Scenes From an Execution OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 7, 2015
    Closing:
    August 9, 2015

    Theater: The 16th Street Theatre / 330 W. 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

    Synopsis: 

    The eternal battle between the artist and the State in Howard Barker's passionate story of the Venetian painter Galactia, and her collision with the Doge of Venice.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Scenes From an Execution

    ‘Scenes From an Execution’ Features Jan Maxwell as a Difficult Artist

    Ben Brantley

    July 15, 2015: Please, oh please, say that this isn’t goodbye. Jan Maxwell, who recently told Playbill that she was retiring from the stage, is providing audiences with a heartbreaking display of what they’ll be missing when she’s gone. I’d almost call her work in Howard Barker’s “Scenes From an Execution,” which opened on Wednesday night at Atlantic Stage 2 in a first-rate Potomac Theater Project production, the performance of her career. I say “almost” because Ms. Maxwell, a five-time Tony nominee, tends to inspire breathless and definitive pronouncements in whatever her latest role happens to be. That’s been true whether she was portraying a cartoon villainess in an overblown Broadway children’s frolic (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”), a jaded New York hostess in a Stephen Sondheim musical (“Follies”) or a highly histrionic actress in a classic satire of life in the theater (“The Royal Family”). If “Scenes From an Execution” is really Ms. Maxwell’s valedictory performance (and might we be allowed a hopeful skepticism?), then she’s going out in a blaze of fireworks. And perhaps it’s appropriate that it should be in the part of a raging, uncompromising artist, as seductive as she is abrasive, whom the world does its best to wear down into banality.

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