Chekhov, Squared & Rooted

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 23, 2016 7:19 am

Lisa Keshisheva Photo The cherry orchard must sit at stage right, tucked back into a corner. Across from it, Nina Zarechnaya can daydream on the damp grass beside a lake, where the moon flickers and she falls into bouts of deep thought. Moscow University will remain offstage. A birch grove will hang from the rafters; a hospital around center stage. A headstone, marked by brown bread and slowly-evaporating vodka, close to the audience. And the railroad must skirt the edges of town, hugging just one side of it like a locomotive bookend.

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A&I Gives Away “The Money”

by Donald Brown | Jun 23, 2016 7:00 am

Courtesy Arts & Ideas If someone handed you a sum of money — no strings attached — what would you do with it? You might know right away. But what if you had to get a group of other people to agree on how the money should be spent? Would you argue for a certain beneficiary? Would you let others call the shots? Would it depend on how much money?

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Steel Hammer Nails Myth Into Art

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 17, 2016 7:01 am

Courtesy Steel Hammer Truth: John Henry was a steel-driving man. He was a cotton-picking man. He was jailed for no good reason. He worked every single day he had on this earth. He was 22 when he died. He was 35 when he died. He was 50 when he died, and weighed 220 pounds. 225 pounds. Over 300 pounds. His wife was Polly Ann. Mary Ann. Julie Ann. Sary Ann. Sally Ann. 

There were many versions of him, one more powerful than the next, and all of them have some degree of truth.

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“Our Ladies” Cut Loose At The Rep

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 13, 2016 7:57 am

Manuel Harlan Photos When the lights come up on the U.S. premiere of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, on at the Yale Repertory Theatre through June 25 as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, it’s not exactly clear when the play’s promised raucousness is going to kick in.

Hands clasp. Starched skirts are straightened one final time. Ironed blouses glow bone-white from the stage. The first notes of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Lift Thine Eyes,” sung in seamless harmony, float out across the audience. A pin could drop in the pregnant silence between verses.

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“Kinky” Freed Them

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 10, 2016 9:50 am | Comments (1)

As the actors at New Haven’s latest Broadway touring show left the stage, two stories of self-discovery emerged on a deep red splash of carpet inside the Shubert Theater’s capacious auditorium.

One, a tale of sexual identity and revelation from a senior at Co-Op High School, came quickly, words spinning it into being before an audience.

The other, an unfolding narrative of clandestine drag performances and a father’s hesitant acceptance, revealed itself slowly in short, polite sentences and laughter-tinged personal anecdote from an actor who had just left the stage.

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Long Wharf Makes “Paris” Its Own

by Brian Slattery | May 13, 2016 7:20 am

T. Charles Erickson Photo Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is hunched over a table in a dirty cabaret when he discovers absinthe. It comes to him in the form of a dancer. She is borne aloft by several men so effortlessly, and her own movements are so fluid, that she appears to be half-flying, half-swimming through the air, bathed in green light. The music, born of the bal musette but reaching all the way to the present day, swells and swoons.

When Toulouse-Lautrec succumbs, so do we.

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Despite Drizzle, Artwalk Spreads Spring Cheer

by Lucy Gellman | May 9, 2016 7:11 am

Lucy Gellman Photo Taking in the sounds of Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps and Arms & Voices as a mist began to fall over Whalley Avenue, pint-sized Westvillian Ava Kimbro and her mom Marjorie made a decision: stick it out, at least until Ava could get a big, blooming flower painted on her face. After all, this was their third Westville Artwalk, and they weren’t going to be that easily deterred. They inched toward the front of the line, where face artist Lauren Wilson was hard at work with her palettes, brushes, and stencils. 

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