Category Archives: World Affairs

CST: Shakespeare’s Globe’s The Merchant of Venice: The Quality of Malice

Despite what you may read, or hear, in the news, Jews remain the most hated people in America. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics, there were 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in the U.S. last year. “Of the 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes: 56.8 percent [56.8%] were victims of […]

Chicago Shakespeare’s TUG OF WAR: FOREIGN FIRE: Theatrical Magnificence

“Man is a predator whose natural instinct is to kill with a weapon.” So wrote Chicago playwright and anthropologist Robert Ardrey after years of observing human nature in action all over the world. His words aptly summarize the theme of Barbara Gaines’ thrilling Tug of War: Foreign Fire, a stage edition of three of Shakespeare’s […]

LYRIC OPERA’S NABUCCO ROCKS THE HOUSE

Prayer was certainly a large part of the young composer’s life in 1841. The twenty-eight-year old’s wife and two children had suddenly died, his own health was precarious, and his most recent opera had been a dismal failure. Out of this plagued life came his first triumph, Nabucco, the tale of the people of God,  […]

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 […]

GENEVA: BEGONIA BROWN GOES TO PARLIAMENT

Despite being one of his most daring and prescient works, of all Bernard Shaw’s plays, Geneva is the most disparaged. The criticism moved Shaw to join those who hate the play. By 1938 he had remarked: “What a horrible play! Why had I to write it?” Two events seem to have conspired to bring about […]

ASSASSINATION THEATER: The Most Important and Exciting Theater You Will See

The first great work of theater, Oedipus Rex, is a whodunit. Ever since, solving mysteries seems part and parcel of what audiences expect of the theatrical experience. I was a high school student beginning a lifelong study of theater when the shots rang out in Dallas. Being sent home from school due to an assassination […]

AMERICAN SNIPER: The Sheepdog

The great films of Clint Eastwood have a fascination with the nature of male friendship. From Unforgiven through Invictus, Gran Torino, Letters from Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers, Mystic River, and even Jersey Boys, the director has explored philia (brotherly love) with a depth and understanding rare in any other director. At times Eastwood’s […]

BILLY GRAHAM ON 9/11

President and Mrs. Bush, I want to say a personal word on behalf of many people. Thank you, Mr. President, for calling this Day of Prayer and Remembrance. We needed it at this time. We come together today to affirm our conviction that God cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious or political background may […]

HOSTAGE: STORYTELLER AND RESCUE

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in instructing catechumens, wrote: “The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.” No matter what form the dragon may take, it is of this mysterious […]

A Warrior of God: Charles George Gordon

His memorial service was held in an overflowing St. Paul’s Cathedral. Queen Victoria displayed his well-worn Bible in a place of honor in her palace. Schools, gardens, parks, war craft, stained-glass windows were named after him. Statues were erected around the world. His bust stands in Westminster Abbey. Tennyson eulogized him in verse. If your […]