Category Archives: Men and Women

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 […]

ARENA STAGE’S ANYTHING GOES: CLASSIC MUSICAL FUN

In 1934 Anything Goes, the musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter opened in New York City. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.  Their object was maximum fun, and minimum attention to the news of the day. And they succeeded brilliantly. The Times critic wrote that the […]

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 […]

VA SYMPHONY HAS THEM DANCING IN THE STREETS

   On an October evening, fifty-two years, ago a seventeen year old boy wandered into UVa’s Memorial Gymnasium in Charlottesville to hear his first pop concert,  performed by a group called Matha and The Vandellas. Ever since that night, Motown has been my pop music of choice, with some space reserved  for the eternal Bob […]