The star of this mesmerizing production is director Marianne Elliott. Her co-star is video designer Finn Ross. Of course, Alexander Sharp is superb as the intense, erratic, edgy, wound-up Christopher, the 15-year-old autistic youth whose mind works like a machine but who can’t get personal connections in gear. He is literal, as precise as math. “Where is heaven?” he asks the pastor. He speaks in great detail but doesn’t like metaphors, because they obscure reality. When a cop says, “Park yourself,” he goes “beep! beep!” and moves backwards.
If you thought television invented sitcoms, with nutty family members and their wacky friends, you are wrong. Just go back to 1936, when George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart presented “You Can’t Take it With You.”
Maybe Americans liked it, because it took their minds off the Depression. The Pulitzer jury gave it a prize, which I think was stretching. It’s occasionally a cute and quirky play, but never a great play. Makes one wonder why director Scott Ellis wanted to revive it. Other than to show where sitcoms came from.
Oct 6, 2014 – Mikhail Khodorkovsky is “doing” the U.S. He appeared on big-time celebrity TV and I saw him today at the Council on Foreign Relations. After some dicey years as a Russian “oligarch” (a euphemism for a corrupt guy who loots the Russian patrimony), he became a “reformer” and was jailed by Vladimir Putin, serving ten years for tax evasion and related crimes. (Other oligarchs did the same crimes, but they got a pass, because they didn’t challenge Putin.)
Yes, he was targeted for political reasons, but what about what he actually did? Siphon profit out of his companies via offshore shell companies, thereby cheating minority shareholders and (via tax evasion) the Russian people. (details below). How does he deal with it?
It creeps up on you, this fascinating play that highlights a gripping Kathleen Chalfant, which at first seems like something from the years’ ago “ban the bomb” movement. And then you realize that it is an up-to-the-minute chilling warning of a threat hanging over our heads. And you wonder why it disappeared from the media.
India ink may be indelible, but this Tom Stoppard play fades from memory. The 1995 work, based on a 1991 radio drama, is a confused, flat attempt to deal with the confluence of cultures in a colonial era, this one the British rule over India.