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Atlantic Stage 2

Havel: the Passion of Thought

July 24, 2019

The three Havel one acts, known as "The Vanek Plays," though written separately, were originally banned in Czechoslovakia and performed secretly in people’s living rooms as well as being passed around in hand-written copies. They all deal with Vanek, a dissident playwright unable to have his plays produced, who is now working in a menial job, an alter ego for its author and his experiences under Communism. The problem with filling out the program to include both Pinter’s "The New World Order" and Beckett’s "Catastrophe" (dedicated to Havel) is that since the plays all have the same theme and development, it feels like overkill. [more]

Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth

July 20, 2019

Dedicated to “creating socially and politically acute theatre for the 21st century” the PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project) for their 33rd season offers this exuberant revival of Tom Stoppard’s 1979 two one-act plays, "Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth," which cheekily satirize the theater and political oppression. Inspired by Wittgenstein and his fellow Czech playwright Pavel Kohout, Mr. Stoppard as he did in his monumental "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" again here ingeniously appropriates Shakespeare for his own ingenious purposes. [more]

Brecht on Brecht

July 25, 2018

But when things slow down a bit, especially during the musical interludes and longer dramatic pieces, Petosa’s eight performers -- four lead (Christine Hamel; Jake Murphy; Harrison Bryan; and Carla Martinez) and four supporting (Miguel Castillo; Sebastian LaPointe; Olivia Christie; and Ashley Michelle) -- are an absolute wonder, gracefully tackling a head-spinning array of difficult subjects, including xenophobia, social inequality, and infanticide. And thanks to Hallie Zieselman’s bare set, Annie Ulrich’s modest costumes, and Joe Cabrera’s vibrant lighting, they accomplish it all in a decidedly Brechtian way. [more]

Arcadia

July 23, 2017

The joy of Stoppard’s writing comes to the fore as the second act characters debate what happened in the first act, too often getting it all wrong, misinterpreting the evidence or jumping to too many conclusions that aren’t justified. These actors are so enjoyable to watch that we can only sit back and enjoy their self-delusions. [more]

Pity in History

July 20, 2017

"Pity in History" was a teleplay commissioned by the BBC, and was broadcast on July 4, 1985. In the cast were Alan Rickman as the chaplain, Ian McDiarmid as the cook, and Anna Massey as the widow. Significantly, the era depicted was that of when it took place, reflected by period costumes and décor. Clips of it are on YouTube. [more]

No End of Blame: Scenes of Overcoming

July 22, 2016

Director Richard Romagnoli who also staged the 2007 production and he has done an excellent job of visualizing the scope of the scenes. Action on the battlefield, political conflicts in Moscow and German atrocities in the Ukraine are all exciting. A life drawing class sequence at a Budapest art school is quite compelling. A longhaired female model makes sardonic observations from atop a ladder as the students in long white coats swirl around her. It recalls the stunning achievements of Derek Jarman and Peter Greenaway in their art house films. [more]

The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois

June 17, 2016

Adam Rapp’s plays are often about loners and people outside of mainstream society. "The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois" now at Atlantic Stage 2 in a production directed by the author falls into this category. Its strength is that the play is a detailed well-developed character study. However, as a drama, it seems more like a sketch or a section of a longer play yet to be written leaving many unanswered questions. [more]

Judith & Vinegar Tom

July 21, 2015

For PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project)’s 29th season they have chosen to pair one-acts by two of their favorite playwrights, Howard Barker and Caryl Churchill, who are also among Britain’s leading dramatic authors but who are not seen here as much as they ought to be. At first glance, the two plays could not be more different, but on closer examination they deal with similar themes, particular as both have strong historical women as their central characters, and offer modern sensibilities on ancient themes. As an addition to the more familiar work of these acclaimed contemporary writers, this makes a fascinating evening for those who follow British drama. [more]

Pentecost

July 28, 2014

Director Cheryl Faraone knows that to keep the ideas going it is vital to have her characters be seen as human as possible so that we are not confronted with stereotypes and agit-prop, so that we become invested, begin to put our own values on the line. I particularly liked Jonathan Tindle, Alex Draper, Nina Silver, Lawrence Nathanson and Matthew Ball. A unique, priceless artifact, a creation of the finest in the human psyche, precious to the world, versus a gypsy baby, a gypsy mother, a Bosnian, a Kurd, a Palestinian Kuwaiti, an Azeri, a Mozambican, an Afghan, a Ukrainian, a Russian, how can we decide? [more]