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Phillip James Brannon

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie

April 15, 2019

Those who loved The Mad Ones’ "Miles for Mary" which had an extended run at Playwrights Horizons last year after its premiere at The Brooklyn Starr in 2016, will be greatly disappointed by their latest group effort called "Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie." The beautifully renovated Greenwich House offers the first play of the Ars Nova residency a lovely venue for this new play and the Lila Neugebauer production is impeccable acted and designed. However, this fictional recreation of a focus group, like most cinema verité, has no discernable dramatic event, making it a long 90 minutes. [more]

Junk

November 22, 2017

The protagonist of "Junk" is one Robert Merkin (Steven Pasquale), whose name alone is reminiscent of the real-life person he represents, Michael Robert Milken, the “Junk Bond King” of the mid 1980’s, who went to jail in 1990, and whose practices led to the world market crash a decade or so ago. “This is a story of kings, or what passes for kings these days,” says Forbes reporter Judy Chen (Teresa Avia Lim), in the play’s opening lines. “….enthroned in sky-high castles and embroiled in battles over, what else? Money.” [more]

Nat Turner in Jerusalem

October 4, 2016

The playwright sets the action in Turner’s jail cell where he’s chained up, visited by Gray, and overseen by a guard, the night before his execution. Mr. Davis states that this situation is a fabrication inspired by the book. A possibly unreliable account is the source material for this even more fanciful dramatization. Davis even expresses through the mercenary Gray the possibility that his chronicle will be sensationally tailored in order to sell more books. [more]

Bootycandy

September 12, 2014

Throughout the play there are many visual and spoken references to Michael Jackson, showing how large the presence and influence of The King of Pop in his heyday loomed in the consciousness of many growing up and living in that era. This symbolism adds greatly to the detailed specificity of this passionate, suspenseful and bold work. [more]