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Archive: August, 2011

POSTED: Monday, August 15, 2011, 1:42 PM

Oklahoma! Arena Stage, 1101 6th St. ,Washington, D.C. Through Oct.2. Tickets $61-106  Information: 202-488-3300 or www.arenastage.org

Oklahoma!

By Toby Zinman

Toby Zinman @ 1:42 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 2:52 AM
From left, Thomas Raniszewski, Peter Danzig (Stan Heleva)

By Howard Shapiro
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Is acting a form of entrapment? If you’re in the audience and you buy into a play, the answer is clearly, yes: You’ve been fooled, and a willing participant.

Is entrapment a form of acting? That’s a tougher question, posed by Tom Jacobson’s play The Twentieth-Century Way, which uses an incident in Long Beach, Calif., almost a hundred years ago to explore the question.

I was not entirely entrapped by the play that opened Wednesday night at Walking Fish Theatre in Kensington, although Karen Case Cook’s stark production became more impressive by degrees as it unfolded. But Jacobson’s play, which tries to do too much and takes about 10 minutes too long to do it, is provocative. While I was watching it, I found it sometimes silly and other times compelling — not an unquestionable success or an outright failure. Yet after I left the theater, I mulled over its themes and what it challenged us to consider, and I began to appreciate it.

howard shapiro @ 2:52 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Toby Zinman's night job since 2006 is theater critic for the Inquirer. She also is a contributing writer for Variety and American Theatre magazine. Her day job: Prize-winning prof at UArts, author of four books about four playwrights (Rabe, McNally, Miller, Albee), and doer of scholarly deeds (winner of five NEH grants, Fulbright lecturer at Tel Aviv University, visiting professor in China). Her 'weekend' job as a travel writer provides adventure: dogsledding in the Yukon, ziplining in Belize, walking coast-to-coast across England, and cowboying in the Australian Outback.


Wendy Rosenfield has written freelance features and theater reviews for The Inquirer since 2006. She was theater critic for the Philadelphia Weekly from 1995 to 2001, after which she enjoyed a five-year baby-raising sabbatical. She serves on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, was a participant in the Bennington Writer's Workshop, a 2008 NEA/USC Fellow in Theater and Musical Theater, and twice was guest critic for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Region II National Critics Institute. She received her B.A. from Bennington College and her M.L.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She also is a fiction writer, was proofreader to a swami, publications editor for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and spends all her free time working out and driving people places. Follow her on Twitter @WendyRosenfield.


Jim Rutter has reviewed theater for The Inquirer since September, 2011. Since 2006, he covered dance, theater and opera for the Broad Street Review, and has also written for many suburban newspapers, including The Main Line Times. In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a Fellowship in Arts Journalism. Thames & Hudson released his updated and revised version of Ballet and Modern Dance in June, 2012. From 1998 to 2005, he taught philosophy and logic at Drexel, and then Widener University. He also coaches Olympic Weightlifting for Liberty Barbell, and has competed at the national level in that sport since 2001.


Merilyn Jackson regularly writes on dance for The Inquirer and other publications. She specializes in the arts, literature, food, travel, and Eastern European culture and politics. In 2001, she was dance critic in residence at the Festival of Contemporary Dance in Bytom, Poland; in 2005, she received an NEA Critics’ Fellowship to Duke University’s Institute for Dance Criticism. She likes to say that dance was her first love but that when she discovered writing she began to cheat on dance. Now that she writes about dance, she’s made an honest woman of herself, although she also writes poetry.

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