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Strange Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | It’s a good thing “The Parisian Woman,” Beau Willimon’s talky new drama about politics and power, has no intermission. Because it takes nearly an hour to build up a decent head of steam, and if there were a break, I expect there’d be more than a few empty seats in the […]

The Perils of Normalization

The Perils of Normalization

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | As the reality of the Trump administration bent on rolling back hard-won civil liberties starts to take hold, half of America feels blindsided, wondering in disbelief, “How the hell did this happen?” Wallace Shawn, the esteemed, conscience-tweaking dramatist and actor, is probably not so surprised. As the author of “Evening at the […]

Family Values

Family Values

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | If you want to see deconstructive absurdity done right — and believe me, you do — get down to the Lortel to catch Noah Haidle’s existentialist comedy, “Smokefall.” Echoing Thornton Wilder and the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, the play is a meditation on love, life, risk, and the inevitable sadness, disappointment, and […]

Shock and Awe  

Shock and Awe  

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | There is a kind of violent lyricism in Philip Ridley’s “Mercury Fur,” now getting a first-rate New Group production that is — and should be — profoundly unsettling. In a dystopian New York City on the verge of destruction, a group of survivors and drug dealers break into a vacant apartment to […]

Despicable Me

Despicable Me

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Film actor Jesse Eisenberg is becoming a formidable force on the New York stage. In recent seasons “The Social Network” Oscar nominee has written and starred in “Asuncion,” “The Revisionist,” and now the New Group’s “The Spoils,” at the Pershing Square Signature Center Off Broadway. Eisenberg’s works tend to be obsessed […]

Home from the War

Home from the War

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | While its subject matter is the Vietnam War, there is something hauntingly contemporary about the New Group’s simply splendid revival of David Rabe’s “Sticks and Bones.” First produced in 1971, while Americans were still dying in Southeast Asia, the play tells the story of David, a solider returning home blind and suffering […]