Year in Theater: Staged right

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  December 22, 2008

Black box specials
It doesn't take a colosseum to house a literary lion, as proved by Downstage @ New Rep's staging of intriguingly paired one-acts by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter in A PINTER DUET and the Publick Theatre's BCA Black Box staging of Irish writer Brian Friel's masterful skein of interlocked monologues, FAITH HEALER. Rick Lombardo directed the twinned Pinter treatments of marital fantasy and disconnection; Nora Hussey helmed Friel's exquisite study of the power of storytelling and the subjectivity of memory.

The scion also rises
Carrie Fisher proved both Hollywood royalty and court jester in her on-stage memoir WISHFUL DRINKING, which the Huntington Theatre Company hosted at the BU Theatre. If the piece has a serious aim, it's the destigmatization of manic depression, from whose embrace Fisher has flitted into the equally damaging arms of drugs, alcohol, and the hairmuffs that became her Star Wars signature. Telling her tale, the author/performer proved as funny as Dame Edna if as screwed up as Britney Spears.

To be young, gifted and free
The no-frills Factory Theatre proved an apt setting for Orfeo Group's crackling revival of John Osborne's shrine to Britain's Angry Young Man, the 1956 LOOK BACK IN ANGER. Despite its sexism and its prolixity, the landmark drama struck a chord with these talented young thespians, and they offered their crack, cramped production free of charge. Who says you never get something for nothing?

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