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Art Isn’t Easy

Art Isn’t Easy

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Terrence McNally’s spellbinding new play “Fire and Air,” now at CSC, is ostensibly about the impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the fate of his Ballets Russes, and his artistic and sexual relationship with dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. As a chronicle of early 20th century art and a study of a complicated genius, it’s fascinating on […]

Music and Art

Music and Art

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Stripping down Sondheim is a trend this season, and theater is much better for it. On the heels of the artfully shaved “Sweeney Todd,” still packing the diminutive house at the Barrow Street Theatre, comes CSC’s comparably pared down mounting of “Pacific Overtures.” In both cases, the reductions serve the pieces […]

Edward Albee: Gay Man of the Village, Playwright of Our Time

Edward Albee: Gay Man of the Village, Playwright of Our Time

BY ANDY HUMM | The artistic achievement of Edward Albee was celebrated and chronicled in lengthy obituaries at his September 16 death at age 88 after a short illness. He was far and away America’s greatest living playwright, and it is hard to say who deserves that title now. And while his openness about being gay […]

The Mayor’s Excellent Pop-Up Wedding Bash

The Mayor’s Excellent Pop-Up Wedding Bash

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | About five hours after the Supreme Court handed down its big marriage ruling on June 26, Mayor Bill de Blasio was on the steps of City Hall officiating the weddings of two couples and the reaffirmation of the vows of a third. Denise Niewinski and Cindy Jackson, of Long Island […]

Mad About the Boys  

Mad About the Boys  

BY DAVID EHRENSTEIN | You know what you are Michael? You’re a real person.” “Thank you and fuck you.” So Donald and Michael breezily banter early on in “The Boys in the Band,” Mart Crowley’s hilarious, tumultuous, and fascinatingly seminal play about a gaggle of gay men at a birthday party and the “Is he gay […]

Dishes Served Hot And Cold  

Dishes Served Hot And Cold  

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Magic in the theater isn’t always made by a soaring Peter Pan or a falling chandelier. It can also happen when audiences experience how illuminating darkness can be, when the spectacle is created not by stage mechanics but through human machinations. Such is the power of “The Visit,” the fascinating and thrilling […]

Debbie and Marin

Debbie and Marin

BY DAVID NOH | Deborah Voigt, having survived weight gain, drastic loss, addiction, one marriage, a few toxic relationships, and the most recent, gargantuanly tricky Wagner Ring Cycle revival at the Met, is ready to take it easy now. She has a one-woman show, “Voigt Lessons,” coming up at the 92nd Street Y (February 26; 92y.org), […]

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Only the brilliant Terrence McNally can get away with setting a play in the gay wonderland of the Fire Island Pines and populate it solely with straight characters. When “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” a quirky drama about two miserable married couples (a recurring motif this New York theater season) celebrating July 4th weekend […]

Inside the Play, Inside the Mind

Inside the Play, Inside the Mind

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | In “The Country House,” Donald Margulies is so busy knocking off Chekhov, Edna Ferber, and George S. Kaufman that he hasn’t bothered to write much of a play. With echoes of “The Seagull,” “Uncle Vanya,” and “The Royal Family,” this is a tale of actors offstage, but unlike those purloined and […]

Our Gay Playwright Laureate Ponders Our History

Our Gay Playwright Laureate Ponders Our History

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Terrence McNally is keenly aware of how change happens –– slowly, one person or event at a time. Yet it also happens in a moment. Rosa Parks, he observed, didn’t wake up one day and say she was going to change the world. Gandhi stood firm on the fact that he had […]

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