Let's Talk Off Broadway

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

Tag: David Greenspan

The Mystery of Irma Vep | Charles Ludlam | Directed by Kenneth Elliott | Starring David Greenspan and Tom Aulino | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

This play is hilarious — one laugh after another, and done with style and vivacity.  I enjoyed every moment — and smile thinking back to it.

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Review | Go Back To Where You Are by David Greenspan | Directed by Leigh Silverman | Playwrights Horizons | Peter Jay Sharp Theater

… transformations …

The setting, the deck of Claire’s beach house around Montauk, on the East End of Long Island, is delightful and the play is pleasant in a summery way well into it, with sun shining on the deck, the ocean near by, and a touch of the magic of time travel. Lunch is being prepared, conversations swirl, tensions emerge among the characters to keep things interesting. Claire’s a successful actress while her friend and fellow actress, Charlotte, has to scramble for parts. Tom’s a successful producer, on hand because he’s working with Claire on her next play, but he and his partner Malcolm are at odds because of Tom’s compulsive promiscuity.  

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Review | Orlando, from Virginia Woolf’s Novel | Adapted by Sarah Ruhl | Directed by Rebecca Taichman, choreographed by Annie-B Parson, with Annika Boras, Francesca Faridany, David Greenspan, Tom Nelis and Howard Overshown | Classic Stage Company

… another great first act …

The first act of Orlando is a kind of enchantment — like falling in on Prospero’s island.  We are in the 17th Century:  Orlando appears as a swashbuckling young nobleman in a solo sword dance beautifully choreographed by Annie-B Parson.  We go on to follow his adventures, his love adventures, that is — we never see him do much else with the sword.  Much is narrated, with the playwright, Sarah Ruhl, using Virginia Woolf’s words from the novel, which adds to the sense of magical “Once upon a time … “  This is a play about liminality, in gender, in modes of story telling, and in time.  We understand quickly that boundaries are permeable, and everything can change into its other.   It’s a wonderful beginning.   

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Review | The Myopia, An Epic Burlesque of Tragic Proportion | Written and Performed by David Greenspan | Directed by Brian Mertes | Foundry Theatre

The Myopia, an epic burlesque of tragic proportion, written and performed by David Greenspan, directed by Brian Mertes, The Foundry Theatre

David Greenspan, photo Jon Wasserman

David Greenspan has all the characteristics of a fine performer — he’s charming, is an excellent actor, has an expressive voice and body, and is an exceptional impersonator, but what makes what he does essential to see is that he’s so smart.  He “gets” everything, just like you do.  It’s so satisfying — and validating!  You feel in your heart yes, I understand, yes, I know just what you mean.  At last!

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Review | Coraline | Music and Lyrics by Stephin Merritt | Book by David Greenspan | Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel | Directed by Leigh Silverman | MCC Theater | Lucille Lortel Theatre

The novel is an international best seller, the movie has grossed over $80 million, there’s a movie tie-in edition, a movie collector’s edition, a graphic novel, a visual companion, and a video game, and now a brilliant group of New York theater people have produced a musical play.

This makes sense.  This production, however, in its intense and imaginative focus on the weird visual effects and surrealistic juxtapositions, loses somewhat the thread of the human story.

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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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