The Merchant of Venice is fantastic!

I had the great pleasure of seeing the Merchant of Venice with my good friend Niro last Friday, courtesy of my good friend Stacie. The Merchant of Venice is actually one of the few Shakespeare plays I had not read or seen and I was looking forward to seeing it. The play is very different from the Shakespeare plays I have seen which are either comedies with dramatic elements where everyone ends up getting married at the end, or tragedies with comic elements where everyone dies at the end. The Merchant of Venice sits somewhere in between given its more… Read More

A Perfect Crime was a perfect time

by Stacie Rabinowitz Last Monday night Fabrice and I had the pleasure of going to see the longest-running play in New York, “A Perfect Crime.” Although neither of us had heard much about it, as theater and mystery buffs we decided we should form our own opinions. Luckily, we were not disappointed! The plot is a murder mystery that keeps you on your toes till the very end. Although normally I hate excessive plot twists, and usually find them either predictable or gratuitous (sorry David Mamet), in this case each surprise was unique in its execution and built upon clues… Read More

The Winter’s Tale is fantastic

I saw William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale last Thursday at the BAM in Brooklyn and loved it. The play is one of BAM’s “Bridge Projects” bringing together talent from London and New York. The play is masterfully produced under the direction of Sam Mendez of American Beauty fame. I loved the effects and acting. My real criticism comes from the abrupt and unexpected tone change between the first and second parts. The first part is incredibly dark with its testament to the follies of jealousy and hasty judgment. The second part on the force of love as a… Read More

Tom Stoppard on Chekhov

On Tuesday, I had the privilege to attend an interview with Tom Stoppard at BAM by David Remnick, an editor at the New Yorker. The event epitomized what I love about New York – an erudite audience, an amazing setting, and brilliant presentation. Stoppard was quintessentially Stoppard – extremely eloquent despite the overuse of the phrase “as it were”, constantly taking us in unexpected directions through the joys of free association. David Remnick, a Russian specialist who won the Pulitzer in 1994 for his book Lenin’s Tomb, asked amazingly well researched and interesting questions. The conversation ranged from… Read More

Reasons to be Pretty was disappointing

Having enjoyed Fat Pig and The Shape of Things so much, I had high expectations for Reasons to be Pretty. Unfortunately, the play did not live up to my expectations. The characters and setting did not resonate with me. The dialogue is simplistic and crass, reflecting the blue collar setting. I missed the wit from his other plays. I also did not buy the relationships. Greg, the main character, seems too smart to be dating a lunatic like Steph or to be friends with a bully like Kent. I also hated the moralizing monologue at the… Read More

The Shape of Things is fantastic!

I went to a reading of The Shape of Things by Neil Labute last night. The Shape of Things is Neil’s first play in his trilogy on beauty. I already loved Fat Pig and had high expectations. I was not disappointed. It was fantastic – amoral, irreverent and tons of fun! In fact, I liked it even more than Fat Pig. I am surprised the movie version got mediocre reviews and will be checking out shortly. I can’t wait to see Reasons to be Pretty this Thursday!… Read More

Fat Pig is fantastic!

I was considering going to see the play Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute, which is running until July 5. It has been getting rave reviews for its trenchant commentary on the high value society places on beauty. Before going to see it, I decided to check out two of Neil LaBute’s prior plays, which with Reasons to Be Pretty, form a sort of trilogy on beauty. I began with a reading last night of Fat Pig, which was fantastic. It tells the story of a good-looking man who starts dating an extremely nice and funny but overweight girl,… Read More

Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth is fantastic!

I had the privilege of seeing Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth last night at the Lyceum Theater before it closes on May 24. I loved the re-interpretation of the setting with Macbeth playing a Stalin-like figure with a backdrop and effects worthy of George Orwell’s 1984! Patrick Stewart is magnificent in the role and clearly shows how is undoing is really of his own making. My only quibble was that the first half was a bit slow, but it really picked up after the intermission and ended with a great flourish!… Read More

If you are in New York, go see Rock ‘n’ Roll

I have always been a huge fan of Tom Stoppard’s plays and movies especially Arcadia, Shakespeare in Love and Empire of the Sun. I just saw Rock ‘n’ Roll, a play about communism, the 1968 uprising in Czechoslovakia and rock and roll as a symbol of freedom. It’s not as good as Arcadia, but I truly loved the dialogue, the characters and their evolution. You literally see the intellectual level of the discussion go down as we progress through time from 1968 to 1990 and the characters age, lose their British accent and society seemingly dumbs down (“What? They give… Read More