But Who Will I Take Care Of? [Desire of the Everlasting Hills]

everlastinghills

Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Desire of the Everlasting Hills at a screening hosted by the Catholic Information Center.  The movie, which is available for streaming, is a documentary about three celibate, gay Catholics.  Eve Tushnet reviewed the movie for The American Conservative and wrote: There are some fascinating theological contrasts: Paul’s most direct experiences of God come when he is being rescued or spared something he expected to be unbearably painful—the most intense examp … [Read more...]

Justice Laid (Possibly Unlawfully) Bare

Arguendo

I'm reviewing Arguendo today at The American Interest, and explaining how this play about a Supreme Court case deciding whether stripping was First Amendment protected speech winds up painting SCOTUS in a romantic and heroic light.The justices begin on a plinth that resembles the actual Supreme Court (set design by David Zinn), but shortly after the arguments begin, they send their wheeled chairs zooming down ramps to the main part of the stage. For the rest of the play they scoot around, co … [Read more...]

They Eat Horses, Don’t They?

oots0150

Last night, I got to see a special screening of the Folger Theatre's 2008 production of Macbeth (all magic courtesy of Teller -- of Penn and Teller).  Usually, when I see Macbeth, my focus is on the titular pair, or, barring that, the witches, but, in this production, my attention and sympathies were more with the courtiers than in any other staging I've seen.For whatever reason, I was less wrapped up in the fall of Macbeth and his wife, so I kept thinking about the lives of the people in th … [Read more...]

The Worm at the Heart of the Tower in Merrily We Roll Along

merrily crowd

This post is one in a series on friendship, explored through the lenses of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along and C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves.In high school, I took a survey history course on the Middle East, which ran in reverse.  We started at the present day, and worked our way backwards, with a sense of suspense to discover the cause of the war whose consequences we had learned in the last lecture.  Merrily We Roll Along follows a similar format, spooling out its story back … [Read more...]

The Merry Merchant and the Sad Antonio

Photo courtesy of Allison Stock Photography

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing the closing night performance of The Merchant of Venice, staged by The Shakespeare Forum.  It was a delightful production, and the cast did a great job making all the jokes (and there are many) land effectively, without undercutting the heartbreaking trial scene (I cried).  The humor of the background characters set apart the two antagonists, Shylock and Antonio, who are some of the only characters who never laughed joyfully.What struck me most about t … [Read more...]

Math, Moolah, Meddling Spies, and Monarchs

Richard III (Drew Cortese) / Teresa Wood

Here's the roundup of my most recent writing for The American Conservative, which includes math nerdery, political science research, Snowden coverage, and, best of all, a theatre review.  Teaching Math Under Common Core: Fact and Fiction, Part V When I learned my times tables, the kinds in my class used the fingers trick for remembering the nine times table. Just hold up all ten fingers, palms in, and then, counting from the left, put down the nth finger (where n is the number you’re m … [Read more...]

If Only Angels Would Prevail: The Ballad of Sweeney Todd

sweeney lucy

The Pope Francis bookclub post will run on Wednesday, since the chapter seemed apropos for the beginning of Lent.In a time when Hollywood is producing gritty remakes of well nigh everything, it might be appropriate to look back at one of my favorite works on how to live in an irrevocable corrupt world.  Today, at Ethika Politika, I'm discussing the tragic love that the Demon Barber of Fleet Street still bears the Moral Law in Sweeney Todd. Bond’s Sweeney, when confronted by bloodshed, has a … [Read more...]


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