Foolish husband of “The Winter’s Tale” is a screamer

Shakespeare certainly understood the neurotic jealousy of husbands. In this play, a very foolish man named Leontes locks up his wife and orders the death of his infant daughter out of belief the child was fathered by his best friend. His metaphor is of a man who has “his pond fish’d by his next neighbor.”

“The Merchant of Venice” a brilliant take on the sociology of the times

Consider a play where the villain is a Jewish banker who demands the murder of a client who couldn’t pay his debt. Is this a TV crime show picking up on the current hostility toward Goldman Sachs? No, take it back more than four centuries. Shakespeare’s play is believed to have been written between 1596 and 98, so there wasn’t any financial crisis going on, that we know about. What’s fascinating about the play and Al Pacino’s dazzling portrayal of the banker, Shylock, is the sociological take of a time when Jews were reviled; Jews were bankers (money-lenders) because Christians were told by their church they couldn’t do it; Christians borrowed from the Jews when they needed money; and Christian reviled the Jews for lending to them

“Everyday Rapture” is what happens when godliness turns into show biz

I’m usually suspicious about people who do plays about themselves. But this autobiographical cabaret was a lot better than I expected. Sherie Rene Scott is certainly very self-involved, perhaps par for the course among performers, but she’s also got something interesting to say and, directed by Michael Mayer, an appealing way of saying it. “Everyday Rapture” is what happens when godliness turns into show biz.