Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Ostermeier’

Theater review: THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN

November 21, 2010

My review of The Marriage of Maria Braun at the BAM Next Wave Festival is available for reading on CultureVulture.net.

“Perhaps taking a page from Flemish director Ivo van Hove…Thomas Ostermeier has stripped the Fassbinder film down to its essential narrative and staged it with five actors on a set full of mismatched armchairs and tables that looks vaguely like a hotel lobby or airport lounge….Ultimately, the piece seemed dry, visually drab, and perversely stingy. I think I’m most grateful to the production for encouraging me to go back and look at Fassbinder’s film on DVD, which also includes fascinating commentary by fellow director Wim Wenders and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus as well as a 2003 interview with Hannah Schygulla.”

You can read the whole review online here.

Performance diary: Ragtime

January 7, 2010


January 6 –
Ragtime closes on Sunday, having gotten a week’s reprieve because ticket sales picked up. David Zinn invited me to see it with him. We’d both seen the original production at the Ford Center, directed by Frank Galati, and didn’t care for it. (See my review here.) Hope springs eternal. Maybe director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge found something thrilling to do with this mediocre adaptation of E. L. Doctorow’s fantastic novel (book by Terrence McNally, score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens)….? Wrong. I can see how it would be perfectly acceptable at the Kennedy Center in Washington, or anyplace accustomed to touring productions of mediocre Broadway musicals with second- or third-tier casts. But there wasn’t enough to hold our interest past intermission.

It did give me an opportunity to wear my vintage handmade three-piece pin-striped wool suit (above), a look that Herr Zinn approvingly dubbed “mean little gangster” (he’s become a big fan of Jersey Shore). We went for a drink at Park Blue, which – sadly – has closed, and ended up down the street at Seasonal, the Viennese wine bar, which was cozy and quiet. I heard all about his post-Christmas trip to Berlin and Thomas Ostermeier’s spectacular production of Hamlet at the Schaubuhne, which I hope Joe Melillo brings to BAM.

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