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Hail, Caesar!

Hail, Caesar!

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Despite the dazzling, thoughtful, and often moving production of “Julius Caesar” now in Central Park, it is virtually impossible to discuss the Public Theater’s staging of the Shakespeare classic without acknowledging the predictably cartoonish controversy it has spawned. In setting the play in the present time and strongly suggesting that Caesar is […]

Addicted to Likes

Addicted to Likes

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | There is no pre-show announcement at “Privacy” demanding the silencing of cell phones. In fact, they urge you to keep them switched on and to fiddle with them throughout the play. Within minutes, it’s clear that this provocative appraisal of identity in the digital age, now enjoying a sold-out run at the […]

Modern Morality

Modern Morality

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | “You have to allow less intelligent people to hate you. It’s their destiny, and it costs you nothing.” So says Jenny, a partner in a high-end investment banking firm to her colleague/ competitor/ partner Seth when he expresses discomfort at the acquisition deal Jenny is proposing that will put a lot of […]

Sounds and Sweet Airs

Sounds and Sweet Airs

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | “The Tempest” is a difficult play, to say the least. A great grab bag of Shakespeare’s recurring themes, it encompasses the argument between the natural and the supernatural, revenge, romance, and –– plotted, if not realized –– regicide. As plays go, it’s really kind of a mess. The plot is thin and […]

Jonathan’s New Brain

Jonathan’s New Brain

BY DAVID NOH | Though actor Jonathan Groff’s HBO show “Looking” was recently canceled after just two seasons, he has definitely landed butter side up, with the fun and juicy role of King George in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliantly soulful, burgeoning theatrical juggernaut “Hamilton,” set to open on Broadway this season. In the meantime, he is […]

Nature Studies

Nature Studies

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE  | Nature is so strong a theme in both the poetry and plot of “King Lear” that at first it’s surprising to walk into Central Park’s Delacorte Theater and see the bucolic surroundings virtually obscured by John Lee Beatty’s dominating, monochromatic wall. Mostly known for lavish interiors and finely wrought details, here […]

The City Council’s One Lesbian Speaks Up

The City Council’s One Lesbian Speaks Up

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Rosie Mendez, the Lower East Side City Council veteran first elected in 2005, has been passionate about tenants’ rights her entire career. An attorney by training, she worked at Brooklyn Legal Services and then for the People’s Economic Opportunities Project on the Lower East Side before becoming chief of staff to former […]