The Ethan McSweeny-helmed Twelfth Night currently at Shakespeare Theatre’s Harman Hall is the darkest, most melancholy production of a Shakespearean comedy I have ever seen. You too, I bet. And the thing is you won’t get it until a half hour after the show, when you’re driving home in silent recollection, or talking about the […]
The business of an artist is not much different than the business of a baseball umpire, though his field of vision is bigger. The artist must see the world, and then call it as he sees it.
The Paul Selig play that Edge of the Universe Players 2 is now performing in the Woolly Mammoth rehearsal space could, with justice, be called Five Interesting Women, Some of Whom Have Issues with God or, in this specific production, Nora Achrati Shows Us Some Features from her Theatrical Toolbox. But Mystery School seems a […]
The real trial of the 20th century did not involve some imbecile driving a Bronco in a low-speed chase. Instead, it happened nearly a hundred years ago. In it, the greatest trial lawyer in American history, Clarence Darrow, faced down famed orator and three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. The issue: freedom of thought in […]
Author’s note: The following is an account of the Scopes Monkey Trial, the real-life inspiration for Inherit the Wind. If you are unfamiliar with either the trial or the play, I recommend you see Compass Rose’s superb production, and then read this at your leisure as this is full of spoilers.
A political rival once said of the famed French foreign minister, Talleyrand, that he “would sell his soul for money and he would be right, for he would be exchanging dung for gold.” And it is this observation which is at the bottom of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, and also of all the deliberate evil […]
In 1939, the S.S. St. Louis set sail from Hamburg for Cuba with 937 passenger, most of them German Jews hoping to begin new lives away from the Nazis. Their hopes were based on a Cuban law which permitted people on a tourist visa to enter the country and stay indefinitely.
There are hardly any traveling salesmen now, and yet we are almost all Willy Loman. We remember the home run we hit to win the big game in high school, when in fact we rode the bench at P.S. 89, and the big hit was in a sandlot pick-up game. We imagine that our diligence […]
Nothing succeeds like excess, Oscar Wilde once wrote, and nowhere is that more true than in America. We are the land that invented competitive eating; when the Olympics finally welcomed professional athletes we sent the Dream Team; and we have a world-class opioid epidemic.
Harrowing, chilling and profound, Lela and Co. is a story about the stories we tell ourselves in order to keep sane, or in order to protect the status quo, or in order to be polite — all of which is the same thing, more or less. It is the story of Lela (Felecia Curry), the storyteller, […]