All stories by Houman Barekat on BroadwayStars

Monday, May 27, 2024

‘Bluets’ Review: This Maggie Nelson Adaptation Is All About the Vibes by Houman Barekat

How do you bring an almost plotless book of elliptical fragments to the stage? The director Katie Mitchell has tried with three actors, four screens and three bottles of whiskey.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:32PM
Friday, May 24, 2024

Review: In ‘Romeo and Juliet’ With Tom Holland, Plenty of Style, but Little Love by Houman Barekat

The London production, starring Tom Holland, sold out in hours. But its understated rendering of the central romance may leave some theatergoers wanting more.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 07:02AM
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New ‘Richard III’ Raises an Old Question: Who Should Wear the Crown? by Houman Barekat

A production at the Shakespeare’s Globe theater faced criticism because a nondisabled actor plays the scheming king. But disputes like these miss the point, our critic writes.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 02:24PM
Friday, May 3, 2024

‘The Cherry Orchard’ Review: Chekhov in the Fun Zone by Houman Barekat

Benedict Andrews’s production in London offers perfectly pitched comedy where other directors find somber tragedy.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 11:54AM
Thursday, May 2, 2024

A Challenge for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s New Leaders by Houman Barekat

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s co-artistic directors have put together a challenging debut season. But many visitors come to Stratford-upon-Avon seeking something more traditional.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:06PM
Monday, April 15, 2024

2024 Olivier Awards: The Snubs and Surprises by Houman Barekat, Matt Wolf and Alex Marshall

Our theater critics and a reporter discuss the big winner — “Sunset Boulevard” — and the rest of the honorees at Britain’s equivalent of the Tonys.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:32AM
Tuesday, March 26, 2024

‘Opening Night’ Review: Ivo van Hove Makes a Stylish Movie Into a Sludgy Travesty by Houman Barekat

Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation of the 1977 John Cassavetes film, with music by Rufus Wainwright, turns a taut character study into a corny melodrama.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 08:42PM
Monday, March 25, 2024

On London Stages, Uplifting Tales of Black Masculinity by Houman Barekat

“For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy” and “Red Pitch” offer generous portrayals of male bonding.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 02:06PM
Friday, February 16, 2024

Review: Sarah Snook Is a Darkly Funny Dorian Gray by Houman Barekat

In a stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Snook plays all the characters — with the help of screens.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:18PM
Friday, February 9, 2024

‘Hills of California’ Review: A Stage Mother’s Unhappy Brood by Houman Barekat

Jez Butterworth’s new play explores the family dynamics of a song and dance troupe that didn’t make the big time.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:24AM
Monday, January 22, 2024

Review: Ivo van Hove Takes on ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ by Houman Barekat

The Belgian director’s revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar” showcases some of his signature aesthetic techniques. But it’s an odd pairing.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 01:54PM
Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Ralph Fiennes and David Tennant: Two Very Different ‘Macbeths’ by Houman Barekat

Ralph Fiennes and David Tennant take Shakespeare’s psychodrama along divergent paths in two simultaneously running shows.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 08:36AM
Thursday, December 14, 2023

Review: Onstage, the ‘Stranger Things’ Franchise Eats Itself by Houman Barekat

“Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” a London theater show based on the Netflix series, pummels the audience with sensory overload and its lavish budget.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 07:12PM
Friday, October 27, 2023

‘Boy Parts,’ the Play, Is a Winking Pastiche of Trauma Tropes by Houman Barekat

A London production adapted from Eliza Clark’s debut novel refuses to justify its unreliable narrator’s violence, but lacks narrative depth and complexity.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:37AM
Friday, September 22, 2023

Review: Andrew Scott Plays Every Part in ‘Vanya.’ Why? by Houman Barekat

In London, transforming Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” into a one-man show is an impressive feat, but it costs the play its pathos.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:55AM
Monday, August 21, 2023

In ‘The Effect,’ Paapa Essiedu and Taylor Russell Delight by Houman Barekat

In a revival of Lucy Prebble’s play at the National Theater, in London, Paapa Essiedu and Taylor Russell are terrific as a couple who meet during a pharmaceutical trial.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 05:55AM
Thursday, August 17, 2023

At Edinburgh Fringe, Small Shows With Big Ambitions by Houman Barekat

This year, the stronger productions in the open-to-all event were on a par with many in the more prestigious, curated Edinburgh International Festival.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:33AM
Friday, August 11, 2023

At the Edinburgh Festival, Wrestling With Identity by Houman Barekat

In plays from Scotland, Korea and Switzerland, theater companies explored questions of belonging, with varying degrees of success.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:07AM
Thursday, August 10, 2023

Edinburgh Festival Review: ‘Food’ Is an Acquired Taste by Houman Barekat

At the Edinburgh Festival, Geoff Sobelle presents a dinner party as a theatrical spectacle, in which silliness is the end in itself.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 07:49AM
Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Can ‘Miss Saigon’ Be Saved? Two British Shows Disagree. by Houman Barekat

A revival reimagines the polarizing musical for the 21st century while a new show offers a bawdy riposte.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:13PM
Wednesday, June 21, 2023

‘Dear England’ Review: When Soccer Success Becomes a Moral Victory by Houman Barekat

A new James Graham play about the soccer coach Gareth Southgate is a lively romp, but its core message about embracing male vulnerability feels soppy.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:43AM
Friday, May 26, 2023

Review: In ‘Aspects of Love,’ Some Problematic Attachments by Houman Barekat

A London revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s partner-swapping musical is a camp amoral romp. But is this obsession really the same as romance?

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:12PM
Thursday, April 13, 2023

Review: In ‘Hamnet,’ Shakespeare Becomes Soap Opera by Houman Barekat

The Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s hit 2020 novel is elegant and tasteful — but also formulaic and sentimental.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 04:06PM
Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Review: ‘Berlusconi: A New Musical’ Is Hammy and Hamstrung by Houman Barekat

The show, in London, skewers its protagonist through maximalist kitsch, but it comes with a tone of finger-wagging moralism that’s no fun.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 03:36PM
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Review: ‘Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead’ in London by Houman Barekat

The British experimental theater company Complicité turns the Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” into a thought-provoking, entertaining…

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 11:24AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

‘Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons’ Review: A Thought Exercise, Without Deep Thoughts by Houman Barekat

On London’s West End, Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman star in a lightly dystopian comedy that succeeds as a portrait of a troubled couple, but falls short as political satire.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:22PM

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