Theater Talk: Modern Drama Trifecta; Big Bang's Simon Helberg in "Jenkins;" Bonnie Marranca speaks

Aug 26, 2016

The Stratford Festival is in full swing and, like The Shaw Festival, continues well into the early fall. Ibsen's play JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN was a highlight of a recent visit. Occasionally Theater Talk mentions particularly fine acting moments in the movies, and FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS has several, and not all by Meryl Streep! Locally, Buffalo hosted a prestigious theater critic, Bonnie Marranca, at Hallwalls, and you can hear about that as well.

Joseph Ziegler (left) as Vilhalm Foldal and Scott Wentworth as John Gabriel Borkman.
Credit stratfordfestival.ca

Back from the Stratford Festival (formerly the Stratford Shakespeare Festival) Peter completed the "Masters of Modern Drama Trifecta" (as Anthony called it). At Stratford, Ibsen's JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN deals with a powerful man brought low in a financial crisis.  Meanwhile at The Shaw Festival in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario, Strindberg's DANCE OF DEATH contemplates the ignominy of a military man brought low by old age, and Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA also asks serious questions about anyone's ability to control his or her own destiny.

Simon Helberg as Cosme McMoon in the movie FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS nails an Oscar-worthy performance

Anthony saw the current movie FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant with what he describes as an Oscar-winning performance by TV's "The Big Bang Theory" actor Simon Helberg (Howard Walowitz) who appears as Cosme McMoon in some tender and beautifully nuanced moments.

Theater Critic extraordinaire Bonnie Marranca spoke at Hallwalls last week.

In town to talk at Hallwalls in conjunction with Road Less Traveled's installation at Silo City, theater critic Bonnie Marranca is a Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and winner of the George Jean Nathan award for criticism. Forty years ago she founded the Peforming Arts Journal and last week spoke about the problems of trying to be "cutting edge" if you don't have a sense of history.