“Perfection is a Very Long Path”

A painting by David Linn

  This article hasn't received scads of negative comments.  I don't know why.  It makes me feel as if I've failed, somehow.  … [Read more...]

And you think politicians play hardball TODAY?

Elizabeth I, of England

  After the conclusion of Les Misérables yesterday, we had dinner with our good friends Will and Belinda Schryver and then attended a performance of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart, which neither of us had ever seen or read before. Since the author was Schiller, one of the titans of German literary history, I wasn't surprised to find the play both good and interesting.  And it was well performed.It takes a very positive stance toward Mary S … [Read more...]

Les Misérables


  We saw Les Misérables this afternoon.  I freely confess that I loved it.  It wasn't quite the cast of my soundtrack CDs or that I've heard in major theaters in major cities.  But it was very, very good.  Brian Vaughn was extremely strong as Inspector Javert (his voice seems to be getting better and better with the passing years), and, although I was already familiar with her as a very good actress, I didn't realize that his wife, Melissa Pfundstein (Fantine) could sing.  B … [Read more...]

Writing in Seventh-Century BC Levant


. .. .The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship is sponsoring a one-day conference on 31 August 2012, entitled "Writing in Seventh-Century BC Levant."  (The Levant is, essentially, the area of modern-day Israel/Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.). . I won't be there, but not because of pique or a flair for dramatic gestures.  Instead, I'll be headed that day to Turkey, where, somewhat curiously given recent events, I'll be helping to lead a visit of M … [Read more...]

An Evening with Sir John Falstaff

Mistress Ford (Jacqueline Antaramian), Mistress Page (Melinda Pfundstein), and Sir John Falstaff (Roderick Peeples)

  We attended a fine performance tonight of The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Sir John Falstaff was very strong.  Mistress Ford and Mistress Page were excellent.  And John Preston's Master Ford nearly stole the show.  I didn't grow up in a family that read Shakespeare or attended Shakespearean (or any other serious) theater, although my late brother became an avid Shakespeare buff and a devoted patron of the Utah Shakespeare Fe … [Read more...]

Day Two, in Cedar City

The Randall Jones Theater in Cedar City, Utah, where we see our afternoon plays indoors

  Hanging on one of the walls in the Pastry Pub, where we take our lunches when we're in Cedar City, is this Irish toast: May those that love us, love us. And those that don’t love us, May God turn their hearts. And if he doesn’t turn their hearts, May he turn their ankles, So we’ll know them by their limping. This afternoon, we saw a performance of a very loose adaptation, entitled Scapin, of a minor Moliére farce.  (The title should be pronoun … [Read more...]

To Kill . . . Well, LOTS of Things


  Yesterday, we saw an afternoon performance of To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the classic one-shot novel by Harper Lee. I haven't read the novel since high school, and I only dimly remember it.  (I plainly need, now, to read it again.)  I recall more clearly the black and white film adapted from the novel.  In fact, when I think of Gregory Peck, I think of him as Atticus Finch. Atticus Finch has, I'm told, been voted by somebody or other the gr … [Read more...]

Down in Iron County


  My wife and I drove down to Cedar City this morning with her parents for our annual pilgrimage to the Tony-Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival, one of the cultural treasures of this state.  (Another is the Utah Festival Opera up in Logan, which, alas, our schedule has prevented us from attending this year.)  We saw To Kill a Mockingbird in the afternoon and Shakespeare's rarely performed Titus Andronicus this evening. I hope to write about those tom … [Read more...]