Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: Cherry Lane Theatre

Review | To The Bone by Lisa Ramirez | Directed by Lisa Peterson | Cherry Lane Theatre

I haven’t seen everything but it’s likely that To The Bone is one of the best dramas currently playing in New York.  It’s a gritty, realist play focused on several Hispanic women forming a shared household and employed in a chicken processing factory.  The characters are vivid and individualized, the dialog terrific, and the issues matter.

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Review | Crane Story by Jen Silverman | Directed by Katherine Kovner | The Playwright’s Realm at The Cherry Lane Theatre

… liminality …

Crane Story takes up an interesting topic: mixed states of being.  Characters are Japanese and American, can seem both male and female, and move between the world of the living and the dead.  As Theo, the American guitarist exasperatedly exclaims to his beloved, I don’t know if you’re alive or dead, or a man or a woman.

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Review | David Greenspan performs Gertrude Stein’s Lecture PLAYS | Foundry Theatre | Cherry Lane Theatre

… intelligence at work …

There is a theatrical genius among us:  David Greenspan. On two Mondays in February this charismatic actor and writer performed Gertrude Stein’s lecture about plays as a monologue, Greenspan/Stein.  He characterizes her without imitating her.  How?  By finding the thought processes that lie behind the words and conveying them through his expressions, rhythms, changes of pace and gestures.  The audience concentrates intensely.  The effect:  Stein’s muddy though purposeful lecture takes on the suspense of an action thriller.

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Review | Telephone by Ariana Reines | Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll | Foundry Theatre | Cherry Lane Theatre

(seen in preview)

… is anybody there? …

There’s a really terrific gadget from ancient Egypt illustrated in the current issue of Archaeology magazine (Mar/Apr 09, p 38) — a flat, rectangular stone somewhat rounded at the top, and decorated with ears.  The idea was you could talk into it though the ears and the gods would hear you, “like an ancient cell phone.” Did the gods give ear?  The scientifically minded and result oriented Alexander Graham Bell, as he’s characterized in Part 1 of Telephone, would have been skeptical but Thomas Watson, his collaborator in the great invention, more given to imaginative flights, would have said “I knew it!”  Thus playwright Ariana Reines conveys the complementary aspects of successful invention.

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