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by James Yeara July 5, 2012

The laughs come regularly at Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2012 season-opening Main Stage production. This isn’t surprising: Oscar Wilde was a genius, and The Importance of Being Earnest is his comic masterpiece. It’s a damned funny ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Among the Living

by James Yeara July 5, 2012


  The annual Play by Play festival of new one-act plays at Stageworks/Hudson always has something to please almost everyone, and this year the eight one-acts, the performances, and the staging are uniformly excellent. Play by ...

The Common Touch

by James Yeara June 27, 2012


The scene suggests Chekhov: Three sisters enter one after the other, their late-Edwardian dresses trailing across the floor. Their matching hats create a halo for each, and their white elbow-length opera gloves lend a statue’s ...

Shakespeare & Company

Brilliantly Conceived

by James Yeara May 29, 2012


  No. 1: Intermission. No. 2: See this. No. 3: Extend the run. No. 1 is a one-word suggestion to playwright Duncan Macmillan; No. 2 is a two-word recommendation for anyone who likes theater; No. 3 is ...

Barrington Stage Company Stage 2

Digging In the Dirt

by rwydro May 16, 2012


  Director John Sowle’s set design at Stageworks/Hudson makes it easy to see why The Mound Builders was the late Lanford Wilson’s favorite play. While the Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly or Hot L Baltimore or Burn ...


Savagely Funny

by John Rodat May 10, 2012


  For a play with such an apocalyptic title, the setting and stakes of God of Carnage are mundane: Two couples, the Raleighs and the Novaks, meet in the Cobble Hill apartment of the latter, to ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Soul to Soul

by James Yeara March 22, 2012


The first song starts immediately once the lights fade into a blackout, and “Down on Me” reverberates like a call from the shores of the Hudson River far beyond the walls of the theater. Then ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Big Men in Town

by B.A. Nilsson March 7, 2012

Jersey Boys
Forrest Theatre

  Frankie Valli’s Four Seasons were one of the few groups who withstood the seismic blast the Beatles wrought upon pop music in 1964. With No. 1 hits before, during, and after the height of the ...


Dressed to Kill

by James Yeara February 16, 2012


Wit’s not the thing you need around the house, And it’s no joy to have a bookish spouse. When I get married, you can bet your life My man will study nothing but his wife --Martine, Act 5, scene ...

Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

A Real Pisser

by John Rodat February 9, 2012


  The musical Urinetown is a curious blend of earnest social commentary and ironic self-awareness. On the one hand, it scolds (if it doesn’t quite skewer) capitalistic-monopolistic command over essential resources; on the other, it satirizes ...


by James Yeara February 1, 2012


Rich in theatrical allusions and as pregnant with satire and humor as a Chekhov or a Shaw play, Wendy Wasserstein’s The Sisters Rosensweig ripples with laughter as it pricks the soul. This 1992 follow up ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

A Little Ooky

by Shawn Stone December 1, 2011


You can’t kill cartoonist Charles Addams’ bizarre characters. You can bend them and twist them for various media, but their inner nature shines through. In its finest moments, the newish musical version of The Addams Family, ...

Better for This

by Kathryn Geurin November 22, 2011


Man of La Mancha, the Tony Award-winning musical classic of Impossible Dreams currently on stage at Capital Repertory Theater, finds author-actor-tax-collector Miguel Cervantes and his manservant tossed in a dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition for ...

We Interrupt This Broadcast

by B.A. Nilsson October 13, 2011


The infamous 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds exists in at least two versions. There’s the broadcast itself, which took place at particular time when politics and technology combined to explode what ...

Original Glazed

by James Yeara September 29, 2011


The opening of Capital Repertory Theatre’s Superior Donuts is the perfect metaphor for the state America is in today. The production begins in the rundown interior of missing owner Arthur Przybyszewski’s (George Tynan Crowley) 60-year-old ...

Spark and Sputter

by James Yeara September 14, 2011


The 21 scenes in Ismail Khalidi’s Tennis in Nablus show off Stageworks/Hudson at its best and worst. A new play having its East Coast premiere, Tennis in Nablus centers on Palestine, spring 1939. In some ...


by B.A. Nilsson August 31, 2011


A friend who works for the state described the office scene last Friday: an exodus of fellow workers fleeing to sandbag their homes in advance of Irene. Friday night I attended this Oldcastle Theatre production ...

Out of Time

by James Yeara August 24, 2011


The leisure-class clash in Autres Temps, the Wharton Salon’s third annual production at the Mount, has been given an effectively timely update. First published in Century magazine exactly 100 years ago this August, Edith Wharton’s ...

Sister Act

by The Staff August 24, 2011


If you take reasonably good care of yourself and avoid safes falling from the sky, you’ll win the consolation prize of becoming an orphan. It’s too late to settle your parental issues, but the ghost ...

Summer Lovin’

by John Rodat August 11, 2011


The musical Grease was, in its original inception, a gritty drama about working-class teens in 1950s Chicago. But, according to playwright Jim Jacobs, he was told that for the play to be successful he needed ...

Mac-Haydn Theatre

Beauty Versus the Biz

by James Yeara August 11, 2011

For its innaugural production, Berkshire Actors Theatre presents a stiletto interpretation of John Patrick Shanley’s 1993 smackdown of moviemaking, Four Dogs and a Bone. An Academy Award winner for Moonstruck and a Pulitzer Prize winner ...

New Stage Performing Center

Keeping It Real

by Kathryn Geurin July 28, 2011


The first person ever to conduct Internet securities fraud—manipulating Wall Street from a dial-up connection in his New Jersey home—was 15 years old. This tidbit may not sound like prime musical-theater fodder. But writer-composer team ...

Strangers With Cheeseballs

by John Rodat July 28, 2011

I was unaware that sibling entertainers Amy and David Sedaris had written a play together until I saw the billing for the New Stage Performing Arts Center’s production of The Book of Liz. (I have ...

Broadway Gold

by James Yeara July 28, 2011

Mel Brooks’ satirical Broadway smash The Producers is unquestionably comic gold. The 2001 musical won a record 12 Tony Awards that year then ran for six years and some 2,500 performances on Broadway, spawning subsequent ...

Hallelujah, Baby

by B.A. Nilsson July 20, 2011


With all eight pieces of the band wailing as Leslie Uggams gives a powerhouse treatment to “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” you can’t help but be impressed the energy. It’s a great sound, ...