Twice a month, critics Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal; Elisabeth Vincentelli, contributor to The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker; and Peter Marks of The Washington Post get together to talk about what’s going on in the American theatre.
This week they celebrate a happy first birthday—or, as Terry says incredulously this episode, “Have we really been doing this for a year?” Yes, they have! To celebrate the show’s one-year anniversary, our hosts take on a favorite punching bag of theatre criticism: the jukebox musical. Is it pure populism or can it be brilliant? Or both? They discuss that in relation to a new Bob Dylan jukebox musical currently playing at the Public Theater, Girl from the North Country (it made two of our critics cry!).
Then the critics discuss another recurring theatrical theme: the British invasion of the American theatre. Girl from the North Country originated in London, and so did The Nap, The Ferryman, and others currently running and still set to open on Broadway. In Terry’s opinion it’s down to “accent envy”—we can’t get enough of those British-isms!
This episode closes with a tally of shows the critics love and want you to see: I Was Most Alive with You by Craig Lucas at Playwrights Horizons Off Broadway, Buried Child at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey by Sam Shepard, and the Public Theater’s regional tour of the Pulitzer-winning Sweat by Lynn Nottage.