“Of course, while Bernstein was sympathetically attuned to the political ramifications of the themes, in the end Candide plays just as aptly as a critique of the persistent sunniness of the American musical (whether Broadway or Hollywood) ostensibly demanded by audiences. ” — by MYRON MEISEL
“One can tell that the new year is beginning for theater when encountering two solo performances in a single week, thereby already making a heavy dent in my allotment of the form. (Without some effort at resistance and selectivity, one can overreach the limits of tolerance well before summer.) Luckily, both these contrasting exemplars are exceptional entries, well worth redeeming your ration coupons for. ” — by MYRON MEISEL
“However, the secret weapon that truly elevates the Cirque beyond mere jaw-dropping extravaganza remains its resolutely ingenious showmanship, anchored by an unstinting commitment to create a meaningful context for all its dexterous derring-do through a fully realized and consistent theatrical vision.” — BY MYRON MEISEL
The perquisites of privilege are so inescapably fulsome and intrinsically unfair, and so inadequately copped to, that it may just be impossible for such men to behave well enough in a world that favors us so reflexively to the detriment of the validity and opportunity of everyone else. Lee milks the hapless absurdity of this existential quandary both for derisive laughs and a scintilla of poignant pathos. — BY MYRON MEISEL
Hamletmachine: The Arab Spring; Far Away; Love and Information; The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek; Viva La Mamma!
In her own prolix and pixilated way, Churchill achieves a mastery of economic tone. By contrast, in his immensely satisfying latest play, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, Athol Fugard, perhaps our greatest living playwright, condenses his dramatic gestures beyond the merely epigrammatic into concentrated essences. — BY MYRON MEISEL
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the adventuress Isabelle Eberhardt has something of the qualities of a Great White Whale herself: a life of such convulsively original self-creation that she can be appropriated to accommodate any conceivable perception.– BY MYRON MEISEL
“Hopscotch”‘s meta-significance may lie in its unabashed embodiment of an anti-operatic happening, shorn of opera’s traditional barriers of social class and pretension (as well as a Happening’s reliance on spontaneity and chance). Yet most of the various innovations can be viewed as effectively a brazen checklist of grant-magnet attributes: prolix profundities, expanding audience appeal to younger demographics, technologically savvy, community-based, environmentally grounded, academically au courant theoretical underpinnings. — BY MYRON MEISEL
What’s bracing is that everything O’Neill tackled has been thoroughly reconceived in century-later terms, most impressively in some of the most originally-wrought dialogue I’ve heard in a long while: snappy, cryptic, cynical and ingenuous all at the same time. Better still, Kelley’s own production transforms what might read stilted on the page into something rich and strange and alive.– BY MYRON MEISEL
Antigone’s justifications for her beliefs may provide a principled basis for resistance to oppressive authority, against collaboration and for fundamental liberty of conscience, but as applicable as they may have been as a parable for refusal of Nazi tyranny, they uncannily also precisely mirror the heinous positions of a Kim Davis, insisting on the holiness of her sacrifice for the primacy of her own personal beliefs over the dictates of the State. –BY MYRON MEISEL
The Baker’s Wife; These Paper Bullets! A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing; First Date; and Bonnie & Clyde
Like probably everyone else of my generation, my entry point into the theater was through the musicals, back when they embodied rather than aped the pop music of the time, when one’s piano teacher would breathlessly announce on arrival that he had in hand pirated copies of the latest sheet music from the newest Broadway hit.