Tag: George Bernard Shaw

  • A Broadway Revival of “Saint Joan” Shows the Woman Warrior in a Quiet Key

    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) lived through so much of the twentieth century, and so much of his writing remains startlingly up-to-date, that we sometimes forget his Victorian roots. The theatrical tradition he was brought up on was that of nineteenth-century barnstorming. When Shaw directed his own plays, actors would sometimes complain that the business he […]

  • Alive and Well, “My Fair Lady” Still Gives Audiences What They Crave

    When George Bernard Shaw wrote a fairy tale, he generally made a firm point of altering its circumstances so that it would not have a fairy-tale ending. Thus, when he invented the story of a prominent phonetics professor who teaches a plucky Cockney flower-peddler how to pass herself off as a lady, you may be […]

  • Bedlam’s “Pygmalion” Puts a Revelatory Spin on George Bernard Shaw

    Bedlam’s Pygmalion erupts out of nowhere, a surprise sprung on the audience as we wait in what seems like a holding area — a narrow space hung with a few coat pegs, a handful of chairs lined along either side. Turns out we’re on a crowded London street, sometime in the early twentieth century, about […]

  • The Philanderer: Sex Versus Shaw

    Probably the single most startling fact about George Bernard Shaw’s early comedy The Philanderer (City Center Stage II)—just revived by the Pearl Theatre in a juicily stylish production by Gus Kaikkonen—is that it’s based on personal experience. In his mid-thirties, Shaw was simultaneously having affairs—yes, sexual affairs, coition included—with two women, a widow somewhat older […]

  • PAGING DR. KEVORKIAN

    What’s in a name? The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures—a prolix heading borrowed from George Bernard Shaw and Mary Baker Eddy—should in no way diminish the excitement generated by Tony Kushner’s new play. A co-production of the Public Theater and the Signature Theater, directed by Michael Greif, […]

  • One More River

    Dir. James Whale (1934). One of the most British movies ever made by a Hollywood studio. James Whale adapts the last novel by near-forgotten Nobel laureate John Galsworthy—the story of an upper class woman who leaves her sadistic husband (Whale favorite Colin Clive) and suffers the consequences with relative stoicism. Among the attractions: George Bernard […]

  • BIG BANG

    A plane crash is not typically the inciting event for a comedy, but this George Bernard Shaw play chooses to begin with a bang. Once an aircraft has disturbed a summer afternoon and smashed a greenhouse, eight proposals of marriage rapidly ensue. The Pearl revives Shaw’s comedy of courtship, with director Jeff Steitzer piloting. Tuesdays, […]

  • The Fall of London: A Theater Roundup

    Nearly 100 years ago, George Bernard Shaw warned, “One cannot live by masterpieces alone, not only because there are not enough of them, but because new plays as well as great plays are needed.” This fall, the London stage disagreed. Masterpieces have been thick on the ground, new plays sparse. Shaw has been the rare […]

  • Anti-Communist Polemic The Soviet Story Cuts and Pastes from History

    Stalin may be enjoying a sinister revival in Putin’s Russia, but not everyone associated with the former Soviet Union is amused. This pungently anti-communist documentary from the wonderfully named Latvian historian and filmmaker Edvins Snore is much more than a catalog of Stalin’s Terror, which, among other iniquities, carried out ethnic-cleansing policies that starved seven […]

  • Sexes Duke It Out (Again) in All Aboard the Marriage Hearse

    Does anything turn guys off—and girls on—more than the word “commitment”? That’s the unhilarious premise of All Aboard the Marriage Hearse, an utterly conventional battle-of-the-sexes play by Matt Morillo at Theater for the New City. Under the guise of a 21st-century values debate, the comedy offers the stunningly fresh proposition that men might come from […]