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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 […]

The Answer to Gun Violence is Feminism

BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY | To me, being anything doesn’t mean already being it, it means embracing a conscious journey of becoming it. For me, this applies, in the words of the late writer Paul Monette, to “becoming a man,” but certainly in my reckoning also to becoming an ally, and, for my purposes here, becoming a […]

Sublime Shakespeare History Plays from the RSC

Sublime Shakespeare History Plays from the RSC

BY ANDY HUMM | Let’s get this out of the way first: if you have tickets for any of the four Shakespeare history plays at BAM’s Harvey Theater through May 1, count yourselves among the happy few. At 62, I’ve seen most of these plays multiple times but never so deep, rich, and arresting as here […]

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 […]

Bona Fide Bard

Bona Fide Bard

BY DAVID KENNERLEY  | In recent months, New York has produced a head-scratching array of shaken-up Shakespeare. A “Macbeth” set in an insane asylum featuring a single actor playing every role. A hunky Romeo in torn jeans riding a motorcycle. A “Julius Caesar” staged in a high-security women’s prison. Just to name a few. But before […]

A Plague on This House, Too

A Plague on This House, Too

BY ANDY HUMM | I am fortune’s fool. I had looked forward to two stagings of “Romeo and Juliet” this season — one on Broadway with Orlando Bloom and another at one of my favorite companies, Classic Stage. A plague on both their houses. Shakespeare’s play, with its implausible plot of mid-teens who marry within a […]

A Fine Romance

A Fine Romance

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Find an attractive though antiseptic man/ boy and put him in a romantic situation that’s sexually charged but ultimately harmless, and let teenagers project their developing sexual fantasies onto him. It’s an entertainment formula that dates from the dawn of romantic literature and has been used by celebrated authors including Jane Austen; […]

Laughing at the Right and Wrong Moments

Laughing at the Right and Wrong Moments

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | A director has two choices when casting a man in a female role –– either play it straight and create a realistic character and a commentary on conventional gender roles or go for camp and hilarity. Dan Wackerman, in directing the Peccadillo Theater Company’s revival of the 1926 play “The Silver Cord,” […]