Theatre
Books

Next Day. Same Time. Same Place:  How Waiting Out the Pandemic Is Like Waiting for Godot

Even though these times of self-isolating feel absurd, the Theater of the Absurd has a lot to teach us about waiting, time, isolation, and feeling like we exist.


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Theatre

Make America Bleed Again: The Violent Geography of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ​'Oklahoma!'​

Originally produced as fascism spread throughout Europe and nativism spread in the US, Oklahoma!'s exploration of belonging was a conspicuously political one.

Theatre

Racism Further Damns the American Dream in the Young Vic's 'Death of a Salesman'

An accomplished cast ignite Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell's compelling production of Arthur Miller's classic, Death of a Salesman, but does making the Lomans a black family enhance Miller's intentions?

Theatre

An American in London (Theatre): Interview with Actor Joseph Mydell

Free from the relentless "black and white" trap in American performing arts, Joseph Mydell talks with PopMatters as he prepares to play Ben Loman in Marianne Elliott's much-anticipated revival of Death of a Salesman at London's Young Vic.

Books

'Dramatic Exchanges' Offers a Delightful Epistolary History of the National Theatre

Daniel Rosenthal's illuminating collection in Dramatic Exchanges brings together some of the letters, postcards, telegrams, and emails exchanged by actors, playwrights, directors and other creatives involved in the National Theatre's story.

Books

David Ireland's 'Ulster American' Satirizes Oppressive Double Standards

Winner of the coveted Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award in 2018, Ulster American is primed to contribute to societal narratives while lampooning contemporary injustices.

Theatre

Making Troy Great Again: On Shakespeare's 'Troilus and Cressida' and Trump's Ugly Political Rhetoric

The Trump presidency is Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida made real – only it's stripped of the mythology and just lying bare and ugly for all to see.

Film

The End of Endings: How 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' and Don DeLillo's 'Zero K' Explain the Current State of Storytelling

Somehow, without realizing it, for both DeLillo and Rowling, death, the end of the world, and endings themselves are best emblematized by a dysfunctional father/son relationship.

Books

Harvey Fierstein's 'Torch Song Trilogy' Resonates Throughout the Decades

Torch Song Trilogy is a progressive and contemplative meditation on gay identity that was radical for the '70s and remains dire for the contemporary moment.

Music

'Summer' Fever: An Interview with Tony-Nominated Triple Threat Ariana DeBose

Putting the sizzle in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Ariana DeBose charts her own course to Broadway stardom.

Books

Stage to Comics Page: George O'Connor's Adaptation of Adam Rapp's Dystopic Play, 'Ball Peen Hammer'

Adam Rapp's characters have to kill and bag children to earn their keep. How does one depict that on stage and on page?

Theatre

The Dusk in Angelica Liddell: The Transgressive Post-Hardcore Theater of 'Esta Breve Tragedia de la Carne'

Spanish avant-garde theater-maker Liddell and veteran metalcore band Converge try to make sense of the brief tragedy of the flesh.

Film

Tribeca 2018:  'Netizens' and 'Every Act of Life'

These important documentaries about online abuse and the works of Terrence McNally attempt to illuminate empathy and social awareness at a time when it is being woefully ignored.

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Ready for Her Cue: An Interview with Soul Legend Valerie Simpson

With dazzle, flair, and "all that jazz", Songwriters Hall of Fame legend Valerie Simpson makes her Broadway debut as Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago: The Musical.

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'A Tokyo Romance' Is a Timeless Commentary on Cross-cultural Engagement

There's something deeply personal and universalistic about Ian Buruma's writing. He acknowledges the multiplicity of possible perspectives without sliding into the rudderless waters of postmodernism.

Film

Why Arthur Miller and Saul Bellow's Doomed American Heroes Are Timeless

Perpetual "losers" Willy Loman and Tommy Wilhelm bitterly struggle to survive amidst the same economic and social forces that continue to challenge their real-world counterparts today.

Books

'Improv Nation' and the Birth of Saturday Night Live

Improv Nation tells the long and astonishing history of the spur-of-the-moment stuff that makes audiences laugh.

Books

'Soul of a Nation' and 'The Wall of Respect' Prompt New Looks at Cutting-edge Black Art

No matter where you are on the wokeness spectrum, the Black Power era has yet to stop informing.

Theatre

Back to Bond Street: An Interview with West End Legend Ray Shell

Forty years after Ray Shell left New York for London, the original Rusty in Starlight Express finds his way home to the East Village.

Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

Books

The Understudy: Theatre Historian Charles Duff on His Memoir, ‘Charley's Woods’

An unexpurgated account of an extraordinary life could, in lesser hands, have been a misery memoir. But Duff created a delightful literary work throughout which, even when revisiting the darkness of his past, he sprinkles gaiety and humour.

Books

Life Makes Us Better Readers: Tess Gallagher's 'The Man from Kinvara'

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Books

Laughter, Tears, Curtain: Nicholas Hytner Recalls His Time Running the National Theatre

Hytner's account of his time as Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Balancing Acts, offers scattered insights but lacks purpose and precision.

Theatre

Broadway's 'The Play that Goes Wrong' Is More Tiresome Than Winsome

The Play That Goes Wrong aims for oversized laughs via an outlandish caricature of a murder-mystery performed within.

Culture

The Spoiled Little Man-Child They Made King: Celebrity, Richard II, and Donald Trump

Did Shakespeare predict Trump? No. That's ridiculous. He just wrote a play about a thin-skinned, petty, self-aggrandising narcissist whose poor leadership drove an empire to ruin. Totally different.

Theatre

Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' Trumps Reality TV

Shakespeare's As You Like It employed every signature reality show convention three and a half centuries before television even existed.

Culture

Stage 773's Comedy Ensemble Unlikely Company Finds Their Footing in Farce

Unlikely Company’s talented ensemble finds both the humor and the melody in adult life, urging us to laugh at our own indulgent banality.

Theatre

'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Is a Radical Revelation

Period adaptations, pagan pastorals, hard-hitting experimenta, and Bowie in Brecht: the BFI’s collection of Alan Clarke’s work at the BBC is essential, revelatory viewing.

Interviews

The Pleasure of New Challenges: An Interview With Andrzej Chyra

The acclaimed Polish actor talks about collaborating with Warlikowski and Skolimowski, and the pleasure of playing Hippolytus opposite Isabelle Huppert in Phaedra(s).

Theatre

Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave Re-team in the Almeida’s Excellent ‘Richard III&#8217

Rupert Goold’s spare, intense production divests Richard III of any pantomime associations and boasts an astounding performance from Ralph Fiennes as the treacherous monarch.

Performing Arts

Isabelle Huppert Unites the Diverse Strands of Warlikowski's 'Phaedra(s)'

Krzysztof Warlikowski’s characteristically idiosyncratic production reflects on the legend and legacy of Phaedra as icon – and draws much of its interest from Isabelle Huppert as icon.

Culture

Helen McCrory Captivates in the National Theatre’s Revival of ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

Carrie Cracknell delivers a beautiful, sensitive and measured production of the Terence Rattigan masterpiece.

Theatre

Sexing Up Brecht: The National Theatre's New Version of 'The Threepenny Opera'

Some fine performances bring Brechtian bite to Rufus Norris’s otherwise disappointing new production of The Threepenny Opera.

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