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 […]
Theater News: New Hall of Fame Members Inducted
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 […]
Boston Foundation To Small Theaters — Drop Dead Please!
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 […]
Theater Commentary: Who’s Afraid of the Antiwar Play?
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, […]
Stage Review: “The Weavers” and The Art of Starvation
Death, starvation, futility, revolution, exploitation — no wonder The Weavers is never produced in the land of plenty.
Stage Review: “Streamers” and Imagining Violence
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 […]
Theater Review: “Brendan” — Ghost Mom to the Rescue
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.
Theater Review: “West Side Story” at 50
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 […]
Book Review: August Wilson Play Cycle — Complete
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 […]
Theater Commentary: Does Playwriting Have a Future?
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).