Category Archives: Books

The Goodman Theatre’s Wonderful Town: A Wonderful Show

Occasionally a production arrives with such startling imagination, and with performances overflowing with such zest and talent, that a viewer is at a loss for words. The production I am referring to is Mary Zimmerman’s Wonderful Town at the Goodman Theatre. The 1950s musical is based on the post-World War II play My Sister Eileen […]

THE LION IN WINTER: Promethean Excellence at the Athenaeum

Winning fifteen awards out of eighteen nominations in 1968, did more than revive the fortunes of James Goldman’s 1966 play, The Lion in Winter. The play had closed after 92 performances, even though it boasted of a cast which included Robert Preston, Rosemary Harris, Christopher Walken, and James Rado, whose book for the historic musical […]

SHAW’S YOU NEVER CAN TELL: Is a Father Necessary?

In an issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, Judith Stacey, a professor of sociology at New York University, and Timothy Biblarz, a demographer from the University of Southern California, consolidated the available data on the role of gender in child rearing and concluded “based strictly on the published science, one could argue that […]

Lyric Opera’s Bel Canto: The Music, The Music, The Music

“It has a tremendous variety of expression, of musical ideas. It has a virtuoso quality to it. It has very driven and barbaric moments about it, very lyrical moments, very sensual moments. It has chamber music in the midst of all this bombastic stuff. It’s incredibly exciting.” The words of Leonard Bernstein’s former pupil Yakov […]

THE HEIR APPARENT: A Matter of Style

Americans have always had a problem with affectation. Our first comedy, Royal Tyler’s The Contrast (1787), draws a sharp distinction between the emerging American style of Colonel Henry Manly and his pal Jonathan, and the Britisher, Mr. Billy Dimple and his servant, Jessamy, while acknowledging the bedrock importance of matters of style – national, ethnic, […]

LADY IN THE GLASS: Chicago Novelist’s Play Finally in Print

The Lady in The Glass has existed in fragments, hand-written notes, and typed pages until now. The Lady in the Glass by Robert Herrick (1907) is now the only available play by the great American turn-of the-century novelist, revealing his unconventional and unpopular views on medicine, high society, women, and social-climbing. Get it here: LADY […]

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS: The Wrong Protagonist

The differences between the Exodus story according to film director Ridley Scott and the Biblical account of the Exodus is in the chosen protagonist (chief actor; hero). Ridley Scott casts Moses as the protagonist; the story is about him. The Bible recounts the heroic actions of God; the story is about Him. Scott’s Moses is […]

Just Released…

A NOTE FROM SISTER VASSA

  To my great surprise and delight, I received a note from my favorite podcaster, Sister Dr. Vassa Larin, host of the wildly popular video series Coffee with Sister Vassa. Sr. Dr. Vassa is a Russian Orthodox ryassofor nun, author of many scholarly articles and a monograph on Byzantine liturgy and theology, and outspoken public […]

“An Introduction to God.” Is God Knocking?

I like introductions. I like being introduced to people. I like hearing people introduced to a group. I like hearing myself introduced. I like reading old and new introductions to various subjects. Introductions let me reconsider people and ideas, no matter how familiar I think I am with them, in new lights, from other perspectives. […]