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The Lisps try to deliver a message in 'Futurity'

All we are saying
It isn't easy to put together a 90-minute musical that includes the Civil War, the birth of computer programming, indie rock, the internal dynamics of Lord Byron's family, mathematical formulas, and writing letters back and forth about an invention that will either save the world or be a precursor to the atom bomb.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  March 28, 2012


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is unrealized Wilson

Almost blues
For years you could measure the difference between the Huntington Theatre Company and the American Repertory Theater as the difference between August Wilson, the gritty and lyrical chronicler of African-American life, and Robert Wilson, the avant-garde auteur.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  March 21, 2012


Next to Normal is good therapy

Well, why not.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  March 13, 2012


New Rep and W.H.A.T. paint a Pollock

Art attack
Fortunately, Elvis Costello's dictum that writing about music is like dancing about architecture doesn't apply to playwrights taking on the world of art, which has been the subtext for three provocative Boston-area plays recently.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  March 07, 2012


Lyric Stage's superior Superior Donuts

Boston beats NY
No one, to my knowledge, has accused Superior Donuts of being superior Tracy Letts.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  January 10, 2012


A new play about Adolf Eichmann traps itself

In a way, Adolf Eichmann had an even greater hold on the collective unconscious of those born after the war than the other Adolf.  
By: ED SIEGEL  |  November 22, 2011


Zeitgeist skips through Tony Kushner's short plays

Serious fun
The fall season has begun with a lot of starry events.  
By: ED SIEGEL  |  October 05, 2011


Brustein takes another look at Will's world

Bardic fun
Call it the revenge of Tom Stoppard. Considered a great contemporary playwright by most theater writers, Stoppard has been something of a punching bag to Robert Brustein, one of America's most distinguished critics.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  September 20, 2011

Ben and Matt

Fun with Matt & Ben at Central Square

Bosom buddies
A couple of young women, Brenda Withers and Mindy Kaling (the latter born in Cambridge before graduating to the role of Kelly Kapoor in The Office ), decided to have some fun with the idea that two seemingly unformed guys — one kind of loutish — could strike show-biz paydirt so quickly.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  July 12, 2011

Ayckbourn's Table Manners

Living Together is no Table Manners

Less funny
Alan Ayckbourn's merry bunch of British squabblers have reunited for another pre-summer vacation at that North Shore theatrical haven, the Gloucester Stage Company.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  June 24, 2011

ss list

Silver Spoon takes the cake

Worse and worser
Could Silver Spoon, a musical celebration of '60s politics, be the worst piece of theater I've seen?
By: ED SIEGEL  |  May 31, 2011


Review: My Name Is Asher Lev at the Lyric

As the late Chaim Potok might have said, "Oy!"
By: ED SIEGEL  |  February 16, 2011


Review: The Method Gun

The Rude Mechs have a nutty Method
ArtsEmerson began its theatrical season by revisiting The Laramie Project , in which the Tectonic Theater Project interviewed Laramie citizens about the murder of Matthew Shepard.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  October 14, 2010


Review: The Laramie Residency

The Laramie Project updates itself at the Cutler Majestic Theatre
You can't accuse "The Laramie Residency" of being anything less than exhaustive in its four-and-a-half-hour series of interviews about the 1998 Matthew Shepard murder.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  September 28, 2010


Review: The Vibrator Play

Sarah Ruhl offers comic relief
Sarah Ruhl, the goddess of theatrical quirkiness, is back in Boston, and this time SpeakEasy Stage Company has its adventurous mitts on her.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  September 21, 2010


Gloucester Stage's 'Tender' is more mean than funny

Where turgid self-pity meets spiteful witlessness
"When am I going to stop feeling like such an asshole," asks Amanda, one of the three characters in Tender , which is getting its world premiere from Gloucester Stage (through July 25).
By: ED SIEGEL  |  July 13, 2010


Cool drink on a hot day

With Table Manners, Gloucester Stage gives Ayckbourn his due
Alan Ayckbourn has been often dismissed as the British Neil Simon. He's also been hailed as a playwright of such acute insight that, if you look beyond the laughs, he deserves to be mentioned in the same critical breath as Harold Pinter.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  July 05, 2010


Infinite pleasure

John Banville's playful universe
Admit it, fellow scribblers. You'd sell your soul to come up with an opening sentence like "Of the things we fashioned for them that they may be comforted, dawn is the one that works."
By: ED SIEGEL  |  February 16, 2010


Magic tricks

Alice Munro has them, Philip Roth doesn’t
You have to give a seventysomething writer credit for daring to begin a book with “He’d lost his magic.”
By: ED SIEGEL  |  November 11, 2009


Death and transfiguration

Fugard at New Rep, plus Spalding Gray , Conor McDermottroe, and The Random Caruso
There are some playwrights whose work makes you think that a night at the theater is going to be an eat-your-vegetables affair, but then you see a sharp production of one of their plays and you realize the menu is meatier than you had remembered.
By: ED SIEGEL  |  March 03, 2009
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