Articles tagged with: Ayad Akhtar
Review: The smartest thing about Lydia R. Diamond’s play “Smart People,” now installed at Writers Theatre, may be the playwright herself. Diamond has a slashing wit and a ringing command of language. Whether “Smart People” adds up to all that much, or indeed whether it’s as fresh and imaginative as its high energy suggests, are other matters. ★★★
Review: If power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, what shall we say about the allure – no, the infection — of wealth? Perhaps mammon is the perverse god whom man created, not in his own image but as his highest aspiration and ideal. Money, money, money, money, money. Get a good taste of it only to crave more. That’s the object lesson, the demonstration, of Ayad Akhtar’s wrenching, fearsome play “The Invisible Hand,” which now commands the little stage at Steep Theatre in a production directed by Audrey Francis that is well worth adding to your must-see list. ★★★★
11th in a series of season previews
Review: Ayad Akhtar’s third play, “The Who & The What,” which now occupies the stage at Victory Gardens, shares with its masterly predecessors — “Disgraced” and “The Invisible Hand” — the core issue of conflict between Muslim heritage and mainstream American culture. But this time, Akhtar’s work verges on ethnic sitcom. ★★
Analysis: To sit in the audience at the Metropolitan Opera, where a richly inflected production of John Adams’ 1991 opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” unfolded this fall, was to experience the opera itself coming into focus. “The Death of Klinghoffer” is already a different experience than it was at its Brussels premiere 23 years ago.
Review: Before hitting Broadway, Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced” bounded from its starting point at American Theater Company in Chicago to a run at Lincoln Center in New York. All three stagings have been the work of Chicago-based director Kimberly Senior, and the sequence has displayed a steady sharpening of her perspective, an ever firmer grasp on the conflict and torment that push the play and pull its anti-heroic protagonist toward inexorable ruin. The latest incarnation, at New York’s Lyceum Theatre, is nothing short of devastating. ★★★★★
Ninth in a series of season previews: Two world premieres anchor the 40th-anniversary season at Victory Gardens Theater, which opens with the Midwest premiere of “Rest,” company ensemble member Samuel D. Hunter’s story of senior citizens and their youthful attendants at a retirement home trapped by a blizzard and forced to confront the chasm between their generations. A second Midwest premiere follows with Colm Tóibín’s one-woman show “The Testament of Mary,” a re-imagined narrative by Mary on the last days of Jesus.
Report update: Carnegie Hall’s concerts for Nov. 1 have been cancelled as the crane remains unsecured, and more cancellations are expected. Broadway theaters have resumed their performance schedules, so it’s back to work for several Chicago-based performers. Many off-Broadway theaters in the downtown area are still without electricity and remain closed.
Meltdown at Amer. Theater Co. 5 stars!