Monthly Archives: October 2013


Traveling Literary Theater announces Your Ghost Story, a one hour journey into the supernatural, the psychotic and the demonic, performed and brought to life by New Jersey based professional actors Maggie & Tom Worsdale.  Visit:

Saturday, October 26th at 8:00 PM and Sunday, October 27th at 3:00 PM

At The Traco Theater, 16 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08753

Cost is $20 per person, $15 for seniors and students

For Reservations call 732-228-7373 or contact:


Remember sitting around a campfire late at night with friends, telling ghost stories and trying to scare the living daylights out of each other? Or being alone in your bedroom on a stormy night reading some creepy Stephen King novel – too afraid to turn out the lights, but too enthralled to put the book down?

 Your Ghost Story is a one hour visit into that netherworld! 

 Professional stage actors Maggie & Tom Worsdale will lead you down those dark paths with dramatic readings and character interpretations from some of the finest classical and modern pieces of short fiction written in the horror genre.

 All that is required is a vivid imagination and a willingness to open up your mind to the possibilities of the unknown, the unexpected and the dark side! 

This production is not intended for young children.

For further information:



(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 10/23.)

First published in 1951, and swiftly made into a film two years later, James Jones’s semi-autobiographical novel From Here to Eternity boasts one of the best titles ever dreamed up .

Since it deals with the tough experiences of a group of US soldiers stationed in Hawaii on the eve of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour, it also concerns one of the biggest events in 20th-century history and even if the movie – despite its eight Oscars – is now more of semi-known commodity than an enduring masterpiece, it flaunts one of the most stellar casts Hollywood ever assembled, which is quite a pedigree for a musical adaptation to live up to.




(Lyn Gardner’s speech ran in the Guardian, 10/23.)

This is an edited version of a speech I made at the Unicorn theatre in London last week, on being presented with an award for outstanding contribution to children's arts by Action for Children's Arts

It often feels as if every review or article about children's theatre represents a tiny triumph. It is a tiny triumph, over the kind of outmoded and ignorant thinking that dismisses work for children and ignores it on the grounds that children's theatre is not worth reviewing, that somehow something intended for children cannot possibly be of the same worth as a Tom Stoppard play or King Lear. What rot.

As someone who has dipped my toe into writing novels for children, I'm still astonished by how many well-meaning but misguided people ask: "So when are you going to write a proper grownup novel?", as if writing for children – surely the most challenging of all audiences – counts for nothing. Just as children's literature of the last 15 years has flourished, so theatre for young people has often not just matched theatre for adult audiences but often surpassed it.


(From Theatermania, 10/18.)

New York City Opera has died. I grieve for its lost glories, mostly now long gone, but I'm not going to fill this essay with mournful memories. Instead, I think it would be wise to consider what sort of institution New York should create to replace NYCO. So we had better consider what City Opera achieved, why its existence was (and could again be) important to the city, and what went wrong
to cause its shockingly speedy downward spiral, after more than six decades of comparative success.

For make no mistake, a replacement institution will certainly arise. The nonsense currently being spouted about New York City's inability to support two opera companies, is, precisely, nonsense. New York City, bursting with wealth and artistic talent, can support any damn thing it needs; the trick is making it see that a given thing is needed. During the bulk of its 70-year life, City Opera was able to make a convincing case for that need. Inevitably it faced struggles, including financial struggles: No opera company in history has ever lived without them. Opera is expensive, and its success cannot be wholly measured at the box office. Unlike other kinds of theater production, it tends to require large ongoing forces. For those who act in spoken plays and vernacular musicals, a rotating repertory may be merely desirable as artistically nourishing — I personally see it as optimal — but for the singers of opera's long, vocally arduous leading roles, repertory is a physical necessity.


(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/22.)

At moments during “Fun Home,” the beautiful heartbreaker of a musical that opened on Tuesday night at the Public Theater, you may feel you’ve developed quadruple vision, and not just because your eyes are misted with tears. It’s also a matter of those three actresses playing the same character at different ages, a device that usually feels strained in theater, but here comes off as naturally as breathing.

Then there’s that fourth party, someone who is so clearly cut from the same genetic cloth that you have to blink whenever he shares a stage with any or all of those actresses. It’s Daddy, portrayed in searing style by Michael Cerveris, a person whom his daughter, the middle-aged Alison (Beth Malone), will be living with and reincarnating forever.




(Chris Jones’s article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 10/20.)

Noah Haidle, the overachieving young playwright formerly known for hyperintellectual insouciance, went through some personal stuff over the past year or two, resulting in his mother flying in, scooping him up from his urban East Coast milieu and bringing him home to the coop in Grand Rapids, Mich.

His mother, I'm sure, was interested in the health of her son. But she did American theater a great favor at the same time. For there in Grand Rapids, Haidle spent time recovering in his childhood home — always complex when you're an adult and find yourself staring at the same cracks in the ceiling as you did when you were 10 years old. And there in Grand Rapids, perhaps within the sound of the church bells of Grace Episcopal Church, Haidle set about penning "Smokefall," the fragile, haunting, not-to-be-missed new family drama at the Goodman Theatre — one of those rare new plays that manages both to be unstinting in its depiction of pain and dislocation yet also suffused with the hope that flows from healing and familial love. 




(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/21.)

This is the real deal: an unqualified masterpiece by Lope de Vega that, in Meredith Oakes's excellent new translation, forms part of Bath's Spanish Golden Age season. Since Lope's 1631 play deals with the guilt-wracked love between a young woman and her stepson, one is inevitably reminded of Euripides's Hippolytus and Racine's Phèdre; in its moral intricacy, however, Lope's play is the equal of its twin rivals – and indeed, in some ways, far better.

Lope's plot looks simple enough on the surface. The Duke of Ferrara, an ageing lech, decides to marry a well-born Mantuan beauty, Cassandra, and sends his bastard son, Federico, to collect his future bride. Although the young couple are instantly attracted, this is only the starting point for a play shot through with irony and ambiguity. Himself a womanising priest, Lope's ability to show how religion can act as a source of both erotic tension and silky self-justification is striking: Federico cries to Cassandra "I've lost God because of you", and the couple go through agonies of spiritual doubt before they even kiss. But the philandering Duke, who returns from the Papal wars a changed man, also invokes God to execute what he sees as a fit punishment.


Openings and Previews 

Event: King

Venue: The Kitchen (Theatre)

At the Kitchen, the world première of Neal Medlyn’s piece, the seventh and final work in a series of performances built around pop stars, in which Medlyn sings radical reinterpretations of Michael Jackson songs, joined by a small children’s choir. Oct. 23-26.

Get Tickets


Event: Macbeth

Venue: Vivian Beaumont Theatre

Ethan Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff star in the Lincoln Center Theatre production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, directed by Jack O’Brien. Also starring Richard Easton, John Glover, Malcolm Gets, Brian d’Arcy James, and Byron Jennings. In previews.

Get Tickets


Event: Too Much, Too Much, Too Many

Venue: Roundabout Underground

Roundabout Underground presents a play by Meghan Kennedy, directed by Sheryl Kaller, in which a widow becomes a shut-in, deeply affecting the life of her daughter, who takes care of her. In previews.



The Product

Duration: 1 hour, 45 minutes


Listen at:

Mike Walker's play is set in Vietnam shortly before Nixon's election in 1968. After their helicopter is shot down, a soldier and a journalist must battle their way through the jungle to safety. As they do so, they realise they were at the heart of opposing campaigns during the historic 1960 US presidential election which saw Kennedy defeat Nixon.

The 1960 Presidential race was the 'Mad Men' election when, for the first time, the politicians and their party machines sold themselves to a public delighting in the new medium of television. It was also the last of the old style elections, where millions of dollars was spread around to buy votes; where the dirty tricks reached their dubious height.

'Dear Jack, don't buy another vote – I'll be damned if I pay for a landslide!"

Joe Kennedy to JFK during the West Virginia Primary

Award-winning writer Mike Walker has written major docu-dramas on Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover, as well as about Frank Sinatra's involvement in the 1960 campaign. He has also scripted numerous acclaimed original radio plays and dramatisations, including 'A Tale of Two Cities', 'War and Peace' and 'Life and Fate'.

Brookes ….. Nathan Osgood

Leroi ….. Alex Lanipekun

Other parts played by Sam Alexander and Don Gilet

Directed by Toby Swift.