Tag Archives: Theater

Birdman

24 Oct

‘Birdman’: Michael Keaton’s super return to screen has plenty of unexpected virtues

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Growing old and becoming irrelevant is on everyone’s minds, probably more so for anyone who’d ever been somebody – even if it was for 15 minutes. Think of all those childhood actors in rehab. Think of Lindsay Lohan. Now what if you were an aging actor who played a superhero?

101414i BirdmanThat’s the jumping-off point for “Birdman,” which boasts the catchy subtitle, “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.” Michael Keaton, who not-so-coincidentally played Tim Burton’s “Batman” in the ’80s and ’90s, plays Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood actor who found fame as the star of the titled superhero franchise. Since its shelving some 20 years ago, he now seeks thespian cred by producing, starring in and directing a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s taut “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” When we catch up with Riggan the play is just days from opening, and much teeters on a precipice. The good people of Times Square are more than happy to have the “Birdman” in their midst, but not so much the theater crowd. Co-star and “serious actor” Mike Shiner refers to Hollywood-produced films as a form of  “cultural genocide” while “Times” critic Tabitha Dickinson (a lethal Lindsay Duncan) just can’t stand the notion of art being hijacked by overpaid, under-talented dilettantes from yonder west.  Continue reading