Chris Rawson, Theater Critic, On Honoring August Wilson

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, March 12, 2017.] It is fashionable to debate the importance of cultural criticism. The debate questions what criticism is and who is and is not a critic, challenges us to imagine what the audience for criticism should be, and considers proper critical comportment. We believe critics themselves

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review: Turning Page

by Angelica Page Directed by Wilson Milam Featuring Angelica Page Dixon Place 161A Chrystie Street February 10, 2017 – March 16, 2017 production site Look away for a moment and a multi-week run can be shortened (as this one has, with a few weeks apparently lopped off a run that that was originally announced into April that is

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review: Sunset Boulevard

Featuring Glenn Close, Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon, Fred Johanson Palace Theatre 1564 Broadway Open February 9, 2017 production site The orchestra is huge and muffled, the set is fascinating and disassembled, and a dead man mannequin rises in the first moments then floats several stories up throughout the proceedings. Amidst these distractions at the storied Palace Theatre, part

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Wrestling With the Legacy of a Real-Life Attorney

[article as originally published in TDF Stages, March 1, 2017.] A new play takes on William Kunstler — Playwright Jeffrey Sweet was inspired by a shock of hair and a lanky swagger. “It started off as a fairly pedestrian impulse,” Sweet says of his play Kunstler, about the activist attorney William Kunstler. “As I was watching the

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Catherine Filloux and Poetic Political Theater

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, February 28, 2017.] Poetry, design concepts, political themes and strong female characters distinguish the work of playwright and activist Catherine Filloux. My first exposure to her theatrical style was Luz in 2012, about abused women seeking political asylum and an attorney who works with them. I

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Bill Hirschman: Theater Criticism’s Cockeyed Optimist

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, February 12, 2017.] It is fashionable to debate the importance of cultural criticism. The debate questions what criticism is, who is and is not a critic, challenges us to imagine what the audience for criticism should be and to think about proper critical comportment. We believe critics themselves

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Class Fades In

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, February 9, 2017.] Class, culture, language, appropriation, and integrity underscore the quiet power of Tanya Saracho’s Fade produced by Primary Stages at the Cherry Lane Theater. A story about storytelling, a play about the creative process, a demonstration of culture meeting commerce and two characters from very different

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A Most Visible Baby Mama on Multiple Births

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, January 24, 2017.] [feature image caption: Mariah MacCarthy. Photo: Kacey Stamats.] Edgy and sweet, tenacious and joyous, raucous and calm, crude and demure: Mariah MacCarthy long has been refining a theater of extremes. This self-described “writer/producer/creatrix” co-founded Caps Lock Theatre in 2012 and has been perfecting her craft for years.

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Tulis McCall on Aging, Invisibility, and Regret

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, January 20, 2017.] “When you’re a woman of a certain age,” Tulis McCall impishly informs us, “regret is everywhere.” McCall’s one woman show Are You Serious?, running Sundays through the end of March at the Cornelia Street Café (where it has been charming audiences since late 2016), is

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Ute Lemper: Brecht, Bukowski, and Broken Hearts

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, January 14, 2017.] Ute Lemper was framed in her recent 54 Below engagement by comfort and edginess – black leather pants topped with a short sleeveless black sheath dress. These costuming contrasts were mirrored in the juxtaposition of her elegant physicality (dancing arms and calm composure) with the

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