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

Category: Off-Broadway Theater Page 5 of 30

Yvonne Korshak writes Let’s Talk Off-Broadway fired by the sense that the best theater in New York City is off-Broadway and she wants to spread the word. She conveys the essence of the show – what’s this play about? What would it be like to see it? How is it wonderful? And where might it be stronger?

Review | (A Very) Long Day’s Journey Into Night | by Eugene O’Neill | Roundabout Theatre Company

… very long day’s journey …

Long Day’s Journey Into Night has a particular importance and glamour as an autobiographical work by one of America’s greatest playwrights, with the Tyrone family in the play being drawn from Eugene O’Neill’s memories of his own family.  While often called a masterpiece, Long Day’s Journey is a wordy and repetitive play.  For the psychological infighting, love-hate interactions and deceptions to remain compelling for the play’s 3 ¾ hours running time, it needs great actors with psychological depth.  Jessica Lange is effective as the mother but the three male actors are disappointing.

Adam Rapp's Wolf In The River at The Flea Theater. Kate Thulin, Jack Ellis and Michael Swift ... and audience looking on. Photo Hunter-Canning

Review | Wolf In The River | Written and Directed by Adam Rapp | Featuring the Bats | Flea Theater

… why we go to the theater …

This is great theater.  It’s hard to separate the play itself from the creative staging and perfect acting but it all adds up to as stunning a theatrical experience as anyone ever needs to have.

Ideation by Aaron Loeb, directed by Josh Costello. L-R Carrie Paff, Mark Anderson Phillips, and Michael Ray Wisely. Photo Carol Rosegg

Review | Ideation | By Aaron Loeb | Directed by Josh Costello | San Francisco Playhouse at 59E59 Theaters

but how do you know? …

In a conference room of a management consultant firm, a team has just sped home from work in Greece to take up the firm’s new fast-tracked project which turns out to be:   how do you liquidate a couple of million people without anyone noticing

Kellie Overbey, Emily Walton and Mary Bacon in Women Without Men

Review | Women Without Men | By Hazel Ellis | Directed by Jenn Thompson | Mint Theater

… the test is in the work … 

This richly characterized and surprising play by a pioneering Irish woman playwright tells us that —– women without men are a very sad lot!  It’s a fine play though.

Review | Angel Reapers | By Martha Clarke and Alfred Uhry | Signature Theatre

Directed and Choreographed by Martha Clarke

Here again Martha Clarke has given us a lovely new creation of her unique vision, a theatrical union of dance, music and narrative.  Although Angel Reapers, about repression and ecstasy among the Shakers, is a smaller, less commanding theater piece than Clarke’s Garden of Earthly Delights and her staging of  Threepenny Opera, it has her mark.

C. Walker, Jr. as Mondego & Tom Frank as Monte Cristo in Jared Reinmuth's Monte Cristo, at Urban Stages in NYC Jan 22 - Feb 13, 2016

Review | Monte Cristo | By Jared Reinmuth | Directed by Cailin Heffernan | Urban Stages

… epic fun …

This is a rich, epic play, adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ novel of 1844, The Count of Monte Cristo.   It’s spectacular – filled with characters, color and events, the most intense emotions of love and revenge, moving through time and space forward as well as backward through memory.

Review | Prodigal Son | Written and Directed by John Patrick Shanley | Manhattan Theatre Club

… man of letters …

Prodigal Son is a beautifully produced and inspiring play about a brawling, drinking, stealing Irish boy from the Bronx whose intelligence – and good looks — land him a scholarship to a Catholic prep school in New Hampshire.

Review | The Burial At Thebes | By Seamus Heaney | From Sophocles’ Antigone | Directed by Charlotte Moore | Irish Repertory Theatre

… don’t bother …

Sophocles’ Antigone is among the greatest plays ever written, Seamus Heaney is a Nobel Prize winning poet, and Irish Repertory Theatre produces wonderful shows with outstanding actors.  How then did The Burial At Thebes turn out to be a  poor derivative of Antigone, with amateurish acting?

Clea Alsip and Tony Maumovski in Wide Awake Hearts at 59E59 Theaters, January 2016

Review | Wide Awake Hearts | By Brendan Gall | Directed by Stefan Zeparoski | 59E59 Theaters

Wide Awake Hearts lets us swim around the entangled love affairs of a set of four attractive people making a movie.

Tony Naumovski as C, Ben Cole as A, and Clea Alsip as B in Wide Awake Hearts by Brendan Gall at 59E59 Theaters, January 2016. Photo Carol Rosegg

L-R Tony Naumovski (C), Ben Cole (A), and Clea Alsip (B). Photo Carol Rosegg.

We’re in the affluent home of a hip movie writer, A, and his actress wife, B, who’ll star in his next movie.  All characters are named with the first letters of the alphabet in order of appearance.  Why? Perhaps because in pairing off as lovers, they mix and match as readily as letters make words. The entry of another man, C, and, eventually, another woman, D, into their living room cause recrimination, anger revelation, and a lot of screaming, something like Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolfe, although the characterizations are less rich than in Albee’s play.

Jean Lichty at the early feminist NORA, and Todd Gearhart as her husband, Torvald in Bergman's NORA after Ibsen's A Doll's House

Review | Nora | by Ingmar Bergman | After Ibsen’s A Doll’s House | Directed by Austin Pendleton

… a doll’s household … 

Jean Lichty at the early feminist NORA, and Todd Gearhart as her husband, Torvald in Bergman's NORA after Ibsen's A Doll's House

Todd Gearhart as Torvald and Jean Lichty as Nora. Photo Carol Rosegg

In the name of “crystallization,” Bergman’s paring down of Ibsen’s compelling play with its early feminist theme sticks to the plot but gives us fewer ways to know the characters.  It puts major, inner change on fast forward — making for an unconvincing drama.

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