Review: The Humans, Hampstead Theatre

Better than Eclipsed??!! The Humans leave me disappointed at the Hampstead Theatre

“You can never come back”

Huh. The Humans arrived at Hampstead Theatre with the glow of its 2016 Tony Award for Best Play still shining, particularly as its original cast have come over the Atlantic with it. And while I’m hugely appreciate of the opportunity to see another member of The Good Fight cast onstage, and the cast as a whole really were excellent, the play left me somewhat cold and unconvinced of its prize-winning pedigree.

On entering, the heart sinks at the realisation that we’re relying on the much-abused trope of a family coming together around the dinner table and sure enough, beneath the façade of familial jokes and enforced holiday bonhomie (it’s Thanksgiving natch), there’s a whole world of secrets and lies waiting to burst forth. Writer Stephen Karam also layers in a trip to a whole other genre which certainly grabs the attention, but that’s not to say that it works. Continue reading “Review: The Humans, Hampstead Theatre”

Review: Speech and Debate, Trafalgar Studios 2

“Please don’t riff”

An opportunity to see this play in dress rehearsal was snaffled away from me at the last minute so stubbornly, I’d opted not to see it. But the offer of a friend’s spare ticket and the good notices that Patsy Ferran’s performance seemed to be universally receiving eventually got me along to the Trafalgar Studios’ smaller space.

Stephen Karam’s Speech and Debate dates from 2006 (his most recent play The Humans took the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play) and though this is the UK premiere, the drama is also getting a film adaptation which arrives later this month. It’s a curiously American thing – in the same way that spelling bees have been celebrated, Karam extols the virtues of the titular debating society.  Continue reading “Review: Speech and Debate, Trafalgar Studios 2”

Nominations for 2015-2016 Outer Critics Circle Awards

John Gassner Playwriting Award
Lindsey Ferrentino, Ugly Lies the Bone
Lauren Gunderson, I and You
Martyna Majok, Ironbound
Marco Ramirez, The Royale
Anna Ziegler, Boy

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Frank Langella, The Father
Mark Strong, A View From the Bridge
Ben Whishaw, The Crucible Continue reading “Nominations for 2015-2016 Outer Critics Circle Awards”

Winners of 2012 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play 
Blood and Gifts – Produced by Lincoln Center Theater; Written by J. T. Rogers 
Milk Like Sugar – Produced by Playwrights Horizons and Women’s Project Theater; Written by Kirsten Greenidge 
WINNER – Sons of the Prophet – Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company; Written by Stephen Karam  
The Big Meal – Produced by Playwrights Horizons; Written by Dan LeFranc 
The School For Lies – Produced by Classic Stage Company; Written by David Ives 

Outstanding Musical
WINNER – Once – Produced by New York Theatre Workshop; Book by Enda Walsh, Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová 

Queen of the Mist – Produced by Transport Group; Words and Music by Michael John LaChiusa 
SILENCE! The Musical – Produced by Victoria Lang, Rich Affannato, Donna Trinkoff in association with Scott Kirschenbaum, Theater Mogul, Kitefliers Studio, Terry Schnuck and John Arthur Pinckard; Music and Lyrics by Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan, Book by Hunter Bell, Adapted from the screenplay Silence! The Musical by Jon and Al Kaplan
The Blue Flower – Produced by Second Stage Theatre ; By Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer  
The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World – Produced by Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop; Book by Joy Gregory, Music by Gunnar Madsen, Lyrics by Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen, Story by Joy Gregory, Gunnar Madsen, and John Langs  Continue reading “Winners of 2012 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Nominations for 2012 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play 
Blood and Gifts – Produced by Lincoln Center Theater; Written by J. T. Rogers 
Milk Like Sugar – Produced by Playwrights Horizons and Women’s Project Theater; Written by Kirsten Greenidge 
Sons of the Prophet – Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company; Written by Stephen Karam  
The Big Meal – Produced by Playwrights Horizons; Written by Dan LeFranc 
The School For Lies – Produced by Classic Stage Company; Written by David Ives 

Outstanding Musical
Once – Produced by New York Theatre Workshop; Book by Enda Walsh, Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová 
Queen of the Mist – Produced by Transport Group; Words and Music by Michael John LaChiusa 
SILENCE! The Musical – Produced by Victoria Lang, Rich Affannato, Donna Trinkoff in association with Scott Kirschenbaum, Theater Mogul, Kitefliers Studio, Terry Schnuck and John Arthur Pinckard; Music and Lyrics by Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan, Book by Hunter Bell, Adapted from the screenplay Silence! The Musical by Jon and Al Kaplan
The Blue Flower – Produced by Second Stage Theatre ; By Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer  
The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World – Produced by Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop; Book by Joy Gregory, Music by Gunnar Madsen, Lyrics by Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen, Story by Joy Gregory, Gunnar Madsen, and John Langs  Continue reading “Nominations for 2012 Lucille Lortel Awards”