Monthly Archives: March 2015



(David Cote’s article appeared in Time Our New York 3/17.)

In nearly 20 years of rigorous, distilled play-making that strips away the pretensions of text, design and performance, Richard Maxwell has always made actors disappear. Not behind a smoke screen of character or conflict; people in his worlds are perfectly visible, often facing front and speaking in clear, uninflected tones. It’s acting itself he tries to make vanish, replaced by the pure phenomenon of a body in space. In The Evening (copresented by The Kitchen and P.S. 122) Maxwell pushes this erasure tactic to its logical conclusion: He subsumes an actor in a devastating wasteland of white.

That’s as spoilery as I’ll get, since the night begins in one place and ends in a different (almost Romeo Castellucci–like) one. The first portion of this roughly three-part show has the blond, dead-eyed young Beatrice (Cammisa Buerhaus) sitting at a table, reciting what seem to be journal entries Maxwell wrote during his dying father’s final days. Buerhaus reads in the usual Maxwell-deadpan style. Soon the gangsterish Cosmo (Jim Fletcher) enters with pizza, dressed in the saddest tan-and-purple tracksuit you’ll ever see. Next comes Asi (Brian Mendes), a steroid-addled cage fighter with a busted face.

(Read more)

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(Adam Sullivan)   

The actor and activist Khaled Nabawy is a prominent film star with a long and successful career. The great Egyptain director Youssef Chahine directed Khaled in three films—and the actor quickly grabbed the attention of film audiences.  He also garnered the respect of film critics through his choice of material. Nabawy was the first major Arab actor to work in Hollywood since Omar Sharif (whose career was also launched by Youssef Chahine). Khaled has been seen in films such as The Citizen, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven and Doug Liman’s Fair Game. He has appeared in more than 20 movies, three theatrical plays and ten TV series. Khaled has won such honors as the African Film Award (1995) for Best Lead Actor for his performance in The Emigrant, the 100 Years Cinema Festival Award (1996) for The Youngest Actor and the Cairo International Film Festival Award (1998) for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Destiny. Khaled earned a BSc, with honors, in acting from the Academy of Arts in Cairo. Nabawy has also appeared at the Arena Stage as Anwar Sadat in Camp David.

What they said about Mr. Nabawy:

The Citizen: Film Review

Hollywood reporter

Hollywood reporter (By: Frank Scheck) "Egyptian actor Khaled Nabawy's moving starring turn is the best element of this well-intentioned but contrived drama."

The film's chief asset is Nabaway, who delivers a subtly moving and strained performance that transcends the contrived plot mechanics. It's a heartfelt turn that befits this well-intentioned but ultimately reductive film.

To read more:

The New York Times

The New York Times (By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS) "the Egyptian actor Khaled Nabawy is invaluable. Mr. Nabawy adds much-needed weight and authenticity to a character whose cascade of misfortunes threatens to turn drama into farce at every moment.")

To read more:


The independent critic by Jazmen Brown

"Nabawy gives a heartfelt performance here"

To read more:

Best Films of 2013

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(Jason Fraley’s article appeared on wtop, 3/23; via Pam Green.)

WASHINGTON — She became a TV icon solving crimes in “Murder, She Wrote” (1984), an animated fixture as Mrs. Potts in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) and a movie legend brainwashing a political assassin with a game of solitaire in “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962).

But did you know that Angela Lansbury launched her stage career right here at the National Theatre?

It was exactly 58 years ago, on March 16, 1957, that Lansbury made her pre-Broadway debut at National Theatre in “Hotel Paradiso.” Her co-star that night? Bert Lahr, aka the Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).



(Maev Kennedy’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/26.)

The most extraordinary week in Leicester’s history, when huge crowds turned out for the funeral cortege of a man who died more than 500 years ago and then queued for hours to view his coffin, comes to a climax on Thursday with the solemn reburial of the mortal remains of Richard III.

Jeff Ibsen, the brother of Michael Ibsen – whose DNA sample helped to identify the bones discovered underneath a car park, and so was also a 16th great nephew of the last Plantagenet – came from Canada for the ceremonies. “I think it’s time to put the poor guy in the ground,” he said.

People arrived at 4am on Wednesday for the last hours of public viewing of the coffin made by Ibsen and more were still queueing up to the moment the cathedral doors closed to prepare for the reinterment.


(Hedy Weiss’s article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, 3/24.)

In what is more of a total environment than a traditional set, designer Dan Stratton has taken the second floor space at The Den and turned it into what feels like a curbside, glass-windowed diner complete with counter service and leatherette booths. (The whole thing actually feels more like a place in the lower depths of the pre-gentrified East Village than the Upper West Side of the period, but that’s fine.) A round-the-clock gathering place for junkies, pushers, dreamers, losers, runaways and all the rest, the diner is loud and discordant, with fights and screaming matches repeatedly broken up by the besieged countermen who mostly serve coffee.

One young woman, Babe (Joanne Dubach in an almost entirely silent but brilliant turn) is the junkie who never quite falls off her stool no matter how stoned she might be. Another woman, Ann (the excellent Cyd Blakewell), who came to New York from Minnesota hoping to be a teacher, has become a well-practiced, worn down hooker who lives in a nearby single room occupancy building full of pimps and prostitutes.



(Alfred Hickling’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/25.)

Jo Clifford’s intent to provide more than a dogged precis of Tolstoy’s novel is served when she jettisons one of the most celebrated opening lines in literature, but commences the work with a candlelit vigil and the brusque statement: “This is how it began.” Clifford instils the action with a briskness of purpose, as the cast step out of their roles to introduce themselves and explain their motivation: “Now I’m on a train to Moscow”; “I’m Katy’s father. I disapprove.” But the chief innovation of Clifford’s version, which was first seen at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum in 2005, is that it pares down everything to a couple of parallel, unhappy relationships: between Anna and her lover, Count Vronsky, and between the agrarian idealist Levin and his childhood friend Katy.

It works superbly, as if a vast five-act opera has been reorchestrated as a string quartet. Gone are the novelistic repetitions (Levin endures the humiliation of an unsuccessful proposal only once), as are the discursive passages on agricultural reform – though there is a perceptive parallel drawn between the conflicts of good husbandry and being a good husband. It ends, as drama decrees it must, with Anna’s suicide beneath the wheels of a train. Tolstoy’s novel spends a further 19 chapters tying up loose ends.


(Carolyn Giardina’s article appeared 3/25 in the Hollywood Reporter;  via the Drudge Report.)

No actor is indispensable. That is the blunt lesson from the fact that Universal Pictures was able to complete its April 3 tentpole, Furious 7, following star Paul Walker's death in a November 2013 car accident about halfway through the shoot. Beyond saying that brothers Cody and Caleb stood in for Walker and that director James Wan culled footage of Walker from the earlier films, Universal declines to discuss which tricks were employed to breathe life into Walker's character. But sources say Peter Jackson's Weta Digital was asked to complete the sensitive and arduous task of reanimating Walker for Furious 7, and its cutting-edge work points toward a future where most actors can be re-created seam­lessly if needed. (The company declined to com­ment on its specific contributions.)


(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/23.)

A half-dozen troubled souls find that enforced silence doesn’t necessarily bring inner peace in “Small Mouth Sounds,” an enchanting new play by Bess Wohl presented at Ars Nova. As funny as it is, uh, quietly moving, Ms. Wohl’s play is also a model of ingenuity. During its 100-minute running time and with one exception — the (unseen) guru running this spiritual retreat — the characters hardly ever speak. Both the humor and the pathos spring mostly from wordless interaction, which is testimony to Ms. Wohl’s intrepid writing, to the superb acting and to the precise work of the production’s director, Rachel Chavkin.



(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/24.)

The lives of actors often contain heady highs and dispiriting lows, so fragile is their hold on the public’s imagination and their access to the levers of power in the industry. But the story of Paul Robeson, the great African-American performer who achieved international fame in the 1920s and ’30s, only to be condemned for his political beliefs and branded a Communist during the witch hunts of the ’50s, is a particularly egregious example of a star falling at warp speed.

The extraordinary arc of Robeson’s life and career is resurrected with grace in “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” an engrossing solo show written and performed by Daniel Beaty, and directed by Moisés Kaufman. In the production, which can be seen through Sunday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Beaty portrays Robeson and various men and women who cross his path, including his father, his brother and his wife, nearly 40 roles in all. He is joined by a trio of musicians who provide able accompaniment for his accomplished renditions of songs associated with Robeson, most memorably “Ol’ Man River,” with which he opens the show. That song, from “Show Boat,” is perhaps the one most linked to Robeson, although he didn’t originate the role of Joe in the Broadway production of “Show Boat” but was recruited to star in the London version, which made his name. (He later starred in the 1936 movie.)


(from the Guardian, 3/25.)

How well do you know the brawls and battles in Shakespeare's plays? All of these lines are spoken before fights – match the words to the characters who speak them


  1. 'Yield, rustic mountaineer'


  1. Cloten
  2. Sebastian
  3. Martius


  2. 'Let's fetch him off'


  1. Hamlet
  2. Titus Lartius
  3. Sir Piers of Exton


  3. 'I can no longer brook thy vanities'


  1. Hotspur
  2. Edgar
  3. Caliban