Theater J’s new production of Arthur Miller‘s What? No, it’s not about me; you’re an imaginationless churl merely to suggest it play After the Fall is a staggering work of heartbreaking genius. I reviewed it in today’s Washington City Paper, along with Studio Theater’s busy U.S. premiere of Roland Schimmelpfennig‘s The Golden Dragon, which does Rorschach’s After the Quake, which I liked, one better in the the opaque-animal-metaphor interpretation derby.
As ever, your mileage may vary.
There’s a huge star at the center of the Sydney Theatre Company’s much-hyped, Liv Ullman-directed, wholly satisfying new staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, which sold out its Kennedy Center run before the curtain rose on the first preview. I speak, of course, of the dramatist Tennessee Williams.
That’s no slight on Cate Blanchett, who fronts, fights, twirls and finally, crawls her way through a towering, plaintive gut-punch of a performance as Blanche DuBois, the cracked Southern belle at the center of Williams’s oft-revived 1947 Pulitzer-winning war of wills. (She’s also Sydney Theatre’s co-artistic director, with her husband.) Though famous for film roles from Queen Elizabeth to Katherine Hepburn to Bob Dylan, the 40-year-old Blanchett’s almost-as-eclectic stage resume reaches back to the early 90s. Here she proves again that the authority and vulnerability she intimates onscreen is no camera trick. Continue reading
I spoke with the the great novelist and essayist Nick Hornby about a month ago, just prior to his swing through Our Nation’s Capitol to promote his swell new novel Juliet, Naked, which we discussed at some length. His other current release, the film An Education, for which he wrote the screenplay, opens here in DC at the Landmark E Street Cinema tomorrow. I haven’t seen it yet, but the great and good Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and At the Movies tells me it’s “awfully charming.”
Herewith, the second part of our conversation, wherein we discuss his thoughts on the movies derived from his books, favorite music of the moment, and wither The Believer. Continue reading