O Most Dread Dane

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If you have seen Hamlet several times and are likely to be bored with a straightforward rendering, then perhaps the Classic Stage Company’s new modern-dress production, directed by Austin Pendleton, is the one for you. It’s full of bizarre ideas to a fault. Where to begin? Well, one of the great revenge tragedies no longer … Read more

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Folk Song Flashback

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Anyone who wants a nostalgic journey into the history of folk music in America can find it in James O’Neil’s Lonesome Traveler, a generous program of famous songs (and some lesser-known ones) delivered in the personae of their most renowned performers, including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, and the Kingston Trio. … Read more

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Small Mouth Sounds

Small Mouth feature

Small Mouth Sounds is an apt title for Bess Wohl’s new play, since the work explores a spiritual retreat where silence is the rule. The six characters on the retreat use mostly facial expressions and gestures to make themselves understood, and director Rachel Chavkin has cast the production at Ars Nova with wonderful faces, worthy … Read more

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Artists on Trial

Hamish Linklater John Noble

The lives of great playwrights have proved fodder for dramatists before Doug Wright. Edward Bond put Shakespeare on stage in Bingo (1973), and Christopher Marlowe was the main event in Peter Whelan’s The School of Night (1992) and David Grimm’s Kit Marlowe (2000). David Hare wrote about Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss (1998).  But … Read more

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Delusions Unto Death

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After seeing the Goodman Theatre revival of The Iceman Cometh in Brooklyn, it’s tempting to wonder what Eugene O’Neill would have thought of purveyors of the modern 90-minute intermissionless play. Sloth-ridden pikers, perhaps? O’Neill’s late masterpiece runs four hours and 45 minutes at BAM, and it is surely one of the bleakest plays ever written. … Read more

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A Chilly Romance

Winter's Tale feature

Shakespeare’s late play The Winter’s Tale has always presented directors with difficulties, notably that Leontes, the Sicilian king who dominates the first half, becomes insanely jealous of the friendship of his pregnant queen, Hermione, and his best friend, Polixenes, king of Bohemia, some nine months after Polixenes has arrived for a visit. Indeed, on the … Read more

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