The Fountainhead: Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Directed by Ivo van Hove

When I made my Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival subscription selections, I hesitated a moment on this show. Four hours of Toneelgroep Amsterdam — as directed by Ivo van Hove — I knew I would enjoy; four hours of the Objectivist doctrines of Ayn Rand, not so much. Turns out I was right….

Big Dance Theater: 17c

Before there was social media, there was the diary — written in private, but often to an imagined public. Some diaries become read by millions: case in point, the diary of Samuel Pepys. He actually is known to us mainly because of his diary, which he wrote from 1660 until 1669. He spared nothing: his…

State of Siege (L’État de siège)

“Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me…

Richard III

Richard III, as portrayed by William Shakespeare, is a vile humpbacked villain. Richard III, as portrayed by Lars Eidenger of Schaubühne Berlin (and directed by Thomas Ostermeier) last night at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, is almost like an evil deformed rock star dressed in clothing more suited for bondage than for ruling. He is…

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…