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Subtitle

The Whipping Man

A Confederate Soldier Caleb (Jay Wilkison) returns home in April 1865.  Two ex slaves Simon(Andre Braugher) and John (Andre Holland) still remain in the house.  The main theme Is Simon celebrating Passover with Caleb and John. There are many twist in the plot which are tied together in the end. The is superb production  the cast, script set design are worth seeing.  The show is playing at the N Y City Center Stage I and will be playing till April 10 2011.   

Review by Rozanna Radakovich. 

Photos by Annazor

Good People

 At the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre .It opens March 3, 2011  and has extended it's run till May 8, 2011.

David Lindsay-Abaire playwright and  winner of the 2007 Pulitzer drama for Rabbit Hole. David has crafted another well done drama.

Uncouth Margaret played by Frances McDorman has lost her job at a 99 cents store.  She has one child who was  born premature and can not take care of herself. This causes Marget to be late for work a lot.

Her friend and fellow Bingo player Jean (Becky Ann Baker) tells her that an old boyfriend is back in town. Mike (Tate Donovan) is now a doctor. Jean suggests she ask him for a job.

Her landlady  (Estelle Parsons) fellow bingo player edges her on.

Truth, lies, exposure  from  events in the past comes to light.Things are not as they seem.

Mikes wife (Renee Elise Goldsberry) and Margaret's ex boss Steve (Patrick Currell) round out the cast.

The cast works well together.  Estelle is outstanding stealing scene after scene.

This is the best set I've seen in a while.  Each scene opens like a snapshot. John Lee Beatty did the scenic design.

The only flaw  was the sound, there were times I could not hear the actors. I saw it the first day of previews so I hope this has been corrected.

The play opens March 3, 2011 and runs till April 24, 2011.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

 Photos by Annazor

 

Compulsion

Playing at the Public Theater opens February 17, 2011 and plays to March 13, 2011.

Sid Silver played by Mandy Patinkin is obsessed with having Anne Frank's diary published in 1951. This play is inspired by the story of Meyer Levin "Obsession".

Sid's quest to do the play of Anne's diary brings him rejection and frustration, but he is still convinced on getting his version done.  He feels the play that has been done gloss over the true story.

The diary consumes his life, his french wife (Hannah Cabell) is about to leave him.  He promises her that he will not ensue it any longer.

In the second act he is living in Israel.  Still obsessed with getting his version of Anne Franks diary performed  He gets Israel director (Matte Osian) to do it.

There are seven puppets hanging from the ceiling on the stage before the play begins. They represent the  people in the  attic with Anne.  Her puppet is on  a chair leaning on a table on the  stage.  The puppets disappear except for Anne once the play begins. Anne's puppet used during play as if shes alive. Another male puppet is seen later.  Anne Franks puppet is compelling and was done by Brooklyn puppet designer Matt Acheson.  Anne's skin is the text from her diary, as is all the puppets.

The center stage is sparse and looks like it could be an attic.

Compulsion is so convincing it makes you want to read Anne Frank's diary again.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

 Photos by Annazor

 

That Championship Season

Playing at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre opens on March 6, 2011 and closes on May 21, 2011.

The current Championship Season is a revival of the first one done at the public Theater in 1972. It moved to the Booth Theatre in September 1972 and ran for 700 performances. Another revival was done in 1999 at the Second Stage.

Written by Jason Miller, it received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won a Tony and Outer Circle Award.

The story revolves the annual reunion of a basket team and their coach.They have be celebrating their state championship for the past 20 years. The party takes place in 1972 at the coaches house somewhere in Lackawana Valle Pa.  The coach is  played by Brian Cox.

The team is made of  George Sikowski(Jim Gaffigan) mayor of the town.  James Daley (Kiefer Sutherland) Junior High Principal.  Phil Romano (Chris Noth) rich company owner. The last member is Tom Dale ( Jason Patric son of Jason Miller) loser and alcoholic.

The more they drink the more hidden, not spoken short comings,  fears, lusts and shortcomings come out.  One more drink one more outbreak.  It gets to the point the so called friends are ready to turn on each other.  Coach does all he can to calm each one down by taking them on the porch. Meanwhile each player spills out some poison on the other while revealing their   weaknesses and failures.

The Coach near the end screams "I made you winners. Don't forget that".

Outstanding performances from Jason Patric and Brian Cox.  Jim Gaffigan does a good job on his first drama role. Keifer Sutherland and Chris Noth add to the great chemistry.

In one scene Jason falls down a flight of  stairs in a drunk stupor.  He kept rubbing hi sknee and looking down at it .A few minutes later he was relaxing on the coach his pants had a tear in the knee. That must have been some fall after all.   Chris Noth moved his arm fast with a  glass still filled with liquid in it. The front row got a nice bath. Opps.

All aside put it together it made for an excellent night at the theater.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.  

The Importance Of Being Earnest 

At the American Airlines Theatre. Now playing until July 3, 2011.

The play was written in 1895 by Oscar Wilde.

Algernon Moncreff(Santino Fontana) has a fictitious sick friend that he uses as an excuse to leave London.  His friend John Worthing(David Farn) has a house in the country. The excuse he uses to leave to go to London is his bad brother Earnest.  In London John is known as "Earnest".

John has fallen in love with Algernon cousin Gwendolen Fairfax(Sara Topan).  Earnest proposes to Gwendolen, she accepts.

However her mother Lady Brackwell(Brian Bedford) does not approve.

John promises Algeron he will give up his deception.

Going home John tells his ward Ceily Cardew(Charlotte Parry) ,Rev Canon Chasuble(Paxton Whitehead), and Ceily tutor Miss Prism(Dana Ivey) that his brother has died.  While he goes off to do something Algernon appears without his knowledge and introduces himself as Earnest.

This play is like a slap stick comedy.people missing each other, folly after folly happens. Things are not what they seem.

Play on words Rev Canon Chasuble is being chased by Miss Prism( a single lady).

Without giving any thing away it all comes together in the end. To every ones satisfaction.

Brian Bedford is wonderful as Lady Brackwell. Dana Ivery as Miss Prism is fun to watch.

106 years after being written the play ia as funny as ever.  The audience was in stitches.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

The Diary of a Madman

Playing at BAM until March 13, 2011.

Geoffrey Rush performance  holds you breathless. He captivates the audience till the end.

Based on Nikolia Gogol's 1853 short story takes place in St Petersburg Russia.

Geoffrey plays Aksenti Ivanovich Poprischin a civil servant clerk.

Yael Stone plays three roles, the Finnish servant of Aksenti landlady, Sophia his bosses daughter and a patient in the asylum Aksenti is in. All different characters were very well done.

Aksenti writes in his diary of his daily life.  Musicans Paul Cutland and Erki Veltheim do sounds effects with drums violin etc. Playing the violin while he's writing a sentence putting a dot at the end of the sentence.the sound effects add to the story.

His mental states gets worse and worse.  His meager lodging , food  and Sophia rejection is more then he can take.  He thinks Sophia likes him but he see's her with another man .Sophia's dog Medji talks to him so he thinks.  He goes to see her dog again to get information on her owner.  Instead he gets bit in the noise.  For the rest  of the show his noise is bloody.

His delusions get worse till he believes he is the King of Spain.

The is sparse and bleak stage is done by Catherine Martin.  His room is in the attic has a bed and  a table he writes on.  A pile of papers lean against the wall. The sky light leaks water when it  rains leaving water marks on the floor. There are buckets every where.

The stage is flat. I sat on a cushion seat, It felt like I was on the stage. Aksenti gives an audience member his bowl soup to hold another he patted on the head..

Geoffrey did not come out the stage door after the show.  So no pictures. He had another performance that night.  But he was kind enough to send someone to get the playbill to sign..

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Timon Of Athens

At the Public Theatre. It opens 3/1/2011 and closes 3/6/2011.

The play by William Shakespeare is the least familiar of all his plays.  It wasn't published until 1623, seven years after his death.

Timon is wealthy and generous to a fault to his friends.  When he goes bankrupt he turns to his friends for help. None of them will loan him money to get out of debt. They turn there backs on him.  He can not face the fact that his friends betrayed him.  Timon goes insane shunning all mankind.

The play could have been written in 2011.  No more money bye bye friends.

Richard Thomas gives a heart breaking performance.  He reached deep in his soul and came out a winner.

The cast consists of 18 male member who  play various roles.  The company works well in their contemporary clothes. Katherine Roth did the costumes for this show.

This is the inaugural play of the "Public Lab Shakespeare". "Public LAB is designed  to respond to new  work immediately, and present fresh, raw and relevant plays."  Minimum design and short rehearsals are done so they can offer tickets at prices audiences can afford.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich. 

Photos by Annazor 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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