Body of Words

Body of Words No. 1

In an author’s note, dramatist Vincent Sessa says that his Body of Words is based on the homecoming of Odysseus. That may not be much help to anyone who knows The Odyssey, since there are only two characters, an older and a younger man, and as the play opens they’ve just completed a bout of … Read more

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The Lighter Side of Communism

New York Music Photographer | Ahron R. Foster

It’s probably safe to say that George Gershwin’s notion of Russian drama as he described it in his classic “But Not for Me” is probably what most people think of it: “I’ve found more clouds of gray/Than any Russian play could guarantee.” It’s to Moira Buffini’s credit that her 2007 adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s play … Read more

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In a Rut in Idaho

Pocatello 2

Samuel D. Hunter made a big splash—excuse the pun—with his play The Whale, for which he won a special Drama Desk Award in 2013. Earlier this year he was honored with a MacArthur “genius” award. His latest play is Pocatello, at Playwrights Horizons, where The Whale was mounted, and it takes place, as his plays … Read more

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Back to Verona

Romeo and Juliet_1409

William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet early in his career, and it’s one of his most frequently performed works. During the past year, New York City has seen two high-profile presentations of the play, both of which were handsomely outfitted and disappointing. The youthful artists of What Dreams May Company (WDMC) are currently offering a frugal production of Romeo … Read more

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Whose Lyric Is It, Anyway?

BLANK1

Back when I was in high school, my cousin and I made up an impromptu jazz-age musical called Loser: The Musical, wherein a lowly, poor broom boy (based on a broom boy at the local Dunkin’ Donuts whom my cousin and her sister insisted I had a crush on — don’t ask) falls in love with … Read more

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Straight White Talking Heads

StraightWhiteMen026R

Playwright Young Jean Lee looks for a challenge in every new play, asking herself “what’s the last show in the world I would ever want to make?” — and then making that show.  Indeed, Lee is known for her provocative, timely, and exciting productions.  Her newest play Straight White Men, however, is less effective in packing a … Read more

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