3 items from 2012
Ivanov Classic Stage Company, NYC
If you are unfamiliar with Anton Chekhov's seldom-produced Russian twist on Hamlet, Classic Stage Company is offering a stunning opportunity to cover that gaping hole with one of their best works in recent years. The play Ivanov is a stellar piece of theater, and this production gives full rein to its high humor and devastating tragedy as it rides a very intense three hours of poetic drama.
2012 has turned out to be an inspired year for plays, and Ivanov will only make it that much more difficult for voters from the Obies & Lortels to pick the appropriate winners, as the cast, design crew, and director from this melancholy celebration of life all present very worthy contenders.
It's Ethan Hawke's face that is on all the ads, and his name that will likely draw many audience members; while this is an ensemble production, Hawke is deserving of the attention. »
- C. Jefferson Thom
I need to be a little more careful about what films I add to the voting for future Movie Club selections. I don't say this because David O. Russell's 1996 comedy Flirting with Disaster is bad -- in fact I quite liked it and found it to be very funny -- but because it is a rather straight-forward comedy that doesn't really come to the table with much else to discuss. Though, where it fits in with the rest of the films in his career may generate some fun conversation. Flirting with Disaster was Russell's second feature-length film after 1994's Spanking the Monkey (the only one of Russell's films I have not yet seen). It features a massive list of notable names as the picture above indicates beginning with Ben Stiller playing Mel and Patricia Arquette as his wife Nancy. The couple is having some issues as of late, one »
- Brad Brevet
Classic Stage Company, New York
Last summer, at least three different Uncle Vanyas bestrode New York stages. Recent years have also witnessed fields of cherry orchards, a small flock of seagulls, and at least a dozen sisters. With Anton Chekhov's tetralogy seemingly exhausted, the Classic Stage Company has revived his lesser-known 1887 play, Ivanov, with a new translation by Carol Rocamora. Ethan Hawke performs the title role under Austin Pendleton's direction. (Polymathic Pendleton also plays Lebedev, standing in for an injured actor.)
Like The Wood Demon, Uncle Vanya's precursor, Ivanov offers a chance to see the theatrical master not yet certain of his powers. Chekhov renders some of its scenes and speeches adroitly, but its construction falters, particularly in the final act. No wonder, soon after revising Ivanov, Chekhov would cry out that he needed new endings, complaining in a letter, "The hero either gets married or shoots himself! »
- Alexis Soloski
3 items from 2012
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