Hudson, N.H. — Midway through a town hall campaign event at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company, Chris Christie zeroed in on a man at left of center stage, four rows back, whose hand had been raised for four or five minutes.
“Sir,” Christie pointed to the man, a New Haven Democrat operating undercover as a Nashua native concerned about the economy.
Jen Silverman’s The Moors draws inspiration from the Gothic writings of the Brontës, but with a contemporary, subversive twist that makes it one of the best Yale Repertory Theatre productions in recent memory.
This dark comedy about love, typhus, isolation, and sublimated eroticism — which had its world premiere at the Rep and runs through Feb. 20 — has more layers than a mansion-sized onion.
Swaying just slightly at the center of Long Wharf Theatre’s main stage, singer Chris Peters was bringing the audience into his latest performance of ”Paul & Eddy’s Pipe Dream Pizza,” weaving together worlds of fantasy romance and Hamden haute cuisine. Light fell over his face and slipped onto his guitar as audience members laughed softly with the wedding-themed lyrics: The service would be at Hogwarts / with Dumbledore presiding / Dino from the Flintstones / would bear the ring / and Paul and Eddy’s Pizza / would do the catering.
When we are first introduced to the Duke of Florence in Women Beware Women, on at Yale’s Iseman Theater now through Jan. 29, he’s not the Elizabethan character the audience might expect from Thomas Middleton’s 17th-century morality tale — best known for exposing the slimy, hypocrisy-riddled underbelly of conservative governance. Yes, there are the customary furs and preponderance of red, a nod to the lush cochineal dye that wooed well-to-do Italians during the period. There’s the expected cupped-hand wave and ducal glide into the public sphere. But this Duke also sports serious 21st century bling. His red comes in the form of a leather jacket and bright pants, he rocks a dazzling faux-diamond knuckle ring, and a few dance moves leave no doubt that he can pop, lock, and drop it like it’s hot as he pleases.
T.S. Eliot placed Thomas Middleton in the top rank among the great playwrights who blossomed in London four hundred years ago, all superb but overtopped by Shakespeare. He said Middleton depicted “the unmoral nature, suddenly trapped in the inexorable toils of morality — not made by man but by Nature — and forced to take the consequences of an act which it had planned light-heartedly.”
“The play is about juicy and uncomfortable things,” said Leora Morris, third-year director at the Yale School of Drama.
She was speaking about her thesis show, Howard Barker’s Women Beware Women, which runs Jan. 23 to 29 at the Iseman Theater on Chapel Street. The play is a late-1980s adaptation by the British playwright of a Jacobean play by Thomas Middleton, dating from the mid-17th century and set in Medici Florence in 1621.
Barker retains Middleton’s text, mostly, for the first act. Then he rewrites the ending with a decidedly more modern, though no less mannered, idiom. For Morris and her team, this presented three challenges.
Benjamin Scheuer had reached perhaps the most dramatic moment in his one-man show The Lion. Dressed in a neat suit and holding a guitar, he was describing a harrowing visit to the doctor when someone in the audience sneezed.
“Bless you,” he said, without dropping a beat. And then to the rest of the audience: “I mean, we’re all here, you know?”