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Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Theater Reviews

The Rep’s new production of Enchanted April is not the gossamer offering the title implies. Banking its ample charm in a production rich in slight-of-hand comedy, Matthew Barber’s 2003 play is an adaptation of a 1922 novel that echoes the disruption and monotony constituting women’s lives after World War I. He takes an even-keeled, lighthearted view of the boredom that two English housewives claim to experience as a result of the ongoing tediousness of the “surety of the routine.” The women place an ad in The Times of London for two more ladies to share the month of April in a secluded villa among the “wisteria and sunshine” of the Italian Riviera. The mismatched foursome discover that some miscommunication and uneven objectives have tagged along on their sojourn . . .
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Raving about Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger’s stage and screen Nazis (think Stalag 17) may well have provided a perverse, self-styled role model for the famous director, one he developed with tyrannical relish off-screen as well. According to Foster Hirsch in his stunning, eminently readable biography, Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would be King (Alfred Knopf), the filmmaker’s Prussians registered with conviction, yielding none of the serpentine sophistication that made Conrad Veidt’s characterization in Casablanca an intellectual delight.
A&E Feature
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Salome on stage

Richard Strauss’ Salome is one of the world's great operas, combining the last remnants of 19th-century Romanticism with a ravishing score, seeped in late- Viennese tradition but with the bite of the emerging 20thcentury trend toward harsher realism. Strauss’ glorious score transforms the sexual decadence and social depravity of the source material into a breathtaking harmonic outpouring of frenzied erotic frustration that can only self-destruct, conjuring up the awesome trappings of “terror and pity” that underline Aristotelian tragedy. The music is expressively melodious and carefully banks its resources within a seductive yet surprisingly subdued lyricism. Salome encompasses the torrent of high drama while leaning only slightly toward . . .
A&E Feature
Friday, Dec. 14, 2007

The Best Vs. the Rest

Movies have not been around long enough to acquire a degree of prestige comparable to music and literature. The older art forms are generally regarded as monumental artifacts . . .