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Shakespeare’s Henry IV – Conflict between Father and Son

  Guest blogger: Patricia Robertson Shakespeare has a keen understanding of the human psyche, including family dynamics. This is apparent in the 2015 Michigan Shakespeare Festival (July 11-August 16) production of Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, masterfully combined and abridged into one bringing out the best and highlighting the conflict between King Henry and his son, Hal, Prince of Wales.  This familiar family saga ends with Prince Hal requesting that his father’s advisors’ treat any sons he has as they treated him, a touching tribute to his father. Thus the wound between father and son is...

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“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”—The Mystery Life of a Savant

  Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Two weeks ago we saw “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, the theatrical adaptation of Mark Haddon’s 2003 young adult novel on Broadway, after it had become a record-breaking sensation in London, and now has been nominated for six Tony awards, including Best Play, Best Leading Actor in a Play (the phenomenal Alexander Sharp in his first Broadway play after graduating from Juilliard) and Best Direction (Marianne Elliot). The main character is fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone, who has an extraordinary mathematical brain but...

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“Orphans”–Fostering and Festering

This year the 1983 play “Orphans” by Lyle Kessler is nominated for two Tony Awards: Outstanding  Revival of a Broadway Play and Outstanding Featured Actor (Tom Sturridge).  I hope that this emotional tour-de-force wins both awards! This play debuted with Ben Foster (from “Six Feet Under”) as Treat, Tom Sturridge (“Being Julia”) as Philip, and Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) as Harold.  The story opens in a  dilapidated Philadelphia house shared by two brothers: Treat, a small-time hoodlum, and his younger mentally disabled brother Philip, who hides in...

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“Death of a Salesman”–Trapped by the American Dream

Last week we had the unforgettable experience of attending “Death of a Salesman” at the historic Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City.   One of my absolutely favorite plays has been revived five times on Broadway, broadcast in several television productions and produced twice for the silver screen.   Starring some of the most highly regarded actors in the US, “Death of a Salesman” still electrifies 63 years after its debut in 1949. This Arthur Miller tragedy is as timely as the Occupy Wall Street movement. Sixty-three-year old Willy Loman (the magnetic Philip Seymour...

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“The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q”–Nothing is Forever

While visiting New York City last week my husband and I had the immense pleasure of seeing two absolutely hilarious musicals, “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q”, the former premiering on Broadway last March,   the latter still enjoying a seven-year run. “The Book of Mormon” is the hottest play on Broadway right now.  Nominated for 14 Tony awards–one short of the record, it is irreverent, over-the-top, and politically incorrect as only the creators of “South Park”, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, can be.  Yet “The Book of Mormon” is absolutely...

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