The latest episode of Three on the Aisle, the twice-monthly podcast in which Peter Marks, Elisabeth Vincentelli, and I talk about theater in America, is now available on line for listening or downloading.
In this episode, Peter, Elisabeth, and I discuss a topic that is increasingly driving the theatrical conversation in New York and elsewhere, the notion that certain older shows, perennially popular though they continue to be, have become dated in a way that makes them…well, politically incorrect:
This week starts with “problematic” shows, an expression used to describe the golden-age musicals My Fair Lady and Carousel, which are currently enjoying well-received revivals on Broadway and show how one can update this type of material either with tiny cuts and adjustments (as in Carousel) or via directorial decisions (the ending of My Fair Lady). Vincentelli points out that while O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh is usually not described as similarly problematic, she agrees with New York magazine critic Sara Holdren that maybe it should be….
Next up is an interview segment in which we talk to Jack Cummings III, artistic director of Transport Group, the highly original and highly regarded New York troupe whose revival of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke is currently running off Broadway. Jack talked to us in detail about how Transport Group came into existence, and about its ongoing struggle to stay afloat in an environment that is increasingly hostile to small, innovative theater companies.
As usual, we wrap up the podcast by discussing recent productions, in New York and elsewhere, that we’ve seen and liked.
To listen, download the episode, read more about it, or subscribe to Three on the Aisle, go here.
In case you missed any previous episodes, you’ll find them all here.