Posted in #whatdoyouthink, actors, African-American playwrights, artist, based on a novel, based on a true story or event, based on a true story or event and historical documents, based on true events, brutality, chronicle, deep South, empowerment, ensemble acting, famous, film, Fox Studios, historical drama, history, honky, husbands and wives, KKK, meditation on life, movie, new work, opinion, poignant, race, racism, riff, sci fi, serious, serious subject, showcase, timely, TV, Valentine's Day

Serially entertaining

Actors and screen-writers are busier these days than they have been in some time. There are “streaming” shows, 100s of cable outlets producing both series and movies, and of course Hollywood and the Indie scene all requiring their talents and services.

We are the beneficiaries of all this production. We will be enlightened, entertained and excited by the films they produce.

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than binge watching Divorce?

Gifted, the movie with Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace, and not so incidentally Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan, and Elizabeth Marvel, is touching without being maudlin. It is generally intelligent, with a sterling performance by young Ms. Grace, and until we saw it last night on HBO, I had not heard much about it.

The assignment for Black History Month can include the excellent Get Out, Jordan Peele’s genius defies and reinvents the “horror” genre. It should also feature a viewing of Birth of a Nation, perhaps both in its regressive D.W. Griffith 1915 version and Nate Parker’s 2016 “remake.” The contrast between a paen to the Ku Klux Klan and to Nat Turner’s slave rebellion may prove edifying. Add Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (although not our personal favorite) to your list of films for 2018. (In the New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham expresses a different view, especially of Parker’s film.)

Art is meant to engender controversy, stimulate and even incense and enrage. We should not be passively diverted in its presence. It is here to help us ponder life’s (and history’s) biggest issues.

Thanks to films and serial dramas we have a lot to consider and enjoy. And we are treated to some terrific performances in the bargain.

Posted in famous, forbidden fruit, Poems, William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams apologizes

Source: William Carlos Williams apologizes

This is one of my favorite among my postings ever. It is in no way theater-related, except for the theatricality of the William Carlos Williams poem on which I comment in it.

Here you go (my words, for William Carlos Williams’ original, click here):

William Carlos Williams apologizes

He says he regrets he ate the plums

He knows they were meant to be served for breakfast

Is he really sorry that he enjoyed his fruit?

His apology seems more than a little insincere– I think

He enjoyed his late night snack, savored its deep flavor,

He recalls the taste of his forbidden fruit with pleasure

Posted in #pointofview, 11 Tony Award winning musical, activists, aspiration, award winning, based on a true story or event, based on a true story or event and historical documents, based on true events, DC politics, economics, famous, fictionalization_of_real_events, Hamilton, long running Broadway musical, musical theater, musical theatre, musicals and dramas, Pulitzer Prize winning musical, riff, Tony winner

A Safe Place…

Tickets to Hamilton may (probably not) be available this holiday season thanks to a non-controversy P-E Trump fracked up from a non-incident at the theater. (As it turns out, Trumpistas did not relinquish their tickets en masse, and the show is sold out in all the cities across America in which it is playing.)

When VP-E Mike Pence attended a performance recently, cast member Brandon Victor Dixon used the curtain call to petition his elected official on behalf of the other half of our country. P-E DJT took offense, and a sort of boycott was born.

For the record, VP-E MP said he was not offended: “And I nudged my kids and reminded them, that’s what freedom sounds like,” Pence said, according to news reports from CNN to the NY Daily News.

The play, which won 11 Tonys last year, has been a hot ticket since it started its Broadway transfer in the summer of 2015.

Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s paean to America, in which the Founding Fathers (and some Mothers) are portrayed by a racially diverse cast, and issues of states’ rights and federalism are rapped.

As with everything emanating from this inclusive show, the Hamilton curtain call was a model of restraint.Witness what was said below:


Posted in based on an actual life, Brendan Behan, Chelsea Hotel, drama based on real events, drinker, famous, iconclast, Irish, Janet Behan, literary lion

Hear Him Roar: "Brendan at the Chelsea"

It seems that torment often comes with great talent.

Photo courtesy of The Lyric Theatre (Belfast). Adrian Dunbar as Brendan Behan and Samantha Pearl as Lianne in a scene from Janet Behan;s “Brendan at the Chelsea” at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre through October 6.

Brendan Behan, iconoclast, playwright, writer, documentarian of life in New York, Irishman, genius, and hard drinker, is a case in point. Behan came to New York for the opening of his play, “The Hostage” in September 1960 and soon moved from the Algonquin to the Chelsea Hotel. There he narrated his book on New York, which was published after his death at the age of 41, and caroused mightily with New Yorkers of all stripes.

It is at the bohemian hotel that we meet up with Behan (Adrian Dunbar) in  his niece, Janet Behan’s tribute “Brendan at the Chelsea,” on tour at the Acorn in the Lyric’s production through October 6th. Brendan Behan was a literary lion, and welcomed in the city’s literary, theatrical and boho circles that he embraced so wholeheartedly.

Drink was his nemesis and he also embraced that with all his heart.  Dunbar, who also directs “Brendan at the Chelsea” is a marvelous Behan.  He gives a full-throttle performance as a force of nature. Matching him, but with the appropriately quieter intensity, is Pauline Hutton who is a very fine Beatrice to his roaring Behan. The ensemble, rounded out by Richard Orr as his song-writing neighbor George (and others), Samantha Pearl as Lianne, a Katherine Dunham dancer who is charged with caring for the wayward Behan, and Chris Robinson as Don, whom Behan meets on an excursion with his wife, Beatrice, to Fire Island’s Pines, (and in other roles), do excellent work in the narration of the plot.

The play takes on the large project of conveying genius and torment with intelligence, although “Brendan at the Chelsea,” is an uneven work. There are moments when it strays too far in exposition, having taken on perhaps a bit more than is easily managed. Something one could also say of its central character.

The production holds more than just interest for those who know Behan’s work. “Brendan at the Chelsea” is a welcome entertainment.

For more information about “Brendan at the Chelsea,” visit