Compleat Female Stage Beauty

By ANNA ROSENSWEIG “A woman playing a woman. What’s the trick in that?” So wonders Edward Kynaston, a star of the London stage in the 1660s most renowned for his skill playing female roles. Kynaston has good reason to cast aspersions on the idea of women playing women, as his fame and fortune threaten to…

The Golden Ass

by MIRA REINBERG Long before Elizabethan comedies of error and late medieval or early modern French farce there was a genre of popular comedy that we recognize as the picaresque novel or “story-telling.” The earliest and rare example of such a picaresque tale is a second-century AD novel by Lucius Apuleius, entitled The Golden Ass,…

Time Stands Still

  by MIRA REINBERG, Guest Reviewer Once in a while we – the media, readers, and spectators – allow ourselves to open up the questions that are inherent to reportage of modern war: in what ways is war journalism ethical? And whom does it serve? Do photographs and descriptions from the war zone effect change…

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG How do we talk to children about race? With its recent production Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, The Children’s Theatre Company provides an answer to this question by rejecting its premise. In this new play, an adaptation of Gary Schmidt’s 2004 Newberry Award-winning children’s novel based on a true story, it…

The Birthday Party

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG There’s a ceiling fan that slowly turns throughout the entire production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, currently on stage at the Jungle Theater. The fan, one of the many subtle touches of Joel Sass’ beautifully shabby set, marks time steadily and faithfully, and this constant rhythm underscores the deceptively quotidian nature…

The Birds

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG Although Conor McPherson’s The Birds shares a title with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, this new play, currently in its American premiere at the Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio, is not a stage adaptation of the film. The two works do share the same source material; both take Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 short story…

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG Conceived by Open Eye Figure Theatre’s co-founder Michael Sommers, this new marionette play, A Sorcerer’s Apprentice, is an adaptation of Goethe’s 1797 poem Der Zauberlehling. Most viewers, however, will be more familiar with the version featured in Disney’s Fantasia (1940). Remember the famous scene with Mickey Mouse and the brooms? Sommers’ version…