Friday, October 31, 2008

Democratic National Convention 2008: Obama’s Mile High Moment

Fulcrum Publishing, Colorado’s leading independent publisher -- and the wonderful publisher of my first book, Journalism Stories from the Real World -- has released Democratic National Convention 2008: Obama’s Mile High Moment, a celebration of the recent Democratic National Convention held in Denver. The book, done in cooperation with The Denver Post, features more than 100 color images captured during the convention by the Post’s award-winning photographers.

“This November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.”
—Senator Ted Kennedy

For more information on Democratic National Convention 2008, please visit

And let's pray that by this time next week he will be President-elect Obama!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spoken Dreams

Thought you would enjoy this delightful essay by Ginger Lingo that appeared in Guideposts magazine.

More than anything I wanted a new bike. I dreamed about it every day while walking to school. My father was a pastor so we didn’t have much money. The only way I was going to get that bike was to earn my own money for it. So I worked hard, doing odd jobs like babysitting, weeding and raking leaves. I stashed every penny I earned from those jobs and my allowance in my piggy bank.

Then one day at Sunday school our teacher told us of a letter she had received from Chile about a boy who had hepatitis. His missionary parents said he was recovering, but his spirits were still low. “Can you think of anything that might cheer him up?” our teacher asked us.

“A new bike!” the whole class exclaimed eagerly, and we agreed we would raise the money.

All week long I agonized over what to do. My conscience could only come up with one answer—give up my savings for the boy in Chile. So I emptied out my piggy bank and brought every cent to Sunday school. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and maybe that’s why it felt so right.

In college years later I found myself praying for something even harder than I had prayed for the bike—a man meant just for me. All my friends were dating. Why wasn’t I? Was God asking me to wait again?

At last I met someone named Steve. We had a lot in common. He went to the college where my father taught, and my roommate was engaged to his best friend. He was earnest, smart and hard-working. But I couldn’t help wondering, Is he really the one?

One evening our families got together for dinner, a chance for everybody to get to know each other better. Over dessert and coffee Steve’s mother talked about some of the places they had lived when they were missionaries. “Once when we were in Chile,” she said, “Steve got hepatitis. You know what cheered him up?”

Of course, I knew. He got a bike—my bike. And I got the husband I have been married to for 29 years.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From false self to true

"The shell must be cracked apart if what is in it is to come out, for if you want the kernel, you must break the shell."
-- Meister Eckhart

Monday, October 27, 2008

Seize the day

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow."
-- James Dean

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rage and Glory: The Volatile Life and Career of George C. Scott

George C. Scott created some of the 20th century’s most memorable performances on stage and screen—the cunning prosecutor in “Anatomy of a Murder,” the manipulative gambler in “The Hustler,” the buffoonishly warmongering chief of staff in “Dr. Strangelove,” and, of course, the brilliant and rebellious Patton. He also played Willy Loman, Richard III, Mussolini, Scrooge, Fagin, and countless others. But his offstage life was as filled with drama and controversy as any of the lives he portrayed with such intensity.

He refused the Oscar for “Patton,” battled with TV networks to include realistic elements in his series “East Side/West Side,” invested (and lost) his own money on Broadway and in the scandalous film “The Savage Is Loose,” married five times (twice to Colleen Dewhurst) and had a tempestuous affair with Ava Gardner, traveled to Vietnam at the height of the war to write an article for Esquire, and weathered a damaging sexual harassment suit.

In the first complete biography of this actor, David Sheward documents Scott’s artistry as well as his roller-coaster career. Featuring interviews with numerous colleagues including Nathan Lane, Karl Malden, Piper Laurie, and Eva Marie Saint, as well as friends and family members, Rage and Glory pays tribute to one of our finest and fieriest actors.

David Sheward is the executive editor and theatre critic for Back Stage, the weekly publication for actors. He is also the author of It’s a Hit: The Back Stage Book of Longest-Running Broadway Shows and The Big Book of Show Business Awards, and he is a contributing correspondent on NY1’s program “On Stage.” Sheward lives in New York City.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Living outside the garden
there is shame,
desire, dominance.
The curse of thorns and thistles --
seeking security in relationships and work --
leaves a dry taste of dust.

Ah, but there is a secret!
The cherubim are not posted
to keep you out -- only
to keep I out.

The essential you,
the you under the I,
is protected forever,
undefiled and undefilable.

You can return
for you never left.

-- Carolyn Goddard

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Body of Water

If you like your mysteries resolved at the end, skip this show. If you’re content with an edgy drama that keeps throwing you a curve ball and leaves you wondering, you’ll love Primary Stages’ New York premiere of A Body of Water by Lee Blessing. 

I don’t usually like mysteries, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The ensemble acting is excellent and director Maria Mileaf keeps the action popping.

The plot revolves around a middle-aged woman (Christine Lahti) and middle-aged man (Michael Cristofer) who wake one morning in a summer house and don’t know who they are or where they are. This device starts out funny as they try to figure out their identities and if they are married to each other. In attempting to answer the second question they decide to take peeks at each other naked to see if any physical element jogs their memories. Nothing does. (No nudity is shown; they open their bathrobes to one another with their backs to the audience.)

The tone shifts after they hear someone at the door. “Go see who it is,” the woman says. “I don’t even know who we are,” the man replies. But when it turns out to be a young woman (Laura Odeh) who may or may not be their daughter, the plot darkens. The mind-bending scenarios she suggests include the possibility that they murdered an 11-year-old child of theirs and even that one of them is really dead and the other is hallucinating the partner’s reality.

The play stirs up larger questions, mainly do we exist without our memories? The atmosphere is enhanced by Neil Patel’s set, a cozy living room surrounded by windows on three sides with views of water -- a body of water. The feeling of isolation is perfect for the haunting drama that unfolds.

A Body of Water plays for a limited run through Sunday, Nov. 16 at 59E59 Theaters. For tickets, call (212) 279-4200 or visit the company's web site at

Lee Blessing is the author of such notable plays as the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominated A Walk in the Woods and Going to St. Ives, which won an Outer Critics Circle Award. In an interview for Primary Stages he had this to say about A Body of Water: “We can decide all we want that we have resolved the riddle of life and worked out what the meaning of life is, but we will never have any empirical evidence that we are correct. I think this play is a little more in the service of the concept that we’ll never know. We can presume a lot of things, but we never really know anything. So, this play takes that last phrase literally.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit

"There's a certain type of temperament which not only naturally inclines itself toward silent and reverent attention, but also longs for it. Those who possess this temperament longingly seek the deepening silence and are drawn to the intuitive moment that shakes their universe."
-- Fr. Robert E. Kennedy, S.J. Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: The Place of Zen in Christian Life

Friday, October 17, 2008

All My Sons

British director Simon McBurney has staged an intriguing, if at times uneven, revival of All My Sons, Arthur Miller's first successful play, one which features what would become two of his enduring themes -- the effects of capitalism on a person’s soul and the responsibility we have for one another.

Tony Award winner John Lithgow is fabulous as Joe Keller, a business man who survived the scandal that sent his partner to jail, and Patrick Wilson is equally strong as his son, Chris. The show opened last night at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

I was less taken by the performance of Dianne Wiest, an actress I generally regard highly for her work on stage and screen. (She won Oscars for two Woody Allen films, “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Bullets Over Broadway.”) While Lithgow and Wilson give powerful, naturalistic performances, hers as Kate, wife of Joe and mother of Chris, is more flat, as if she is portraying a type. Her interpretation of Kate fit in with the expressionistic mood of the production.

This dichotomy is what gives the show an uneven feeling. Tom Pye’s stark set, which consists of little more that a screen door, points toward expressionism and away from the traditional staging of a Miller play. From the beginning when the cast walks on stage with no fanfare and Lithgow announces the name of the play and asks people to turn off their cells, to the final scene when all of the minor characters, who have been sitting passively in the wings watching, come on stage and stand silently on either side, I thought of Our Town; this ending made me think of the cemetery scene in Wilder’s classic. But then there is the recorded chorus singing ominously between the second and third acts that is pure Greek tragedy. In a way it seems as if Lithgow and Wilson had just wandered from a naturalistic play onto the set of one that is experimental -- two characters in search of a play.

But it is also, thank heavens, very much Miller, a playwright I have always loved. Ever the moralist, Miller found his inspiration for this 1947 play from a true story of a successful businessman who knowingly sold the government defective airline parts during World War II, resulting in tragic consequences. The truth comes out in the play as his son prepares to marry his partner’s daughter.

Oh, yes, and about that daughter. Katie Holmes (the third Mrs. Tom Cruise) is not just making her Broadway debut in the role of Ann Deever, she is making her debut on any stage and it shows. She’s far better than Julia Roberts when she made the same leap. In fact she’s fine in the first act when her character is more the sunny girl next door. She seems so at home on stage I would never have suspected it was her first time -- a far cry from Roberts who shook and cowered. It was in the second and third acts when she had to portray raw emotion -- hurt and anger and to break down in tears -- that her inexperience showed.

The original production of All My Sons won the Tony Award for best play and best director (Elia Kazan) and starred Ed Begley and Karl Malden. It was adapted for the screen in 1948 featuring Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster.

In addition to the theatre giants Lithgow and Wiest, this production includes Becky Ann Baker (Sue Bayliss), Christian Camargo (George Deever), Jordan Gelber (Frank Lubey), Danielle Ferland (Lydia Lubey), Damian Young (Dr. Jim Bayliss) and Michael D'Addario (Bert) with Sherman Howard, Clark Jackson, Lizbeth MacKay, Christopher Grey Misa and Danielle Skraastad as the Neighbors. It is scheduled to play a limited engagement through Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009.

Show times are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 W. 45th St.. Tickets, priced $61.50-$116.50, are available through or by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On the Way to O'Neill's: JFK in Ireland

Here's an update to the following item that I posted March 1. On the Way to O'Neill's: JFK in Ireland, by Ann G. Bauer and David Beckett, will have a New York reading at 7 p.m. Nov 1 at the Roy Arias Studios and Theatres, 300 W. 43rd St., Suite 506. For more information visit or call (818) 640-5881. The reading is part of a series of political, social and global works called We ARE the People. For more on the series, go to or call (212) 957-8358.

Actor David Beckett called me this morning to tell me about a new alternate history play,  "On The Way To O'Neill's: JFK In Ireland," on which he has collaborated. He’s looking for directors (and theatre companies) interested in producing projects that are timely and challenging.  This prize-winning play was featured in New York last spring on Ten Grand Productions' "Cold Cuts Reading Series".  This followed a  successful reading at the Actor's Co-op in Hollywood. 

 The play begins in late fall 1999, in a cottage in Wexford, Ireland.  An 82-year-old JFK wakes from a nap and a nightmare in which he relives John Jr.s tragic plane crash.  (Kennedy survived Dallas, although gravely injured.   Mrs. Kennedy did not.)
Mrs. Byrnes, his housekeeper, has left him a cassette tape given to her by a woman in the market.  The voice sounds like that of an Irish Jackie.  It is a reporter named Gemma OLeary.  Kennedy calls her to politely refuse any interview request and discovers himself agreeing to answer questions sent in by school children.  As the questions become more probing, he invites her to come over for lunch on the following Tuesday to continue.
As Act II opens Gemma arrives for lunch.  The school children's’ questions at first touch on Kennedy family history, relationships, scandals, etc.  But soon personal issues for both President and reporter are laid bare.  Unexpected revelations are made on each side.  The mutual self-disclosure results in a growing closeness between Gemma and JFK.  This prompts him to finally reveal his real reason for coming to Ireland.   Gemma’s response then confronts him with a life-changing decision.
The script won the 2006 World Cultures Grant from San Diego City College. 

Some of the praise for this work:
Father Andrew Greeley: "Fascinating play!... I hope it gets performed on Broadway where it belongs!" 

Jason Hewitt, managing director of NYC's Ten Grand Productions, called the script: "Stirring and provocative -- keeps the audience in the throes of mystery and rekindles a national spirit that's been missing for a while."

 If you would like to find out more about the play or see David’s profile, they can be found at: and
(The photo here is of JFK at 86; The New York Times commissioned a forensic artist to create this image of how an older JFK would have appeared.  David and his collaborators used it to have a Hollywood makeup artist create makeup designed for the elderly JFK charcter.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Man for All Seasons

“He (Sir Thomas More) was the person of the greatest virtue these islands ever produced.” Samuel Johnson

Last year Frank Langella won a Tony for his role as a delightfully slippery, but finally defeated Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon. This season he’s back on Broadway as the noble and uncompromising Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. While watching him portray Tricky Dicky was much more fun, watching him as More is downright inspiring.

Robert Bolt’s 1960 bio-drama about More’s epic struggle with his conscious and his king won the Tony for best play in 1962 and it still holds up well today. In 1966 it was made into a feature film, with Paul Scofield reprising his Broadway role as More, and won six Academy Awards.

Interestingly enough, I had the same reaction to it now as I had when I first saw it in 1981 at Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE. Both times the play, which takes place between 1529-1535, dragged for me in the first act; I looked at my watch Saturday at intermission and was surprised to see only an hour had passed. All that talk of canon law, Apostolic Succession, royal succession, English history, and wars made it seem longer. The second act, now as then, held my attention throughout its 75 minutes and sent me from the theatre feeling awed and challenged.

More, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, lived a life of privilege, holding a high position and enjoying the friendship of the king and his fellow noblemen. But he was unafraid to talk truth to power. When King Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, couldn’t bear him a son after 18 years of marriage, he wanted to divorce her to marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn, despite his Catholic Church’s law against it. More refused to give his approval.

His stance earned him a beheading. It also rewarded him 300 years later with sainthood. I don’t know if the real-life More was as saintly at all times as Bolt has crafted him, but I wish the playwright had allowed him to struggle a bit with some conflicted feelings instead of being so darned sure of his stance throughout. Even after a year in prison with the dampness of his jail cell having stripped him of his health, and wearing only rags against the cold, when he is finally granted a visit with his family, his comment about life among the rats and mice and dripping water comes off as pure Pollyanna: “Except it’s keeping me from you, my dears, it’s not so bad. Remarkably like any other place.” He sounds like St. Paul noting that he has known want and fullness and is able to be content with either. Okay, that’s fine for a living saint, but for a dramatic character I’d like a little more anger and indignation over the injustice he is suffering.

Luckily Sir Thomas does allow himself some sarcasm. When the Duke of Norfolk (Michel Gill) tries to make a case for giving in, he argues that the nobility of England are religious and yet they aren’t challenging the king. More replies: “The nobility of England, my lord, would have snored through the Sermon on the Mount.” And when Richard Rich (Jeremy Strong), a young man formerly in More’s employment where he was treated fondly, lies at More’s treason trial and is rewarded with the title of Attorney General for Wales, More, in a combination of pain and amusement, says to him: “For Wales? Why, Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales!”

It isn’t so much the law of the Church that compels More; it is the law of his conscience. “A man’s soul is his self,” he says. Though all others around him are signing the oath declaring that what the king is doing is right, More refuses. “You might as well ask a man to change the color of his eyes,” he says. “I can’t.”

In his preface to the play, Bolt said it was More’s commitment to personal conviction and strong sense of self that inspired him as a 20th century playwright. He noted that one of the effects of industrialization is that people had lost a concept of themselves as individuals.

But More never does. “One, I’m an individual, and two, I’m responsible for my actions,” he says. “I will not criticize or judge anyone else. I won’t think less of you if you sign this oath, but you are asking me to do something against my private conscience. I can’t do it. And I take responsibility for this -- which means I give up my life for it.”

This is the first Broadway revival of A Man for All Seasons since the original 1961 production. Doug Hughes, the Tony-winning director of Doubt, directs. An interesting program note offers this tongue-in-cheek comment about the timeliness of this production: "It should be remembered that A Man for All Seasons deals with 'an age less fastidious than our own. Imprisonment without trial, and even examination under torture, were common practice.'" If only our age were more fastidious in this regard!

Besides Langella, a three-time Tony winner, the all-around solid cast features Hannah Cabell (as Margaret More), Michael Esper (William Roper), Zach Grenier (Thomas Cromwell), Dakin Matthews (Cardinal Wolsey), George Morfogen (Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop), Patrick Page (King Henry VIII), Maryann Plunkett (Alice More), Charles Borland (Jailer), Peter Bradbury (Steward), Patricia Hodges (Woman), Triney Sandoval (Thomas Chapuys) and Emily Dorsch, plus Curt Bouril, Alex Cole, Elizabeth Gilbert, Miguel Govea, Einar Gunn and Andy Lutz.

The design team includes Santo Loquasto (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), David Lander (lights), David Van Tieghem (original music and sound) and Tom Watson (hair and wigs).

Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of A Man for All Seasons continues at the American Airlines Theatre through Dec. 7. Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, online at or at the American Airlines theatre box office, 227 W. 42nd St.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Irene Dailey

My Aunt Liz died last month. Actually, she was Aunt Liz for thousands of people as the interfering, but well-meaning matriarch of the Matthews family on the classic soap “Another World.” Actress Irene Dailey was 88 and died Sept. 24 of colon cancer in California.

Ms. Dailey has been a part of my life since 1974 when she first appeared on AW. Even though that most wonderful of soaps stopped production in 1999 -- I still miss it! -- Aunt Liz continues to live on in the AW episodes AOL puts up from time to time and on all the tapes I have from the show when it was rebroadcast on SoapNet.

Unfortunately I never got to see her on stage. I couldn’t get a ticket to The Father in 1995 when she starred with Frank Langella (photo) in what was to be her last theatre appearance. She had had a successful career on stage following a series of Broadway flops, earning her chance to shine in the role of the quick-witted, sensitive mother, Nettie Cleary, in the 1964 Tony Award-winning drama The Subject Was Roses, in which she starred with Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen.

“Miss Dailey’s Nettie is a luminous creation,” Howard Taubman wrote in The New York Times. “She can suggest hurt and desiccation with a stricken glance. Wearing a plain hat and coat and holding her purse, she can turn to walk out of her apartment so that her back conveys her utter defeat and despair.”

Although she had numerous TV credits, my only association with her was as Aunt Liz on AW, a role she played from 1974 to 1986, and then again from 1988 to 1994, winning a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding actress in 1979.

According to The New York Times obit today, Ms. Dailey was born in New York City on Sept. 12, 1920, the daughter of Daniel and Helen Ryan Dailey. Her father managed the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan. Her brother Dan Dailey gained fame as a song-and-dance man and Hollywood actor.

At 8, The Times says, she was dancing in vaudeville, and at 18 she was working in summer stock. “With consistent bad luck, she kept winning parts in what she once said were 13 of Broadway’s worst shows. Miss Lonelyhearts, for example, had a nine-day run.”

The Times says Ms. Dailey “ran a lampshade store and worked as a waitress while making the Broadway rounds. Then, in 1960, she tried her luck in London. She was the 47th actress to try out for the lead in Tomorrow — With Pictures, about an American woman trying to take over a British newspaper empire. She got the part and drew rave reviews.”

“Every plummy-voiced English rose of an imitation actress should be dragged to see Miss Dailey,” The Daily Express critic wrote. “She sweats love, breathes hate, weeps desire.”

In an interview with Time magazine at the time, Miss Dailey said: “I shall be 40 in September. I have nothing, really nothing. I’m not married. I have no children.

“All I really care about is the theatre,” she continued. “But now, for the first time, I know in my stomach that my work is good.”

Your work was good, Ms. Dailey, at least what I saw of it through all those years on AW. I’d like to see it again. Maybe you can finagle the Divine to get SoapNet to restore AW to its programing and AOL to put up episodes more frequently. Please try, Aunt Liz.

And God bless you.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Only Answer

"Hear, then, the one answer of the Holy Spirit to all the questions the ego raises: You are a child of God, a priceless part of His Kingdom, which He created as part of Him. Nothing else exists and only this is real."
-- from A Course in Miracles, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Seagull

I went as a dutiful Drama Desk voter and because I wanted to see Kristin Scott Thomas in her Broadway debut. I stayed because Scott Thomas and the rest of the cast were just so darn good.

Many people would not have considered going to a Chekhov play a duty, and once upon a time I wouldn’t have either. I was in high school when I first saw The Seagull back in 1971 at Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE and I was totally involved and left the theatre moved by the lives of these people. Now, though, as a critic who sees plays whether I want to or not, and was in fact seeing my third show of the week, sitting through nearly three hours of alienation and regret is not as thrilling as it used to be. As the play’s provincial doctor says, “Everyone is so neurotic.” They certainly are, but they are also recognizably human and this cast brings them vividly to life.

Chekhov’s theme of loneliness is further enhanced by Hildegard Bechtler’s sets, especially the sparse living room of the second act that mirrors the emptiness of the inhabitants' lives.

This revival, which opened last night at the Walter Kerr Theatre, comes to Broadway following an acclaimed three-month run early last year at London's Royal Court, then as now under the direction of Ian Rickson. That production became a sold-out hit and the best-selling show in the Royal Court’s 50-year history.

Scott Thomas (in photo) won an Olivier Award for her portrayal of Arkadina in the London production and will most certainly be nominated for, and possibly win, a Tony for her performance here.

Another cast member from that production likely to be honored during awards season here is Carey Mulligan who is luminous as Nina in the first act and effectively hardened yet still vulnerable in the second.

I was delighted to see Ann Dowd as a bustling and caring Polina. I met Ann six years ago when I interviewed her for my book Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life Through the Eyes of Actors. I had been a fan of hers from her time as Sister Maureen on the short-lived, but excellent, TV series “Nothing Sacred.” We met for an hour one morning and her thoughts became a powerful part of my Self-Knowledge chapter.

The Seagull, which features a new translation by playwright Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Philanthropist), plays a 14-week engagement, closing Dec. 21.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I liked the horses. The long-to-arrive climactic scene of the second act is powerful. Otherwise this Broadway revival of Peter Shaffer's 1973 psychodrama is dull, despite the chilling central story about a 17-year-old stable boy who unexpectedly gouges out the eyes of six horses with a pick used to clean their hoofs.

Having not seen the original, I was always curious about whether this play had a lot of substance beyond the creepy plot. I can’t say I found much, although stage newcomer Daniel Radcliffe gave am impressive performance as Alan Strang, the troubled young man.

It is the first act that I found most problematic, at least in this production. Tony and Olivier Award winner Richard Griffiths didn’t seem really present to his role as Martin Dysart, the doctor treating Alan at a psychiatric hospital in southern England. Dysart calls his self-indulgent ramblings “professional menopause.” Good word choice because menopause is a drag and the first act is a talky 80-minutes that didn’t engage me.

That is, except for when the horses were on stage. Director Thea Sharrock has created eery stylized scenes with the animals, played effectively by six tall, well-built men in brown pants and skintight brown T-shirts (costumes by John Napier). They wear metal cage-like horse heads and prance around on metal hooves. Their scenes are expressionistic and exciting, in large measure thanks to lighting designer David Hersey who creates a dark, dangerous mood throughout much of the production. I predict a Tony for him.

And while’s Hersey’s lighting dramatizes the horses, it gives a secretive feel to the nude scene between Radcliffe and Anna Camp, who plays Jill Mason, a young woman who begins a sexual encounter with Alan in the barn.

The nude scene is probably the best proof that Radcliffe -- widely known for his starring role in the "Harry Potter" movies -- has a promising future in the theatre. In this his Broadway debut, he seems at home on the stage throughout the play, even stark naked before 1,000 people. (Radcliffe and Griffiths did, however, have a nice trial run before opening in New York, playing to sold-out crowds early last year at London’s 's Gielgud Theatre.)

Equus (the Latin word for horse) originally opened on Broadway in October 1974 and won the 1975 Tony for Best Play, going on the run for 1,209 performances. The current production, scheduled to run at the Broadhurst Theatre through Feb. 8, 2009, is the show's first Broadway revival. Playwright Shaffer is also the author of Amadeus, Lettice and Lovage and other works.