January 31, 2008
Fictional televangelist Cotton Slocum gets skewered again as the Actors' Gang revives "Carnage, a Comedy," Tim Robbins' (yes, that one) and Adam Simon's 1987 satire about profit-mongering religious zealotry, which the authors have updated.
August 19, 2005 |
Considering that some New York theater critics felt that the satire in Tim Robbins' "Embedded" had already exceeded its shelf life when the play opened at the Public Theater early last year, it's surprising how much some of the recorded version, "Embedded/Live," feels chillingly relevant.
October 2, 1998 |
Director-adapter Michael Schlitt's version of "The Inspector General," Nikolai Gogol's tale of mistaken identity in 19th century czarist Russia, inhabits the realm of the absurd, peopled with grotesque human monsters. As presented at the Actors' Gang, its results are mixed: a well-considered, elegantly hilarious first act followed by an unrestrained, excessively indulgent second act. A tighter second half would really lift this well-acted interpretation into absurdist heaven.
October 25, 2002 |
Unbridled flimflam energizes "Alagazam," freaking out in the late-night slot at the Actors' Gang. Director Brent Hinkley and a demented cast devour Adam Simon and Tim Robbins' tent-show vaudeville with fearless perversity. Reworking the authors' 1985 "Slick Slack Griff Graff," "Alagazam" wraps carnival circuitry around a symbolist post-World War II America.
May 5, 2000 |
Golf originated in the foggy damp of Scotland, and at the turn of the last century a Scotsman named Tom Morris was one of the game's pioneers. Christopher Metas and Lee Arenberg's "Foursome," at the Actors' Gang Theatre, pits Morris against an evil entity to save the world. But this brief play's sophomoric humor only occasionally rises above the level of a high school skit. A fellow in a black suit and tie, Staan P. Green (V.J.
February 11, 2000 |
In Matthew Wilder's far-reaching but uneven staging, "Uncle Vanya: Scenes From Country Life" at Playwrights' Arena alternates between the galvanic and the soporific. Paul Schmidt's updated translation, supposedly set in a small Wisconsin town, keeps the essence of the play intact. A bold innovator, Wilder obviously has fun playing with Schmidt's contemporary references.