Monthly Archives: March 2016



(Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/30; via the Drudge Report.)

The Unesco Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger is a melancholy document, charting the 3,000 or so languages that experts predict will vanish by the end of this century. For the most part, ethnographers and linguists are helpless in the face of the gradual erasure of collective memory that goes along with this loss of linguistic diversity.

Time to call in the composers?

A growing number of them are turning their attention to languages that are extinct, endangered or particular to tiny groups of speakers in far-flung places with the aim of weaving these enigmatic utterances into musical works that celebrate, memorialize or mourn the languages and the cultures that gave birth to them. On Saturday, April 9, at the Cologne Opera in Germany, the Australian composer Liza Lim unveils her opera “Tree of Codes,” which includes snippets of a Turkish whistling language from a small mountain village. On her most recent album, “The Stone People,” the pianist Lisa Moore sings and plays Martin Bresnick’s hypnotic “Ishi’s Song,” a setting of a chant by the last member of the Yahi, who died in 1916.


(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/28.)

The expletive smack in the middle of the title of Aaron Posner’s “sort of” adaptation of “The Seagull” is not there for decoration, or even provocation. It is wholly emblematic of Mr. Posner’s raw, theatrically audacious version of this Chekhov classic, which is being presented in New York in a viscerally well-acted production from the Pearl Theater Company.

“Stupid _____ Bird,” like many adaptations of Chekhov, sets the play in the here and now, only more so. The drama follows the essential contours of the original, but Mr. Posner also crashes through the fourth wall at regular intervals and ultimately implies that the play that we are watching is not a fixed entity, but is being unleashed from the frantic mind of Constantin (Christopher Sears), or Con, as we are absorbing it.


(Joe Dziemianowicz’s article appeared in the NY Daily News, 3/30; via the Drudge Report.)

“Hamilton,” the hottest ticket in town, is biting the bullet about a cold reality.

It may be racist.

More pointedly, the Broadway blockbuster's audition practices may be.

An open casting call on the show’s website notes that “Hamilton” is “seeking NON-WHITE men and women, ages 20s to 30s, for Broadway and upcoming Tours.”

Ironically, a show that celebrates the diversity of America’s roots, could also be discriminatory.

“The language on the ‘Hamilton’ audition call, located on the show’s website, is inconsistent with Equity’s policy,” spokeswoman Maria Somma.

“In fact,” she added, “if you look at our website, the casting calls all contain following language: Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend.”


Poppy Liu (Violante) and Adam Huff (Henriquez)_Photo by Amanda Hinkle


Proudly Presents






MARCH 5 – APRIL 9, 2016


Tickets now available at  LOMTHEATER.ORG

Brooklyn, NY –  Letter of Marque Theater Company, the young ensemble theater company known for staging the President’s Execution of Edward Snowden, an ongoing series of underground performance parties, and offering all of its work at little or no cost to their audiences, is presenting DOUBLE FALSEHOOD, directed by Andrew Borthwick-Leslie.  First published in 1727 by Lewis Theobald, new research indicates that DOUBLE FALSEHOOD, might have actually been written by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. DOUBLE FALSEHOOD will play a five week limited engagement from Saturday, March 5th through Saturday,  April 9th, 2016 at The Irondale Center (85 S. Oxford St. Brooklyn, NY 11217). Opening Night is Saturday, March 12th at 7:30 p.m.

“I’ve directed much of the Shakespeare canon so digging into this new text for the year has been thrilling. The female characters of Violante and Leonora have a depth of wisdom and intelligence about the dreadful double standards young women face that rings too clearly now.” — shares director Andrew Borthwick-Leslie”To work carefully and intensely with this terrific ensemble over such a long period has been rewarding but also disturbing about how little our understanding of gender roles and the influence of class has really changed.”

Double Falsehood follows two brave female protagonists, Violante and Leonora, and two contrasting leading men, Julio of honorable and modest birth, and Henriquez an aristocratic villain. The story starts with Henriquez, heir to the Duke Angelo of Spain, as he exploits his social privilege to scheme his way around beautiful women, greedy fathers and honorable brotherhoods, resulting in a disturbing yet enlightening tale of self-repentance and discovery within family, honor, madness, lust and relationships.

Featuring Ariel Estrada*, Tom Giordano*, Montana Lampert Hoover, Adam Huff, Nolan Kennedy, Zach Libresco, Poppy Liu, Scarlet Maressa Rivera, and Welland Scripps.

With scenic design by Steven Brenman, costume design by Claire Townsend, lighting design by Joe Doran*, musical direction by Nolan Kennedy, and fight choreography by Michael Toomey. Andrea Wales* is the stage manager, Libby Jensen is the production manager, Karen Ng is the company manager, Lynde Rosario is the dramaturg and assistant director, and Corinna May is the vocal coach.

*Appearing Courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

DOUBLE FALSEHOOD plays the following regular schedule through Sat, April 9th**:

Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

**There will be no performance on Thursday, March 24th**

A limited number of tickets will be given away free of charge to the general public (Regular Price: $20.00 General Admission, and $50.00 VIP). To learn more visit

Running Time: Two hours and thirty minutes, plus one intermission.

The Irondale Center is located at 85 S Oxford St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Subway Directions: C train to Lafayette Avenue; B, D, M, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, 5 train to Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street; G train to Fulton Street.

Full Frontal Pre-Show Panel Discussions, Post-Show Talk Backs and Lady Play’s Unstaged Reading Series:

Aside from crafting a story of love, trust, honor and violence using a rare, classic text, Letter of Marque Theater Company wishes to engage Brooklyn communities in a conversation to end rape culture, by conjoining live art and social change. To achieve this goal they will be implementing three expert “Full Frontal” panels with guests such as Council Member Laurie Cumbo and author/feminist Carol Gilligan (named one of Time Magazine’s most influential Americans), weekly post-show talk backs, and the Lady Play’s Unstaged Reading Series. Full schedule and guests to be announced soon.

“By creating a platform to discuss the strategies we can employ to change our culture away from a rape culture, we hope to start a continuous dialogue with the community. In order to foster an impactful conversation we must bring together as many people as possible” — shares dramaturg and assistant director Lynde Rosario“Through art we ask questions, through discourse we answer them.”


ANDREW BORTHWICK-LESLIE (Director) Andrew is a member of Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA where he has taught, directed and acted for over twenty years. Most recently he has been head of faculty for the month long intensives. He has taught acting and voice at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Emerson College, DeSales University and the University of Maryland among others. Andrew has run workshops for the Center for Renaissance Studies, the American Bar Association, the New England Homeless Veterans shelter and many more. He has directed, devised, or assisted on over fifty productions ­from Cymbeline to Perestroika ­and performed a similar number of roles – from Hamlet to the ‘bad cop’ in a real estate association advertisement. He lives happily in Brooklyn.

LETTER OF MARQUE THEATER COMPANY is a non-­for-­profit theater ensemble based in Brooklyn, NY.  A multifaceted team of actors, playwrights, musicians and dancers their work spans from original plays, to Shakespeare; from collaborations with other disciplines to stagings of classic literature; from cabarets to pirate trials. Driven by a mission to produce new, re­imagined theater the crew functions as an ensemble to challenge the status quo by braving the seas of social change. Their goal is to reinstate Art as a cultural necessity by providing quality, dynamic theater at little to no cost to their audiences.


Listings Information:



Where: THE IRONDALE CENTER (85 S Oxford St, Brooklyn, NY 11217)

When: March 5 – APRIL 9, 2016 How: A limited number of tickets will be given away free of charge to the general public (Regular Price: $20.00 General Admission, and $50.00 VIP). To learn more visit

An enlightening tale of self-repentance and discovery within family, honor, madness, lust and relationships.

Photograph: Poppy Liu (Violante) and Adam Huff (Henriquez). Photo by Amanda Hinkle.JPG



(from AOL)

Oscar and Emmy-winning actress Patty Duke has died at the age of 69, TheWrap has learned.

The cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine.

"She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed," said her manager in a statement.

Duke started her career as a child actress on daytime soap opera "The Brighter Day," and she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "The Miracle Worker" when she was just 16, becoming the youngest Oscar winner at the time.



(Dennis Mclellan’s article first appeared in the LA Times, 3/30/04; via Pam Green.)

Peter Ustinov, the two-time Academy Award-winning British character actor whose film roles ranged from Emperor Nero to Agatha Christie's Belgian master detective Hercule Poirot, has died. He was 82.

Ustinov, a longtime international goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, died of heart failure Sunday night in a clinic in Genolier, Switzerland, near his longtime home in Bursins overlooking Lake Geneva.

In a stage and film career spanning more than 60 years, the versatile Ustinov earned international recognition as an actor, director, producer, playwright and novelist.

On screen, the portly actor was known for his genius in assuming different ethnic accents and personalities in many of the nearly 70 films in which he appeared. He won his supporting actor Oscars for the role of the gladiator-school owner in "Spartacus" (1960) and the part of a small-time British black marketeer in Turkey in "Topkapi" (1964).



Openings and Previews

American Psycho


Benjamin Walker plays the murderous financier Patrick Bateman, in a musical adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel by Duncan Sheik and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Rupert Goold directs. In previews.

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Antlia Pneumatica

Peter Jay Sharp

In a new play by Anne Washburn, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, a group of estranged friends gather at a Texas ranch house to bury one of their peers. In previews. Opens April 4.

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The Crucible

Walter Kerr

Ivo van Hove directs Arthur Miller’s classic drama about the Salem witch trials, starring Saoirse Ronan, Ben Whishaw, Ciarán Hinds, and Sophie Okonedo. In previews. Opens March 31.

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Exit Strategy

Cherry Lane

Primary Stages presents a play by Ike Holter, directed by Kip Fagan, set at a Chicago public school in the days before it closes. In previews. Opens April 12.

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The Father

Samuel J. Friedman

Frank Langella stars in a play by the French writer Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Doug Hughes for Manhattan Theatre Club, about an eighty-year-old man who is losing his grip on his life story. In previews.

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Fully Committed


Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays nearly forty characters at a trendy New York restaurant, in this one-man comedy by Becky Mode, directed by Jason Moore. In previews.

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King and Country: Shakespeare's Great Cycle of Kings

BAM's Harvey Theatre

The Royal Shakespeare Company marks the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by performing “Richard II,” both parts of “Henry IV,” and “Henry V” in repertory. In previews. Opens April 5.

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Long Day's Journey Into Night

American Airlines Theatre

Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne, John Gallagher, Jr., and Michael Shannon play the dysfunctional Tyrone family, in the Roundabout’s revival of the Eugene O’Neill drama, directed by Jonathan Kent. In previews.

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Love's Refrain

La Mama

Justin Sayre, who hosts the monthly series “The Meeting,” wrote and performs this solo play, which links his own romanticism to the birth and death of stars. Matthu Placek directs. Through April 10.

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Nathan the Wise

Classic Stage Company

In Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s drama, adapted by Edward Kemp and directed by Brian Kulick, F. Murray Abraham plays a Jewish merchant in Jerusalem in 1192. In previews.

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Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

SoHo Rep

Lileana Blain-Cruz directs a play by Alice Birch, an exploration of the way people talk, featuring Daniel Abeles, Molly Bernard, Eboni Booth, and Jennifer Ikeda. In previews.

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Shuffle Along

Music Box

Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Billy Porter star in a musical about the making of a popular African-American stage show from the nineteen-twenties. Directed by George C. Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover. In previews.

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Tuck Everlasting


Casey Nicholaw directs a musical adaptation of Natalie Babbitt’s 1975 children’s novel, about a family that accesses eternal life from a magical spring. The cast includes Carolee Carmello, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, and Terrence Mann. In previews.

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Brooks Atkinson

Jessie Mueller stars in a new musical based on the 2007 film, about a small-town waitress who enters a baking contest, with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. Diane Paulus directs. In previews.

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(Posted on Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship by Tom Regnier; via Patricia N. Saffran.)

Price on Hand D in Sir Thomas More

Diana Price, author of the seminal anti-Stratfordian book Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, takes on the often-asserted premise that “Hand D” in the Elizabethan manuscript of The Book of Sir Thomas More represents the handwriting of William Shakspere of Stratford. Price’s article, “Hand D and Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Literary Paper Trail,” relentlessly deconstructs the Stratfordian case for Hand D. The Stratfordians, Price argues, have broken all the rules about identifying handwriting when it comes to claiming that Hand D is Shakspere’s handwriting.

First, they start with too small a sample, since all they have to compare Hand D to are the six accepted signatures of the Stratford man and the words “By me” on his will. Taken together, these samples do not provide exemplars for even half of the letters of the alphabet. Second, many of the signatures look so different from each other that it suggests that some signatures, or parts of them, may have been written on Shakspere’s behalf by others. Price quotes one expert as stating that if the signature on the Blackfriars purchase had been the only one to survive, Shakspere’s handwriting would appear to be “that of an imperfectly educated man of inferior rank.” Furthermore,the signatures are very difficult to read, and experts disagree among themselves as to exactly which letters are inscribed in individual signatures. Finally, there may well be a gap of a decade or more between the time that the Thomas More manuscript was written and the times that the Shakspere signatures were created. Because a person’s handwriting changes over time, careful handwriting experts would not venture to compare samples that are made so many years apart. Yet in order to reach the desired conclusion, Stratfordians bend the rules so that what is really a very shaky proposition becomes an accepted fact.

As Price states in her conclusion, “In the years since 1923, many scholars, editors, and critics have claimed Hand D as Shakespeare’s, and the mere repetition of that claim has bestowed on it a misplaced legitimacy. David Hackett Fischer identifies the logical fallacy as ‘proof by repetition’ . . . . Yet despite deficient evidence and faulty arguments, the case for Hand D not only has survived, as of 2015, it is thriving . . . .”


(Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/23.)

How can the arts effect social change? That was the question raised in a conversation about theatre, grassroots and activism that took place at the Senedd in Cardiff last Saturday. This latest debate in the Guardian and BAC’s A Nation’s Theatre series was also part of National Theatre Wales’s Big Democracy Project.

There is a long history of performance as activism, from the street interventions of Bread and Puppet Theater to the secret shows of Belarus Free Theatre, or the recent Reclaim Shakespeare Company’s protest against the links between the RSC and BP. The artist Judy Chicago once argued that “performance can be fuelled by rage in a way a painting or sculpture cannot”. Any kind of street-level protest, from an anti-Trident demonstration to the pro-democracy umbrella protests in Hong Kong, is effectively a form of theatre (although in the UK a flash mob is more likely to be a sign of someone trying to flog you something).


(from Yahoo, 3/24; via the Drudge Report.)

London (AFP) – A radar scan of William Shakespeare's tomb has discovered signs of tampering with his final resting place that lend credence to a story about his skull being stolen in the 18th century, researchers say.

Archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar on the grave, which is protected by a curse, for a documentary airing on Saturday to mark the 400th anniversary of the famous playwright's death.

"We have Shakespeare's burial with an odd disturbance at the head end," said Kevin Colls, who is heading up the research on the grave site at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, central England, Shakespeare's home town.