Let's Talk Off Broadway

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

Tag: Manhattan Theatre Club

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.

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Review | The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall | Directed by Max Roberts | National Theatre | Manhattan Theatre Club

The Pitmen Painters is currently playing in NYC at the Manhattan Theater Club.  This review, written when the play was in London, may interest you.

… a rich tapestry of art, drama and recent history … with personal recollections of Richard Lyon …

What makes a particular play run and run?  No single property surely, but some of them are well illustrated by The Pitmen Painters now back at London’s National Theatre for the third time, and for a 4-month season.  I would hazard that two such properties are interrelated:  breadth of appeal and the efficient weaving of an optimum, slight, degree of ambiguity (ie several messages, none too heavily stated), achieved by having several strands in the dramatic development interwoven with enough coherence to not fall apart.  Rank ambiguity is tolerable in the visual arts because we can choose to walk to the next picture, but not in a play;  we can’t reasonably disrupt the performance by leaving before the end of the first act.  Waiting for Godot was a success but a rare one, in what is historically a very minority taste.

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Review | Ruined by Lynn Nottage | Directed by Kate Whoriskey | Manhattan Theatre Club

… This house is a home …

Ruined brings us to a cafe-bar-whorehouse in the Congo, an oasis in the midst of war between “government” and “rebels”.  As in Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, on which this play is loosely based, it doesn’t matter who’s fighting — the effect on the little people struggling to survive is the same no matter which violent-prone combatants they encounter and will be the same no matter who wins.

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