Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Rock 'n' Roll" Part Three

On the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion, Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star reflects on what a city remembers, what it tries to forget and how a new play by Tom Stoppard tied it all together for him.

"Rock 'n' Roll" Part Two

In The Observer, Sean O'Hagan comments upon the new play's "use of [erstwhile Pink Floyd singer] Syd Barrett as a symbol of lost innocence."

Monday, August 28, 2006

"Rock 'n' Roll" Part One

Stoppard's latest play, "Rock 'n' Roll," opened at London's Duke of York Theatre to hugely enthusiastic reviews in June. I've accumulated many links to reviews of the production and background pieces since then. It's time I started putting them to work. So:

Here's Vaclav Havel talking about the play.

Don't Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em

Speaking of "R&G," the latest production at the Fringe substituted cocaine for marijuana as Rosencrantz's drug of choice, due to a much-publicized ban on smoking. (Why R. was being depicted as a pothead is unclear to me.)

A Mixed "R&G" Review in the Washington Post

The headline -- "A Slow Death for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" -- pretty much says it all about the critical consensus for the Longacre Lea production.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Latest Cast Details for "The Coast of Utopia"

Amy Irving and Jason Butler Harner are the latest major additions to the American premiere of "The Coast of Utopia," slated to open at Lincoln Center on October 17.

If You Happen to Be in the Twin Cities on 12/18...

Stoppard will appear at The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis as this year's Global Voice speaker.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

No One's Queuing up for Joyce's "Exiles"

Why don't great novelists makes great playwrights, and vice versa? This article from the Guardian Unlimited delves into that issue. In passing, Stoppard's "Lord Malquist and Mr Moon" is described as "far too slick and ingenious to carry any weight: that boulevardier's juggling, so delightful and paradoxical in the plays, just looks cheap on paper."

President of the London Library

Apparently, Stoppard has recently been appointed president of the London Library in St James Square, founded by Thomas Carlyle and friends. In this article from All About Jewish Theatre, he discusses his Jewish roots, his love of books and his methods of writing while staying at hotels.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Special Powers

Last week, the Sunday Chronicle featured my reviews of the latest from Tim Powers, Elizabeth Bear and Kim Newman.

Catching Up

It's been a while, hasn't it? Here's the first of two long-ago review columns. I cover the latest from Marta Acosta, Kit Reed and Vernor Vinge.