Monthly Archives: September 2014


  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 […]

KING LEAR: Shakespeare Our Contemporary

America’s premiere literary critic, Harold Bloom, says that Shakespeare’s King Lear “transcends the limits of literature” He adds that,”I have attended many stagings of King Lear and invariably have regretted being there. Our directors and actors are defeated by this play.”1 While I have not experienced as many King Lears as Mr. Bloom, I have […]

A NIGHT ALIVE: A Night Not to Be Missed

Tommy (Francis Guinan) and Doc (Tim Hopper) in Conor McPherson’s wonderful new play, The Night Alive, come from a long line of cockeyed Irish buddies. From O’Casey’s Captain Jack Boyle and Joxer Daly to Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and Ed Norton (Art Carney) the procession of stage Irishmen descend from the classic comedy types of […]

What Makes an Audience Like One Character More Than Another?

What makes an audience like one character more than another? This question has bedeviled story makers almost from the beginning of time. Theoreticians tend to think that the characters with attractive traits win the allegiance of the audience. Attractiveness leads to empathy, the ability to project one’s own personality into that of the one being […]

“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. […]