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Brittany Vasta

Rinse, Repeat

August 10, 2019

Feraud’s scenario is structured as a series of taut precise scenes bursting with sharp dialogue and topical references including an Uber driver with a musical recording on Spotify. She drops well-timed details that advance her agenda of tackling the issue of the preoccupation with feminine physical perfection. We learn of Peter and Joan’s strained marriage that is characterized by resentfulness over financial inequity and past infidelity. Everything reaches a realistic and dramatically satisfying conclusion. [more]

Octet

May 29, 2019

Malloy, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, has taken a novel approach, staging Octet as if it were a 12-step program in which all the members of the group express their inner thoughts through a cappella singing all the while following the precepts of an AA or OA meeting.  Annie Tippe has taken this sophisticated mass of brilliance and shaped it around the sensational talents of a small cast which performs miracles of acting and singing. [more]

Life Sucks

March 29, 2019

“Did you know that this play is called "Life Sucks"?” says a character in playwright Aaron Posner’s meta-theatrical Life Sucks. It’s a wild yet emotionally resonant work “sort of adapted from Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov.” Characters address the audience directly, they engage in sly wordplay, lollipops are consumed, overlapping dialogue is common and absurdism abounds in this free-form yet faithful treatment. [more]

Vilna

March 22, 2019

"Vilna," written by Ira Fuchs, is one of the more successful stage dramas to deal with the Holocaust, a notoriously difficult subject to portray on stage.  That this play succeeds as well as it does is to the credit of its director Joseph Discher who assiduously avoids clichés and stereotypes and its cast of fine actors, led by the great Mark Jacoby, a star of Broadway musicals, here displaying heart-breaking depth of emotion in two parts. [more]

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

April 13, 2018

War, guns, Vietnam, the excesses of capitalism, toxic masculinity, blind American patriotism and feminism are among the targets of Mr. Vonnegut’s characteristically overloaded satire. Such concerns treated in a mannered fashion were all fodder for his popular novels but for the stage it’s problematic. [more]

Sheila

January 20, 2018

Murky, glacial and hypnotic, "Sheila" is a dreamy reunion drama among two 28-year-old women who haven’t seen each other in 10 years. It recalls the sort of off-beat female-centric play director Robert Altman might have staged in the 1980’s and then filmed. The script is collaboratively written by members of The Associates, the theater company who is presenting it. It comes across as a collaboration with a feminist slant rather than an organic play.  Still, its 70 minutes have an enigmatic appeal. [more]

Lady Macbeth and Her Lover

November 10, 2017

With her marvelously fluty voice, imperious bearing, expressive physicality and animated facial features, Maja Wampuszyc as the haughty Corrine recalls Geraldine Page in all her grand glory. Ms. Wampuszyc is mesmerizing, delivering a searing performance of tremendous depth. She vividly conveys the character’s dysfunctional sensibility with heightened emotionalism and dry humor. [more]

DannyKrisDonnaVeronica

January 16, 2017

In "DannyKrisDonnaVeronica," playwright Lawrence Dial bitingly delves into the lives of two Brooklyn couples each with two small children. Through his precise, often humorous and realistic dialogue, Mr. Dial has his very well-drawn characters who all in their mid 30’s eloquently express their conflicted feelings and despair. Short on actual plot, the play is rich in incident and is a wistful character study. [more]

Romeo & Juliet (2016)

June 29, 2016

The Wheelhouse Theater Company presents this fast-paced and faithful version of the romantic classic. Co-directors Jeff Wise and Matt Harrington have inventively pared down William Shakespeare’s enduringly resonant tragic play to 90 minutes. Mr. Wise and Mr. Harrington’s staging is visually compelling with a number of clever touches. Mortal wounds are indicating with the unfortunates tossing red rose petals. Juliet delivers a speech as a stand-up comedy routine with recorded audience laughter heard. That there’s no actual balcony doesn’t really matter as that famous scene is so finely blocked and performed. [more]

The Road to Damascus

January 29, 2015

Set at some time in the near future, Tom Dulack’s The Road to Damascus (not to be confused with Strindberg’s play of similar name) is set in a world not that different from our own, with terrorism and civil wars still the major problem for political leaders. A parable of 9/11 and the Bush Adminstration’s reaction to it, "The Road to Damascus" depicts a time when Miami and New York have been attacked by terrorists, with St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue the major casualties. The play posits the first third party president in American history and the first Black African pope, a not inconceivable event in the near future. [more]