David Fox and Cameron Kelsall

On the wings of Eagels On the wings of Eagels

It’s the legendary Jeanne Eagels in the spotlight, which is exactly the right term. From our first glimpse of her fabulous face, she seems almost lit from within.

on July 31, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Even her agony was a kind of joy Even her agony was a kind of joy

I’ve heard admirers for years describe this as their favorite Bette Davis performance, and it’s easy to see why; she brings her entire range to the role, and you can’t take your eyes off her.

on July 27, 2020 at 9:47 AM
Mediocrities everywhere Mediocrities everywhere

The production style exposed Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus for what it’s always been: a piece of lowbrow camp masquerading as highbrow art.

on July 18, 2020 at 1:24 PM
Sisters are doing it for themselves Sisters are doing it for themselves

Some consider Katharine Hepburn a tomboy — I don’t share that view, but the particular iconoclastic style she was already cultivating in her early days certainly suits Jo March.

on July 13, 2020 at 11:54 AM
Youth comes to the fore Youth comes to the fore

“That girl’s a character!”

“I think she’s got something!”

on July 06, 2020 at 9:14 AM
A necessary luxury A necessary luxury

One of the greatest pleasures of our continuing Katharine Hepburn series for me has been rediscovering how marvelous she can be.

on June 29, 2020 at 2:27 PM
“Whatevah shall we do with Mothah?” “Whatevah shall we do with Mothah?”

The characteristics that made Katharine Hepburn‘s performance in A Delicate Balance work so well do her a disservice here.

on June 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM
“Rust, bones and the wind” “Rust, bones and the wind”

Terror and breakdown is hinted at strongly, almost blatantly, but the characters never seem to move an inch past the comfort zone.

on June 13, 2020 at 2:27 PM
Martius, Martius, Martius! Martius, Martius, Martius!

Tom Hiddleston manages to balance the many layers of Coriolanus, from his military strength and hot temper, to his strangely overpowering sense of personal dignity, which is ultimately his tragic flaw.

on June 07, 2020 at 12:15 PM
Get off at Elysian Fields Get off at Elysian Fields

Nearly 70 years after its debut, A Streetcar Named Desire remains the greatest stage-to-screen adaptation of all time.

on June 04, 2020 at 11:23 AM
Don’t turn the light on! Don’t turn the light on!

There are a number of fine elements in this film, and a couple that are exceptional—but I can’t get over the wrongness of its look.

on May 29, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Red-headed woman Red-headed woman

This made-for-network version is surprisingly provocative and creative for its time. It’s not an unqualified success, but in terms of understanding the play as a whole, it’s a necessary part of the conversation.

on May 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Some things are not forgivable Some things are not forgivable

Perhaps the idea here is to give Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play a renewed sense of visceral power that speaks to a younger audience? Maybe, but it doesn’t speak to me.

on May 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Bare Foote Bare Foote

Although Kim Stanley’s big-screen appearances were rare—four major film roles, plus the uncredited narration in To Kill a Mockingbird—she was the leading lady of television drama’s “Golden Age.”

on May 17, 2020 at 1:35 PM
Method and magnetism Method and magnetism

In I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow, we’re contending with Kim Stanley and the last gasp of the Method.

on May 15, 2020 at 11:24 AM
Mythos, mystery and grandeur Mythos, mystery and grandeur

Reducing Antony and Cleopatra to the status of mere mortals makes their torrid, tragic love seem rather ho-hum.

on May 10, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Stray ‘Cats’ Stray ‘Cats’

I think that Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is the Williams play I have seen most often, on stage and through film. So, shall we share some observations on some of these experiences?

on May 09, 2020 at 1:53 PM
‘Cat’ people ‘Cat’ people

Gorgeousness is, of course, its own reward—and the movie of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has many other pluses as well—but I do think Elizabeth Taylor‘s and Paul Newman‘s good looks pose an ongoing distraction.

on May 06, 2020 at 1:25 PM
The Cat’s meow The Cat’s meow

This Cat seems more together than most. Unlike many of the teleplays we’ve considered so far, this one is actually directed by a Tony-winning theater director, and I’d venture that accounts for its relative success.

on May 04, 2020 at 9:00 AM
What the ‘Cat’ dragged in What the ‘Cat’ dragged in

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is sometimes called the American King Lear, which nods to themes of a father and his disappointing children… but I think it’s also Shakespearean in its sprawl and grandeur.

on April 30, 2020 at 1:34 PM
‘Glass’ dismissed ‘Glass’ dismissed

Yet there remain some memories and impressions I know we’d both like to share—on a few stage performances, memorable in various ways, so how about one more roundup?

on April 27, 2020 at 12:42 PM
Heart of ‘Glass’ Heart of ‘Glass’

Shirley Booth‘s Amanda reminds us again of her astonishing range, and truly unique (yes, a word I hate, but I mean it here) ability to mix heartbreak and humor in the same breath.

on April 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM
A ‘Glass’ half empty A ‘Glass’ half empty

More than any actor I’ve seen on stage or screen, John Malkovich communicates the essential ambiguity of the character.

on April 22, 2020 at 1:34 PM
Walking on broken ‘Glass’ Walking on broken ‘Glass’

The 1950 movie seems intent to turn the story into a screen romance, eliding or ignoring the play’s mournful tenor.

on April 20, 2020 at 11:30 AM