Latest Articles


This Bard’s grisly, but not bloody

Bring out your dead
Bring out your dead
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 08, 2013

Last writes: Brustein explains Shakespeare’s will

It's one of the intriguing whydunnits of literary history: what possessed Shakespeare to leave his wife, Anne Hathaway, no more than his "second-best bed"?

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 22, 2013

Dwayne's Macbeth

So foul and fair a day I ain't never seen ...
By DAVID KISH  |  January 11, 2013

Leigh and Melissa’s delightful Hamlette

A two-person female Hamlet set in contrast to the drudgery of office work?
It takes two
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 28, 2012

Trinity Rep’s superb King Lear

It's not a new thing, the complications of elder care.
A triumphant tragedy
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 21, 2012

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company takes on Coriolanus

The man of the hour is running for high office, and he has the support of the party faithful and the moneyed interests, but before he can claim victory, he must ingratiate himself with the unwashed masses, even as rival interests conspire to blacken his
The body politic
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 10, 2012


Monmouth’s Henry IV is stunning

Shakespeare's Henry IV is considered one of his "histories," as it enacts actual acts and battles of the British king who deposed Richard II.
No Shallow Hal
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 03, 2012

Fenix Theatre face the challenges of the Scottish play

Theater's al fresco season is upon us, and once again the Fenix Theatre Company regales us with a Shakespeare classic as we nestle against a hillside in Deering Oaks Park.
They dare do all
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 27, 2012

Colonial’s Macbeth in Wilcox Park

The dolorous Dane provides endless fascination and those star-crossed lovers will never run out of fans, but for sheer density of dramatic emotional conflict nothing beats Macbeth , as the Colonial Theatre is demonstrating in Westerly's Wilcox Park thro
Murder, he wrote
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 20, 2012

RI Shakespeare Theatre’s As You Like It

Shakespeare never wrote a better comedy than As You Like It .
Simply the best
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 08, 2012

ASP tackles Troilus and Cressida

"All's false in love and war" might be a maxim for Troilus and Cressida.
Farewell romance
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 04, 2012


TRIST’s delightful twist on Twelfth Night

From the earliest days of the Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater (TRIST) in the 1970s, its founder and director Bob Colonna has been one of the state's keenest and cleverest interpreters of the Bard.
Googling the Bard
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  March 02, 2012

Review: Coriolanus

In a line of fascist-style stagings of the Bard from Orson Welles's 1937 black-shirted Julius Caesar to Richard Loncraine's brown-shirted Richard III (1998), Ralph Fiennes sets his lean and hungry take on Shakespeare's tragedy in a mo dern-day war zone,
Filming the Bard
By PETER KEOUGH  |  February 17, 2012

Trinity’s delicately balanced Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice gives modern audiences a lot to think and talk about — including, we can forget, a surprising amount of comedy. But the main concern is it being such a head-shaking case study of the era's anti-Semitism.
The light and the dark
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 17, 2012

Midsummer gets a twist, in midwinter

When I learned that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was to be staged in frigid early winter, I wondered if the production's angle might be unabashed irony.
Steamy dreaming
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 20, 2012

Raise the curtain

There's plenty of theater to keep us warm in Rhode Island through the winter. From the professional companies to the colleges, there are shows for every taste and mood.
From classic to contemporary
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 30, 2011


The Gamm’s entrancing Hamlet

For many years, Tony Estrella is perhaps the strongest off-Trinity actor around here. One performance in particular — his 1997 Hamlet title role for Alias Stage — has had devoted theatergoers talking about it ever since.
The stuff of greatness
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 11, 2011

Les Misérables leads the charge at PPAC

I'm not sure whether Les Misérables is defiantly and respectably uncontrite as a melodrama or merely unabashedly so. Does this operatic musical rush with such defiant conviction across the mire of melodrama that it doesn't get stuck?
Les Misérables leads the charge at PPAC
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 29, 2011
short take anonymous

Review: Anonymous

For most folks, if Shakespeare didn't write those plays, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Nor does it seem a likely topic for Roland Emmerich, whose films usually are about the end of the world.
Absurd entertainment
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 28, 2011

ASP's Twelfth Night enters laughing

The challenge in any production of Twelfth Night isn't the love triangle.
Clown show
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  October 14, 2011

Brustein takes another look at Will's world

Call it the revenge of Tom Stoppard. Considered a great contemporary playwright by most theater writers, Stoppard has been something of a punching bag to Robert Brustein, one of America's most distinguished critics.
Bardic fun
By ED SIEGEL  |  September 23, 2011


Fall Theater Preview: Fall on Boston boards

Fall came early to Boston boards this year, bringing with it "Summertime."
Stage worthies
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  September 16, 2011

Freeport’s excellent (and free!) outdoor Shakespeare

Trickery and dissembling around love have one role or other in just about everything Shakespeare wrote, though he lays it on particularly thick in Twelfth Night .
Fade to gray
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 12, 2011

Review: Bring tissues to King Lear at Monmouth

Midstage against the roiling charcoal and gray backdrop of the Theater at Monmouth's King Lear is a stand of stark, boughless tree trunks all leaning to one side, as if so long in the same hard wind of Lear's heath that they'll never again grow upright
Oh how pride doth fall
By BY MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 05, 2011

All's Well on Boston Common

I think of Measure for Measure , with its fanatically chaste heroine, and All's Well That Ends Well , with its lovely lass in pursuit of a lout, as Shakespeare's "Smart Women, Foolish Choices" plays.
Love sick
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  August 05, 2011

Review: Outdoor expressionism in Fenix Theatre's Love’s Labour’s Lost

One of Shakespeare's earliest and lightest-of-the-light works, Love's Labour's Lost , is this year's Shakespearean offering of the Fenix Theatre Company.
Collision of minds, hearts, and well, more
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 22, 2011


Review: Much Ado in World War 2

Men return from war, and attentions turn to love: It's a timeless order, and so it is with the witty Sicilians of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing .
Monmouth shifts centuries, to powerful effect
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 15, 2011

Maine's quirky summer stage season

Summertime and a lush arboreal landscape is an unexpected setting for Samuel Beckett's flinty Waiting for Godot , and this reviewer is already stirred.
History + mystery
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 17, 2011

Review: Acorn camps, vamps in Shakespeare's Cymbeline

When the servant Pisania (April Singley) enters to herald the opening iambs of Cymbeline , her Elizabethan diction is bracingly offset by her skintight black vinyl and fishnets.
Poetic fetish
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 13, 2011
britten list

BLO does Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream

After last season's The Turn of the Screw, Boston Lyric Opera has returned to Benjamin Britten with A Midsummer Night's Dream, an adaptation of Shakespeare (at the Shubert Theatre through May 10).  
 Dream, dream, dream
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 06, 2011