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David Barlow

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]

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]

Gertrude: The Cry

August 1, 2014

The PTP/NYC company are directed to carry on adeptly, fervently, with considerable aplomb in Mark Evanchos' monumental setting, amid some of the best and lavish costume changes – by Danielle Nieves --ever seen Off-Broadway, including Gertrude's, most of the time, that is. [more]