We just caught two revivals in New York of shows from the eighties: both highly acclaimed back in the day for pushing the boundaries of queerness and gender identity on stage. After thirty-some years, what may have been transgressive about these characters’ sexuality is now more accepted, and both playwrights have revised their work to be effective for 2017 audiences.

Advertisements

The last weekend she ever sees him, Alison Bechdel begs her father to talk to her. Really talk to her. This mundane car ride comes weeks after she comes out to him, hours after she learns he sleeps around with young men—and days before he steps in front of a truck. It’s Alison’s first and only chance to address what used to be their shared secret. He makes a small gesture, suggests a local gay bar, but she reminds him she’s too young to go. Nothing is really said.

For its first two hours, Blade Runner 2049 seduces us, slowly drawing us deeper into the past as we search for the key to upend this bleak authoritarian future. Where everything ends up isn’t as satisfying, but that’s not surprising for a movie motivated by mood, color, and scale more than plotlines.

I know Merrily We Roll Along from its original 1981 cast album. That recording immortalized Merrily’s 16 brief performances before Franklin Shepard and friends closed up shop. Like a few Sondheim shows that came before (looking at you, Anyone Can Whistle), that recording was so important for giving Merrily a life past its initial failure.

I don’t think a traditional review of Mother! would be effective. But I did want to wrestle a little with the movie.

Summer days drift on, and Frankie bums around his Brooklyn neighborhood, traipsing the beach with his squad of dumb goons, walking the Coney Island boardwalk, engaging with a girl who makes suggestive eyes at him. At night, he’s on a gay Brooklyn chatroom, clicking from cam to cam and scrolling past bare torsos until he […]

By land, by sea, and by air, the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France just across the water to England was a harrowing week at war. As the Germans forced the English, French, and Belgian troops to the beaches, the Allies plotted how to escape across the sea while holding the Germans off.

Sofia Coppola’s revisionist take on The Beguiled is at turns a romance, a savage fable, a brightly lit noir; and it’s that languid uncertainty—the promise that her story could go in any direction—that sustains the movie’s dreamy suspense.

THEATER REVIEW: The Little Foxes and The Price.

Regina’s story feels so familiar. She’s every woman who’s had to put up with stupid, selfish men getting ahead and keeping the rewards to themselves for far too long.

Making her return, as Norma Desmond defiantly crows, as a great star attempting her own ill-fated comeback, Glenn Close is following in the tradition of Broadway stars who’ve revived their characters for a new generation. This time around, Close’s Norma Desmond is more recognizably human.

The words the happy say Are paltry melody But those the silent feel Are beautiful— Emily Dickinson’s sister-in-law comes over in the wee hours, alarmed to see a light on, only to find Emily awake and preparing to write poetry in the quiet of the night. The look on Emily’s face is beautiful as she […]

The years are catching up with Bette and Joan. This season of Feud has only spanned two years so far, from early 1962, when Joan Crawford approached Bette Davis with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, to 1964, when Crawford exited Hush, Hush… Sweet Charlotte. At the start of the series, both actresses jumped at the chance to […]

“And the winner is… Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker.” The camera cuts to Susan Sarandon, standing in the wings, and for an infinite second she can sparely sputter a breath. Jessica Lange drops her cigarette, stamps it out beneath her silver sole—and proudly struts past Susan to collect that Oscar. “And the Winner Is…” is […]