Stupid F*!’&ing Bird: To wake Chekhov from the dead

The big winner this week in theater awards for 2014 in Los Angeles was a Russian playwright who's been dead for over a century. Well, not exactly, but writer Aaron Posner's brilliantly free adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull did win the L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards for best ensemble, direction, and writing. It's just spectacular,Continue reading “Stupid F*!’&ing Bird: To wake Chekhov from the dead”

I can’t pretend to be interested in your books: Chekhov

A Times review of a"Seagull" set in Ireland during the time of "the Troubles" doesn't love the production but brings its wit out lovingly nonetheless. Among the production’s freshest scenes is the brief colloquy between the bluntly bitter Mary and Aston. Mary’s no-nonsense approach to the impossibility of finding lasting love is in contrast toContinue reading “I can’t pretend to be interested in your books: Chekhov”

What really happened to the developer: Chekhov

The New Yorker's great theater critic, John Lahr, hasn't been writing enough. Then on Dec. 12 the magazine doesn't put the compressed grace of his review of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" on line, and further goes on in the truncated "abstract" it does post to mangle Lahr's dramatic wisdom. It's criminal! But no matter —Continue reading “What really happened to the developer: Chekhov”

Meteorology — It’s So Not about You

Robert Peake, Ojai's most distinguished poet this century, thinks deeply and writes beautifully about topics that only poetry has the means to bring down to earth. Over the summer I happened to see him read the following, which may be of particular interest to the readers of this site, because this poem dares to suggestContinue reading “Meteorology — It’s So Not about You”

Horton Foote, Rest in Peace

One of the greatest of modern American writers, Horton Foote, died yesterday after a long and lovely life. Foote may be most famous for his screenplay adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird," among many other great works, but many of his fans like best of all his story of a spiritual journey an old womanContinue reading “Horton Foote, Rest in Peace”

The Romantic Museum of Great Russian Writers

On this Valentine's Day weekend, it's fitting to link to Geoff Manaugh, who likes to think about landscapes and the future, and comes up with an insanely romantic idea for a new museum. Begin with a relatively simple fact: Russian forensic scientists are testing blood samples found on a certain sofa where the great writerContinue reading “The Romantic Museum of Great Russian Writers”