News & Reviews from New York

July 14

Edward Albee's 1971 play ALL OVER, now at the Gramercy Theatre, about a family and friends waiting for the patriarch to die, is full of exposition, some of it interesting. As directed by Emily Mann, it is mostly old fashioned careful declarations by the highly professional performers, with everybody ACTING, and no real conversations. Emotional risings and occasional
laughings are carefully stitched into the proceedings, but even if some of the stories told are engaging, a play that is almost all exposition tends to be static and boring. Albee is bright, and good lines do come out of people's mouths, but mostly it is, in words of Sally Field, "Kveyich, kveyich, kveyich." There is a little George and Martha emotional cutting and wounding here and there between relatives, but it's far from the incisiveness of Albee's "......Virginia Wolfe." The show plateaus out in Act Two, and just as they wait for the old man to die, we wait for the play to end. Thank goodness for Myra Carter as a quirky nurse- she's alive, and is the one real spark. Near
the end, the percolating rumbles that spit out little bursts of heat throughout the play burst forth into steaming volcanic vapors as Rosemary Harris does great grief in her 11:00 o'clock number.

** Richmond Shepard-- Performing Arts INSIDER

The moment you sit down in the Variety Arts Theatre for ENDPAPERS by Thomas McCormack, and see the marvelous set by Neil Patel, you feel comfortable that you are going to see something special. And it all is. McCormack is a fine, smart writer who really knows his subject- the world of publishing, and the play is full of insights, high humor, thoughts that reach the corners of your mind. The premise? The patriarch of a publishing company is dying. Who will succeed him? We learn a lot about the underpinnings of that world as we are thoroughly entertained. Pamela Berlin has directed her outstanding cast, including the powerful William Cain, with efficiency, taste, and a flair for the dramatic that keeps us intensely involved. Terrific lighting by Rui Rita and costumes by Amela Baksir complete the picture. This show is a must for anyone who loves fine, exciting theatre, and especially those with a literature habit.

**** Richmond Shepard-- Performing Arts INSIDER

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