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Loney's Show Notes
By Glenn Loney, May 20, 2005
Caricature of Glenn Loney
by Sam Norkin.
Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
NO END-OF-SEASON IN SIGHT! *
AN AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE AT LAST? *
TIME-SAVING SHOW-SUMMARY SHORT-CUTS: *
Plays Old & New: *
Revivals from the American Repertory: *
David Mamet’s GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS [****] *Revivals of Other Classics: *
Robert Harling’s STEEL MAGNOLIAS [***] *
Ernest Thompson’s ON GOLDEN POND [***] *
Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? [***] *
Tennessee Williams’ THE GLASS MENAGERIE [**] *
Tennessee Williams’ A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE [*] *
William Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR [*] *New Plays—American & Otherwise: *
Miguel de Cervantes’ DON QUIJOTE & SANCHO PANZA [***] *
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s FAUST 1.2 [**] *
Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER [***] *
John Patrick Shanley’s DOUBT [*****] *Musicals Old & New: *
Austin Pendleton’s ORSON’S SHADOW [****] *
Ron Hutchinson’s MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS [****] *
Paul Weitz’s PRIVILEGE [***] *
Neil La Bute’s THIS IS HOW IT GOES [***] *
Kathleen Tolan’s MEMORY HOUSE [**] *
Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN [****] *
Jeffrey Hatcher’s A PICASSO [***] *
Elizabeth Wong’s CHINA DOLL [**] *
Eduardo de Filippo’s SOULS OF NAPLES [**] *
American Revival: *
SWEET CHARITY [***] *Other Entertainments: *
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG [*****] *
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA [****] *
SPELLING BEE [***] *
DESSA ROSE [**] *
CAPTAIN LOUIE [**] *
Peter Brook’s TIERNO BOKAR [****] *Solo Performances: *
The Festival of New British Theatre: *
At the New Victory: *
SCORE [****] *Opera Beyond the Met: *
THOM PAIN (based on nothing) [****] *
JACKIE MASON freshly squeezed [***] *
On With the Dance At BAM! *
NO END-OF-SEASON IN SIGHT!
There was a time when the Broadway Season ended definitively on 31 May. In the early decades of the last century—the 20th in case you’ve lost your place on the calendar—no new plays or musicals opened during the summer.
As most theatres were not yet air-conditioned, summer theatrical entertainments moved to the roof-garden theatres. Popular shows closed and re-opened in September. There weren’t many of these, as the long-run was a long way in the future. Popular stars enjoyed the summer holidays with their families on Long Island, Long Branch, Tuxedo Park, or abroad. William Gillette even retired to his stone castle in Connecticut!
Over time, that has all changed. But it’s only in the last decade or so that important new shows have been opening between May and September. Several major productions, in fact, will open after the former 31 May cut-off date this summer.
Your scribe will have to report on these in September, for this summer—as in the past 45 years—he will be making the rounds of some major European Festivals: Bayreuth, Bregenz, Munich, Salzburg, & Edinburgh. Actually, in the Summer of 2006, I will have my 50th Anniversary of attending these fests!
I first experienced these famed festivals in 1956, when I went to Europe to teach the troops as a University of Maryland Professor Overseas. During my four years teaching in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East—Sa’udi Arabia was the most exotic of the postings—I realized how little of European theatre and opera-production was reported in the American press. Aside from London and Paris, that is…
So I started sending back reports, interviews, and reviews to such publications as the late Theatre Arts, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Herald-Tribune, where Otis Guernsey was my drama-editor and my first American advocate.
When I returned from Europe in 1960—to teach first at Hofstra & Adelphi Colleges, before moving on to Brooklyn College—I saved every summer for a return to Europe and The Festivals. As in this Coming Summer…
Over time, however—and especially as my parents in California were getting ever older and enfeebled—I began to make an annual summer pilgrimage to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Several talents central to that festival had been my colleagues at Stanford University, where I got a PhD in drama.
I also touched base from time to time at the Marin Shakespeare Festival, the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, the San Diego Old Globe Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT, and of course, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. Plus the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake…
There were so many Shakespeare Festivals that I and my editor, Patricia MacKay, were able to do an entire issue of Theatre Crafts on North American Shakespeare Festivals. We had so much material left-over that we wrote a book on all the fests, with notes on how they came to be and continued to develop. The book is called The Shakespeare Complex [Drama Books] and it stimulated the creation of at least five more festivals, as a result.
It might now be time for a much younger theatre-journalist to make the rounds of the current Shakespeare Festivals to see how they are faring?
Another summer—in addition to my European fests—I toured all the Outdoor Historical Dramas. This also became an entire issue of Theatre Crafts! There ought to be more of these muscic-dramas as so many historical-sites—which draw thousands of visitors every summer—offer nothing to do in the evenings except watch the sunset and the Day’s Inn TV…
AN AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE AT LAST?
Theatre professionals and theatre-lovers alike have, over the years, wished for an American Repertory Theatre or even a National Theatre, similar to those in London and on the Continent. A really concerted drive for this goal emerged in the 1960s, with the hope that the new, developing Regional Theatres might feed into it. But its possible location was a question: New York? Washington, DC?
Or should it be a Touring National Theatre? Or a National Theatre with "branches" in major American cities? The dream was that outstanding American classics of drama—as well as challenging new plays—would be on view in rotating repertory every evening, as in Europe, Directed and designed by the best American talents and featuring the best American actors.
But, lacking the major federal, state, and civic subsidies that all such theatres enjoy abroad, this dream was impossible of fulfillment. The so-called Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center made a desperate stab at the concept, but was not supportable. Only Robert Brustein’s ART—the American Repertory Theatre—in Cambridge, MA, maintains the name and the idea.
This past season, however, New Yorkers have had a "Virtual" Mini-American Repertory Theatre both On and Off-Broadway. This has not been part of a Grand Plan to Keep Our Classics Alive, alas. Rather, it seems a product of the desperation of producers—and institutional theatres as well—to find proven dramatic properties which might just fill their seats.
Here is a partial roll-call of American Classics Revived:
On-Broadway: Reckless, 12 Angry Men, ‘night Mother, The Foreigner, On Golden Pond, Steel Magnolias, Glengarry, Glen Ross, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, & Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Off-Broadway: The Baltimore Waltz, Hurlyburly, Counsellor-at-Law, The Hasty Heart, & Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.
Classic American Musical Revivals: Dames at Sea, Sweet Charity, Pacific Overtures, & La Cage aux Folles.
TIME-SAVING SHOW-SUMMARY SHORT-CUTS:
The past six-weeks—from April through mid-May—have been a furious frenzy of play-going. As Secretary of the Outer Critics Circle, your scribe is thus also an Awards Nominator and is required to preview some new shows—before their official openings—so they can be considered for voting by the OCC members, who are able to see them soon after the nominations are announced.
Because these few previewings are not subject to review, the nominators are usually invited back, after the openings, to see the shows again for review. In most cases, this is a double-dividend, a real pleasure. But, for some, it is more of a duty. And I must say that I liked all the shows I saw twice much better the second time around.
But to give each production a full & proper review—considering the mountain of Playbills flooding over the top on my desk—really is not possible. And not only because I do this column Pro Bono, unpaid.
I am also in the midst of the ongoing 15-year-long task of labeling, organizing in binders, and computer-indexing the 250,000 Loney INFOTOGRAPHY slides, prints, and digitals. These will soon be available online through Lightning New Media. This agency is also providing the online version of my two-volume Facts on File 20th Century Chronology of American & British Theatre—which will include the six volumes of entries the publisher left out. This website—soon to be launched—will be called Modern Theatre Online.Info It will also feature Loney interviews with theatre pros, as well as production-photos, designer-sketches, historic theatre pix, and even videos.
At the same time, I am proofing and formatting for online publication several of my books—now out of print—to which I hold the copyrights: MAKING YOUR POINT: Briefing & Conference Techniques [McGraw-Hill, 1959],
UNSUNG GENIUS: The Passion of Jack Cole: Dancer, Director, Choreographer [Franklin Watts, 1984], and Creating Careers in Music-Theatre [Peter Lang, 1988].
Also I am busily proofing and formatting for online publication previously unpublished manuscripts, including the following: SHAKESPEARE REVISITED: Parodies & Drawings, THE USES OF THEATRE HISTORY: Library & Online Resources Bring Plays to Life in Reading & Production, OPERA AS THEATRE: Or Concerts in Costume? An Arts Journey in West Africa, Documents of American Theatre History: 1945-1985, Pioneer Dramas of the Golden West, and STEINBECK COUNTRY: INFOTOGRAPHY photos of sites in Steinbeck’s novels & stories.
With all this computer-bonded work to do, I cannot offer full-scale reviews as do my admired colleagues such as Michael Feingold and John Simon. But then, I reflect that they often zero-in on only one or two of the varied shows they must see each week. Obviously it’s different with my friend & colleague, Michael Summers, for he is a daily-reviewer. Also paid…
Yet I do feel a distinct obligation to comment on the many productions I see each month. So I am going to try to revive a technique I used when, as the late John Gassner’s last collaborator, I wrote—for the Educational Theatre Journal—a quarterly column of reviews On Broadway and Off:
Group plays and musicals according to similarities and emphasize the most important aspects. Gassner advised me: "Don’t take notes. Just write what you remember most. Forgetting is also a form of criticism!"
Plays Old & New:
Revivals from the American Repertory:
David Mamet’s GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS [****]
If the F-word upsets you, stay well away from this taut, tense revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross! One reviewer guessed that the script could be reduced to a one-act play if all the profanities were excised.
There was more than enough Slice-of-Life swearing and vulgarity in Mamet’s earlier American Buffalo, but that did not prevent it from achieving tremendous audience approval. Indeed, his stock-in-trade has been a keen ear for the rhythms and clichés of varieties of American Speech, beginning with Duck Variations and Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
Glengarry was a big step up from the dumb thief and small-time fence of American Buffalo: sweating, scheming suits-and-ties selling dubious Florida real-estate deals. Mamet worked in such an office in Chicago, so the drama has the ring of reality.
Never more so than with Joe Mantello directing a cast including a remarkable Alan Alda, Liev Schreiber, Tom Wopat, Frederick Weller, Gordon Clapp, and Jeffrey Tambor.
John Simon reprehended Mamet for his obvious enjoyment of the strong language and the weak, sleazy sales-morals of his characters. But Simon was even more distressed by the audience’s loud and lusty approbation.
Does this mean American playwrights should concern themselves with Supporting Moral Values by providing approved dramatic models?
Never mind. Go see and enjoy!
Robert Harling’s STEEL MAGNOLIAS [***]
Does anyone now remember the WPA, which premiered this play way out on West 23rd Street, almost under the High Line railway? After launching a number of interesting new plays, the group finally wore out, its energy used up in fund-raising and battling obtuse boards.
But Steel Magnolias and its friendly neighborhood Beauty-Shop made it to the Big Time—with Dolly Parton among the strong proud Southern Ladies in the film. The current handsome production also features some strong and handsome ladies: Frances Sternhagen, Marsha Mason, Delta Burke, Christine Ebersole, Lily Rabe, and Rebecca Gayheart. Its formulaic tears-and-smiles still works very well, as there are fortunately many more smiles than tears in the script. Jason Moore staged.
As in Federico Garcia Lorca’s House of Berarda Alba, there are no men onstage in the drama. They are only heard and talked-about. But Spanish character-steel is rather different from American Sentimental pot-metal…
Ernest Thompson’s ON GOLDEN POND [***]
Even in its initial incarnation—much as I liked Tom Aldredge as the cantankerous old retired professor—On Golden Pond seemed a thoroughly Sentimental Exercise, calculated to tug at a million heart-strings. And so it proved as a film, as well. And what could be more formulaic than pairing a crusty old codger with a smarty-pants kid, having them become Best Buddies in the process?
Now the play is back with an Equal Opportunity Cast. Actually, the only reasons for sitting through all this tears-and-smiles molasses once again are the charming performances of Leslie Uggams and James Earl Jones, his former stentorian bellowing now reduced to more appropriate bluster. Leonard Foglia staged.
Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? [***]
What is this fascination with British Directors? Was there no American director who could bring a more native and intuitive understanding to the revival of Albee’s Virginia Woolf?
Anthony Page’s routine staging is adequate, but his casting and direction of his quartet of players raises questions. Kathleen Turner’s all-stops-out impersonation of a small-town college-president’s daughter—hard-drinking, bitterly-frustrated, and foul-mouthed—is certainly impressive, but way too over-the-top to spar effectively with the wimpy-seeming Bill Irwin.
It’s Irwin’s misfortune that he’s been typed as a Mime—which encouraged several critics to dismiss his performance. Actually, however, he played George with a subtly repressed irony and fury, but this was so controlled that it was eclipsed by Turner’s noisy theatrics as Martha.
Uta Hagen, where are you now that we need you? No way could Turner channel Hagen. Or Irwin, Arthur Hill. David Harbour showed spine as Nick.
This was initially a problematic play to produce, but it was Albee’s endless "all-night" answer to all those critics who wondered when he would write "a full-length play." He had insisted that all his plays were already full-length, in that—even in one-act form—they didn’t need to be any longer.
Incidental Note: When Ingmar Bergman decided to direct Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre, he was initially stymied on how to make it work. His secretary later told me he solved the problem when he "realized" that Albee’s two couples were, in fact, gays. For Bergman, that worked. Only in the Land of the Midnight Sun…
Tennessee Williams’ THE GLASS MENAGERIE [**]
What is this fascination with British Directors? Was there no American director who could bring a more native and intuitive understanding to the revival of Tennessee Williams’ Glass Menagerie?
The usually inventive David Leveaux ran his production-craft aground with his casting. Even younger audiences—who could never have seen Laurette Taylor’s Amanda Wingfield—might well be baffled at the spectacle of Tom’s mother as a slightly older Blanche DuBois, vamping the Gentleman Caller. Perhaps Jessica Lange thought she was still playing that role on Broadway?
As Tom, Christian Slater remembered all his lines, but he lacked the vagrant poetry of Tennessee’s alter-ego—who, like his father before him, fell in love with Long-Distance. Josh Lucas was ok as Laura’s Caller, but the entire production was a damp disappointment.
Tennessee Williams’ A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE [*]
What is this fascination with British Directors? Was there no American director who could bring a more native and intuitive understanding to the revival of Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire?
Edward Hall has inherited the Royal Shakespeare DNA of his illustrious father, Sir Peter, but this Broadway season his talents showed to better advantage at the Duke in Rose Rage, his vigorous re-working of his dad’s Wars of the Roses.
The noise and violence of that staging have somehow filtered into this Streetcar, but with none of the sexual tension or infinite pathos that Williams clearly requires. Natasha Richardson does have some affecting moments as Blanche, but she is playing in a vacuum. Casting is again a central problem.
Revivals of Other Classics:
William Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR [*]
The best thing about this unnecessary revival was the Cassius of Colm Feore. His extremely intelligent and insidious characterization was worth the entire evening. Jack Willis’ sleekly effete Casca was a dividend. Ralph Funicello’s vast Roman Ruin of a set—often in motion—was also interesting, if not especially relevant to any of the locales specified in Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The large cast represented so many acting-styles it was like a drama-school conference. At least, even the bad line-readings reminded me what an important and powerful play this is—and what a shame that director Daniel Sullivan couldn’t cast good players, or get halfway intelligent performances from those he had on hand.
It was obviously a Vanity Production, but, unfortunately, the Brutus was reduced almost to a whisper, except in his Funeral Oration, when he bellowed. For that matter, Marc Antony’s celebrated "Friends, Romans…" was so mouthed that it went for little or nothing as well.
Why do the play at all—if these two powerful contrasting speeches cannot be brilliantly delivered?
Miguel de Cervantes’ DON QUIJOTE & SANCHO PANZA [***]
Actually, this charming two-handed production was devised & directed by Manuel Chapuseaux, based on Cervantes’ great picaresque Spanish classic. He was charming, crazy, lovable, even pitiable, as the Don, and his Sancho, Nives Santana, was a wry servant/commentator. This staging of the Dominican Republic’s Teatro Gayumba was all too briefly at the Repertorio Español, in Manhattan’s oldest "Little Theatre," the Gramercy Arts.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s FAUST 1.2 [**]
Target Margin’s David Herskovits and his merry crew have been workshopping-along on the vast poetic/philosophic corpus that is Goethe’s Faust I & II. Admittedly, this is a very long, complex, and forbidding work for the theatre. Some famed German revivals—Part II is almost never staged—have been only slightly less long than Wagner’s Ring, which runs some 16 hours in toto.
Target Margin is digesting the work into smaller snacks. Its first effort—"in the lab," so to speak, where Faust makes his fatal bargain with Mephisto—was rather too raffish. As translated by Douglas Langworthy—formerly of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival—Faust l.2 covers the same territory as in Gounod’s opera—omitting the blood-contract. Herskovits’ six-member ensemble are obviously dedicated to the tasks at hand—able to be serious or risible, as occasions demand. But absolutely outstanding is the elegant and cynical Mephistopheles of David Greenspan!
Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER [***]
Yes, students! This is what academics call a "Sentimental Comedy." As such, it has little to do with reality, neither that of the time in which it was written and set, nor of today. So a revival needs to be very strongly stylish, with wonderfully self-possessed actors to inhabit the stereotypical characters and give them lives of their own. This can be done, as Laurence Olivier, Geraldine McEwan, Derek Jacobi, and Maggie Smith have repeatedly demonstrated. Unfortunately, the Irish Repertory Theatre doesn’t have the financial resources—nor the production-facilities—to mount Restoration and 18th Century comedies as does the Royal Shakespeare and the Royal National Theatre.
Nonetheless, director Charlotte Moore—aided by set-designer James Morgan & costumier Linda Fisher—has managed to provide a creditable production on the tiny Irish Rep stage. Best of cast is the admirable Remak Ramsay, as the crusty old Mr. Hardcastle. The handsome costumes help make the show, but the work of Patricia O’Connell, Tim Smallwood, Brian Hutchinson—leading-man-handsome, Danielle Ferland, and Jennifer Bryan shows intelligence. Only Hastings is way over the top…
New Plays—American & Otherwise:
John Patrick Shanley’s DOUBT [*****]
In the transfer of Doubt from the Manhattan Theatre Club’s sub-basement venue at City Center to the intimate Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway, the show seems to have survived intact. The different audience-stage dynamic has encouraged somewhat larger, more powerful, performances.
Both the play and its production deserve all the nominations and awards they have received or will surely win. Here is what I wrote about the show when it was still downstairs at MTC:
"It was high time someone dealt in drama with the current Major Problem of the Roman Catholic Church. Not the Crisis of Faith, but the emerging details of Priestly Paedophilia. In an atmosphere where people rush to judgment, John Patrick Shanley now suggests that false accusations can be made which will destroy a priest's reputation and his vocation.
"In Doubt, Cherry Jones plays the vigilantly virtuous Sister Aloysius, head of a Bronx parochial school, fighting for survival. There is only one young black student, and Father Flynn [Brían F. O'Byrne] seems to have taken a special interest in this altar-boy. Sister Aloysius resents the popularity of the priest, and she plants a seed of doubt in the mind of the boy's teacher, the sweet, impressionable Sister James [Heather Goldenhersh].
"She even summons the boy's parents to express her concerns. Only his mother [Adriane Lenox] comes—his abusive father couldn't be bothered—but she is grateful that Father Flynn has shown the boy some thought and caring. Any kind of caring at school is better than beatings and neglect at home.
"Confronted, the priest hotly denies Sister's accusations. At the close of this unsettling drama, even Sister Aloysius begins to experience doubts. She has, in fact, no evidence of sexual misconduct. Was this only her dark imaginings? Her deep dislike of the priest's modernist, questioning, doubt-filled sermons?
"Doug Hughes directed this taut and timely drama.
"As a Bronx-bred Irish-American Catholic, Shanley certainly knows about parochial schools—in the 1960s, at least—and about the Sisters of Charity. Charity seems to have been in short-supply."
Austin Pendleton’s ORSON’S SHADOW [****]
Even if you are not a movie-buff—or a theatre-trivia addict—this vision of Orson Welles, trying to direct Laurence Olivier at the Royal Court Theatre in Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, is a wonder. Actor/director/playwright Austin Pendelton astonishes with this facto-fiction—actually ably directed by David Cromer—in which the infamously sarcastic theatre-critic, Kenneth Tynan, tries to rescue his hero, Welles, from a self-destructive Road to Oblivion by working with Sir Laurence.
Separated from a desperate manic/frantic Vivien Leigh—who nonetheless turns up at rehearsals—Olivier is to play a very ordinary man, opposite his new love and future Lady Olivier, Joan Plowright. Welles’ first fame as the creator of the great film-classic, Citizen Kane, is alluded to, as are other landmarks and disasters along the way. Much is fact, with some ingenious imaginings of what may have been said—without Tynan handy to whisper in Pendleton’s ear. Tracy Letts—playwright of BUG and Killer Joe—plays Tynan rather too deferentially. He misses the edge that was always there.
But he gets the Tynan stammer right. Tynan could be devastatingly articulate—both in writing and in speaking—but he would begin to stutter when challenged or otherwise stressed. I once interviewed him after Lord Olivier had made him the new National Theatre’s Dramaturg and his personal advisor. He was charming and very forthright about what the National should be doing—until I took issue with him about programming. Then he got red in the face and began to stammer. Still, it was a good interview…
Ron Hutchinson’s MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS [****]
As with Orson’s Shadow, this is a great hilarious facto-fiction action-farce for film-fanatics. It could be seen as the Back-Story for the making of Gone With the Wind. Producer David O. Selznick needs to begin shooting at once—if not sooner. But all the screenplays he’s commissioned—by some famous-names—don’t work. Too literary, too this, too that… And his father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, is breathing down his neck. So he locks himself, his reluctant director Victor Fleming, and his last-ditch screen-writer, the Left-Leaning Ben Hecht, into his office, where he acts out each scene as he envisions it.
This is a manic romp—and all the gossip you ever heard about GWTW seems to have been true. Douglas Sills is a cyclone of desperation as Selznick, but he is well-matched by David Rasche as the obtuse & self-regarding Fleming and Matthew Arkin as the Protest-Prone Hecht. Margo Skinner was a wonder as the driven secretary, rushing piles of bananas in to the "creative-team." Lynne Meadow staged with a sure hand, never letting the pace slacken.
Paul Weitz’s PRIVILEGE [***]
Paul Weitz’s dad is John Weitz, the famed designer. He was reputed to be an Allied spy in World War II; he has been a relentless sportsman and a stern, demanding father. So this possibly auto-bio-drama may be a kind of Schadenfreude-revenge. Central are two brothers, one a teen rebel, the other and younger, a tiny tie-and-blazer private-school quasi-philosopher.
Their problem is not just that they have been raised to a Life of Privilege—with no real idea how the other 95 percent lives—but that their distracted, business-oriented dad has been indicted for White-Collar Crime and is soon off to prison. This means a drastic scaling-down of their life-styles…
Peter Askin staged the good cast, with Harry Zittel and Conor Donovan as the brothers. Famously foul-mouthed standup comic Bob Saget plays their dad. He is most famous for his simultaneous 8-year TV runs in Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos. As for credits, Paul Weitz wrote Antz and About a Boy—which he also directed with his brother Chris. He also wrote and directed In Good Company, but merely directed American Pie and Down to Earth. His dad should be more than proud…
Neil La Bute’s THIS IS HOW IT GOES [***]
If this odd provocation was written after Fat Pig, it is a retrogression for La Bute. Nonetheless, it does deal cynically and ingeniously with small-minded, small-town stereotypes about race, success, sex, and marriage. George C. Wolfe has staged the three-hander cast. As an incipient white-boy failure, Ben Stiller is a lot more fun than Ben Affleck—in any role you can think of.
The "way it goes" format permits Stiller to provide alternative versions of major plot-confrontations, some of them using very Un-PC terminology. By chance, he meets a white girl [Amanda Peet] he doted on hopelessly in high-school—when he was a fat boy. She has married the school’s former athletic champ, a very self-assured Black gent [Jeffrey Wright], with his wealth inherited from a father determined to show the white folks what a Black man could do. She married partly to be different, partly for the shock-value. But it hasn’t worked out. Take it from there: this is how it goes…
Kathleen Tolan’s MEMORY HOUSE [**]
This two-hander—now debuting at Playwrights Horizons—was just premiered in Louisville, at the Humana Festival. Now, with Diane Wiest as the artsy middle-aged mother of an adopted Russian child—who has grown into a difficult American teen [Natalia Zvereva]—and with a differently-conformed set, the show seems more effective. And a berry-pie still gets baked during the play—a gimmick rather like Tamara de Limpicka painting a portrait during her monologue at the Brit Fest at over at 59E59!
Here is what I wrote about the play at Actors Theatre Louisville:
"If you haven’t already forgotten, Matteo Ricci was that Medieval cleric who conceived the idea of creating a vision of a physical theatre in one’s head. Not that you would be imagining plays on its stage, or audiences in its boxes and pit, but, rather, that you would mentally place important pieces of information or concepts in specific locations in this theatre, rather like visually filing them for future reference.
"In Kathleen Tolan’s Memory House, Katia [Cassandra Bissell], an adopted Russian orphan, is urged to root through an old cardboard box containing items from pre-adoption years, as well as other forgotten souvenirs. Her loving, but frustrated, adoptive mother, Maggie [Taylor Miller], is desperate to get her to complete the essay that will secure her admission to college.
"Katia has been stalling, unable to come to terms with the past or the present. The clock, however, is ticking down toward the final deadline. If only she can overcome her College-Application-Block in time! But—thanks to the Miracle of Microsoft—she is able to print-out her poetic essay at the last minute and rush off to the post-office at just before Closure.
"To add a kind of visual novelty to an otherwise banal situation, Tolan has Miller bake a berry pie in Real Time On-Stage. I was later told by those who lingered that the steaming-hot pie was actually cut into pieces for hungry spectators.
"Could this bit of Reality Theatre have been inspired by the Humana Festival’s big success with a ten-minute-play about the Pillsbury Flour Doughboy Bake-off several seasons ago? Sandy Shinner staged in the intimate Victor Jory Theatre."
Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN [****]
Yes, the performances in Pillowman are amazing! Jeff Goldblum and Zeljko Ivanek—as a sadistic good-cop and a psychotic bad-cop—make a madly manic couple. Yet there is something fundamentally nasty about Martin McDonagh’s Neo-Gothic horror-play, despite all the raves and award-nominations. It goes far, far beyond Beauty Queen of Leenane or Skull in Connemara in deliberate melodramatic viciousness.
In an unnamed totalitarian state, a young and very bad short-story writer has been arrested for drafting horrible tales about torture, mutilation, and murder of young children. Unfortunately for him, just such crimes have been recently committed, apparently by his feeble-minded brother, of whom he is fiercely protective. Under ingenious interrogation, he hears the screams of his brother in an adjoining room…
Above the stark prison-chamber, childhood memories and horrors—as well as some of his fictions—are acted out in storybook settings worthy of the Brothers Grimm—on acid. What can you think of a boy who viciously slaughters his very own parents just because they unremittingly tortured his brother for seven years? You wouldn’t get such a fable from Hans Christian Andersen, you can bet!
John Crowley directed an excellent cast, with Billy Crudup and Michael Stuhlbarg as the doomed brothers. Designs by Scott Pask. Pillowman is Shockheaded Peter—without the music!
Jeffrey Hatcher’s A PICASSO [***]
Pablo Picasso has been seized off the streets of Paris and brought to Gestapo HQ. Picasso isn’t Jewish, but no one is safe. [It should be remembered that the French Police rounded up Paris Jews long before the Nazis requested this be done!] A very self-assured woman-official demands that Picasso authenticate several works that the Nazis have seized—probably from Jewish owners. Powers in Berlin want some real Picassos urgently. She plays to his vanity, and he obliges.
But—when he learns the sketches will be used in the infamous Degenerate Art Exhibition—he changes his mind. It is clear that she absolutely must not return empty-handed, and it’s implied that she is not only an art-critic-historian, but that she is protecting her [Jewish] parents—whose home was once filled with Modern Art.
John Tillinger has staged Jeffrey Hatcher’s intriguing two-handed drama, with Dennis Boutsikaris looking very Pablo-like and Jill Eikenberry looking rather Gestapo-Dominatrix. There are some loose-threads in the dramaturgy, but this is still a provocative situation. Tall order for Props, however: Faking "fake" Picassos?
Elizabeth Wong’s CHINA DOLL [**]
The Idea of this bio-drama of Hollywood’s first Oriental femme-fatale—or Dragon Lady—Anna May Wong is intriguing, but Elizabeth Wong doesn’t yet know how to tell Wong’ sad story effectively: what to leave out, and how to dramatize what is shown or said on stage. Especially as many younger audiences have no idea who Anna May was—a cinema pioneer in a time when not even a beautiful young Chinese woman could expect to marry the handsome White American Hero. Nonetheless, Rosanne Ma was a lovely, frustrated, deluded Anna May.
Indeed, the very idea of an actual Chinese actor playing what was then called in movies a "Chinaman," was early viewed as ridiculous. White actor Warner Oland—or was it Sydney Toland? Or both?—played Charlie Chan—with fish-skin glued to the corners of his eyes to make them appear slanted.
From the program-notes, it would seem that Wong’s play has already been dramaturged, workshopped, showcased, admired, and awarded to death. One of the dramaturgs was a former student of your scribe’s. And the play has been helped along by such old and admired friends as Gordon Davidson—of LA’s Mark Taper Forum—and Donovan Marley—of the Denver Theatre Center. I also admire the dedicated Tisa Chang for staging this script at her Pan Asian Repertory Theatre.
Eduardo de Filippo’s SOULS OF NAPLES [**]
The late Eduardo De Filippo’s distinctive brand of bitter-sweet Neapolitan quasi-comedy seems to play better in London than it does in Manhattan. When Saturday, Sunday, and Monday bowed on Broadway, Clive Barnes reserved his greatest praise for the spaghetti-sauce bubbling on the stove. Filumena did not fare much better, but both were great successes in London, especially with Joan Plowright as Filumena.
Fascinated by the De Filippo comedic style and his unusual characters—not at all like Northern Italians, nor even Romans—that brilliant, if manic, actor, John Turturro, has animated Souls of Naples at the Duke Theatre, for Theatre for a New Audience. In a Michael Feingold translation—staged by Roman Pask—he plays a goofy, castles-in-clouds, credulous husband, linked to a lovely, frustrated wife, who cuckolds him right under his nose, thanks to his demented belief that their ancient apartment is haunted.
Well, it was a big success long ago in Naples—where they understand these things better than New Yorkers.
Musicals Old & New:
SWEET CHARITY [***]
After Christina Applegate’s name had gone up on the marquee of the Martin Beck—excuse me!—the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, she broke her foot out-of-town. It was reported that the show—even with a d’Amboise replacement—would not come into New York. Apparently Ms. Applegate is an old-time trouper and fighter: she found the financing to bring the show to Broadway.
At the preview I saw, she ably flexed her agile ankle—holding onto a prop lamp-post—to show how well-recovered she was. A number my colleagues disparaged her dancing and singing, but I—having no preconceptions and having no idea about her career on TV, which I never watch—thought she performed with energy and personality. No, of course, she’s not Gwen Verdon, but then, neither is Sutton Foster. Or Harvey Feirstein…
The dance-numbers were super-charged and very attractive to see, unlike those in some other new musicals on Broadway. Although Wayne Cilento is credited with choreography, the dances obviously owe something to the original choreographer, Bob Fosse. Some fellow-critics were annoyed that he was nowhere mentioned in the credits.
But composer Cy Coleman did receive a memorial dedication in the program. Walter Bobbie’s stage-direction was fast-paced and stylish.
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG [*****]
One of the best theatre-effects ever is that wonderful vintage automobile flying out over the audience in the musical version of the MGM/United Artists film of Ian Fleming’s kiddie-book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In fact, all the remarkable "scientific" machines invented by Caractacus Potts [Raúl Esparza] are visually magical—and they work, even if the results are sometimes bizarre.
For that matter, the candy-making machinery at Truly Scrumptious’ dad’s factory is also astonishing. Designer Anthony Ward should sweep all kinds of awards for his sets, costumes, and fantastic machines! Not to neglect the design contributions of Mark Henderson [lighting] and Andrew Bruce [sound].
When I first saw this delightful show in London at the Palladium two seasons ago, I was overwhelmed at the panoply of special-effects. These are still a knockout on Broadway. But they are not the entire event, by any means.
There’s also the dire plot of the hilariously villainous Vulgarians to steal Potts’ fabulous racing-car and the plight of Potts as the father of two charming motherless children—who may fall victim to the ghoulish Childcatcher.
The admirable score by the brothers Sherman [Richard M. & Robert B.] is a celebration of lilting melodies that soon has the audience keeping time. Gillian Lynne’s ingenious choreography makes wonderful use of the scenic-milieu and colorful costumes.
Adrian Noble has staged with real imagination and resourcefulness. But here he has a masterful cast, including Jan Maxwell —as the outrageous Baroness Bomburst, plus Phil Bosco, Kevin Cahoon, Mark Kudish, Chip Zien, Robert Sella, Frank Raiter, and Erin Dilly, who is truly scrumptious! Kristen Blodgette is in the pit.
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA [****]
I must be one of a very, very few critics who did not think Light in the Piazza was the greatest thing to come along since Oklahoma! Or maybe Pajama Game?
In its sadly charming way, it is autumnally charming, although it reminded me of other theatrical-adventures featuring middle-aged, middle-American women in Italy. But Victoria Clark is splendid as the well-meaning but essentially unhappy Margaret Johnson.
She has brought her guidebook and her brain-damaged daughter, Clara [Kelli O’Hara], to Italy for a change. In Florence, however, it’s Love At First Sight for Clara and the handsome young Fabrizio [Matthew Morrison].
His charming Florentine family is aghast that Clara is six years older than their son. What they do not know is that she has the mind of a twelve-year-old. She may bloom with love and marriage, but complete maturity—after being kicked in the head in childhood—seems unlikely.
This is to musicals what Sheridan was to Sentimental Comedy. It is the Forrest Gump of musicals—with book by Craig "Reckless" Lucas.
The best thing about the show is the ambling settings of Michael Yeargan: moving and shifting to suggest famed Florentine and Roman sites. Baratlett Sher staged, with Jonathan Butterell devising the musical-staging.
The clearly talented Adam Guettel devised the tunes and lyrics, but it must be a great burden to be always reminded that your Musical-DNA has descended from an admired Mother-Composer and a venerated Grandfather-Composer. [Only the greatest restraint prevents me from citing their names!] I still believe Guettel’s seminal Floyd Collins was his best to date. But it wasn’t big, brash, & colorful, with a Happy Ending. Floyd died down in that suffocating rock-funnel.
SPELLING BEE [***]
I must admit I liked The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee marginally more the second time I saw it: this time moved from the second-floor of 2econd Stage to the basement theatre of Circle-in-the-Square—which technically qualifies it for Broadway and the Tonys. The larger venue with its thrust-conformation really helps.
But I must be one of a very, very few critics who did not think Spelling Bee was the greatest thing to come along since Oklahoma! Or maybe Pajama Game?
Although the wistfully tuneful show was composed & lyricised by the admired William—March of the Falsettos—Finn, the book of Rachel Sheinkin seemed incredibly contrived & formulary. The youthful spelling-contestants are a panoply of stereotypes—with comic tics and hang-ups to match.
This puzzled me until I read an interview with multi-Award-Nominated Dan Fogler, in which he revealed that his amusing character was initially a kind of standup comic turn—he spells by writing out the word first on the floor with his foot!—shown in C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an entertainment conceived & directed by Rebecca Feldman—who also conceived & directed Spelling Bee.
The show has been given a very colorful school-gym milieu, thanks to the designs of Beowulf Boritt. This extends out and engulfs the audience as well. The cast is cute and charming, so it’s no wonder Everybody Loves Raymond—no! no! that’s not right! I mean everybody loves Spelling Bee!
DESSA ROSE [**]
The book & music team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty certainly keep busy. They have had their Broadway moments, notably with Ragtime and Seussical the Musical, as well as the much admired Man of No Importance at Lincoln Center. With Dessa Rose, they have returned to the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre
The story is based on a singular novel by the late Sherley Anne Williams—in which she brought together two real women who had never met. One, Dessa Rose, was a pregnant woman who led a slave-rebellion in the Old South. The other, an abandoned white woman on a failing farm who gave shelter to runaway slaves.
The Ahrens/Flaherty songs had power—and they were strongly sung by the able cast. Unfortunately, the book’s tendency to move backward and forward in time was a confusing. Making the event less than compelling. Graciela Daniele staged and choreographed the talented ensemble, including LaChanze and Rachel York.
CAPTAIN LOUIE [**]
This is Stephen Schwartz’s kiddie-musical, and satisfyingly tuneful it is. Produced with charming child-like props at the York Theatre, it profited from a youthful and energetic cast. It’s based on Ezra Jack Keats’ The Trip, adapted by Anthony Stein. Louie’s family has moved to a new neighborhood, where he knows no one.
For Hallowe’en Trick-or-Treating, he flies his mock-airplane back to the old neighborhood for reunion with the kids on the block. By the close, he’s integrated in his new ‘hood. Not exactly Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but still fun for the kids. Jimmy Diffenbach was a properly diffident Louie. Meridee Stein staged the show, engineering set-prop changes with charm.
Peter Brook’s TIERNO BOKAR [****]
This moving invocation of a simple spiritual faith and deep human insight—at odds with dangerously militant Muslim ritual religiosity and French Colonial politics—is another of Peter Brook’s "Carpet-plays." It recalls the Brook Sufi exploration, The Conference of the Birds, but with more complex results.
The title refers to the central character, a Muslim Master of great simplicity and purity of soul, who was known as The Sage of Bandiagara, a village in French-controlled West Africa. What he taught, he practiced. What he learnt, he shared.
Unfortunately, the question of whether an Islamic prayer should be repeated eleven or twelve times daily is enough to inspire fatal rage by the Faithful—against the other Faithful. This—by extension—suggests that Pres. Bush should be wary of "People of Faith."
Note: BAM’s Majestic Theatre—now the Harvey—was given its ruined-theatre form by then Artistic Director Harvey Lichtenstein as a New York home for Peter Brook and his novel theatre-experiments. It was meant to suggest Brook’s shabby Bouffes du Nord theatre in Paris.
Then why was Tierno Bokar shown in the Barnard College gymnasium, instead of at BAM, where Brook’s works have been usually on view?
Peter Brook insists that admission-prices for his productions must be very inexpensive. He wants people and youths of all conditions to be able to see his ensemble’s work. BAM cannot afford to offer the low-price tickets on sale at Barnard. Its overhead is too high…
The Festival of New British Theatre:
59E59—Primary Stages’ new home, has also been host to a remarkable range of British productions, most of which were on view at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last season. For your scribe, the high point of many festivals in Edinburgh has been productions of new plays at the Traverse Theatre.
Outstanding among the current offerings at 59E59 is the Traverse production of Henry Adam’s The People Next Door [****]. The compact set is two floors of doors, with small apartment-spaces, to show the inter-relationships—or lack of them—of the Council flat-dwellers. Central is the mixed-race Nigel, frenetically played by the marvelous Ronny Jhutti, whom a brutal Special Forces officer blackmails into spying on suspect Muslims in the local mosque. In a Joe Orton-esque resolution, the Nemesis is removed, and three lonely people find a home together.
More problematic was Jonathan Lichtenstein’s The Pull of Negative Gravity [***], showing—in one poor British farm-family—the horrific effects of a son being badly wounded in a war for the "Coalition of the Willing," and the dire effects on family-relationships thereafter. The actors were powerful, but the structure was too intercut.
Kara Wilson—as the Polish-émigré painter, Tamara de Limpicka—painted one of Limpicka’s canvases onstage, finishing it off at the close of her monologue. This was Wilson’s Deco Diva [****], re-creating the life & loves of one of Art Deco’s Icons. She called her super-sophisticated Deco portraits "Synthetic Cubism." The painting was auctioned-off!
[Some seasons past—both in Manhattan and Los Angeles—the painter was also invoked in Tamara, in which audiences could follow any of the main characters around the rooms in Gabriel D’Annunzio’s Villa Imperiale. The play’s scenes took place simultaneously—with strands of action occurring in as many as four locales at the same time. At dinner-time, the audience and the characters shared a lavish buffet from Le Cirque! The New York venue was the 69th Street Armory.]
Another astonishing solo-show was Russell Barr’s Out of Joint production of Sisters, Such Devoted Sisters [****]. Barr plays a wise-cracking Glasgow Drag Queen, and his misadventures make Train-spotting seem like Family Entertainment.
Other outstanding offerings included When the Bulbul Stopped Singing, Tabloid Caligula, Faster, Jackson’s Way, Mortal Ladies Possessed, Unsuspecting Susan, and Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s Private Fears in Public Places.
In a very crowded awards-time show-schedule, it was not possible to see all of these productions, but it’s to be hoped that next spring, the Brits’ visit will be longer, with more time to savor and share such innovative work…
At the New Victory:
If you couldn’t get tickets for King Arthur in Spamalot, you could, nonetheless, see the Young Arthur in King A [***], conceived & directed by Inez Derksen. A troupe of four young men and one striking young woman brought Camelot to life, largely with the aid of many tiny chairs. These suggested not only the Round Table, but the Stone for the Sword, knightly horses, and such. Both young and adult spectators were delighted in the agile flag-waving, and lusty singing in—was it?—Gaelic? Welsh? Celtic? The ensemble is from South Holland, so it might have been Double-Dutch?
Royalty of another sort was on view also at the New Victory: Oscar Wilde’s fairytale fable, The Happy Prince [****], adapted & staged by Anne Wood. The setting was an overgrown, forbidden garden, with the golden statue of the prince looking out over the human misery of a great city. Working with puppets, Paul Cunningham and Veronica Leer retold Wilde’s sad tale of the swallow who freezes to death, bringing the statue’s precious jewels to poor people, leaving the Prince quite shabby and forgotten and the little bird only a skeleton.
Birds of quite a different feather flew in for Luna/Penguin [**], a Pantalone production that was notable for its animated artwork. If you did not know the cartoons and stories on which this show was based, the visuals were something of a mystery, although interesting and unusual in execution.
This is a virtuoso performance by Tom Nelis as a chain-smoking Leonard Bernstein. The innovative Anne Bogart has devised a stage strewn with music-stands and various other props to keep Nelis/Bernstein in motion. This he does most frenetically, replicating some of the Maestro’s most familiar gestures. His excited monologue—studded with many thought-provoking dicta and sly suggestions—has been drawn from his "Writings," according to the New York Theatre Workshop program. I had already seen Nelis in this show at the Humana Festival in Louisville, but it was a joy—and an inspiration—to see it again.
THOM PAIN (based on nothing) [****]
The best thing about this extremely popular—if quizzical—show is the performance of the nerdy but severely unbending Will Eno. Its content and organization—if any—are almost surreal. But then it is based on almost nothing, save Human Experience. Which is Varied…
JACKIE MASON freshly squeezed [***]
I look forward to Jackie Mason’s periodic returns to Broadway. He is always able to find the most provocative headlines or news-stories to give a parodic twist to the craziness of The Way We Live Now. And he is No Respecter of Persons. Celebrities and that dowdy woman in the front-row all alike are in his line-of-fire. He defuses some of his invective—like Dame Edna—by protesting that he means no harm at all to anyone. And he is certainly Not Racist: Jews and Gentiles alike are held up to risible ridicule.
Considering the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Leave No Child Behind fiascoes, I’d hoped Jackie would zero-in on the shenanigans at the White House. When he announced that President George W. Bush was one of the best presidents we’ve ever had, I thought that might be the preface to a comic rant. But no: many in the audience cheered this remark. Jackie looked taken-aback: perhaps he’d expected a rather different take from New Yorkers? He seemed to mentally shift-gears, so whatever hilarious comments he may have had in store were saved for another time…
On With the Dance At BAM!
Why—when Mark Morris’ splendid new dance-home is catty-corner from BAM in Brooklyn—are he and his excellent young Dance Group so seldom and so briefly on view in the Opera House? The theatre was packed for the few performances scheduled recently. The now stocky Morris appeared in From Old Seville, an amusing appetizer. Especially delightful was Somebody’s Coming to See Me Tonight, to beloved Stephen Foster songs. Also on the program: Silhouettes, Rock of Ages, with a Schubert score, and Lou Harrison’s music for Rhymes with Silver.
More problematic was The Contract (The Pied Piper), choreographed for the National Ballet of Canada, by James Kudelka. In what appeared to be a high-school gym, complete with stage, young and even aged dancers circled and re-circled in severe black, white, and gray costumes like a Congregation of Shakers. This was visually striking—for a while.
Some children-dancers got up on stage and acted out the Pied Piper of Hamelin, in a charming childish way. Then the community was stricken with a Dread Disease, from which they could only be cured by a young Woman-Healer. But they didn’t honor their contract with her, so, like the guy with the rats, she had her revenge.
Opera Beyond the Met:
Almost the best part of the recent concert-performance of Brundibar at the Jewish Museum was the post-show discussion between Tony—Angels in America —Kushner and Maurice Sendak. Sendak has created some of his most charming illustrations for the printed version of the fable—translated/adapted by Kushner for the Chicago Lyric Opera, for which Sendak designed sets & costumes. Some of these are currently on view at the Museum in its handsome retrospective: Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak.
The production recalled the opera’s performance by a cast of Jewish children in the infamous Nazi concentration-camp of Terezin, or Theresienstadt. The Czech composer, Hans Krása, like so many Jewish artists, was a victim of the Holocaust, and a number of the children also died. But some survived—and have stayed in touch! Fully staged, Brundibar is promised for the New Victory Theatre soon.
Every spring—and every autumn—both the Juilliard Opera Theatre and the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre present fully-staged productions of challenging—even forgotten or neglected—operas as showcases for their talented students. Tickets are very inexpensive, and the stagings are often worthy of the New York City Opera. But they are always limited to three performances only. Next fall, do not miss their new productions!
Bedrich Smetana—another Czech composer—was featured at the Juilliard with his beloved comic opera, The Bartered Bride. Its leafy background was Impressionistic, but the inn and costumes were definitely Folkloric. The dependable, if not innovative, Eve Shapiro staged. Outstanding was the bride, Marenka, of Melissa Shippen, handsomely partnered by the Jenik of Matthew Garrett. Mark Stringer conducted.
At the Manhattan School, the main spring production was Louis Spohr’s Beauty and the Beast. This has absolutely nothing to do with either Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et le Bête, nor with Disney’s cartoonish Beast.
Rather, it is based on the fable of Zemire und Azor, which has an Arabian Nights locale and plot. This was handsomely evoked by designers Peter Harrison and Daniel James Cole. The enchanted magician/beast was impressively played and sung by Matthew Peña, with Shiree Kidron a charming Zemire. Christopher Larkin conducted.
Also on offer at the Manhattan School two fully-staged—but no sets—workshops of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with piano-accompaniment. Thomas Muraco conducted both student-casts, directed by Dona D. Vaughn. Without period-locales, the characters and situations seemed almost contemporary, something many innovative directors and designers have tried with varying degrees of success. Liam Bonner was a sexy, powerful Don, with Shae Apland a larky Leporello. Anna, Elvira, and Zerlina were, respectively, Emily Ford Dirks, Marisa Famiglietti, and Samantha Malk. Elvia was trying too hard: relax!
Copyright Glenn Loney, 2005. No re-publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, New York Theatre Wire." Reproduction rights please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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