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Photo: Sara Krulwich

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: How to Transcend a Happy Marriage

March 20, 2017: In 1969, two married couples took off their clothes and jumped into one accommodatingly wide bed. Thus did Paul Mazursky’s satirical film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice claim a little piece of cinematic immortality, while putting a knowing finger on a middle-class American pulse that throbbed with both lust and anxiety about the sexual revolution that was said to be sweeping the country. Ah, the clumsiness, the tortured soul-searching, the naïveté of those heady, experimental times. People today of course are far more at ease with their bodies and their vast potential for erotic self-expression. Why, just look at Paul and George and Michael and Jane, the uneasily swinging spouses of Sarah Ruhl’s How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, which opened on Monday night at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center.

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MOST RECENT REVIEWS

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: The Terrifying

March 19, 2017: The unseen but very audible creature that runs rampant in The Terrifying — Julia Jarcho’s lively exhumation of the id within the stories we tell to scare ourselves — is said to have many fearsome qualities. There’s its fecal breath, for starters, and its tusks, which “are so rough as they catch on your guts.” But the description that leeches on to the memory after the lights have come up at the Abrons Arts Center, where this maiden production from Ms. Jarcho’s newly formed Minor Theater opened on Sunday night, is that of what it (or It) does to your mind. Once It has had its way with you, “your thoughts are just little wet brains in its mouth.”

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BROADWAY REVIEW: Arthur Miller’s The Price

March 16, 2017: Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” from 1968, is a tragedy disguised as a rummage sale. It plucks the slipcovers off the autobiographical material that Miller worked over for so much of his career — what sons owe to fathers, what brothers owe to each other, what the world owes to men of reasonable integrity. Women might owe things, too, but that was rarely Miller’s concern.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Joan of Arc: Into the Fire

March 15, 2017: Is it heresy to observe that saints are bores? O.K., maybe not in stained glass windows or old master paintings, where they’re frozen in transcendent agony amid instruments of torture. But as the focus of dynamic narratives, saints tend to be as tedious as most monomaniacs. They’re always so sure of their purpose and their destiny, so immune to argument and temptation. Where’s the suspense, the conflict, the drama in such single-mindedness?

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Sundown, Yellow Moon

March 14, 2017: To love is to worry in Sundown, Yellow Moon, Rachel Bonds’s quietly perceptive portrait of a family in simmering crisis at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. The characters in this beautifully acted production from Ars Nova and WP Theater, directed with probing sensitivity by Anne Kauffman, are united by a web of mutual concern that is as exasperating as it is reassuring.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: The Light Years

March 13, 2017: Theater artists, like many creators of fiction, share certain prerogatives with divinity. “Let there be light,” they say, and a universe radiates into existence on a dark stage. That dictum is the force behind the plot and presentation of The Light Years, the Debate Society’s leisurely and copiously detailed contemplation of the quest for illumination. But in the production that opened on Monday night at Playwrights Horizons, the process of bringing brightness to the world isn’t nearly as smooth as it is in the Book of Genesis.

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