John Lithgow’s latest play has its moments of hilarity, but ultimately leaves you feeling disappointed.
John Lithgow (Daddy’s Home 2, Terms of Endearment) returned to Broadway with his play ‘Stories by Heart’ late last year. The run at the American Airlines Theatre concluded this past weekend. This one-man show focuses on Lithgow’s love of story-telling, which he instilled in him at a young age by his late father. Each act is comprised of a story each: the first with Ring Lardner’s “Haircut”, while the second delves into P.G. Wodehouse’s “Uncle Fred Flits By.” Continue reading “Review: John Lithgow’s ‘Stories by Heart’ on Broadway”
The Merchant of Venice is generally classified as a comedy, but the Shakespeare’s Globe production emphasizes the darker aspects of the play. Shylock the Jewish moneylender, brilliantly portrayed by Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones, Wolf Hall), stands upon the stage as a sympathetic and tragic figure by the end of the evening. It’s a pity that the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts featured only five special performances in Washington, DC.
Director Jonathan Munby weaves together the acting and music in a way that immerses viewers in the merriment and excesses of the Venetian setting. A masque sequence is added at the beginning with dancing, drums, and shouting wonderfully choreographed by Lucy Hind. The actors moved about in the aisles to greet us, even going so far as touching the shoulders of theatergoers hurriedly taking their seats. The opening scene also displays the outsider status of passerby Shylock when these Christian revelers cease the music and attack him. Munby confronts us with persecution and thus directs our sympathy toward Shylock from the start.
Here’s another piece for my archive, originally published at Blogcritics.org. The Merchant of Venice had a great run in Washington, D.C. The production has since moved to Chicago and continues on its world tour. See the Globe Theatre on Tour site to see future performance dates and locations.
The Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater will host five special performances of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice from July 27 through 30 in Washington, D.C. The production, directed by Jonathan Munby, stars Jonathan Pryce CBE (Wolf Hall,Game of Thrones) as moneylender Shylock. I reached out to the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts to learn more about this leg of the Globe Theatre on Tour.
Edward Gero stands out with a brilliant portrayal of Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court Justice.
In July 2012, I won a ticket lottery during my summer internship on Capitol Hill. The speaker slated at the closing lecture was the late Justice Antonin Scalia. To my surprise, Scalia devoted his hour to Q&A time rather than to a prepared speech.
Creed Bratton is a delight to watch live on stage as a comic and musician.
Creed Bratton concluded his east coast tour last week at Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia. The actor and musician recently turned seventy-three and he is probably best known to younger audiences for his role as a fictional version of himself in The Office. He repeated a few quotes from the NBC hit series, most notably lines from the “Gay Witch Hunt” episode and even Steve Carell’s famous “That’s what she said.”
“Those first two years, I really thought I was working at a paper company,” he told the crowd. However, Bratton’s show was not a mere rehash of his best material from the television program.
“[Carol] Burnett turns 83 this week and she’s still got it in a live show: wit, charm, and even the Tarzan yell.”
I first discovered The Carol Burnett Show around the year 2000, when I was 12 years old. I loved watching those half-hour reruns every weekday after school, admiring those greats of comedy from the 1970s: Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and of course, Carol Burnett. Mention the show to anyone who has seen it and there’s a good chance you’ll be reminiscing together the Gone with the Wind parody, the Tarzan calls, Mama’s Family, and other scenes. Continue reading “Theater Review (Bethesda): ‘Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett’”
An in-depth look at Mark Barrett’s acting career and his time on Robert Carlyle’s ‘Barney Thomson’
Readers may recall that I caught up with Robert Carlyle during the Whistler Film Festival for the North American premiere of The Legend of Barney Thomson. The actor’s directorial debut tells the story of hapless barber, Barney Thomson, who accidentally falls into serial murder. At the Q&A, Carlyle (Trainspotting, Once Upon a Time) gave credit to a young Scottish actor, Mark Barrett, for his contributions in the rehearsal process. “A lot of aspiring young actors ask for your advice and they never do it!” Carlyle exclaimed on that snowy evening in December. “But Mark, he did become an actor.”
Naturally, Carlyle’s words may have left readers wondering about Mark Barrett, who also has a small role in the black comedy as barber Ricky Callahan. I reached out to Mr. Barrett to find out more about his experiences working on Barney Thomson. The twenty-eight-year-old actor was more than happy to sit down for his first official interview. However, his excitement was tempered by a startling sense of maturity and intensity in his gaze: revealing a sharp and discerning fellow who takes his work seriously. Continue reading “From the Archives: My Exclusive Interview with Mark Barrett from ‘Barney Thomson’”