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Christopher Durang

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NEWS
March 24, 1988 | By NELS NELSON, Daily News Theater Critic
Christopher Durang's latest commentary on everyday life in America in the penultimate decade of the 20th century - the two-character play "Laughing Wild," which opened last night in the Second Space Theatre at the Society Hill Playhouse - takes its title from a line in a Thomas Gray poem that reads, "And moody Madness laughing wild amid severest woe. " Samuel Beckett quoted the line to wonderful effect in "Happy Days. " Durang virtually bases his whole play on it. The "severest woe" belongs to a woman drifting in and out of dementia, who utters the line from time to time like an old refrain, alternately laughing and weeping as if to pound home the message.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 1987 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Beyond Therapy, a fierce farce based on Christopher Durang's play, defies analysis - in both senses of the expression. Though deftly cast, with comic neurotics Jeff Goldblum and Julie Hagerty as shrink-dependent singles who find each other through the personals, Robert Altman's film has the disconnectedness of a breakdown. Durang's lampoon of therapy was a comedy crackup; Altman's version is a crackup of the mental kind. The director's impressive roster of recent stage-to-film translations - Secret Honor, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and Fool for Love - interpreted the plays, adding a dimension they did not have on stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2007 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
Jews and Christmas. They go together like - well, let's just get it out there: They don't go together. And since this is the second year in a row that I've left a Bristol Riverside Theatre holiday show - in this case Christopher Durang's Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge - feeling personally insulted, I hereby issue a plea for the company to please leave the Hebrews out of your future yuletide festivities. Bristol means well, they really do, and they deserve credit for their annual attempt to avoid the Scrooge cliche by mounting productions that turn the Dickens classic on its ear. In this case, a typically careening Durang script zips around A Christmas Carol like a wild pinball game, with an African American ghost - who, by the way, may have a few of her own complaints about Durang's stereotyping - leading the infamous humbug to the Cratchits' Airstream trailer, among other off-kilter destinations.
NEWS
March 24, 1988 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
Laughing Wild is built around a confrontation over a can of tuna fish in a supermarket, and in terms of a theatrical meal, tuna fish is what Christopher Durang gives his audience. Laughing Wild, which opened last night at Society Hill Playhouse, is hardly a play at all. Rather, it is a loosely connected trio of sketches that resist Durang's straining effort to link his two characters and their problems. Durang's meal may not be a success, but he has put some quality ingredients into it. As in many of the works by the author of Beyond Therapy and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, there are in Laughing Wild some very humorous scenes and some very funny lines to be savored.
NEWS
December 4, 1986 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christopher Durang obviously took the title of Baby With the Bathwater from the adage "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater," but that does not necessarily mean that he intended any connection between the old saying and the play. Oh, a baby (actually a doll) does have a major role in the play, and there is a basinette, although the baby is never given a bath, but the meaning of the adage - don't get rid of what is good along with what is not - seems to have no pertinence to the play.
NEWS
December 3, 2012 | By Toby Zinman, FOR THE INQUIRER
Irreverence, they name is Christopher Durang. Kicking the crutch out from under Tiny Tim, Durang's Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge , a spoof of Dickens' famously sentimental A Christmas Caro l, is not nearly as amusing as it should be. And this is despite New City Stage's having assembled a large and impressive Equity cast. The show limps along (oops, sorry, Tiny Tim) under the slow and plodding (oops - did it again) direction of Michael Brophy. The idea is funny.
NEWS
March 24, 2014 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
BLOCKBUSTER musicals, a world premiere or two, the arrival of the Tony Awards' 2013 best play - yeah, we've got those. The Kimmel Center's Broadway series, source of crowd-pleasing "bus-and-truck" musicals, brings in "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Wizard of Oz. " Local productions of note range from the Wilma's "Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq," a new play by Pulitzer Prizer Paula Vogel, to InterAct Theatre Company's "Down Past Passyunk," based...
NEWS
February 21, 2008 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Here's another absurd labor of love by the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, a theater company devoted to lesser-known works of the theater of the absurd, a dated subspecies of drama. Tina Brock, the artistic director and driving force behind this niche group has rounded up the usual suspects - Beckett, Durang and Ionesco - only to prove that sometimes little-known works are little known for good reason, despite the casts' solid performances. Three short plays make up the 75-minute program.
NEWS
March 21, 1988 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
If Christopher Durang were anything like his plays, he would be irreverent, bitingly sarcastic, quick with a quip, flamboyantly funny and, beneath the humor, frustrated and angry. That is the Christopher Durang one imagines writing plays such as Beyond Therapy, which skewers psychotherapists with deadly thrusts; Baby With the Bathwater, which rakes well-meaning but unintelligent parents over the coals, and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, in which he attacks, with a savagery many Roman Catholics cannot forgive, the teachings of the church.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
There's a strange sort of bookending between Philadelphia Theatre Company's 40th-season opener, Lisa D'Amour's Detroit , and last season's production of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike . Where Durang's characters examined contemporary America through the eyes of an elder generation filled with nostalgia and disdain for today's careless youth, D'Amour brings us up to date, in real time, with the American Dream's death...
NEWS
July 25, 2014
YOU SAY you'd love premium seats for "The Book of Mormon," the Broadway smasheroo musical comedy that Tuesday begins a seven-week run at the Forrest Theater, but you simply can't swing (or justify) paying hundreds of dollars for a perch near the stage? Well, how does $27 sound? That's right, $27. Total. Heck, that's usually what you fork over for the laughably larcenous "fees" that are usually extorted from live entertainment consumers by ticketing agencies. And, no, they aren't counterfeit.
NEWS
July 11, 2014
WITH THE wonderful Marilu Henner heading the cast, there's already enough of a reason to see Christopher Durang 's 2013 Tony-winning comedy, "Vanya and Masha and Sonia and Spike" at New Hope's Bucks County Playhouse. But if you still need a nudge, know that you'll also be seeing Durang's debut in the role of Vanya. The July 17 to Aug. 10 run marks the first time that Durang, 65, who has sporadically performed for decades, will be on the boards since 2005, when he co-starred with Tony recipient Debra Monk in a Boston production of his two-person "Laughing Wild.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 11, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
It used to be that everybody wanted to be a director; now it turns out that everybody actually wants to be a playwright. This week, Barrymore-winning actor James Ijames, 33, will see the opening of his new play, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington , in a production by Flashpoint Theatre Company at the Off Broad Street Theatre. And while his play is running here, he'll be down in Baltimore performing in a play written by another actor, West Philly's Colman Domingo, whose Wild With Happy is at Center Stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Johnny Depp's 'chick ring' The rumors are true: Johnny Depp , 50, is engaged to marry the remarkably sexy Amber Heard , who is younger and bouncier by 23 years. Depp was sporting a diamond ring Monday when he chatted with reporters in Beijing. They asked if he's engaged. He said, "The fact that I'm wearing a chick's ring on my finger is probably a dead giveaway. Not very subtle. " To say Depp is engaged to marry is an exaggeration. Sure, he actually was wed once, from '83 to '85 to makeup artist Lori Anne Allison . But since then he's been a serial fiancé: many engagements, but no weddings.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 29, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
Christopher Durang has many fans, not least of whom granted his Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike a Tony Award for best play in 2013. A longtime resident of Bucks County, he's also a mainstay around these parts. Princeton's McCarter Theatre premiered the comedy in 2012, and with this production, Philadelphia Theatre Company continues its long association with him. At its best, Durang's satirical vision is sharp, merciless, and hilarious. At its worst, he aims low at easy targets.
NEWS
March 24, 2014 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
BLOCKBUSTER musicals, a world premiere or two, the arrival of the Tony Awards' 2013 best play - yeah, we've got those. The Kimmel Center's Broadway series, source of crowd-pleasing "bus-and-truck" musicals, brings in "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Wizard of Oz. " Local productions of note range from the Wilma's "Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq," a new play by Pulitzer Prizer Paula Vogel, to InterAct Theatre Company's "Down Past Passyunk," based...
NEWS
December 3, 2012 | By Toby Zinman, FOR THE INQUIRER
Irreverence, they name is Christopher Durang. Kicking the crutch out from under Tiny Tim, Durang's Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge , a spoof of Dickens' famously sentimental A Christmas Caro l, is not nearly as amusing as it should be. And this is despite New City Stage's having assembled a large and impressive Equity cast. The show limps along (oops, sorry, Tiny Tim) under the slow and plodding (oops - did it again) direction of Michael Brophy. The idea is funny.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2012 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Brush up your Chekhov - Christopher Durang's newest comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike , is premiering at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton and on its way to New York's Lincoln Center. It stars Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce in roles perfect for them, along with a group of less-famous-but-just-as-fine actors under Nicholas Martin's featherlight direction. Durang has written some hilarious parodies (my favorite is Desire Desire Desire , a send-up of Streetcar )
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