May 20, 2013 |
BALTIMORE — Of all the nerve! Kwame Kwei-Armah, Center Stage's exuberant artistic director, believes theater is such a vital aspect of the culture that a Pulitzer Prize-winning play on the sensitive subject of race deserves to be answered — with another play. Where did he get such an idea? Not, surely, in this country, where theater practitioners tend to tiptoe gingerly around each other's work, like exhausted babysitters afraid of waking the kids. Oh, of course: Kwei-Armah is an Englishman, brought up in a land where,...
May 13, 2013 |
Jeff Talbott's " The Submission " is maddening and smug, but it begins with a fabulous premise. Danny has just written a play he thinks is dynamite, yet he fears no theater will touch it. It's about poor black people. The problem is, he's a gay white guy. Here comes the unlikely comic twist that the Greeks called the "happy idea. " The script gets picked up for production at the prestigious Humana Festival in Louisville, so the desperate Danny — who submitted the play...
May 3, 2013 |
In the expansive living room of their bright Tribeca apartment, Jon Robin Baitz and his friendly, three-legged dog Trip both pad about restlessly, looking for comfortable places to alight. For the 51-year-old Broadway playwright, who recently underwent back surgery, this task proves especially daunting. Explaining that he's under doctor's orders, he stretches out stomach-down on an area rug, wincing as he reflects on lessons learned in a quarter-century of professional writing. "I think everyone's life requires a...
April 5, 2013 |
How inescapable is "A Raisin in the Sun"? It's not actually being performed as part of the bold two-play "Raisin Cycle" beginning Wednesday at Baltimore's Center Stage, but Lorraine Hansberry's trailblazing 1959 drama — the first Broadway play by a black woman and a cornerstone of American theater — casts a long, formidable shadow. The two plays being produced in Baltimore are Bruce Norris's Pulitzer-winning "Clybourne Park" and Kwame Kwei-Armah's new "Beneatha's Place. " The dramatists take liberties with...
June 10, 2012 |
NEW YORK — The Kennedy Center fell just short of achieving Tony glory Sunday night as its acclaimed production of " Follies ," considered by some the best musical revival of the Broadway season, lost in the category to a revised version of George and Ira Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess. " Still, in its third incarnation on Broadway, the 1970 musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman did receive one Tony, for Gregg Barnes's costume design. The $7.3 million show,...
May 24, 2012 |
You might say local stage fixture Mitchell Hebert has a flair for disappearing acts; one minute you see him, and the next he has been swallowed whole by any of an assortment of characters. Decadently devilish as Captain Hook at Olney and debonair, if punctilious, as Phileas Fogg at Round House, he also can conjure the heavy weight of heartache, transforming into a grief-stricken father in " Clybourne Park " at Woolly Mammoth. But now the recent Helen Hayes Award winner (" After the Fall ")