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A Noir Is Born

A Noir Is Born

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Judging from the poster alone, you might think that “Billy & Ray,” the earnest melodrama now at the Vineyard Theatre, is a love story about a squabbling gay couple in the 1940s. Not quite. The fact-based play, written by Mike Bencivenga, serves up the rocky backstory behind producing “Double Indemnity,” which […]

The Scottish Pixie Survivor

The Scottish Pixie Survivor

BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY | Just try to stop him! Most days this fall, that whirling dervish with the devilish twinkle in his eye, Alan Cumming, is filming new episodes of CBS’s popular drama “The Good Wife,” then scooting up to Broadway where he continues his naughty and nice Tony-winning star turn as the Emcee in […]

Stars, Scars, and Spangles

Stars, Scars, and Spangles

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Even when he’s not at the height of his powers Neil LaBute is, at least superficially, more entertaining and provocative than most contemporary playwrights. “The Money Shot,” his latest outing with MCC now at the Lortel, has plenty of his trademark lacerating wit, even if it runs out of steam long […]

Pre-Modern Family

Pre-Modern Family

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Director Scott Ellis knows a thing or two about reviving musty Broadway shows, having breathed new life into “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” “Harvey,” and “Twelve Angry Men” in recent years. But in restaging the Moss Hart-George S. Kaufman chestnut “You Can’t Take It With You,” he faced some particularly dicey […]

I Remember Mama

I Remember Mama

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Have you noticed the boomlet in bio-shows about gay, tormented, and ultimately triumphant African-American males on the New York boards this season? Last month, “Bootycandy” wowed audiences with its darkly comic take on growing up black and gay, presumably set in Cincinnati where the playwright Robert O’Hara was raised. “Mighty Real” […]

Theseus Rides The Bull 

Theseus Rides The Bull 

BY BRIAN McCORMICK  | There have been many versions of the myth of Theseus, founder-king of Athens and, like Jesus, the son of two possible fathers and one mother. In Mark Dendy’s new dance-play “Labyrinth,” the artist draws inspiration from Mary Renault’s 1958 Bildungsroman “The King Must Die” and weaves in his own personal historical […]

Trials of the One Percent 

Trials of the One Percent 

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Not much happens on the surface of “This is Our Youth,” Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 play about three over-privileged and searching young people in 1982, now getting a solid revival on Broadway. What makes the play intriguing is its larger literary context — young people grappling with their place in a culture […]

Balls and Chains 

Balls and Chains 

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | When “Scenes From a Marriage,” Ingmar Bergman’s lacerating TV miniseries about a marriage gone sour, premiered in Sweden 1973, that country’s divorce rate reportedly doubled. The filmmaker even had to get an unlisted phone number to avoid the flood of calls from strangers seeking conjugal advice. Later, the series was condensed […]

A Conversation With Carp 

A Conversation With Carp 

BY DAVID NOH | At age 88, Carlton Carpenter is one of the very last survivors of Hollywood’s Golden Age of musicals, specifically MGM Studio, which signed him to a seven-year contract in the late 1940s. Lean and lanky, he was a charmingly gawky presence in films like “Father of the Bride,” “Two Weeks with […]

Art Isn’t Easy 

Art Isn’t Easy 

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | You don’t have to be versed in the idiosyncratic and deconstructive whimsy that informed the early Off-Off Broadway movement to fall for “Red Eye of Love.” It can be enjoyed pretty much on its own as a satire on the level of “Dames at Sea” or “The Boyfriend.” The 1961 play by […]

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