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Harold Pinter

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NEWS
November 5, 1988
As technology has become more hyperactive, we the people have become more laid-back; as the deposits in its memory banks have become more fat, the deposits in man's memory bank have become more lean. Like Harold Pinter's servant, the machine has assumed the responsibilities that were once the master's. The latter has become the shell of a once thoughtful, though indolent, being. It is the Law Of Diminishing Enlightenment at work. - From the introduction to Studs Terkel's "The Great Divide"
NEWS
May 12, 1987 | By GENE SEYMOUR, Daily News Staff Writer
If Abbott and Costello's professional lives somehow managed to stretch into the early 1960s, Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter" would have been perfect for them. The pace wouldn't have matched, say, "Buck Privates," but the boys would have been too old for that kind of frenzied give-and-take. On the other hand, they probably would have been old enough to apply the right touch of addled merriment to this surreal, spaced-out brain teaser. The only people in the play are two hitmen - one headstrong and quick- tempered (John Travolta)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 1995 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
A man and a woman in a cafe, talking. Harold Pinter started with that image - and, being Harold Pinter, quickly set to wondering who the pair were and what they might be discussing. An old love affair, he decided, its embers long since cooled. And thus the playwright begat Betrayal, a play in nine short scenes that rewind backward (or mostly so) from that 1977 meeting to the evening nine years earlier when the affair began. The man and woman are married, and the woman's husband is the man's best friend.
NEWS
April 2, 1987 | By NELS NELSON, Daily News Theater Critic
By arrangement or coincidence, two contemporary plays dealing with the interrogation of political prisoners have opened in this city within three days of each other. Both productions - the Philadelphia Company's "Days & Nights Within," which bowed Sunday at Plays and Players, and "One for the Road," last night's entry via the Walnut's alternative Studio Theatre Series - are listed as events of the Voices of Dissent Festival celebrating freedom of speech in connection with the 200th anniversary commemoration of the U.S. Constitution.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 1997 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
There is, admittedly, a lot of humor in The Homecoming, Harold Pinter's strange play set among the members of a distasteful British family, but it should produce laughter of the reluctant, nervous variety. If an audience laughs freely and openly - in short, if it seems to be really enjoying itself at The Homecoming, as a Hedgerow Theatre audience was at a recent performance - it's an indication that something isn't quite right with the way it's being presented. What's missing from the Hedgerow production of this frustratingly inscrutable play is a sinister, brooding atmosphere, the sense that something unexpected - and probably violent - can erupt momentarily.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 1987 | By NELS NELSON, Daily News Theater Critic
Three one-act plays: "One for the Road" and "Applicant," by Harold Pinter, and "Audience," by Vaclav Havel. Directed by Andrew Lichtenberg, costumes by Christine A. Moore, lighting by Rebecca R. Klein, sound by Jeff Chestek. Presented by the Walnut Street Theatre Co. in the Studio 3 Theatre, 9th and Walnut streets, through April 12. By arrangement or coincidence, two contemporary plays dealing with the interrogation of political prisoners have opened in this city within three days of each other.
NEWS
September 20, 2006 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Meg and Petey, proprietors of a run-down English seaside boardinghouse, have this conversation early in The Birthday Party: "There's a new show coming to the Palace. . . . " "Stanley could have been in it, if it was on the pier. " "This is a straight show. " "What do you mean?" "No dancing or singing. " "What do they do then?" "Just talk. " Harold Pinter is one of the 20th-century masters of "just talk," and his power lies not so much in what his characters say, which is often banal or ridiculous, but in the silences, the pauses, the terrifyingly empty space around the speech.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 1998 | By Julia M. Klein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Sara and Richard, a middle-class English couple married for a decade, need extra titillation to enhance their sex life. A lover and a whore will do nicely. Deborah, the victim of sleeping sickness, is treated with a new drug and returns to the world she involuntarily abandoned. But while she has been trapped in the prison of herself, everything around her has changed. The two one-act plays that opened at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3 Wednesday night both depict awakenings - or at least changes of consciousness.
NEWS
June 4, 1991 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
Twenty-five years ago, after corresponding for three years with British playwright Harold Pinter, Cheltenham Center for the Arts finally got the right to present The Birthday Party in an East Coast premiere at its Cheltenham Playhouse. It was somewhat of a coup for the amateur theater to present a noteworthy play by a high-profile playwright, and as part of its 50th-anniversary celebration, the arts center is recognizing the event by presenting Pinter's play again. That background is helpful because, judging the production on its merits, there seems to be no other reason why Ken Marini, the theater's new artistic director, is staging it. Marini does not seem to have a point of view to offer on Pinter's difficult, deliberately enigmatic work.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2004 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The Vagabond Acting Troupe titles the Harold Pinter play it is presenting The Dumbwaiter, using the American form of the word for the small elevator that carries trays of food up and down between a dining room and kitchen. Unfortunately, the change obscures a pun fully intended by the British playwright. In England the spelling is "dumb waiter," and the two-word title makes it clear - at least when the play is over - that Pinter means it to refer not only to the food-service device, which he puts to mysterious and comical use, but also to one of the characters.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 2013 | By Howard Gensler
THERE ARE SO MANY GAG celebrity news sites on the Internet, Tattle never knows when we might be pulling a "Fox & Friends" and sourcing a farcical site (haven't done that) or sourcing a real site which mistakenly sourced a farcical site (may have done that). RadarOnline.com isn't a site you'd check out to learn more about the battle over the debt ceiling, but for celebrity gossip it usually has credible non-news. But this Radar story sounds as if it came from the Onion . Lindsay Lohan is considering opening her own rehab center.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2013 | By Howard Gensler
WHERE'S EVERYBODY GOING? A longtime victim of crippling social anxiety, New Kids on the Block 's Jonathan Knight left the stage when the group performed in New York last week. About 25 minutes into the show, Knight was supposed to solo on the new ballad "Survive You," but he couldn't get the words out. Donnie Wahlberg kidded him about the silence, and then Knight laughed and walked off. NKOTB finished the song and the show without him. Knight tweeted "I'm sorry . . . " soon thereafter.
NEWS
December 26, 2008 | By Carlin Romano INQUIRER BOOK CRITIC
Harold Pinter, 78, the fiercely political Nobel Prize-winning British playwright who used suspenseful plots, odd halting dialogue, and working-class settings full of menace to create puzzling yet riveting drama, died Wednesday of cancer in London. His second wife, biographer and historian Lady Antonia Fraser, made the announcement yesterday. For most devotees of serious theater, Mr. Pinter stood as the great British playwright of his generation. That stature more or less endured though he came up in English theater with such sterling talents as John Osborne and John Arden, and ended up eclipsed by the slightly younger Tom Stoppard, who kept pounding out first-class plays while Mr. Pinter's reputation suffered from a move to A-list screenwriting and somewhat hysteric anti-Americanism.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2008 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The question is, just who is unbalanced? Is it the patients in the sanitarium Harold Pinter has created in his play The Hothouse? We only hear about them from the staff and leader of the place - bizarre, impulsive characters who speak so strangely and intensely to one another. Are they unbalanced? Are we, the audience? Or is Lantern Theater, launching its 15th season with the play? Pinter himself? As his Hothouse characters might say: Certainly, yes. And no. Much can be interpreted in opposing ways in The Hothouse: All the characters seem crazy, yet once you're in their world, they seem normal.
NEWS
September 20, 2006 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Meg and Petey, proprietors of a run-down English seaside boardinghouse, have this conversation early in The Birthday Party: "There's a new show coming to the Palace. . . . " "Stanley could have been in it, if it was on the pier. " "This is a straight show. " "What do you mean?" "No dancing or singing. " "What do they do then?" "Just talk. " Harold Pinter is one of the 20th-century masters of "just talk," and his power lies not so much in what his characters say, which is often banal or ridiculous, but in the silences, the pauses, the terrifyingly empty space around the speech.
NEWS
October 14, 2005 | By Carlin Romano INQUIRER BOOK CRITIC
Harold Pinter, the English playwright whose command of clipped dialogue and artfully tuned silence helped define modernist theater and shape American dramatists such as David Mamet and Sam Shepard, has won the 2005 Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced yesterday. In its citation, the academy described Pinter, who celebrated his 75th birthday Monday, as "the foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century. " He is a writer, the academy declared, who "uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms," where "pretense crumbles.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2004 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The Vagabond Acting Troupe titles the Harold Pinter play it is presenting The Dumbwaiter, using the American form of the word for the small elevator that carries trays of food up and down between a dining room and kitchen. Unfortunately, the change obscures a pun fully intended by the British playwright. In England the spelling is "dumb waiter," and the two-word title makes it clear - at least when the play is over - that Pinter means it to refer not only to the food-service device, which he puts to mysterious and comical use, but also to one of the characters.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2002 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
"You're a bit depressed for a man with a birthday," Goldberg says to Stanley in The Birthday Party. It's an accurate observation; for Stanley, this has not been, nor will it be, a happy birthday. That is, if it even is his birthday. Stanley says it isn't; others insist that it is, and that is just one of many unresolved elements in Harold Pinter's famously obscure play being presented by the Lantern Theater Company at St. Stephen's Theater. If the production doesn't achieve the very difficult task of mining fully the possibilities of this deliberately obscure, often contradictory piece, it is a well-acted engrossing version that immerses the audience in its strange and unsettling world.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2000 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Harold Pinter has a reputation for writing enigmatic plays populated by mysterious people acting in puzzling, unexplained ways. This does not, however, describe Betrayal, revived by Lantern Theater in a sound production at St. Stephen's Theater. It is notable among the British playwright's most significant works for its familiar characters and situations and accessible language. That's not to say the 1978 play is entirely conventional. It is distinguished by one significant unusual touch: The story goes backward in time.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 1999 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Three people relive the past in Old Times, but Harold Pinter's play is not the nostalgic reminiscence such a situation might suggest. In this tough, merciless, very unsentimental play, Pinter's characters use the past as their chief weapon in a struggle for domination in the present. In the 1970 work by the British playwright - presented by the recently established Hunger Theatre at the Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 5 as its second production - the battle involves two persons vying for the affection of a third.
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