Janie Howland

Latest Articles


Parallel worlds

Playwright Karen Zacarias would seem to have taken long drafts of Tom Stoppard Elixir.
Legacy of Light at the Lyric; Not Enough Air from Nora; The Island of Slaves from Orfeo Group
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 19, 2010

Brush up your Porter

With its supreme Cole Porter score and its robustly entertaining book by Sam and Bella Spewack, the 1948 Kiss Me, Kate is surely one of the half-dozen best Broadway musicals.
Kiss Me, Kate at the Lyric
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  September 18, 2009

Daddys and lovers

The Lyric gives Williams's Cat new life; Dirty Dancing on stage
The Lyric gives Williams's Cat new life; Dirty Dancing on stage
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 19, 2009

Rough justice

Except that it's a black farce, not a tragedy, you could call The Lieutenant of Inishmore Martin McDonagh's Titus Andronicus .
The Lieutenant of Inishmore; How Many Miles to Basra?; Legally Blonde the Musical
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  November 04, 2008

Undiscovered country

A young woman steps off the Elevator Styx into a Hades ruled by Pee-wee Herman.
New Rep’s Eurydice, the ART’s Let Me Down Easy, SpeakEasy’s The Light in the Piazza
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  September 24, 2008

Easy to love

Given the water wings of a viable performance, one-person shows about historical figures tend to sink or swim on the raconteurship of their subjects.
According to Tip debuts at New Rep; the ART sings Cole Porter
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  July 01, 2008


Learning curves

From Mr. Chips to Miss Jean Brodie, charismatic teachers have been the stuff of drama.
  SpeakEasy’s The History Boys; Trinity’s Paris by Night
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 06, 2008

Unkindest cuts

Those who went to high school in the 1960s may feel a wave of déjà vu at the American Repertory Theatre’s Julius Caesar .
Julius Caesar  at the ART; The Scene at Lyric Stage
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 19, 2008

Rabbit forming

For further indication of the darkening zeitgeist, consider the personae of imaginary rabbits.
Donnie Darko, plus The Bluest Eye and To Kill a Mockingbird
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  November 08, 2007

The witching hour

WICKED is a very different witch hunt from the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel on which it is based.
Wicked , plus The Atheist , A Streetcar Named Desire , Zanna, Don’t!
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  September 18, 2007

Impossible dreamer

If it’s “The Impossible Dream” you’ve come for, you’ll hit paydirt.
The Lyric Stage resurrects Man of La Mancha
By IRIS FANGER  |  September 12, 2007


Teen spirit

The Williamstown Theatre Festival revival of Emlyn Williams’s The Corn Is Green marks the first time this play has been trotted out in years.
The Corn Is Green at Williamstown; Romeo and Juliet at the Publick
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  August 07, 2007

Sick comedy

Lisa Kron calls her “multi-character theatrical exploration of issues of health and illness both in an individual and in a community” Well .
Well at the Huntington; Fat Pig at SpeakEasy
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 20, 2007

Facing up

“ Facing off over Facebook ” contained some very valuable information about university administrators’ increased role in monitoring students’ online activities.
Letters to the Boston editor, March 9, 2007
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 07, 2007


Oliver Twist gets the Brecht treatment in Neil Bartlett’s new adaptation at American Repertory Theatre.
ART’s Oliver Twist , the New Rep’s Orson’s Shadow
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  March 01, 2007

Freedom fighters

Anglo-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, which is getting its area premiere at New Repertory Theatre (at the Arsenal Center for the Arts through October 1), is a superficially clever play.
The Pillowman at New Rep; 1776 at Lyric Stage
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  September 12, 2006


Eternal questions

Bard or beard — that is the question.
The Beard of Avon at the Publick; Happy Days at Gloucester
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  July 11, 2006

Five By Tenn, Olly’s Prison win big

The Boston Theater Critics Association put on its annual Elliot Norton Awards fandango Monday night, intended to honor the best on local stages as well as the memory of their namesake, dean of American theater critics Elliot Norton, who clocked 48 years
The Elliot Norton envelope please
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 24, 2006

Song and substance

The wheels of a dream are spinning New Repertory Theatre into a new era with its production of Ragtime .
Ragtime and Caroline, or Change
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 10, 2006