How Shakespeare’s Heroines Evolved From One-Dimensional to Feminist

It’s the Bard’s birthday! Some celebrate the day by inserting “thee”s and “forsooth”s into their speech, and others by gathering Shakespeare’s quips and aphorisms. But there’s another way to honor his legacy, and that is to take a look at his treatment of women, which might be very instructive to some of our more boorish and misogynist culture creators today. Shakespeare was once just like them, but he evolved into something far greater. … Read More

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Three Women Walk Into a Half-Naked Comedy Show About Rape…

Adrienne Truscott’s one-woman show Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! is part burlesque performance-art, part stand-up comedy act, part feminist conversation-piece. But if there’s one thing the self-described evening of rape jokes is not, it’s shy. … Read More

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From Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ to ‘It Follows': Tracing the Evolution of STD as Metaphor

When Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts — whose main characters include adulterers, syphilitics, and, worst of all, cowardly priests — first premiered in 1882, it elicited an uncannily perfect critical response. The play, which is a virulent attack on the hypocritical moralities of the devout Victorian Norwegian bourgeoisie, had detractors competing to embody that which it critiqued: the surprisingly uncritical rush to stifle public (and blasphemous forms of private) sexuality. These responses to the play were so condemnatory that you’d think Ibsen had catapulted used, syphilis-smeared condoms into the audience. … Read More

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Jake Gyllenhaal to Star as Florist/Murderer Seymour in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at New York’s City Center

Jake Gyllenhaal proved, with Nightcrawler, his aptitude for playing horrific dweebs. (Of course, across his very full resume — to… Read More

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The ‘Groundhog Day’ Broadway Musical Is Real, and Is Coming in Early 2017

Talking about a Groundhog Day musical feels like something out of Groundhog Day itself — Broadway is so overloaded with musical adaptations of films that… Read More

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David Bowie is Co-Writing an Off-Broadway Musical Based on ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’

The New York Times reports that David Bowie is returning to theater. In the 1980s, he played the title role in… Read More

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Jason Alexander Will Take Over for Larry David on Broadway

It’s a big day for Seinfeld-related pop culture news. First we got word that Julia Louis-Dreyfus may be … Read More

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Carole King Stage Musical ‘Beautiful’ Is Being Made into a Biopic

Sony is turning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, based on the life of the eponymous singer-songwriter, into a biopic. Like… Read More

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‘Cymbeline,’ Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet,’ and Why Shakespeare Is So Hard to Adapt for the Screen

When a director does Shakespeare today, it seems there are three options most commonly selected, each of which has its drawbacks. The first is to do a loyal interpretation, maintaining the original setting and time specified by the Bard (for if you’re the type that chooses loyalty, you also may use this insufferable term), but risking the adaptation seeming like an ostentatiously astute encapsulation of a period and lifestyle that’s now irrelevant. The second is to set it in the present day,  underscoring the barbarism, archaism, and/or hilarity of a current societal norm by aligning it with Elizabethan text, but also risking bifurcating the text and its original meaning. The third is to set it somewhere and sometime else completely, avoiding the distraction of current day trappings (Lady Macbeth discovers Seinfeld emojis!), not to mention the equally distracting trappings of Elizabethan imitation (vocal fry is especially noticeable when it’s coming from a ruff-encased throat). … Read More

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