Category Archives: Movies

THE COURT THEATRE’S THE MOUSETRAP: NEAR PERFECTION

In the late 1920s, mystery writer Ronald Knox published  “Ten Commandments for Writing Detective Fiction.” With her monumental play The Mousetrap, Agatha Christie violated the central commandment. (to reveal that commandment would be the ultimate spoiler.) Dame Christie’s flaunting of the detective mystery norms may account for the play’s record setting run. The mystery has […]

THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS: LEWIS UNDONE

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the […]

THE MET OPERA’S DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES : OPERA’S DIVINE LADDER OF ASCENT

 Sixteen days after John Dexter’s  1977 production of  Dialogues des Carmélites (Dialogues of the Carmelites)    opened at the Metropolitan Opera a detonated tear gas canister in the lobby forced the 4,000 members of the audience to evacuate the building. Suddenly fear was not just a theme in Mr. Poulenc’s great opera about the human struggle with […]

THE MET’S DIE WALKURE: A SUBLIME RETURN TO THE HEART OF THE FIRST RING

With an opera production as overwhelming as Robert Lepage’s Die Walkure at the Metropolitan Opera, adjectives seem unable to capture the majesty and profundity of the experience. “Spectacular”? “Magnificent”? “Sublime”? All of those and more. And in the most difficult of all art forms. Opera has so many variables subject to personal disposition, physical strength, […]

NT’S CHICHESTER KING LEAR: A FATHER ABUSED, A FATHER RESCUED

  The recent discovery by University of Roehampton Shakespeare historian Glyn Parry that Shakespeare’s father, John, was driven into debt through betrayal by secret informers, may give insight into the playwright’s depiction of fathers in his plays. John Shakespeare, like Timon of Athens, had large debts and writs against him, including ones authorizing sheriffs to arrest […]