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Clipped Wings

Clipped Wings

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Given that “M. Butterfly” is an operatic-scale tragedy of a romantic, if deluded, passion so intense that it destroys a man’s life, it’s surprising and deeply disappointing that Julie Taymor’s revival is so dull and dreary. Choosing to turn the play into a naturalistic, psychological drama, Taymor misreads the play and makes […]

The Giddy Side of Greed

The Giddy Side of Greed

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | With a massive ensemble bursting with Broadway-caliber comedic talent, it’s hard to imagine how they got any work done during rehearsals of the latest revival of “The Government Inspector,” Nikolai Gogol’s goofy farce about greed run amok. Lead by the irrepressible Michael Urie (the former “Ugly Betty” star who’s been on […]

Raves All Around

Raves All Around

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The images created on stage by director Ivo van Hove are the kind that stay with — and haunt — you pretty much forever. More than a decade ago, he staged Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” at New York Theatre Workshop, and I can still see her with a staple gun violently attaching […]

For the Birds

For the Birds

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE  | Whatever kind of academic exercise playwright Sharr White is up to in the new play “The Snow Geese,” now being staged by MTC, the result is dull, even tedious, saved from disaster only by the talents of Broadway stalwarts Mary-Louise Parker, Danny Burstein, and Victoria Clark. During the seemingly interminable exposition that […]

The Caucasian Chalk Circle Jerk

The Caucasian Chalk Circle Jerk

BY ANDY HUMM | Bertolt Brecht wrote “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” in 1944 as an epic piece of agitprop about the evils and absurdities of war and totalitarianism. What was performed in 1962 by the Royal Shakespeare Company with a cast of 30 playing 90 roles has been reduced to a band of seven troupers at […]