The weakness of the play is so shockingly transparent –- the love birds spend most of the play orating their (occasionally) steamy letters to the audience –- that the explanation must be that Brand Shakespeare has struck again: companies figure that anything about the Bard will draw a crowd. by Bill Marx I wanted to […]
by Bill Marx The schizophrenia is instructive if somewhat dizzying. At the Calderwood Pavilion, the Huntington Theatre Company kicks off its season with “The Atheist,” a cynical exercise in scatological anti-heroism about a sleazy reporter who blackmails his way to fame. On its main stage at the Boston University Theater the HTC wallows in PG […]
Machiavellian monsters aren’t what they used to be in the theater. The gloriously godless creeps that memorably rampage their way through the plays of Shakespeare, Jonson, Shaw and Brecht scale the dizzying heights of inhuman ambition and self-admiration. The closest contemporary American theater comes to that kind of mountain-sized ego is Roy Cohn in Angels […]
When George Bernard Shaw’s comedy Misalliance, subtitled “a debate,” premiered in 1910, critics couldn’t make heads or tails of the play. It didn’t matter if the reviewer was sympathetic to Shavian excess — the evening’s self-parodying polemics and prophetic theater-of-the-absurd trappings were too much. The production closed after 11 performances: the script, along with the […]
Given the timidity of so many American theater companies, who seem to reserve their courage for implementing new marketing schemes, reminders of what creative risk is all about serve a useful purpose. Some theater artists around the world face jail when they perform on stage. On August 22, special forces of the Belorussian police raided […]
After four movie versions of Alexandre Dumas’s nineteenth-century novel, does it make any sense to make a musical out of The Three Musketeers? The film versions efficiently present the book’s mix of comic book mayhem and romance and are available on DVD and video. By Bill Marx I can’t think of any successful swashbuckling musicals, […]
Some show biz flair-ups are dead debacles walking. Producers sparked a flap in Chicago recently by tossing accusations of foul play at a critic whom they claimed wrote about shows she didn’t have permission to review.
Bloggers predicted that CEO/President Josiah Spaulding Jr.’s over-the-top 1.265 million dollar retention bonus would spark inquiries into how much money goes where at the Citi Performing Arts Center (CPAC). It does not seem too much to ask, given that the state and other funders are throwing much moolah at a troubled nonprofit arts institution whose […]
Revving up marketing machinery raises some uncomfortable questions: Why should donors give funds to a theater if their money is going to pay for focus groups and demographic studies rather than to support the work of artists?
The same publicity firm, Weber Shandwick, that launched the “got milk?” campaign is doing damage control for Citi Performing Arts Center and its beleaguered Chairman and CEO Josiah Spaulding, Jr. Perhaps a recent Boston Globe editorial calling for Spaulding to be replaced was the last straw. WS has sent out an image-repair “open letter” to […]