April 26, 2002 |
Anyone who has ever doubted that a Chekhov play can be a categorical hoot should rush to see "Uncle Vanya" at the Met. Originally workshopped by the Classical Theatre Lab, this "Vanya," which played a limited engagement at the Actors' Gang earlier this year, is simple, streamlined, stripped of all but the most essential technical rudiments. (Necessarily so, since the production shares the stage space with Circle X's current offering, "An American Book of the Dead."
September 15, 1989 |
David and Doe have gathered the scattered remains of a far-flung flock to their home near Madison, Wis. It's a stormy weekend in 1979 and the low rumble of thunder echoes through Kathleen Tolan's "A Weekend Near Madison" at the Powerhouse Theater. "Madison" is bound by nostalgia to its roots in the late '60s. Its characters are testimony to failed dreams and compromise, and ache with being thirtysomething. Poor kids.
October 2, 1987 |
The Digby Group is a self-styled, largely unknown Los Angeles troupe making an ambitious foray with three challenging one-acts at the Flight Theater. Among them is an early Sam Shepard play produced locally for the first time. The sharpest achievement in "An Evening With the Digby Group" is far removed from Shepard, though. That distinction belongs to playwright Horton Foote's Depression-era "Blind Date," which is richly calibrated by director Clay Crosby.
May 13, 1988 |
Most people would take offense at being called a slime bag. When it happens to Joe Spano, he considers it a high compliment. It means he is doing his job. "Dangerous, ugly, horrible things within us need expression," said the actor, who is starring in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's "The School for Scandal" on the Mainstage at South Coast Repertory.
June 19, 1987 |
William Faulkner's complex novel "The Sound and the Fury" would appear to defy adaptation. But co-adapters D. Paul Yeuell and Anthony Grumbach, Faulkner freaks since their days at Stanford, are adventurers in audacity. "June Second" at the Landmark Theater has one big audience problem: If you are unfamiliar with "The Sound and the Fury" (1929) and Faulkner's overlapping folds of time and stream of consciousness, the play's emotional edge would appear to be considerably dulled.
May 29, 1987 |
In a vast, almost empty basement a man sits hunched in a cage. It's not quite big enough for him to stretch out. He's been there 40 years and has found an interior freedom that no one else can understand. But today he's going to be set free by new government leaders. How will he cope? It's not Samuel Beckett or an adaptation of a story by Franz Kafka.