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Twin peaks

The Comedy of Errors on Boston Common
The bay of Ephesus laps Collins Avenue in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Latin-tinged, frisky if over-frenetic The Comedy of Errors (at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common through August 16). It is not across sands of subtlety but through a spray of salsa that the perpetrators of this 1930s-South-Beach-set riff on Shakespeare's early comedy pratfall.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  August 12, 2009

jersey list

Seasons' greetings

Jersey Boys walks like a man
It may not be December 1963, but oh what a night is Jersey Boys (at the Shubert Theatre through September 26) for boomers wishing to enjoy the soundtrack of their youth set against a mix of Forever Plaid and GoodFellas .
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  August 04, 2009


Hare belles

Divas Plum and Carroll exude The Breath of Life
With apologies to Winston Churchill, The Breath of Life is a cliché wrapped in an enigma — or two. On the face of it, award-winning British writer David Hare's ruthless yet sentimental two-hander (at Gloucester Stage through August 2) is a standard confrontation between a betrayed wife and her husband's long-time mistress.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  July 28, 2009


Quake and Shake

Company One meshes Murakami; Orfeo compacts the Bard
A tenderhearted yarn spinner tells an anxious little girl a story about a talking bear hawking honey. A nerdy young debt collector comes home to find a six-foot amphibian bent on recruiting him to save Tokyo from a natural disaster. Both scenarios emanate from the brain of award-winning Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  July 22, 2009


Violet hour

The Color Purple is vivid on stage
The color purple describes both kids' icon Barney and a bruise. And sure enough, both child-friendly uplift and florid abrasion are wound into the sprawling, heartfelt musical based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer-winning 1982 novel about a beaten-down young black woman learning to value herself over the course of 40 years in the first half of the 20th century.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  June 23, 2009


Ducks and dicks

The ART revisits early Mamet
If the American Repertory Theatre is renewing its vows to David Mamet, several of whose plays it premiered in the 1990s, the double bill of The Duck Variations and Sexual Perversity in Chicago will do nicely for something old and something blue.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  June 16, 2009


Tender mercenaries

Foote's Estate moves to Hartford
If Chekhov had been home on the range instead of the steppes, he would have been Horton Foote.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  June 10, 2009


Cracking the wise

Mamet’s Romance with ART; ASP’s Much Ado About Nothing
I don’t know that David Mamet’s is a fine Romance , and it certainly doesn’t conjure love at first scene.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 20, 2009

lady list

Lady of the Sea

If all you know of the Aran Islands is the plays of Martin McDonagh, you probably think their populace is an untamed and violent lot.
If all you know of the Aran Islands is the plays of Martin McDonagh, you probably think their populace is an untamed and violent lot.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 13, 2009


Odd couples

The Lyric's Grey Gardens; Trinity's Shapeshifter
The East Hampton Board of Health would doubtless approve Grey Gardens: The Musical , since it comes minus the crapping cats, feral raccoons, and piles of garbage that form the supporting cast and unsanitary milieu of the famed documentary on which it's based.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 12, 2009



Reviews of Spring Awakening at the Colonial; Jerry Springer: The Opera at SpeakEasy
Unlike its predecessor, the over-hyped Rent , Spring Awakening is the genuine item: a Tony-winning amalgam of theater and pop music that smells like teen fusion.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 06, 2009


The Earth moves

The Life of Galileo ; Spring Awakening ; Picasso at the Lapin Agile
There is an element of bare-bones pageantry in Brecht's play — which, the dramatist being a Marxist, has as much to say about knowledge and the marketplace as it does about the father of modern science's impassioned head butt to the opiate of the people.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 28, 2009

Play by Play: May 1, 2009

Plays from A to Z
Theater around town
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 28, 2009

Play by Play: April 24, 2009

Plays from A to Z
Theater around town
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 22, 2009


Vintage Aquarius

Diane Paulus lets down her Hair
Hair co-creator James Rado recalls a shady doc who showed up backstage to give the original cast amphetamine-laced "vitamin shots."
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 15, 2009


Bard in the USA

Next season's greetings from the American Repertory Theatre
"You know," Paulus observes, "we are the American Repertory Theatre, and we haven't spent a lot of time in the repertoire on American drama."
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 15, 2009

Play by play: April 17, 2009

 Plays from A to Z
Theater around town
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 14, 2009


Tough neighborhoods

The ART enlists Trojan Barbie
From Helen of Troy to Barbie of the plastic hourglass, men and girls have been inspired by impossible ideals of female physical perfection. Helen, of course, will always have Paris, whereas Mattel's muse gets stuck with Trojan Barbie.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 07, 2009

Play by Play: April 10, 2009

Plays A to Z
Plays around town
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 08, 2009


My two Dads

Chazz Palminteri recycles A Bronx Tale
For those still jonesing for The Sopranos , Chazz Palminteri's A Bronx Tale (at the Colonial Theatre through April 5) may provide a somewhat sanitized fix.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 07, 2009
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