The past week’s international stage highlights, brought to you via the world’s foremost journalism.  Gemini, the large language model from Google AI, and Perplexity, provided information, insights, and materials for this article (facilitated by Bob Shuman). 

  1. “MUSEUM OF THE UNSAID”

Source: The Guardian, February 9, 2024, by Alexis Garcia

The Story: In this experimental piece by acclaimed director Somaya Lee, three generations of Korean women grapple with silence and unspoken truths under the watchful gaze of museum artifacts. Garcia praises the “delicate power” of the performances, particularly newcomer Hana Kim’s portrayal of the stifled youngest daughter. Lee describes it as “a tapestry woven from memory, longing, and the weight of history.”

Playing at: The Public Theater, February 8 – March 31

  1. “THE COLLECTOR”

Source: The New York Times, February 5, 2024, by Ben Brantley

The Story: A revival of Harold Pinter’s classic psychological thriller, directed by the ever-provocative Ivo van Hove. Brantley finds the production “electrifying,” lauding Tom Hiddleston’s “magnetic” performance as the enigmatic art collector and Zawe Ashton’s “fiercely intelligent” portrayal of his unsuspecting victim. Van Hove promises a “stripped-bare” reimagining that delves deep into the play’s power dynamics.

Playing at: John Golden Theatre, February 7 – April 28

 

  1. “FIRES IN THE MIRROR”

Source: Variety, February 8, 2024, by Marilyn Stasio

The Story: Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman tour-de-force returns to Broadway, exploring the 1991 Crown Heights riots through the eyes of 24 diverse characters. Stasio hails Smith’s “virtuosic” performance and the play’s “unflinching examination of race, religion, and community.” Smith calls it “a call to action, a reminder of the wounds that still fester.” 

Playing at: Public Theater, February 10 – March 17

  1. “SONG OF THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS”

Source: The Financial Times, February 6, 2024, by Sarah Hemming

The Story: A modern reimagining of the classic Chinese folktale, presented by the renowned Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. Hemming commends the play’s “breathtaking” visual poetry and the “mesmerizing” performances of the ensemble cast. Director Stan Lai aims to create “a universal story of love, sacrifice, and the power of tradition.”

Playing at: Lincoln Center, February 2 – February 25

 

  1. “THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA” 

Source: The Stage, February 9, 2024, by Mark Shenton

Te Story: A feminist reinterpretation of Federico García Lorca’s tragedy, set in contemporary Spain. Shenton praises director Yaël Farber’s “powerful” vision and the “searing” performances of the all-female cast. Farber describes it as “a story about women’s resilience, defiance, and the yearning for freedom in a society that seeks to control them.”

Playing at: St. Ann’s Warehouse, February 8 – March 3

  1. “MACBETH”

Source: The Telegraph, February 7, 2024, by Dominic Cavendish

The Story: Shakespeare’s Scottish play gets a contemporary twist in this production by the all-female theater company, Siren Productions. Cavendish applauds the “raw energy” of the all-Black cast and director Nadia Wright’s “bold choices” that explore themes of power, ambition, and the consequences of unchecked desire. Wright describes it as “a gripping examination of the corrupting nature of power, set against a backdrop of contemporary social and political issues.”

Playing at: The Globe, London, February 1 – March 10

  1. “A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2”

Source: The Washington Post, February 10, 2024, by Celia Wren

The Story: Lucas Hnath’s acclaimed sequel to Ibsen’s classic returns, exploring Nora’s life 15 years after she walked out the door. Wren finds the play “thought-provoking” and lauds the performances of Anne Hathaway as the now-independent Nora and Laurie Metcalf as her conflicted former husband. Director Lila Neugebauer promises a “nuanced exploration of female agency, societal expectations, and the complexities of marriage.”

Playing at: American Airlines Theatre, February 6 – April 7

  1. “THE BIRTHDAY PARTY”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, February 5, 2024, by Barbara Heenan

The Story: Harold Pinter’s absurdist comedy gets a revival at the Sydney Theatre Company, directed by the acclaimed Kip Williams. Heenan praises the production’s “dark humor” and the “unsettling” performances of the ensemble cast. Williams describes it as “a chilling exploration of identity, paranoia, and the fragility of sanity.”

Playing at: Sydney Theatre Company, February 3 – March 2

  1. “LIFE & DEATH”

Source: The Irish Times, February 8, 2024, by Peter Crawley

The Story: Irish playwright Edna Walsh’s newest work, a darkly comedic exploration of grief and mortality. Crawley applauds the play’s “inventive staging” and the “tour-de-force” performance of Domhnall Gleeson as a man haunted by the ghost of his dead father. Walsh calls it “a poignant reflection on loss, love, and the absurdity of existence.”

Playing at: Gate Theatre, Dublin, February 9 – March 16

  1. “CHIMERICA”

Source: South China Morning Post, February 6, 2024, by Karen Chu

The Story: A Chinese-American co-production that blends documentary theatre and fiction to explore the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Chu commends the play’s “powerful storytelling” and the “emotionally charged” performances of the ensemble cast. Co-directors Stan Lai and Daniel Aukin weave together the stories of an American photojournalist who captured the iconic “Tank Man” image and a Chinese dissident searching for the man’s identity, delving into the complex relationship between the two nations and the enduring legacy of that historical event.

Playing at: Hong Kong Arts Centre, February 4 – February 24

Photo credits: Smith, TED; Walsh, Guardian 

 

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