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Romantic Passions Clash With Thirsts for War and Conquest In McCarter’s Production of Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”

Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07), written after the great tragedies of Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, is seen by scholars and theater practitioners as a “problem play.” Despite the…

NJ Shakespeare Theatre Stages Bawdy 1610 Ben Jonson Farce; “The Alchemist” Exposes Greed, Lust, Con Men, and Their Dupes

“O Rare Ben Jonson!” reads the epitaph on the tomb, in London’s Westminster Abbey, of the great Elizabethan and Jacobean poet and playwright. Though Jonson is considered, along with Shakespeare,…

Hillbilly Hokum and 1950s Shenanigans in Dogpatch, USA, As Kelsey Theatre Stages Rousing Musical, “Li’l Abner”

It’s “a typical day in Dogpatch, USA,” which means that the menfolk are doing a lot of sleeping, fishing, swapping lies, making Kickapoo Joy Juice moonshine and collecting unemployment, while…

Absurdity and Melancholy Merge in “Vanya and Sonya and Masha …,” As Durang Performs in His Own Play at Bucks County Playhouse 

The Bucks County Playhouse summoned all the appropriate muses last Friday night for the opening of its current production of Christopher Durang’s highly acclaimed comedy, Vanya and Sonya and Masha…

Singing and Dancing, Seducing and Swindling Win the Day In “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at Off-Broadstreet Theatre in Hopewell 

“What you lack in grace, you certainly make up for in vulgarity,” the suave con-man Lawrence Jameson advises his young rival Freddy Benson, as the two compete for supremacy in…

High Hilarity, Romantic Intrigue, and Sharp Political Edge In Bountiful Banquet of Beaumarchais’s “Figaro Plays” at McCarter

Pierre Beaumarchais is best known, at least in this country, as the author of two plays that were adapted into two of the most famous operas in the repertory, Rossini’s…

Life Is … a (Mind-Bendingly Intellectual and Kinky) Audition In Ives’s Erotic, Comic Drama, “Venus in Fur,” at Theatre Intime

Bursting into the audition room, she looks like every director’s worst nightmare: crude, ditzy, desperate, needy, self-pitying, late, and completely wrong for the classy role. She seems like a composite…

It’s Linguistics and Love in Julia Cho’s “Language Archive;” Intime Production Shows That Words Just Can’t Bridge the Gaps

The central dilemma and reigning irony of Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, is that George, a linguist, scholar and preserver of dead and dying languages, can’t come up with the…

It’s Life and Death, Baseball, Football, and Family in “Fences”: McCarter Revives Intense August Wilson Drama at Berlind

James Earl Jones was the star of the original production of Fences, at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1985 and on Broadway in 1987, where it won both the Pulitzer Prize…

War Profiteering, Moral Angst and Family Strife at Intime In “All My Sons” (1947), Arthur Miller’s First Successful Play

In the manner of Aeschylus, Sophocles’ Oedipus and the great tragedies of Henrik Ibsen, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (1947) is a drama of retrospective analysis. Written and set in…

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