It’s clear that Tim Blake Nelson sincerely loves Socrates.
You may know Nelson as an actor from his turns in Coen Brothers works like the impossibly sympathetic and goofy Delmar in O Brother Where Art Thou, freaking out about his buddy being turned into a frog. Or, more recently, you may have seen him as the cheery and violent gunslinging “songbird” Buster Scruggs on Netflix. Now he’s written a play, Socrates, currently running at the Public Theater in New York, about the second-most salient self-sacrifice in human history. It’s poignantly set and incredibly cast, conjuring a world of Plato and Aristotle and Aristophanes that’s engrossing. It’s full of love, and it’s full of rage.
In 458 B.C. a director named Aeschylus won a contest, part of a yearly festival in which the collective performance and viewing of dramas was worship of the god Dyonisus, with three plays that make up The Oresteia. Today it is the only complete trilogy we have of its kind.
The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., just closed its production of Richard III this week—but not before opening it to a host of revisions intended to promote the tragedy’s “parallels to the contemporary moment.”
The only real stumble in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s gleeful dancing on the line production of The Comedy of Errors is a prolonged, easily eight full seconds, flatulatory audio effect. The fart, which would be a juvenile epic poem if delivered by an actor bodily, is merely deflating when played on stereo. It’s a pity the outburst doesn’t work—the idea is in the text and the show’s a riot. But the overstep is in the execution.
Reuben drove six hours to see Jordan Peterson. He brought his mother. It’s his birthday present.
Reuben, “like the sandwich”—”or the patriarch,” I say, prompting a laugh of agreement—just finished his freshman year at a small Christian college. He’s maybe a bit above average height, thin, with an open, intelligent face. He has a mop of curly hair and is wearing a sensible plaid shirt. He’s studying something combining bits of business and engineering.
Imagine if King Lear had ended just after the great storm: on the heath, with a cold, bitter Lear sprawled in the muck, railing against mankind.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s current production of Macbeth is an excellent example of how putting a “modern” spin on a classic can make a timeless story seem stale.
If you’d like to disappoint your date this Valentine’s Day, take them to see As You Like It at the Folger Shakespeare Theater.
We all like to see an underdog win. It’s even better if at the end of it all, he gets a new improved body, the hand of the princess, and the throne.
“Oh! We’re in a whale,” said my friend as we walked into the theater to see David Catlin’s adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
The stage is set with a white skeletal structure that suggests the great ribcage and jawbones of the massive sea monster, with us inside. From the time we start, we are an audience of Jonahs, waiting for deliverance in the dark belly.