THE FERRYMAN – A MODERN IRISH TRAGEDY

Near the end of Jez Butterworth’s gripping new drama, The Ferryman, Uncle Pat, the aged family repository of education and lore, begins to read, “Here all the crowd streams, hurrying to the shores, women and men, pleading to make the crossing, stretching out their hands in longing for the far shore. But the boatman rows […]


IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE: ON BECKETT – THE CLOWN KNOWS

Under the unassuming surface, the four great initial plays of Samuel Beckett embrace the fundamental themes of existence and, like no others in English since Shakespeare’s, wrestle them to the ground. For each of mankind’s defeats – by faith, love, society, and mortality – Beckett conjures up a tremendous theatrical master image that, supported by […]


GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY – A THIN PLACE FOLK OPERA

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan asked Conor McPherson, the world’s greatest English-language playwright, if he would be interested in using his songs in a theater piece. The result is the magnificent folk-opera Girl from the North Country. Critics of the work ignore the key to understanding the work’s deep center: Conor McPherson was most interested […]


THE GRANDEST OF GRAND OPERAS, THE GRANDEST OF AIDAS

Anna Netrebko. You can admire her through the Met HD LIVE broadcasts, but to really appreciate her power one must see her perform live on stage. At New York’s Lincoln Center, we caught her final rendition of the princess Aida in the Metropolitan Opera’s current production of the Verdi classic. Nothing speaks to the culture […]


VIRGINIA OPERA’S STREET SCENE – A TRIUMPH

      Last week Terry Teachout, the wisest theater critic in America, noted the significance of regional opera companies in both maintaining a high standard of excellence and simultaneously attracting an audience. “It is not that grand opera is incapable of appealing to American theatergoers. Even now, there are many Americans who love it […]