Browsing: Theatre

Blog Posts

0

DURING HIS LIFETIME, Terrence McNally saw seventeen of his plays and musicals premiere on Broadway, and along the way he developed a tenacity and maintained a relevance that has eluded most American playwrights in their later years. Conversations with Terrence McNally, edited by Raymond-Jean Frontain, helps to   illuminate a writer whose work has not always shown up on the literary radar of critics and tastemakers.

More
0

THE LYRICS from a song in Stephen Sondheim’s dazzling Broadway show Sunday in the Park with George (1983) include these lines: “Bit by bit,/ Putting it together./ Piece by Piece—/ Only way to make a work of art./ Every moment makes a contribution,/ Every little detail plays a part./ Having just the vision’s no solution,/ Everything depends on execution:/ Putting it together/ That’s what counts.” Stephen M. Silverman’s lush, posthumous coffee table compendium of Sondheim’s career, Sondheim: His Life, His Shows, His Legacy, does exactly that. It puts it all together to make an exhilarating work of art in its own right.

More
0

“IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL, you’re going to die a lonely old queen.” That’s a harsh caveat, especially when spoken by one’s wife. In Maestro, directed, cowritten (with Josh Singer), and produced by Bradley Cooper, those lines are delivered by Carrie Mulligan playing actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn, also known as Mrs. Bernstein. Cooper also plays the part of Leonard Bernstein, but his performance takes a back seat to Mulligan’s. An Oscar for Best Actress is widely discussed.

More
0

Christopher Byrne’s biography, “A Man of Much Importance,” is welcome on several counts. First, despite the choppy way that it consigns McNally’s plays, operas, and work for television to separate chapters, the book does offer an accurate overview of McNally’s life that’s surprising in some of its details. For example, while McNally had spoken publicly about his parents’ alcoholism and his father’s beating him for his artsy behaviors and sassy comebacks as he grew up in Corpus Christi, Byrne is the first to report that McNally’s mother “interfered” (Byrne’s word) with him during his teenage years, which perhaps explains the sexually troubled relationship between mothers and sons in his plays.

More
0

Books under review: Gays on Broadway by Ethan Mordden, and Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Musical Theatre by Kelly Kessler.

More
0

The Magnolia Ballet is an intensely American, intensely human story told with great poetry and compelling imagery. As for the demand of the father to his son, Guest provides his take on whether one must choose between a mythic heritage and acceptance of one’s sexuality and personhood.

More
0

            Noël Coward on (and in) Theatre is composed rather like a scrapbook, with photographs, reproductions of Playbills and theatrical posters, excerpts from Coward’s essays on the theater, interviews he gave, his plays, his bon mots, his opinions of fellow playwrights, actors, producers, and critics, and even poems and song lyrics.

More
0

Given this relative neglect of his work, Raymond-Jean Frontain’s new book, The Theater of Terrence McNally: Something about Grace, is especially welcome. The culmination of many years of study of McNally’s work and of his voluminous papers at the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, the book offers an insightful assessment of the playwright’s entire career. Frontain makes the best case yet for the unity of McNally’s body of work and for the significance of his achievement.

More
0

Playing in two parts that run to nearly seven hours, and the fact that it explores the impact of AIDS on the lives of gay men in America, The Inheritance inevitably invites comparison with Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.

More
1 2 3 6