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…

Henry V

It has been a season of endings: both for BAM’s King and Country cycle of Shakespeare’s King plays, as well as for the folding of the print magazine I designed for years. (Print is dead. Long live print!) Focusing on the job situation is the reason for this extremely late review of Henry V, and for…

Henry IV, Parts I & II

On two separate evenings, I immersed myself in the world of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, as performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at BAM. (April 6 for Henry IV part I and last night for part II.) I must say, it’s been great to see the lively commentary about the plays on BAM’s blog. I am…

Richard II

Seeing a big name celebrity being billed does not determine whether or not I will select a play. I have to be drawn to the play itself. If it happens to have a star in the lead role, great, but that is no guarantee of a good performance. That said, I attended opening night of Richard…

Krapp’s Last Tape

After a bit of a hiatus, I was once again compelled to make the trek to Montclair State University last night for their incredible Peak Performances series. One of the first performances I ever attended there was in 2013 when I saw the delightful Robert Wilson production of Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter. It was a…

The Cherry Orchard

I came very close to missing out on Maly Drama Theatre’s production of The Cherry Orchard last night at BAM. Months ago, I had set a strict limit for myself: I did not have the time nor the resources to see everything I wanted to see in the Winter/Spring season. I would have to brutally…

The Glory of the World

The winter season at BAM has begun, and I’d like to propose a toast to The Glory of the World. I had seen Big Love at BAM in 2001 (by the same writer/director team) so I was excited to see what they had dreamed up this time. It was a raucous party, that’s what it was. It…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part II

It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I attended my last event as part of the fabulous Spinning Wheel Festival last night at BRIC — joy because this was an incredible experience and sadness because it is nearly over. (The first two events I attended are reviewed here.) This two-week multimedia festival was…