by Bill Marx In a New York Times article I wrote about earlier this week, dramatist Marsha Norman suggests ways to soften nasty stage reviews, which she claims chase audiences away from the glories of theater and into the decadent arms of television. But how would she discipline a successful homegrown dramatist, Neil LaBute, when […]
by Bill Marx Has anyone actually read the recent Boston Foundation Arts Report? A column in Boston.com suggests that the sputtering economy is essentially to blame for what The Boston Foundation sees as an increasingly tough time for nonprofit theaters. The solution for Boston’s theaters, suggests the starstruck observer, boils down to new and improved […]
By Bill Marx The war over critics-as-bullies is over, but some diehards keep fighting the same old battles to the point of arthritic absurdity, like Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune as old and forgotten American and Japanese veterans of WWII slugging it out in the 1968 movie Hell in the Pacific.The latest retread salvo comes […]
By Bill Marx For any self-respecting Shavian, the major attraction of Canada’s Shaw Festival is the chance to see first-rate productions of plays by GBS and his contemporaries, especially the opportunity to take in ace stagings of scripts that fall outside of the greatest hits list. But during the `80s a close second was the […]
By Caldwell Titcomb NEW YORK, NY: Founded in 1971, the Theater Hall of Fame inducted new members at a January 28 ceremony in the Gershwin Theatre. Multiple Tony-winning Tommy Tune officiated at the 37th annual celebration as Master of Ceremonies. Inductees are voted on by the nationwide American Theater Critics Association and living Hall of […]
by Bill Marx A recent report from the Boston Foundation helpfully advises that if a small arts group’s vision “either dissipated or lost its resonance with its audience or supporters” the troupe should either die quietly or merge with other struggling companies, apparently so they can vanish in bulk more efficiently. But what about larger […]
by Bill Marx What particularly disappointed Boston Globe theater critic Louise Kennedy about the Huntington Theatre Company’s recent production of David Rabe’s Streamers was that it lacked the emotional impact of the 1976 staging of the script. She found it “painful because that earlier production clearly resonated with its audiences as a powerful antiwar statement, […]
Death, starvation, futility, revolution, exploitation — no wonder The Weavers is never produced in the land of plenty.
War is hell, as the Boston Phoenix theater critic Carolyn Clay would have it, but she doesn’t seem to realize that the inferno is a moving target. And it is the diminishing capacity of contemporary American theater to imagine violence and its effects that interests me most about the Huntington Theater Company’s current revival of […]
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.