“Crush” no more?

Maybe I should stop calling it a crush. Last spring, I signed up for the Shakespeare Workout (an all-level, no-prior-experience-necessary acting class offered by Actor’s Shakespeare Project in Boston.) Since then, I’ve been to as many live performances of as many Shakespeare plays as I could get to, watched several more on video, lurked at…

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Othello in the year of Black Panther

I drove home from Providence feeling shaken up and wide-awake after seeing Trinity Repertory’s production of Othello. Three days later, I saw BlackPantherand left the multiplex feeling like I’d been to church. And ever since, the Shakespearean tragedy and the superhero blockbuster have been circling each other inside my head. Black Panther’s release was a…

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Can a middle aged white lady book a flight to Wakanda?

Can she feel the same kind of pride in Black Panther that she feels about sharing a genome with Olympic athletes? Black Panther won the gold, in every sense of the word. (Why was anyone surprised by the boffo box office?) Ryan Coogler and team used the standard ingredients of all super-hero movies — barroom brawl,…

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How I learned to stop grumbling and love the winter

Watching the Olympic athletes in Korea contend with punishing winds and dangerous slopes, I marveled. Those hardy souls who rejoice in snow and ice are a race apart. Most of us are waiting out the winter, wishing it were over, or fleeing if we can. In January, the walls start to close in and by…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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