Archive for October 2014

Sarah Kane’s Dazzling Apologia Pro Morte Sua, 4.48 PSYCHOSIS, at Iron Crow

The answer to critic Michael Billington’s question how you award aesthetic points to a 75-minute suicide note is, you award aesthetic points to a suicide note the same way you award aesthetic points to anything else: Is it well-written, does it show you something new, does it move you? The answers to these follow-up questions, with this piece (which is admittedly impossible not to view as a suicide note) are yes, yes, and yes.

Kinks Above The Waistline: VENUS IN FUR at the REP

How well one likes this production depends very much upon how appealing one finds the constant morphing and switching place of characters. If shifting psychodynamics are your thing, this version caters to your taste.

A Wonderful New Theater Inaugurated In Side-Splitting Style: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s New Home

It’s hard for me to stop saying wow. Wow to the theater, a three-tier structure that echoes the layout of Shakespeare’s own Globe (albeit with the modern convenience of a roof – and some others including two bars and ergonomic seating that assures there is no standing for today’s groundlings). Wow to the play, one of Shakespeare’s funniest. Wow to the acting, the direction, the staging, the lighting. The audience is assured of over two hours of being in stitches.

Fresh Production, Unfresh Play: AMADEUS at Center Stage

The story of why and how Salieri did Mozart in (this is not necessarily historical) is encumbered – there is no other word for it – by Salieri’s narration. Nor is this a “just the facts, ma’am” narration; this is the tortured but ploddingly literal tale of Salieri’s failed relationship with God himself, of God’s betrayal of a bargain Salieri feels God made with him, by giving Mozart a divine talent that should have been Salieri’s. It is also a sort of greatest-hits retrospective of Mozart’s compositions, especially his operas. That’s an awful lot of freight for a single play to carry.

Secession: The Right That Can Be Wrong

What the Civil War really proved was that no one would allow secession to happen, right or wrong. But might is a very unsatisfactory way of making (or unmaking) right, and no real reply to the reasoning of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration says that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, something almost everyone in the West would agree with. This seems to be the quintessential human political right. Secession is simply a withdrawal of that consent by a large group of the governed all at once.