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text SPOILER ALERT! 2019-10-27 23:17
The Sorting Hat Dilemma
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition) - J.K. Rowling,John Kerr Tiffany,Jack Thorne

By now, it's canon that the Sorting Hat takes into account the desires of the student -- to an extent -- along with other factors. That's why there are some really glaring mis-matches in the Potterverse.


Hermione: Totally a Ravenclaw. 

Snape: Could easily have been Gryffindor.


Clearly, family history also plays into the equation. There's no way Hufflepuff-like Ron Weasley nor Huffle-claw (or Raven-puff) Neville Longbottom should be in Gryffindor, except for family legacy. 


Which brings us to the wonderful Scorpius Malfoy. Is there any character in the Potterverse who so nicely embodies qualities of all four houses? He is the clever scholar of Ravenclaw. He is the quiet, hard-working Hufflepuff. He is as brave as any Gryffindor. And he values his family connection to Slytherin. 


I know that "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is supposed to be Albus Severus' and Harry's story, with Scorpius and Draco merely their "doubles," but I must say, Scorpius is the best character. Without him, Albus would be insufferable, and I would not have enjoyed reading the play nearly so much. 



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text 2019-05-19 17:29
Quick Take: The Middle Child
The Lion in Winter - James Goldman

Oh, Geoffrey.


The poor, put-upon Duke of Brittany is one of my favorite middle children in all of literature. 


Over-thinker, unlucky pawn, forever to be disappointed, but how hard he tries, how passionately he rages . . . 



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text 2016-10-12 00:40
Notes on Adaptation: Fences
The Piano Lesson - August Wilson

The trailer for the upcoming August Wilson adaptation, "Fences," really got me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2m6Jvp0bUw


I've been an admirer of Wilson's since the early '90s. I read several of his plays at that time. But not since. 


Now I'm tempted to read the whole cycle - not in publication order, but in decade order that the plots move through the 20th century. 


Might be a good way to spend Saturday afternoons through the end of the year. 



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text 2016-09-17 19:18
The Unhappy Couple
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Edward Albee

Is Martha a great role for a woman actor? Well, I guess, if you want to play a shitty, messed-up shrew. I never thought Albee was very kind to her character.


But, of course, George is no better. 


It's funny how their negative energy lifts them off of the page (and stage) - you wouldn't think it could do that so effectively.



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-06-05 18:13
Death be not proud . . . intellectuals already are
Wit - Margaret Edson

I am so glad that the character of Vivian Bearing, PhD exists.


Her male analog has been around in literature, film, and television for a looooong time. But the female version of the hard-as-nails, intellectualism-is-everything, got-no-personal-life professor rarely is seen.


Probably because when men are this character, they're admirable assholes. When women are this character, they're bitches. No quarter given. 


Of course, Vivian Bearing, PhD, leading scholar of John Donne and his Holy Sonnets, is given as much and more than she can "bear" in this play,  and we must ask ourselves what the relationship of the intellect is to the heart and the physical body. 


Death be not proud, for Vivian Bearing has earned her theatrical immortality. 



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