Monthly Archives: March 2014

Listen, all y’all, this is (my Village Voice review of) Sabotage.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello in David Ayer's "Sabotage."

Both of Sabotage’s prior titles, Ten and Breacher, make more sense than the one it ended up with. Actually, the title is no more nonsensical than the convoluted plot of David Ayer’s gruesome, vulgar, throughly disreputable dirty-cop thriller. It’s only just barely an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, which is part of why it’s the most satisfying picture he’s made in 20 years.  I reviewed it for The Village Voice. Continue reading

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Tête-à-Tête Offensive: Tender Napalm and The Carolina Layaway Grail, reviewed.

Laura C. Harris and Elan Zafir in Signature Theatre's "Tender Napalm" (Teresa Wood)

In one of the the shows at Signature Theatre right now, a woman (named “Woman”) tells a man (“Man”) in precise, step-by-step detail how she plans to sever his penis and scrotum.

In the theater next door, Beaches: The Musical is playing. Six of one…

I review Philip Ridley’s Tender Napalm in this week’s Washington City Paper. Plus Allyson Currin’s The Carolina Layaway Grail, the inaugural production from DC playwriting collective The Welders.

Continue reading

What About James? Maladies, reviewed.

James Franco in Carter's "Maladies."My review of Maladies, a deeply pretentious, long-shelved character study written by director “Carter” for star James Franco, is up on The Dissolve today. Curiously, Alan Cumming gets billing in the opening credits though he’s in the film for one brief, unmemorable scene. He has less screen time here than he got as the hotel clerk who hits on Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut.

Habit, Run: Water by the Spoonful and Normal, reviewed.

In today’s Washington City PaperI review the Pultizer-winning drama Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre and Molotov’s production of Normal, a play about the Dusseldorf Ripper.

The Shape of Things: Exposed, reviewed.

Burlesque artist Mat Fraser in Beth B's "Exposed."I reviewed Exposed, Beth B‘s documentary about New York City burlesque artists, for The Dissolve.

Then, the night after I filed, I ran across a reference to B —  a documentarian whose work I’d never previously encountered — in “Something Nice,” a short story in Mary Gaitskill‘s 1988 collection Bad Behavior.

The world broadens.

Burlesque artist Mat Fraser, from Exposed.

Fear of a Dwarf Planet: Forum’s Pluto and WSC’s Orlando, reviewed.

David Zimmerman, Jennifer Mendendall, and Kimberly Gilbert in Forum Theatre's "Pluto."
NOTICE: My reviews of Steve Yockey‘s “rolling world premiere” Pluto for Forum Theatre and Sarah Ruhl‘s adaptation of Virginia Woolf‘s 1928 novel Orlando at WSC Avant Bard are in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away yadda yadda yadda.

Colon? We don’t need no steenking colon! War of the Worlds Goliath, reviewed.

A Martian in a flu mask, from "War of the Worlds Goliath."

If I were designing the poster for War of the Worlds Goliath, the suspiciously colon-free, animated steampunk sequel to H. G. Wells‘ seminal sci-fi novel War of the Worlds, the tagline would be, “And this time, they wore their flu masks!”

Orson Welles‘ 1938 radio adaptation of the book is one of my favorite things ever. I still listen to it every single Halloween. I’m a big fan of Steven Spielberg‘s 2005 movie version, too.

The cartoon sequel, which I reviewed for The Dissolve, does not fare well in such venerated company. Or even, more importantly, on its own terms.