critics and their criticism

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
Magic Freyer Magic Freyer

I still remember, and some of it quite vividly, what it was like to experience Achim Freyer‘s intense and groundbreaking Ring production all these years later.

on July 22, 2020 at 10:01 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
Civilized pleasures Civilized pleasures

We can delight in films that make use of motif to give opera-lovers an extra little jiggle.

on July 18, 2020 at 12:02 PM
What’s my motivation? What’s my motivation?

Wagner must intrude at some point because he invented film music.

on July 17, 2020 at 11:02 AM
Sextet education Sextet education

My first exposure to Lucia di Lammermoor came under the auspices of The Three Stooges.

on July 16, 2020 at 12:50 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