Aug. 2 NTLive: Everyman

NT Live’s ‘Everyman’ gives a 15th century morality play a 21st century facelift

Britain’s poet laureate turns one of the oldest English dramas into a timeless argument against materialism

By Barbara Haas

Rufus Norris began his reign as Artistic Director of London’s National Theatre with a brilliant updating of the medieval morality play, Everyman. If this is any indication of what lies ahead, we’re in for some great theater…

July 18 WTFestival: Off the Main Road

Left: Aaron Costa Ganis as Gino and Kyra Sedgwick as Faye Garrit in the Williamstown Festival Theatre production of William Inge's "Off the Main Road" (photo: Charles Erickson)

William Inge’s ‘Off the Main Road’ gets staged at last

But the ‘lost’ play, in its world premier performance at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, doesn’t measure up to the playwright’s best works

By Joseph Whelan

Six years ago some previously unproduced plays by William Inge were found in the library of a community college in Inge’s hometown of Independence, Kansas. Among the 25 or so works in various stages of development was the complete full-length play Off the Main Road, recently given its world premiere production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival with a stellar cast that includes Emmy Award-winner Kyra Sedgwick and Estelle Parsons, directed by Evan Cabnet…

July 22 Cazenovia Counterpoint: Strawberry Fields

A view of the John Lennon shrine in New York's Central Park the setting for Michael Torke's one-act opera, "Strawberry Fields"

‘Strawberry Fields’ adds a touch of Central Park, and John Lennon’s imagination, to Cazenovia

Torke’s one-act opera, the centerpiece of Wednesday’s Society For New Music’s Cazenovia Counterpoint program, draws a capacity crowd

By David Abrams

Cazenovia turned into Central Park Wednesday evening, if only briefly, as the Society For New Music mounted Michael Torke’s one-act opera Strawberry Fields to the delight of a packed-house audience at Cazenovia College’s historic opera house, the Catherine Cummings Theater.

Strawberry Fields is the name of the 2.5-acre “shrine” in New York’s Central Park that serves as a memorial to Beatles’ songwriter-guitarist (and peace activist), John Lennon. At the center of the shrine lay a magnificent mosaic with the word “IMAGINE” radiating from its center…

July 19 Glimmerglass: Candide

Andrew Stenson as Candide and Andrew Maughan as Cacambo in The 2015 Glimmerglass Festival production of Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" (photo: Karli Cadel)

Glimmerglass’s ‘Candide’ makes political satire satisfying entertainment

Francesca Zambello demonstrates how a musical whose story is based entirely on politics and philosophy can ‘glitter and be gay’

By David Rubin

Leonard Bernstein’s Candide has never been, in any of its many versions, the best of all possible American musicals. The challenges it poses to a production team are simply too many…

Commentary: The Third Man digital restoration

Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, in the 1949 film noir classic, "The Third Man" (courtest, Rialto Pictures)

‘The Third Man,’ 1949 film noir classic, returns to the big screen in luxuriant digital restoration

The 4K digital restoration of the classic film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles is now playing in select U.S. theaters.

By Wayne Myers

The Third Man, Graham Greene’s 1949 tale of moral ambiguity set against a backdrop of the war-shattered grandeur of post-World War II occupied Vienna, has gotten a major digital restoration by Deluxe Restoration for Studiocanal. It’s a fun alternative to the usual superhero glut and computer-generated imagery (CGI) summer fare…

July 18 Glimmerglass: Cato in Utica

John Holiday as Caesar in The Glimmerglass Festival's 2015 production of Vivaldi's "Cato in Utica" (photo: Dory Schultz)

Glimmerglass Festival’s ‘Cato in Utica’ hails Caesar — and John Holiday’s magnificent countertenor

But the handsomely staged U.S. premiere of Vivaldi’s opera seria, though interesting, pales in comparison with Handel’s operas

By David Abrams

The Glimmerglass Festival presented the long awaited U.S. premier of Vivaldi’s “lost” opera Cato in Utica Saturday to an enthusiastic audience that left little doubt as to which singer was the most noble Roman of them all…

July 16 NT Live: A View from the Bridge

NL Live broadcast of ‘A View From the Bridge’ a persuasive, character-driven drama

Belgian-Dutch director Ivo van Hove discards Arthur Miller’s Italian-American trimmings and focuses squarely on the characters

By Barbara Haas

This year is the centennial of Arthur Miller’s birth, and a stunning production by London’s The Young Vic of his 1955 drama, A View from the Bridge — broadcast to grateful theater-lovers in movie theaters world-wide by NT Live — proves this play to be timeless…

July 11 DruidShakespeare: The History Plays

Charlotte McCurry, Clare Barrett, Rory Nolan, and Aisling O'Sullivan in DruidShakespeare. Photo by Matthew Thompson

The Death of Kings: ‘DruidShakespeare’ at the Lincoln Center Festival

Ireland’s Druid Theatre Company returns to the Lincoln Center Festival with an ambitious adaption of the Bard’s history plays

By Joseph Whelan
Contributing writer

Some of the best theater I have seen in the past decade has come from Ireland’s Druid Theatre, the Galway-based company with the tiny home down a cobblestone alley and an outsized international reputation…

July 11 Glimmerglass: Macbeth

Eric Owens as Macbeth and Melody Moore as Lady Macbeth in The Glimmerglass Festival's 2015 production of "Macbeth" (photo: Karli Cadel)

Glimmerglass Festival’s ‘Macbeth’ a vocal triumph fit for a king

Eric Owens roars and Melody Moore soars in the company’s first-ever production of the Verdi masterpiece

By David Abrams

Shakespeare’s Macbeth may have murdered his way to the throne, but in the new Glimmerglass production of Verdi’s operatic adaptation of the tragedy Eric Owens appears to get there on the sheer power of his colossal bass-baritone…

July 1 SF Opera: Les Troyens

The Trojan Horse in the San Francisco Opera production of "Les Troyens" (photo: Cory Weaver)

SF Opera’s ‘Les Troyens’ a vocal and visual tour de force

Looking a gift horse in the mouth has never revealed so much

By James Sohre
Contributing writer

From the moment Donald Runnicles gave the downbeat at San Francisco Opera’s Les Troyens, I knew I was in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience…

June 30 SF Opera: Two Women

Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cesira) with the Allied troops in the San Francisco Opera production of "Two Women" (photo: Cory Weaver)

‘Two Women’ a powerful story full of operatic potential — and music that doesn’t quite match

Marco Tutino’s accessible musical score, steeped in pleasant tunes and harmonies, is largely too tame to confront the violence and grittiness of the story

By James Sohre
Contributing writer

With an intentional nod to verismo opera, its lush melodies and orchestral effects, San Francisco Opera successfully presented the world premiere of composer Marco Tutino’s Two Women…

April 25 SU Drama: Avenue Q

Beyond the sleaze there’s lots to please in SU Drama’s ‘Avenue Q’

Let’s just say these puppets have been around the block a few times…

By Michael O’Connor

The greatest enjoyment from watching Avenue Q comes from its manner of presentation. Many of the characters in the show are puppets that look as if they walked off the set of Sesame Street. Yet while there’s a certain sophomoric joy in watching these puppets discuss adult subject matters like sexuality, pornography, and drunkenness…

April 18 CNY Playhouse: Glengarry Glen Ross

CNY Playhouse closes the deal in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’

A fine ensemble of actors all but ooze oil in David Mamet’s look at the unctuous business of the hard sell

By Barbara Haas

The Central New York Playhouse isn’t afraid to tackle the important American plays. Last spring the company staged a fine Death of a Salesman, directed by Kasey Marie McHale. Now they’ve put on an equally creditable production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, again under McHale’s direction…