Not every critic is inspired by British playwright Tom Stoppard’s epic, Tony award-winning trilogy about the trials and tribulations of the 19th century Russian radical Alexander Herzen. Download the podcast By Bill Marx I had high expectations for Tom Stoppard’s labor of love, but walked away from his bloated homage to the great Russian journalist […]
A real life collision of legends of stage and screen that took place almost 50 years ago is a seductive, but dangerous, idea for a play.
Increasingly, artistic directors are expected to be super-successful fundraisers, an unstable hybrid of peddler and visionary that throttles artistic independence. By Bill Marx The failure to renew the contract of Robert Woodruff as artistic director of one of America’s major regional theaters, the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University, is symptomatic of a new […]
In her latest project, Pulitzer prize-winning dramatist Suzan-Lori Parks covers the country. By Jared Craig Four years ago, Suzan-Lori Parks set out to do what no dramatist, no matter how prolific, has ever done before. The Pulitzer prize-winning playwright decided to write a play for each day of the year. Her mission completed, the scripts […]
Quick: name a script about a classical musician.
By Thomas Garvey It hit me about halfway through the second act, when a shirtless Joe Wilson, Jr. slid down a rope and began to work a truly spectacular set of pecs: “Ain’t Misbehavin’” could be the horniest show I’ve ever seen in Boston. And Wilson is the horniest thing in it – in fact, […]
Stephen Greenblatt’s acclaimed biography of Shakespeare is filled with fascinating speculations.
“Whoever manages to write a pure comedy on his deathbed has achieved the ultimate success.” — Thomas Bernhard A biography examines, with mixed results, the life and work of Thomas Bernhard, an acclaimed Austrian writer and playwright his homeland loved to hate. Thomas Bernhard: The Making of an Austrian by Gitta Honegger. Yale University Press, 348 pages. […]
“The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan” provides literate entertainment and cautionary tales about what happens to a critic when the will-to-celebrity triumphs over the urge-to-critique. The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan Edited by John Lahr. Bloomsbury, 439 pages. By Bill Marx Kenneth Tynan’s descent from brilliance to muddle is a fable for theater critics, a cautionary tale […]