Category Archives: theater

Head of Passes

 

HEAD OF PASSES
PUBLIC THEATER/NEWMAN THEATER
425 LAFAYETTE STREET, NEW YORK

As I took my seat for Head of Passes at the Mark Taper Forum, the new play from Tarrell Alvin McCraney (Oscar winner for Moonlight screenplay), I took notice of the set. Always the first indication of what’s about to unfold, the set depicted a beautiful living room opening to a sunroom suggesting a peaceful family scene. What unfolded was not quite that.

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Hamilton

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It can be difficult to keep expectations in check when you’re faced with a continuous cycle of THE GREATEST THING EVER, whether it be film, tv, or stage. It’s commonplace to constantly speak in hyperbole, so much that it can be exhausting trying to figure out where the truth, or more accurately in this case, where subjective opinion really lies. Hamilton won a boatload of Tony’s, a Grammy, a Pulitzer. You’re lucky if the ticket price doesn’t include a comma. People are losing their shit over this show and I can confidently conclude the for me it is both a masterpiece and overrated.

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Dear Evan Hansen

evanhansen

Not enough Broadway productions have taken advantage of technology or even tried to evolve beyond the trappings of the medium from a hundred years ago. This is one of the reasons I connected so instantly to RENT (probably my favorite theater show, although it works best if you see it when you’re a young starving creative). Since that show only Avenue Q and American Idiot, that I can recall, really pushed forward the opportunity of visual storytelling on the stage. And now, and even more so, you can Dear Evan Hansen to that list.

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Heisenberg

heisenberg

I was excited to see Heisenberg at the Mark Taper Forum for two reasons, namely Mary Louise Parker, but also because of Denis Arndt, an actor I’m sure I’m the only one who remembers from his season 5 stint on L.A. Law (one of my favorite seasons of any TV show ever). He wasn’t a regular, but he did get engaged to lead Grace Van Owen (Susan Dey, her third of four would be husbands). He also spent some time on two other David Kelley shows, Picket Fences and the Practice. Always enjoyed him. And Parker has always been a favorite, from West Wing and Weeds, but going all the way back to the Client, which I thought was a great movie, at the time.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

potter

There’s such a wave of nostalgia based programming these days that it’s really getting tiresome. I think there is something special in just letting a thing exist for the time it was supposed to exist. Gilmore Girls had a nice, solid run for seven years. My thirst for creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s ‘final four words” made me crave a reunion that was mostly unnecessary. I just heard one of my favorite shows of all time (Roseanne) was mulling a new series. Please don’t. Not everything needs to come back. Not Friday Night Lights. Not Battlestar Galactica. Not Buffy. Just leave them be and move on.

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