Posted in #critique, dark drama, drama, historical drama, Marlowe, political drama, Shakespeare, tragedy

“Tragedy, tonight!”

A portrait of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe‘s better known contemporary.

Politics and drama are disparaged, especially by those who feel the sting of the tragedies presented.

Sometimes, even if the message is on point, the admixture has an oddly inappropriate tastelessness.

Nonetheless, as I  have often said, it is the role of art to clarify matters and comment on our foibles and the errors of our ways.

We are often led astray on the roads of life, so we should be grateful to plays, playwrights and the traditions of our theatrical history for helping to put us back on track.

Here is a plot I propose:

Tamburlaine in triplicate or triptych: played alternately by North Korean President Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin and the US President, with Benjamin Netanyahu coming in as a pinch hitter.

In the movie version of the shenanigans surrounding the recent election– the movie from my youth– the big guy is carted away in cuffs. Also, the good people of Montana go to the homes of every single Jewish family that was targeted by Richard Spencer’s crew to make sure they are protected. This is so because in 1950’s America Americans played by the rules, were patriotic and did the right thing.

June 25th addendum: The toddler in big boy pants whose got DC as his playpen may be onto something. He doesn’t care for poor folks (note to those who helped elect him–be careful what you wish for is a real thing). Is there a reality show called Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown?

Posted in comedy, drama, Marlowe, Marlowe in the Park, Shakespeare, Shakespeare in the Park, tragedy

This is mine, and this is…

The Source: This is mine, and this is…

Public Domain,

Christopher Marlowe had a way with words. Underappreciated, compared to his contemporary, Shakespeare, whose greatness is undisputed and whose popularity remains unrivalled.

1. George_Cruikshank_-_The_First_Appearance_of_William_Shakespeare_on_the_Stage_of_the_Globe_Theatre_-_Google_Art_Project
By George Cruikshank – AwFKhI771c3bow at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain,

Marlowe’s plots, like Shakespeare’s, drew from history and built on themes both personal and universal. His Tamburlaine the Great is one example of a tragedy with great umph. It is the ultimate tale of an over-reaching hero.

The Jew of Malta is the lesser-known Marlowe version of The Merchant of Venice, well sort of….. It was certainly an inspiration.

Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe were contemporaries, both great Elizabethan dramatists. In fact, Marlowe was considered the greatest tragedian of his era, but somehow Will has outlasted him. Marlowe’s plays are not revived; there is no annual “Marlowe Festival” nor “Marlowe in the Park” to honor his works. There are also no commemorative postcards from Russia for Marlowe, as there are for William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is known now as The Bard, and Marlowe is an obscure reference.

1William_Shakespeare.Can Marlowe’s works ever get the scrutiny they deserve? Can he someday share equal billing with Shakespeare? Is there a “market” for a Marlowe retrospective? Would a production of Marlowe’s works meet with audience approval and critical acclaim?

Marlowe met his untimely death in an as yet unresolved murder while his personal reputation was suspect. He had been called to the Privy Council for alleged blasphemies, so perhaps you might say his professional reputation was on the line when he was stabbed to death at the end of May 1593.


Posted in acting, activists, actors, allegory, artist, aspiration, athletes, ballet, balletic, comedy-drama, committment, concert, Daily Prompt, dance, dancing, drama, empowerment, expectations, farce, film, high expectations, jazz, joy, memory play, Meryl Streep, mime, modern dance, monologues, movie, multi-disciplinary performances, music, musical theater, musical theatre, musicals, musicals and dramas, mystery, narration, off Broadway, Off or Off-Off Broadway Transfer, offbeat work, one act plays, one man show, one-woman show, opera, painting, pantomime, parody, performance art, performance piece, performance works, photography, play, play with music, public performance in public spaces, radio play, revival, revue, rock and roll, satire, scary stories, sci fi, screwball comedy, Short plays, sketches, skits, tango, tap dance, theater for the common good, theater lovers, theatrical events, tragedy, tragi-comic


via Daily Prompt: Shine with thanks to Ben Huberman, The Daily Post for the inspiration

NoLateSeatingThose who crave the spotlight most often become entertainers. Their talent demands it. It is their calling to shine.

We applaud them, and in so doing bask in the glow of their accomplishment. They are center stage with the footlights on them, but we are illuminated by their performance.

Their light shines on us as they render and interpret and presnet their truths. Greater  performers shine brightest, and we shine brighter too.

Posted in drama, family drama, tragedy

"The Fall to Earth" can be very crushing

At first there is nothing ominous, just mild bickering on the other side of the motel room door.

Jolie Curtsinger as Rachel, Deborah Hedwall as Fay in “The Fall To Earth” by Joel Drake Johnson in a photo © John Quilty

But as it progresses, Joel Drake Johnson’s “The Fall to Earth,” at 59E59 Theaters through February 5th in its New York City premiere, is darkly funny, even grisly at times.

Deborah Hedwall as Fay with Jolie Curtsinger as Rachel in “The Fall To Earth” by Joel Drake Johnson in a photo © John Quilty

Rachel Browney (Jolie Curtsinger) and her mother Fay Schorsch (Deborah Hedwall) have come to this small town where her brother Kenny lived. The trip brings them together at a difficult time, but as we find out in “The Fall To Earth” there probably were no easy times in the Schorsch household.

Jolie Curtsinger as Rachel, Deborah Hedwall as Fay and Amelia Campbell as Terry in “The Fall To Earth” by Joel Drake Johnson in a photo © John Quilty

As Rachel and her mom learn more about what happened to Kenny, Rachel mutters “I could have been a nicer sister,” to the police officer, Terry Reed (Amelia Campbell). “I could have been.”

How well did either mother or daughter know him? Terry reveals some secrets about Kenny that the women may have suspected, but it is clear that the entire family have been out of touch for a long time.

Deborah Hedwall as Fay with Jolie Curtsinger as Rachel in “The Fall To Earth” by Joel Drake Johnson in a photo © John Quilty

Keeping you on the edge of your seat and thoroughly engaged, “The Fall To Earth” takes many a surprise turn as it unfolds.

“The Fall To Earth” also benefits from an excellent cast, and the deft direction of Joe Brancato, and the versatile set designs by James J. Fenton.

Jolie Curtsinger (also a producing partner at InProximity Theatre Company which is a presenter of this production) plays a wary Rachel. Deborah Hedwall, as Fay, screeches, screams, rants, hectors, cajoles, chatters and whines in a brilliant arc of dysfunction. Rachel has her own reasons to be secretive and distrustful around Fay.

For a schedule of performances, please visit www.59e59,org.

For more information about InProximity Theatre Company, which produces New York City premieres, go to