All stories by Sara Holdren on BroadwayStars

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Theater Review: A True West That Simmers Instead of Boiling Over by Sara Holdren

Things fall apart in Sam Shepard’s True West. The simmering almost-two-hander about a pair of estranged brothers locked in competition over the sale of a screenplay to a Hollywood producer…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:30PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Theater Review: Eddie and Dave Tries to Get to What’s Real by Sara Holdren

“What really happened with David Lee Roth at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards?” we’re asked early in Amy Staats’s Eddie and Dave — both by the play’s narrator, a nostalgic former …

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:10PM
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Theater Reviews: Contemporary Northern Prep and Southern Gothic, in Choir Boy and Blue Ridge by Sara Holdren

“Try to blend,” the vivacious Pharus Jonathan Young instructs his fellow choirboys as they kneel to pray together near the start of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s spicy, mellifluous play. The…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Thursday, December 27, 2018

I Make Plays. I Write Criticism. I’m Not My Own Enemy. by Sara Holdren

I never thought I’d be a writer.No, that’s not true. For most of middle school, I thought I’d be the next Lloyd Alexander or Ursula Le Guin. I used to come home from school and write f…

SOURCE: Vulture at 08:30AM
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Theater Review: Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird Adaptation Walks the Walk by Sara Holdren

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin any…

SOURCE: Vulture at 09:47PM
Monday, December 10, 2018

Theater Review: Slave Play Blends the Terrifying and the Tantalizing by Sara Holdren

To really talk about Jeremy O. Harris’s supercharged, fearsome, and often terribly funny Slave Play, I have to begin with a spoiler alert: If you’re seeing the play — and there are ple…

SOURCE: Vulture at 11:07AM
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Theater Review: Can a Cooled-Down Network Bring the Heat? by Sara Holdren

Ivo van Hove and his designer Jan Versweyveld have created a signature style out of putting hot-blooded plays inside cold, technological boxes. They build worlds with hard, looming walls, of…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Monday, December 3, 2018

Theater Review: How Over-the-Top Should The Cher Show Be? by Sara Holdren

Is it possible to be brainwashed by sequins? I was so addled by the finale of The Cher Show that I began to imagine a tiny, spandex-and-spangle-clad devil on my shoulder, poking me behind th…

SOURCE: Vulture at 09:00PM
Monday, November 19, 2018

Theater Review: A Soft-Edged Production of Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem by Sara Holdren

The playwright Tom Stoppard has a reputation for intellectualism—to put it bluntly, for genius—that precedes him like a motorcade at this point. People tend to step out of the way, eithe…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:12PM
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Theater Review: The Prom, Where Theater Geeks Belt Away Without Shame by Sara Holdren

The giddy, smart, big-hearted new musical The Prom has arrived on Broadway after a much-praised 2016 run at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, but really, it’s always been here. Its story be…

SOURCE: Vulture at 09:30PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Theater Review: The Minor-Key K-Pop of Wild Goose Dreams by Sara Holdren

Before the whimsical, poignant Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung begins, soaking in Clint Ramos’s design of the Public’s Martinson Hall is a senses-tingling treat. The whole room is dress…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM

Theater Review: Raúl Esparza Makes a Hard-to-Resist Arturo Ui by Sara Holdren

Great Brecht productions are rare beasts. His plays are about presentation more than they’re about representation, and that makes them hard to crack. They draw on vaudeville, physical come…

SOURCE: Vulture at 09:00PM
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Theater Review: Is Will Eno’s Thom Pain Still Revolutionary? by Sara Holdren

It’s been fourteen years since Thom Pain—a “cold, grave, somewhat angular person… a wounded, stray-dog type, but with an odd intellectual aspect, perhaps even a little frail… chari…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:20PM
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Theater Review: King Kong, Who’s There? by Sara Holdren

I mean, the monkey’s amazing. And we came for the monkey, right?Theatergoers and theater-makers often complain about criticism that doesn’t “take a play on its own terms.” They’re …

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM

Theater Review: Eve’s Song Is Long on Relevance and Short on Dramatic Craft by Sara Holdren

It’s happening again. A few days ago, I wrote about the tyranny of relevance in modern American theater, the way in which plays like American Son, whether cynically or earnestly, put hot-b…

SOURCE: Vulture at 05:02PM
Monday, November 5, 2018

Theater Review: The Indignities and Glories of Female Adolescence, in Usual Girls by Sara Holdren

“I realized that I knew more about male anatomy, milestones, and experiences than I did about my own,” the playwright Ming Peiffer said in a recent interview. “I knew what a wet dream …

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:10PM

Theater Review: The Thanksgiving Play Is All Stuffing, No Heart by Sara Holdren

The Thanksgiving Play is one of those truly distressing experiences that make you feel like you’re caught in the theatrical Twilight Zone — because what you’re seeing is so vastly, pai…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Sunday, November 4, 2018

Theater Review: The Good Intentions of American Son by Sara Holdren

American Son is a dreadful play — and it’s not alone. When the alien archaeologists dig through the rubble of Manhattan and find mountains of fossilized season brochures, the museum they…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Theater Review: Days of Rage Gives Us 1969’s Radicals Without Actual Radicalism by Sara Holdren

“Against the backdrop of an endless, unwinnable war raging halfway across the world, and a polarizing president recklessly stoking the flames of racist backlash at home, a generation of yo…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM

Theater Review: Good Grief Is a Memory Play in a Hall of Mirrors by Sara Holdren

The story goes that when Stanislavsky was very old, and too ill to accompany his company on their tour to London, he gave his actors only two words of direction before they left: Play lightl…

SOURCE: Vulture at 08:30PM
Sunday, October 28, 2018

Theater Review: Thunderbodies Is the Latest Political-Catastrophe Dramatic Farce by Sara Holdren

In November 2016, something big happened, and everybody who did plays started tearing their hair out over which plays to do. I watched as a lot of artistic directors leapt to program Julius …

SOURCE: Vulture at 02:28PM
Friday, October 26, 2018

Theater Review: Out at the Far End of America, Lewiston/Clarkston Settles Down at Costco by Sara Holdren

“History is different when you’re 6 years old,” says Alice, a character in the first half of Samuel D. Hunter’s new play duet Lewiston/Clarkston. In her 70s, Alice owns some land alo…

SOURCE: Vulture at 11:35AM
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Theater Review: Elaine May Keeps It Together While Falling Apart in The Waverly Gallery by Sara Holdren

There’s both a lot and very little happening in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery. The “lot” is contextual: The 86-year-old comedy dynamo Elaine May is returning to Broadway for…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Theater Reviews: The Joys and Troubles of the Teaching Play by Sara Holdren

Plot Points in Our Sexual Development and India Pale Ale are teaching plays. They’d like us to leave the theater broader-minded than when we entered it, our ears and hearts more open to st…

SOURCE: Vulture at 12:25PM
Monday, October 22, 2018

Theater Review: Livestock and Stock Types in The Ferryman by Sara Holdren

We may as well start with the goose. By the time one of the more than 20 actors in Jez Butterworth’s boisterous behemoth of a new play, The Ferryman, enters with a fat live goose under his…

SOURCE: Vulture at 09:37AM
Friday, October 19, 2018

Theater Review: Gloria: A Life Is Not a Bio-Play, and That’s a Good Thing by Sara Holdren

The woman sitting next to me at the Daryl Roth Theatre leaned toward her daughter and pointed surreptitiously. “Look over there, there, with the red hair. Do you see her? That’s her. Tha…

SOURCE: Vulture at 02:12PM
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Theater Review: Truthiness on Trial, in The Lifespan of a Fact by Sara Holdren

“There is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.” —Werner Herzog“Look, Ame…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Theater Review: A Cranky Teen Joan of Arc in Mother of the Maid by Sara Holdren

Joan of Arc and I have an “it’s complicated” relationship. I get the magnetism that keeps theater folk coming back to her, but I think she belongs in the same box, strangely, as Macbet…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Theater Review: An Unsturdy Apologia by Sara Holdren

Imagine you go to the theater with some friends and then, after the show, adjourn to a bar to talk about the play. Now, there are One-Beer Plays — fine, all right, yes, it was a play, peop…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:41PM
Monday, October 15, 2018

Theater Review: On Being Queer and Black in America, in Fireflies by Sara Holdren

Donja R. Love’s Fireflies, now at the Atlantic under the assured direction of Saheem Ali, is a play about the landscape of internalized trauma. Its language and design create a fearful pan…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:00PM
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Theater Review: Can Cabaret Be a Tool of Liberation? by Sara Holdren

The Boys in the Band have left the building, and Arnold Beckoff’s Broadway transfer is still in previews, but if you’re looking for torch songs in the meantime, Midnight at the Never Get…

SOURCE: Vulture at 10:16PM

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