Category Archives: Uncategorized

FAVORITE LIVE PERFORMANCES 2017-2018

Every year I note the favorite  performances I have seen. Last year I noted productions themselves. This year I note individual acting performances which I found quite wonderful. (In alphabetical order) Bradley Armacost, Hugh, Translations Piotr Beczala, Rodolfo, Luisa Miller Judy Yerby Burke, Linda, Death of a Salesman Joseph Calleja, Pollione, Norma Ryan Clemens, Various, […]

National Theatre Live: The Expressionist Hamlet

Lyndsay Turner’s Hamlet, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is strikingly different from other recent Hamlets. Rory Kinnear ‘s Hamlet directed by Nicholas Hytner, Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 self-directed Hamlet, and Greg Doran’s 2009 David Tennant Hamlet all evidenced the influence of John Barton’s magisterial elucidation of how Shakespeare’s language needed to be played. Barton insisted on a detailed […]

VIRGINIA OPERA’S DREAM: THE MYSTICISM OF HAPPINESS

The great British essayist G. K. Chesterton considered Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be a masterful presentation of “the mysticism of happiness.” He went on to explain: “That is to say, it is the conception that when a man lives upon a borderland he may find himself in the spiritual or supernatural atmosphere, not […]

THE MET’S TOSCA: GRAND RETURNS TO THE OPERA

Sonya Yoncheva’s Violetta was the heart of the most beautiful and exciting event I have ever seen on the stage – Willy Decker’s essentialist La Traviata, with Michael Fabiano (Alfredo) and Thomas Hampson (Germont), so the prospect of seeing Yoncheva’s Floria Tosca was greatly anticipated, to say the least. Decker’s Traviata realized that Dumas’ story, […]

REGENT THEATRE’S DEAR RUTH: A COMEDY REDISCOVERED

“God moves in a mysterious way” Since hymnist William Cowper wrote those words in the late 18th century, the phrase has attained a triviality not merited by its truth. The famous Cowper line is from his last hymn prior to the onset of a struggle with mental illness which included at least one suicide attempt […]