russian. Lights flash on, then abruptly off. Random snatches of music enter my awareness. A man moves like a dream – glacially. Did…

Phaedra(s)

I set off a smoke detector as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night, but it was not because I was smoking. It was because of the hot mess of passion Aphrodite stirred up in the poor Phaedras – all three of them — played with a sizzling ferociousness by the inimitable French…

Denmark

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” —  Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act I, Scene IV Picture this: It is 8 pm on a perfect June day. I am seated on risers in a lovely white room on lower Broadway. A perfectly composed contemporary kitchen and living room is artfully placed in the foreground. Sheer curtains stir in the…