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

Tag: Cherry Lane Studio Theatre

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.

Group therapy: (right) Gil Ron as Dr. Jerry Rizzo (Center) and cast members of Raft of the Medusa, Barefoot Theatre Company at Cherry Lane Theatre. Photo: Michael Mallard

Review | Raft of the Medusa by Joe Pintauro | Premier of Revised Edition | Directed by Francisco Solorzano | Barefoot Theatre Company | Cherry Lane Studio Theatre

… cut adrift …

Raft of the Medusa is powerful, intensely human, and totally real — you are there.

Like Gericault’s epic shipwreck painting, The Raft of the Medusa of 1819 (see it below left), this play is based on a dire situation with many deaths and few survivors — only instead of shipwreck victims, these are victims of a mortal disease, brought together in 1988 not on a survival raft but — same thing — in a group therapy session for those infected with the AIDS virus.  Seeing the play you know this is what it was like:  beyond belief grim, and yet — in the way its draws out the best in people, there’s a gleam of light, a breath of hope, as in the painting.   It’s a rich, brilliant and beautifully written play, acted to perfection.

Ben Hollandsworth as Ryan and Reyna De Courcy as Elsie in Dreams of the Washer King.  Photo:  Eric Pearson

Review | Dreams of the Washer King by Christopher Wall | Directed by Giovanna Sardelli | The Playwrights Realm | Cherry Lane Studio Theatre

I can’t imagine a finer production for a developing young playwright than that given Dreams of the Washer King by The Playwrights Realm.  It’s in a small theater and the production’s not hugely expensive or high tech but the set is brilliantly evocative, the directing brings out all the play’s dramatic values and the acting — well, the acting is of the highest order, it simply couldn’t be better.

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