Brazenly predictable, fearlessly anachronistic, Ronan Noone’s Brendan, which is receiving its world premiere production from the Huntington Theatre Company, is the kind of inspirational tearjerker comedy that is pleasant enough to sit through but damned depressing to think about.
By Caldwell Titcomb It was something of a scandal a half century ago when West Side Story lost the best -musical Tony award to the mediocre and formulaic The Music Man. But time has a way of righting major mistakes. And the pervading verdict now places West Side Story at the pinnacle of the American […]
The Theatre Communications Group is to be congratulated for making readily available one of the most colossal feats in American drama. For those who don’t want the entire “August Wilson Century Cycle,” the plays can also be acquired individually. The August Wilson Century Cycle, by August Wilson, The Theater Communications Group, $200. By Caldwell Titcomb […]
To mark the dedication of the New College Theatre at Harvard on October 17, a panel of four playwrights gathered to address the question “Does Playwriting Have a Future?” To allay suspense, the answer is yes (whew, that’s a relief).
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 […]
By Bill Marx 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, […]
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, […]