Skip to content

Live Theater is a Kind of Communion     (Shakespeare Crush #10)

Shakespeare isn’t easy: the vocabulary, the subplots — even the names can be stumbling blocks. Keeping the characters straight in Julius Caesar was a challenge: Cinna the conspirator and Cinna the Poet? Julius Caesar and Octavius Caesar? Marcus Brutus and Decius Brutus? But Julius Caesar was a piece of cake compared to Richard III’s roster…

Read More

Florida: 17 dead … and counting

I wrote this piece a few weeks ago…. I guess I’ll just keep posting it when this happens again and again and again. In the aftermath of 17 dead in Florida, the reports seem to dwell on the fact that this is the MOST deaths in a high school shooting. Higher than Columbine! Like it’s…

Read More

Richard The Third and Donald The Trump

This essay was first published on WBUR’s Cognoscenti Shakespeare is always timely. Last fall, I sat in on rehearsals for Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s all-female production of “Julius Caesar,” which shone an Elizabethan light on the #MeToo movement. Nothing like a bunch of women wearing daggers to deliver the message that we will be heard. In…

Read More

Power to the punchline: Samantha Bee and Robin Thede

This essay appeared previously on WBUR’s Cognoscenti with several great links. A few years back, the marquee late-night TV talk shows played a game of musical chairs, which ended with all five hosting seats taken, by a man, by men. HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” the latest entry in this elite club, also put a male member…

Read More

Potty-mouth-in-chief

Is it one word or two? If two, does it need a hyphen? If you want to avoid using an obscenity but need to communicate the word in question, is it better to use ellipses? If so, is “sh…hole” better than “s-hole?” Should quotation marks be mandatory to indicate The Source in Chief? As the…

Read More

A blogpost about the terrible, no good, very bad weather

Most of us grew up with Hurricanes named Mariah, Suzanne, Henrietta, and Inez. I don’t recall much of a kerfuffle in 1978 and 1979 when the weather service decided it was only fair to add men’s names to the mix, which meant that Hurricane Melissa has been followed by Hurricane Norman ever since. (Had the…

Read More

Memories of my mother and the owls

My mother had lived in the one-bedroom apartment for 17 years, and when she died in October, my brother and I assumed that emptying it for the next tenant would be relatively easy—after all, there was no basement or attic to empty, and she had always been a hard core balleboste, Yiddish for “mistress of…

Read More

#METOO and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Crush #8)

(Shakespeare Crush #8) It started with The Shakespeare Workout, a six-week class open to all, which turned out to be a full-body immersion in the works of the Greatest Writer in the History of the World. Taught by two of the founding members of Boston’s Actors Shakespeare Project, I rolled on the floor, breathed from…

Read More

Sister is Powerful vs. Sexual Misconduct

The daily dispatches about sexual harassment and abuse have unleashed a parade of celebrity perp walks, howls of denial, shame-faced confessions, moronic mewlings (“How am I supposed to know the line between flirting and harassment?”) and — we knew it was coming — “The War on Men!” Good people are shocked — shocked! — to…

Read More