Posts Tagged ‘Top Girls’

Fall of the Rebel Angels (detail)I just finished Michael Frayn’s Headlong, a novel given to me by a friend. She and I saw “Top Girls” on Broadway last year, and we were both intrigued by Dulle Griet, one of the characters in the play, and the namesake of one of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s more bizarre paintings.

Headlong is an art history “who done it”; in this case the mystery is whether or not a supposed sixth painting in Bruegel’s series of seasonal paintings (of which only five are extant), might be languishing unrecognized in the country estate of an unsuspecting, down-at-the-heels landowner who’s looking to cash in on items he’s stolen from his dying mother. A college professor who’s just arrived with his scholarly wife and their baby to spend “a month in the country” thinks he recognizes the painting as the missing Bruegel, but keeps the thought to himself so as not to tip off the landowner. Instead, he plots to spirit the painting away and into the hands of a grateful art world, who will presumably heap laurels upon him. But first he must prove to his wife that the painting is indeed what he believes it to be. (more…)

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Just before it closed, I caught Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of “Top Girls,” by British playwright Caryl Churchill. I’d read several favorable or semi-favorable articles and reviews of the play, but it wasn’t until WNYC’s Leonard Lopate interviewed Martha Plimpton about her experience playing Pope Joan and Angie that I was persuaded to buy a ticket (a big investment these days) and check it out for myself.

Plimpton is a wonderful actress. As a devout “Law & Order” fan, I caught her 2006 Emmy-nominated portrayal of a desperately brilliant young woman who fails to capture the love of her even more brilliant, murder-investigating father. I’ve seen re-runs of the “Criminal Intent” episode many times and I still get caught up in Plimpton’s character. (more…)

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