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Theater Review (NYC Off-Broadway): ‘A Brief History of Women’ by Alan Ayckbourn

From left, Frances Marshall, Antony Eden and Louise Shuttleworth in A Brief History of Women. Image © Tony Bartholomew

Nearly six decades into his career, Ayckbourn maintains his sure touch on both the page and the stage, while his depictions of the long view of life continue to deepen. Brilliantly written and beautiful acted, his new time-shifting masterpiece engages both heart and mind.

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Theater Review (NYC): ‘Chess’ at the Gallery Players

Chris Jumper, Jennifer Walder, Joey Donnelly, MariaElisa Costa, Doug Chitel, Dennis Wees, Carman Napier in 'Chess' at the Gallery Players (photo by Ryan Graytok)

Rather than rehashing what's wrong with 'Chess,' I'll describe why it's still possible to enjoy the Gallery Players' production. The music is perhaps the most advanced artistic evolution of glossy '80s pop. And while I'm sure there are some curmudgeons out there who weren't fans of ABBA's sunny sound, Andersson and Ulvaeus were brilliant songwriters, master craftsmen not only of shiny dance tunes but also of lovely songs of love and loss.

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Theater Review (NYC): ‘The Seafarer’ Starring Matthew Broderick at the Irish Rep

Andy Murray, Colin McPhillamy, Matthew Broderick, Irish Repertory Theatre

Even one as horrific as the seafaring Devil may deserve a bit of sympathy. His job to separate mankind from God so the Christmas Child can bring them together is a bitter, noxious one. This and the play's other messages shine in the fullness of glory in this production.

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Theater Review (NYC Off-Broadway): ‘Good for Otto’ by David Rabe, with Ed Harris, F. Murray Abraham

Ed Harris, The New Group, Good for Otto, Scott Elliott

In this long but engrossing play set in a mental health clinic, Rabe outlines each character's distinctive battleground, where counselors defend and encourage them against their tendencies to self-harm.

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