Mother Courage and Her Children
Classic Stage Company
Written by: Bertolt Brecht
Directed by Brian Klick
Production web 💉 out of 5.
It began in a blackbox. So far so good. Then Mother Courage came out in character and played with the audience trying to sell them watches and buy jewelry off of them. A bit of a gimmick, granted – by my hopes reached up. I thought I was going to see an entirely new take on this literally, war horse of a play. Then the play began, and all was back to the uninspired – – apart from placing the play in the Congo it was what I expected – – but then Tonya Pinkins, as Mother Courage, began to sing and I was right back there in the past with her in the front row of Caroline, or Change. Once she sings you can never forget that voice – – so beautiful, so rich, and so full of soul. NOW, I was in love with this show. Continue reading Mother Courage and Her Children
Once Upon a Mattress
Music by Mary Rogers
Lyrics by Marshall barer
book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer
Directed by: Jack Cummings III
Aaron Arts Center
Production website 1/2💉 out of 5.
I really didn’t want to see Once Upon a Mattress. What I really wanted to see was the “dream casting” that pitted Jackie Hoffman (Princess Winifred) and John “Lypsinka” Epperson (Queen Aggravain) together. I wanted to see this. But the problem was I had to sit through almost two hours of Once Upon a Mattress to get to this. It really wasn’t a bad production. Most of it felt like a very competent college production of Once Upon the Mattress that roped in two gay icons of the stage – – Hoffman and Lypsinka. If only there had been more of them and less of the rest. Continue reading Once Upon a Mattress
produced by Theatre of the Nations, Moscow
written by August Strindberg
adapted by Mikhail Durnenkov
Lincoln Center Festival
directed by Thomas Ostermeier
July 27, 2015
Production website 💉 out of 5
What in the hell was I supposed to be watching? I had the following choices throughout the entire production:
1. Snow falling around the circular revolving stage.
2. Sub-titles in 3 various screens.
3. A giant screen upstage with a down camera focused on the kitchen sink and stove top as food was made and dishes left dirty. For at least 30 minutes we simply watched a pile of dirty dishes being projected on the 20’ upstage screen.
4. And, oh, the actors – – them too.
Smartly I got tickets a good deal of distance from the stage so that my neck wasn’t unduly dislocated. Continue reading Miss Julie
by Annie Baker
directed by Sam Gold
July 25, 2015
NO 💉. I would rather go into rehab. Thank you very much.
I have broken a personal record: I have see the very WORST PLAY I have ever seen in NYC. The only reason that I stayed beyond the first hour and the first of two intermissions is that I wanted to see if, in some way, a play could take me from totally numb to comotose. I am one to NEVER nod off in a play – – but, oh what a relieve that would be here. AND the ironic thing is that this play (loosely used term) is by Annie Baker, the author of my favorite play of the summer, The Flick. Continue reading John
by Joshua Harmon
directed by Trip Cullman
July 17, 2015
💉 out of 5.
I am really not so sure what makes this significant. Significant Others is a play that sets out to explore how hard it is for a twenty-something gay man to find the “one.” For all of his consternating with his grandmother, employing of all social media options and championing of his best girl buddies he simply can’t “get any.” I guess we are supposed to care.
The play does have its funny moments as wedding parties always create a drunken free-for-all. And protagonist Jordan Berkan certainly does fly across the stage in a caffeinated craze – – but I simply didn’t care for him. He seemed so whiny and shallow as he pursued the elusive Abacrombie-like model that did little but stand on a raised platform for admiration.
He did talk to his grandmother, played by the talented Barbara Barrie. She either ask him “how’s your love life? (which she does more then a dozen times) or she is oddly and comfortably planning her suicide. What??
The set was massive – – a series of rooms and levels but none of them got used. Most was played on the apron in front. Why build such a big set and never inhabit it.
Significant Other would undoubtable make good TV. But to get all dressed up, catch 3 trains, pay over $75 and not to have your dog on your lap – – it simply wasn’t worth the trip. It might have even different for the twenty-sowing in the audience but for this fifty-something no.