Category Archives: Books

REGENT’S DEAR BRUTUS: J.M. BARRIE’S MIDDLE-AGE MEDITATION

If you could live your life over again, would you do it the same way? This question has probably crossed everyone’s mind at one time or another. The Christian Church proclaims that one has many chances through repentance to enter the process of theosis. It certainly crossed the mind of Peter Pan’s author, the Scotsman […]

The MET OPERA: CARMEN AS MORALITY PLAY

Each performance  is custom-made. Unlike film, when stage actors meet before a new audience anything is possible. As the playwright Herb Gardner noted, There is a chance each time the curtain goes up of glory and disaster, the actors and the audience will take each other somewhere, neither knows where for sure.[i] And that magical […]

THE MET’S NEW LA TRAVIATA: A PINK CAMELLIA

In Alexander Dumas’La Dame aux Camellias /The Lady of the Camellia (1848) the heroine, a prostitute named Marguerite, signals her availability for business by displaying one of two camellias – the red camellia means she is unavailable, the white camellia means Marguerite will see gentlemen callers. A giant pink camellia dominates both the opening and closing of […]

THE LONDON PALLADIUM KING AND I: NOT GOOD

The King and I gets  its power from the fact that, at its core, the story is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale. The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of the musical made that crystal clear when it cast a nice guy where the beast should have been. The tension and suspense […]

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY – A THIN PLACE FOLK OPERA

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan asked Conor McPherson, the world’s greatest English-language playwright, if he would be interested in using his songs in a theater piece. The result is the magnificent folk-opera Girl from the North Country. Critics of the work ignore the key to understanding the work’s deep center: Conor McPherson was most interested […]