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‘October, 2009’

“After Miss Julie” is a riveting play where the power of class and gender fight for primacy

“After Miss Julie” is a riveting play where the power of class and gender fight for primacy

Patrick Marber’s “After Miss Julie” is a psychological thriller, a rich drama that has three characters enmeshed in a web of conflicts that shift the upper hand from one to the other, depending on whether the field of battle is class or gender.

If it’s about class, then Miss Julie (Sienna Miller), the rich daughter of a lord, is on top. If it’s about gender, then it’s John (Jonny Lee Miller, no relation), the lord’s chauffeur-valet. But that holds only if the woman is as neurotic as Julie. Or a woman defeated by her time.

Jude Law brings a powerful pulsating animal energy to “Hamlet”

Jude Law brings a powerful pulsating animal energy to “Hamlet”

Jude Law drives “Hamlet” with an animal energy and naturalistic fervor that overwhelm the stage. This is not the tentative or tormented Hamlets we are used to. This “Hamlet” is a thriller and Hamlet the vengeful detective. The excitement is palpable. It’s a brilliant interpretation you won’t soon forget.

“Broke-ology” an appealing if sometimes hokey look at the dynamics of being loyal to family and self

“Broke-ology” an appealing if sometimes hokey look at the dynamics of being loyal to family and self

Nathan Louis Jackson’s play about a black family in Kansas City struggling to achieve a middle class life avoids the pitfalls of sitcom due largely to the four accomplished actors and director Thomas Kail, who breathe life into what on its face is a rather predictable story.

It hangs on whether Malcolm King (an appealing Alano Miller), who has managed to get a masters degree in Connecticut, will give up chances of a good university teaching job under his mentor, an environmental professor, or will he stay home to care for his father William (a warm-spirited Wendell Pierce) who has muscular dystrophy.

The “God of Carnage” watches polite society disintegrate

The “God of Carnage” watches polite society disintegrate

Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage” smartly shows the disintegration of the thin veneer of civilization that keeps people civil. Reza, perhaps coming from the salon culture of France, has a habit of locating her dramas in living rooms. These tête-à-têtes ought to show the height of culture. Instead, they display the dark sides of polite society.

This story begins with a touted civilized meeting between two couples, one clearly upper class, the other middle class, one couple chic, the other dowdy, to deal with fact that son of the first hit the son of the second. They start out honest, each admitting the family faults. As the evening gathering of “nice” people progresses, they descend from throwing words into throwing things. Taken further, we see the basic failure of ethical man. It is a fascinating transformation.

Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, GOP Candidate for NJ Governor, gets $ from IDT, NJ telcom investigated by Justice Dept for bribing Haitian officials

Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, GOP Candidate for NJ Governor, gets $ from IDT, NJ telcom investigated by Justice Dept for bribing Haitian officials

Oct 22, 2009 –

Back in 2004, when Chris Christie was the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, his office first heard allegations that IDT Corporation, a Newark, N.J.-based global telecommunications company, was involved in a case of international bribery. No federal criminal case was ever brought against IDT, in contrast to several successful federal prosecutions in similar cases elsewhere. The company is run by James Courter, a former Republican congressman from New Jersey.

Fast forward to the present, and Christie is now the Republican candidate for the governor of New Jersey. And, an examination of campaign finance records shows, Christie has thus far racked up $26,800 in campaign contributions – earning him a total of $80,400 including state matching funds — from 27 individuals who could have a direct interest in the IDT case.

Sodexo’s ‘safe’ supplier sickens 27 boy scouts at camp

Sodexo’s ‘safe’ supplier sickens 27 boy scouts at camp

Oct 17, 2009 – When he was interviewed for the investigative story I did in March on Sodexo’s practice of demanding rebates (ie kickbacks) from suppliers, Sodexo deputy counsel Tom Morse argued that working only with “compliant” vendors was necessary to assure health and safety. (“Compliant” means they pay rebates.”)

He said that “the first thing we vet our vendors for is safety” against food-borne illnesses …”