Theater

Theater

Sophocles’ Antigone, in Japanese, directed by Satoshi Miyagi

Sophocles’ Antigone is a play written 2.500 years ago but in many ways relevant for today’s culture. In this performance, Greek tragedy and Japanese theater join forces to create a magical, mystic and spiritual experience of this tragedy in a show that combines Japanese culture and Greek drama. Twenty-nine actors and a director create an experience that deals with loss, memory, and duty—a performance that unites cultures, techniques and aesthetic types.
Musical Theater

Broadway Close Up: Love Who You Love, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center

This program, subtitled “a 100-year survey of gay and lesbian writers and characters on Broadway from the 1920s to 2020,” was just as good musically but more emotionally-charged than similar “Broadway tributes” at this venue. The outpouring of feelings was probably due to the subject matter—the work of gay and lesbian music makers— along with coming out stories and brief, but necessary, references to the AIDS crisis. Even though this was the second performance, the emotions felt entirely genuine and often brought cheers from the audience. The program was designed to examine the history of closeted writers and coded imagery while detailing how more open and explicit the classification became starting in the 1970s.
Theater

DruidShakespeare: Richard III, directed by Garry Hynes at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival

Garry Hynes’ concept, which balanced respect for Shakespeare’s text with its many parallels with current events in the United States, Russia, and the UK, was, well, unimpeachable. Last year I enthusiastically reviewed a compelling, if rough and ready production directed by Austin Pendleton, which arose out of a feeling that Richard III—actually The Wars of the Roses, incorporating excerpts from Henry VI, Part 3—urgently needed to be put before an American audience for them to see the evils of contemporary politics reflected in it, no matter what limitations the situation placed on production values. The niceties of scansion and rhetoric were at times compromised by a passion to get the message across. Druid’s Richard III was impeccably, beautifully spoken, and costumed with an elegance which went against the contemporary trend towards plainness and recalled the sumptuous look of early twentieth century productions. Yet the messages were brought out with adroitness and eloquence.
Musical Theater

Broadway Close Up: Bound for Broadway—Ladies First

Tony nominee and Emmy Award-winning singer and actress Liz Callaway hosted the evening, delighting the audience both with her presence and her acknowledgement that all of the evenings’ shows were written or co-written by women. Charming, unpretentious and funny, she launched into You Don’t Own Me, a 60s shout-out to women’s lib (although the movement didn’t hit its stride for another decade.) 
Coming Up and Of Note

Only a week away! Michael Miller’s Solo Play, “Transfiguration”, at the Metropolitan Playhouse and the New York International Fringe Festival, October 12th (7:30 pm) and 13th (2 pm). Buy your tickets now!

Michael Miller's solo play "Transfiguration," winner of Best One-Man Drama at the 2018 United Solo Festival, will return to New York City on October 12th (7:30 pm) and 13th (2 pm) at the Metropolitan Playhouse as part of the 2019 New York International Fringe Festival. Gary Hilborn will repeat his award-winning performance, directed by Graydon Gund.
Theater

Handbagged by Moira Buffini at 59 East 59

Anglophiles, those with a taste for recent British history and anyone who would like a look back at a non-PC world will enjoy this entertaining gabfest. Writer Moira Buffini has imagined a lengthy series of interchanges between Queen Elizabeth and her Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, sprinkling these liberally with references to events they shared. The transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, relationships with President and Mrs. Reagan, Charles and Diana’s wedding, the Falklands and a much else gets a brief look at as two Queens, (Anita Carey as Q and Beth Hylton as a younger version dubbed Liz), and two Iron Ladies, (Kate Fahy as T and Susan Lynskey as the younger Mags), meet repeatedly, talk about what passed for state business and drop asides. 

Theater

Lone Star by James McClure at the Thirteenth Street Repertory Theater

It’s Angel’s Bar, a good-ole-boy hangout in Maynard, Texas with bales of hay, beer  bottles, an outline of the Lone Star state on a door and graffiti on the walls. Two ragged men with battered Stetsons speak as one sloppily sweeps up escaping hay and I thought, ah, the performance. No, it was the house rules with the usual explanations about exit signs augmented with some barroom bits like “no touching.”

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