Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rutherford & Son

By the time the second act ends, you will be longing to see comeuppance reign down on John Rutherford Sr., the tyrannical patriarch in the revival of Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford & Son, which opened last night in a 100th anniversary celebration at the Mint Theater Company. Such is Sowerby’s skill as a playwright that you will not see the ending coming. And you will leave this two-and-a-half-hour show savoring the delights of a thoroughly great production.

Rutherford, played with chilling force by Robert Hogan (in photo), dominates his household and his glassworks factory in the industrial north of England with not a shred of compassion. So thorough is his hold over his three adult children that his only daughter, Janet (Sara Surrey, in photo), 36-years-old and unmarried, brings him his slippers each evening and removes his boots. Son John (Eli James), who works with him at the factory, and his other son, Richard (James Patrick Nelson), are weak, spineless creatures who cower under their father’s rule.

Director Richard Corley allows this tension to permeate the stage and seep into the audience. Even when the elder Rutherford isn’t seen, his presence is felt in the family’s gracious Victorian living room (excellent set by Vicki R. Davis). Since his wife died years before, his sister, Ann (Sandra Shipley), has taken on the woman of the house role, but only in a small way. Even she plays a subservient role to this man who is used to getting his own way and will tolerate nothing less.

The suspense of the plot hinges on whether John junior will be able to break free and enjoy an independent life with his working class wife, Mary (Allison McLemore), and their infant son by selling a new metal formula he has discovered. The personal metal of all of the characters will be tested.

Rutherford & Son is the latest example of how wonderfully this theater company, under artistic director Jonathan Bank, carries out its mission of resurrecting forgotten and neglected plays and restoring them to mint condition. This company not only offers first-rate productions, but the handouts and program notes enrich the experience with fascinating background information about the plays and playwrights.

We learn that Rutherford & Son was originally scheduled for only four performances when it opened at London’s Royal Court Theatre on Jan. 31, 1912, but the critical response was so enthusiastic it quickly transferred to the West End. 

“One of the very best, strongest, deftest, and altogether most masterly family dramas that we have had for a long time from any one, however famous,” wrote one London critic. 

The New York premiere later that year equally impressed American critics: “A play that carries conviction in every line — that leaves no doubt that it was written out of a fullness of knowledge of the life and people with which it deals,” wrote The New York Times.

That reaction proved to be timeless.

“Sowerby knew what she was talking about,” wrote Lyn Gardner in The Guardian of a 2009 London revival.  “The amazing thing is that she did it so blatantly and with such flair almost 100 years ago, when women were seen but seldom heard on British stages.”

The fact that she was a woman threw the original critics for a loop. Surprised that such a play of such depth and stagecraft could be penned by a first-time playwright, the London Times predicted a future “full of promise” for this talented writer, known at that point only as “K.G. Sowerby.”

When “K.G.” was revealed to stand for Katherine Githa, critics were gob smacked. The playwright, whom one critic referred to as a “girl-dramatist,” made headlines in New York as well as London and her work was compared to that of Ibsen.

The Times of London observed: “She is the last person in the world one would expect to find as the author of so grim, powerful and closely thought-out drama of business.  Instead of looking as if she wrote this play, she is a young, pretty, fair-haired girl, refined of speech and dainty in dress, who seems far better suited to a drawing room than to the dramatist’s work room.”

She was portrayed as an English rose who’d stumbled into play writing, and, being a private person who avoided interviews, she did little to correct that impression. 

In the midst of such triumph, she became engaged to John Kaye Kendall, a poet and dramatist, after knowing him for only three weeks and married him two months later.

She remained a private person, and even burned her personal papers shortly before her death in 1970. By that time, both her and her work had been forgotten.  None of her plays after Rutherford & Son had achieved acclaim and even Rutherford disappeared from the repertory. 

When the National Theatre revived Rutherford & Son in 1994, inspiring new interest in Githa, her life remained a mystery. With the publication of Looking for Githa by Patricia Riley two years ago, concrete details of Githa’s life and family history finally emerged. The Mint’s program includes an essay by Riley, whose biography was greatly helped by memories shared by Githa’s daughter, Joan. Riley learned that the ruthless industrialist Rutherford was based on Sowerby’s grandfather who owned a glassworks factory. She writes that Githa had been successful as a children’s book author before turning to play writing. She penned other plays, but Rutherford was her most successful.

“She died in 1970, aged 93, believing that her work had been forgotten and, wrongly, that her family had no interest in her achievement,” Riley writes.

Fortunately that didn't prove to be true, and thanks to the Mint another great play and playwright have been brought back to life for New York audiences. This excellent production continues through April 1. For more information, visit minttheater.org.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Theodore Mann and Journeys in the Night

I posted this originally on Jan. 30, 2008. Theodore Mann died Friday of complications of pneumonia. He was 87.

Theodore Mann has plenty of showbiz stories to tell. Since starting Circle in the Square in 1951, he has presented more than 200 productions, received 14 Tony nominations, plus the Tony for best play for his world premiere production of “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” He has worked with George C. Scott, Geraldine Page, Jason Robards, Peter Falk and many others. He offers his memories of those decades in the new book Journeys in the Night: Creating a New American Theater with Circle in the Square. He shared some of those stories with our Dutch Treat Club yesterday at the National Arts Club.

It all started in an abandoned dance hall in the Village that was “like a little Greek theatre.” The first production, “Dark of the Moon,” had more actors than audience members. But “I’m the kind of person that when I start something I finish it,” Mann said.

He’s also the kind of person to seize opportunity. The first review of a Circle production was by “New York Times” critic Brooks Atkinson. It was eight inches long and said “it’s hot,” explaining that the theatre space was too warm. Mann turned the comment into an ad, quoting just that part of Atkinson’s review, as if the show were a hit. Unfortunately, the “Times” refused to run the ad.

But success followed. “Summer and Smoke,” starring a young Page, got great reviews, ran for a year and launched Page’s career. In time Scott would play there; it was at Circle that he met Colleen Dewhurst.

Mann also had his eye on another young actor he had seen Off-Broadway. “I want to find a play for him,” he said about Dustin Hoffman. But Hoffman didn’t respond, heading out to Hollywood instead. Years later Hoffmann told him why: “I thought you guys were trying to pick me up.”

Up until 1956 it has been “a roller coaster ride” -- a success followed by several failures. But then Mann considered taking a chance on Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” which had been a failure on Broadway. “If we were going to go down, it would be like the Titanic. We’d go down big.” Robards had already been cast in the play, but had a higher vision for himself. “I gotta do Hickey,” he told Mann. “He was very wired up and obviously had had a few drinks.” But when he performed one of Hickey’s monologues, “I got chills down my back,” Mann said.

Jose Quintero, who was directing the production, also was impressed. He later called Robards, who was living in the meat packing district, and asked for Hickey. “That’s how he heard he got the part,” Mann said.

They weren’t the only ones impressed. Robards’ performance also opened another door for the fledgling theatre. O’Neill’s widow contacted Mann about doing the premiere of her husband’s most autobiographical work, “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” on Broadway. Dressed all in black, including dark glasses, she was “very tempestuous and mercurial.”

Mrs. O’Neill had chosen wisely. The production was so powerful that at first the theatre was silent after the show ended on opening night. Then the audience burst into applause. “It was a great thrill for us,” Mann said. The play went on to win a Pulitzer and the production many Tonys. “O’Neill’s reputation was revived and he was hailed as the greatest American playwright.”

And Circle in the Square is still producing Broadway hits, the latest being “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which closed Jan 20 after three years. This is the Circle in the Square I’ve always known, in the midtown, downstairs space on 50th between Broadway and Eighth. Even before I lived in New York I knew and loved this theatre. My friend Karen Murphy Jensen and I always tried to get tickets there when we visited NYC. It’s where I first saw Kevin Kline on stage in a Shaw play, “Arms and the Man,” I think. As Mann says: “It’s still like a Greek theatre, with the audience all around.”

I agree with him that part of what makes that theatre so special is “the intimacy of being close.” It was the perfect place to create a beach for Tina Howe’s “Coastal Disturbance.” That’s probably the biggest set I ever saw there; the simplest may have been for “Frozen.”

It was clear listening to Mann that he had many more stories to impart than we had time for. Luckily he’s written them down so they’ll never be lost. His book is about more than just one theatre; it’s about all those people who brought it to life, and who went on from there to bless so many people with their gifts.

Nice job, little Greek theatre.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Come Home for Lent

The following blog by Nina Frost appears on the Marble Collegiate Church web site.

“Welcome back,” said the cab driver, with no small amount of conviction, as I left LaGuardia on Tuesday, the last day of Epiphany, and headed to Marble Church, to continue preparations for the upcoming women’s retreat.

Though he asked where I was coming from (Virginia), and said nothing else during the ride, when I got out at Marble, he looked me in the eye and said it again: “Welcome back… and be well.” I wished him the same, fervently, in that way you do when you feel you have stepped into something large and mysterious and wonderful with a total stranger.

The thing is: While yes, I grew up in New York, and lived and worked for most of my life here, and am still blessed to come here periodically for work, he had no way of knowing that, and I don’t think I telegraph anything that screams New York native on her return voyage. And I am beyond happy in my Virginia home with my husband.

And yet: His words felt very apt, but not for reasons geographic. I had been thinking about Lent, which starts today, and about the journey it invites each of us to take, every year. A journey that is different for each person, and just as inscrutable.

But I believe at the heart of the Lenten journey is the invitation to return: To look long and hard at the disconnects in our lives—with God, with other people, with ourselves—and to make reparations… changes in behavior and thinking that ultimately allow someone, maybe ourselves, maybe God, to say: “Welcome back.”

In the reading many will hear at Ash Wednesday services, the words from Psalm 51 will repeat a prayer many of us also say and hope for, one way or another:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”

In this prayer is the longing to come home, to be welcomed back. And as both this prayer and Lent remind, we are always needing to return… we always stray, and that straying is not a source of condemnation but, actually, the source of the desire to turn back toward God.

As we walk into this season of both promise and honest self-examination together, think of ways you are being “welcomed back.” There may be some things you need to do before that can happen. Lord knows that is true for me. But: There are metaphorical cab drivers everywhere, just waiting to help you take the first step. The rest will be up to you… you and God. Thanks be.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Each is given
a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
a book of rules;
And each must make
ere life has flown
A stumbling block
or a stepping stone.
-- R.L. Sharpe

Monday, February 20, 2012

Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire

Performance of the Century: A lost suffragist’s satire celebrates its centennial and popular revival

One hundred years ago, a now-forgotten Progressive named Marie Jenney Howe penned a no-longer-forgotten playlet for the drama group of the New York City Woman Suffrage Party. A century later—in this fraught election year—Howe’s “An Anti-Suffrage Monologue” celebrates its 200th performance. Revived as Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire, the “Monologue” has been performed from Texas to Connecticut, Delaware to Wisconsin—exclusively by Michèle LaRue, a professional actress who specializes in earlier American works.

Labeled “wicked” by New York critic Roy Sander and “side-splitting” by Cape May’s Star and Wave, Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire was conceived and directed by the late Warren Kliewer. Dishes began touring in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment for Woman Suffrage, under the banner of The East Lynne Company, founded by Kliewer to revive earlier American plays and literature. LaRue continues to tour Dishes under the aegis of the Cape May – based East Lynne Theater Company.

In 1912—eight years before Woman Suffrage finally was achieved—many females still opposed getting the vote. They cited obstacles ranging from unsavory polling places to their own small brains and “delicate nervous organization.” In her “Monologue,” Howe gleefully deflated these arguments, deftly wielding her keen knowledge of the issues and her good-natured but perceptive wit to expose the Antis’ illogic. Today most of those arguments sound ludicrous, but LaRue’s own post-performance lecture puts them in historical context, inviting lively audience discussion.

“It’s so hard to choose a favorite line,” says LaRue, clearly still enchanted by the material and her character. “I think of her as a cheerleader for The Cause; she can’t imagine anyone not being Anti. She dotes on her husband and reveres his every word: his opinions go in one ear … and out her mouth, without stumbling on grey matter. At one point, she proudly puts opposite arguments in couplets, helpfully explaining to her audience that ‘If you don’t like one, you can take the other!’ ”

LaRue tours Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire throughout Women’s History Month—in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois. Subsequent bookings include Massachusetts and Texas.

For performance schedule or bookings, contact Michèle LaRue at 201-863-6436 or ruedelarue@aol.com.

(Photo by Ken Smith of Quiet Heart Images)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

“If prayer is you talking to God, then intuition is God talking to you.”
--Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Maury Yeston’s December Songs

I caught a fascinating program at the Duplex not too long ago, singer Jaime Hastings performing a song cycle in the cozy cabaret room. She sang it as a true cycle, that is, without breaks between the songs, and without conversation or patter. What she had to do, then, was compel our interest with only the music and the words, nothing else.  There was no escape for her – it was all in the music.
Hastings, who has a wide-ranging theatrical voice and a warm presence, sang December Songs, a cycle by the versatile Maury Yeston (in photo), who was inspired by Schubert’s Die Winterreise (Winter Journey) song cycle. But instead of a man singing in an Austrian forest, these songs are for a woman singing in Central Park. They concern her relationship with a lover and allow the singer to express various moods, mostly intense or sad, with lyrics such as, “Where are you now?” “Please let’s not even say hello,” and “Lie after lie.”
Even though Yeston had intended the cycle for cabaret, it nevertheless is a brave singer who will attempt it to an audience not quite familiar with the genre. The singer of such a program must totally be in control musically and in how she moves between songs at all times. This kind of internal concentration could take away from relating to the audience. But it was exciting to see that the audience stayed with the music, clapping occasionally between songs, in an attempt to reach out somehow toward the singer. Hastings was particularly good at introducing the first songs, drawing us in, and showing us by clear mood or gesture, what emotion drove the song even before she sang a word. Each of her sung words seemed to have been thought out, clearly laying a path for us to follow. I caught almost every word except for one rapid-fire song about encountering a homeless man, and I wondered if in just this song, the amplification proved a burden. I particularly liked “Bookseller in the Rain” and “Grandmother’s Love Letters.”
The latter third of the cycle seemed to grow more trivial – I began to think that I had gotten the point. One can only go so deep in Central Park snow, and one problem with being inspired by another work is that it may become predictable. It was, however, not the fault of Hastings that the cycle began to feel like “romance novel meets Schubert.” I’m also not sure if that could be attributed to the cabaret setting and our needing some other interaction with the singer or the lack of a break in emotional intensity.
Hastings’ singing was powerful, disciplined and evocative of the pictures she drew for us of both the character’s inner and outer life. There were times when her upper register seemed a little foggy, and I was not sure if that was due to nerves or if she had a minor head cold. But she brought us through that snowy Central Park journey beautifully.
Hastings was assisted at the piano by the excellent Jeff Cubeta, who provided a sensitive foundation of sound underlining the emotions and words. Directed by the formidable Eric Michael Gilette, this program pushed the possibility of cabaret to another level. I was glad I was there.
December Songs by Maury Yeston. Sung by Jaime Hastings. Musical Director: Jeff Cubeta. Directed by: Eric Michael Gilette. At The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Avenue.

Mary Sheeran is the author of Quest of the Sleeping Princess, a novel set during a gala performance at the New York City Ballet, and Who Have the Power, a historical novel set during the Comstock Lode era, concerning the effect of the mining on the native tribes. Her CD, Through the Years, is available on CD Baby.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Hymn to a Hymn: Amazing Grace Musical Will Get Goodspeed Life in CT

This news item by Kenneth Jones appears on today's Playbill.com

The new musical Amazing Grace, based on the life of John Newton, the former slave trader who wrote the famous hymn of the title, will launch Goodspeed Musicals' 2012 Norma Terris Theatre season of new works in May.

Gabriel Barre (Manhattan Theatre Club's The Wild Party) will direct the musical, which has concept, music and lyrics by Christopher Smith (in photo, right, with J. Mark McVey) and a libretto co-written by Arthur Giron and Smith. Performances will play May 17-June 10 at the Norma Terris in Chester, CT.

Here's how Goodspeed bills the work: "Storms. Slavery. Romance. Redemption. Prepare to be swept away by this epic musical saga about John Newton, a rebellious slave trader, and the woman who never lost faith in him. While fighting the raging seas and his own despair, Newton's life is suddenly transformed — igniting a quest to end the scourge of slavery. Based on a true story of the man who penned the world's most recognizable song, it's a powerful musical you will never forget."

Barre directed starry developmental readings of the musical in November 2011 and January 2011 in Manhattan, with Carolyn Rossi Copeland (Freud's Last Session) as producer.

Benoit-Swan Pouffer, artistic director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City, will choreograph. The music supervisor is Kimberly Grigsby whose music directing/conducting credits on Broadway include Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark; Caroline, or Change; Spring Awakening and more. Amazing Grace is part of Goodspeed's developmental season at the Terris, which nurtures new works. Critics are not invited.

Giron joined the Amazing Grace team in September 2009 as co-author of the book. He has written 15 plays including Flight, St. Francis in Egypt, Edith Stein and A Dream of Wealth. Giron helped develop the next generation of playwrights as head of the Graduate Playwriting Program at Carnegie Mellon University. He continues to teach and lecture at such places as Sarah Lawrence College.

Newcomer Smith wrote his first musical at the age of 17. He attended the Allentown College (now DeSales University) theatre program for acting and directing before transferring to Eastern University. A chance stroll through a grade school library led him to pick up a book about a John Newton.

A second Terris season title will be announced soon. As previously reported, The Great American Mousical, to be directed by Julie Andrews, will complete the season come fall.

Amazing Grace curtain times are Wednesday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, Thursday at 7:30 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 3 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM and 6:30 PM.

Advance season subscriptions are now on sale for only $120 through the Box Office at (860) 873-8668. For more details of this show and to listen to the songs, clip on the Amazing Grace link in the right hand column on this blog.


Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and additional productions at The Norma Terris Theatre.

The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet, Les Carillons, is one sumptuous curtain raiser, and it raised the curtain on a special evening at the New York City Ballet that was devoted to three of that choreographer’s ballets. Les Carillons proved to be gorgeous to look at, thanks to Mark Zappone’s boldly colored costumes and Jean-Marc Puissant’s vague but pleasing backdrop of a bucolic setting that loomed over the dancers without seeming the least bit ominous.
For this piece, Wheeldon brings the curtain up on New York City Ballet’s top guns: Sara Mearns, Amar Ramasar, Wendy Whelan, Robert Fairchild, Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, Ana Sophia Scheller, Daniel Ulbricht, Tiler Peck, and Gonzalo Garcia, as well as an excellent portion of the corps. The music – Georges Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suites Numbers 1 and 2 (think the melody of “We Three Kings” because that’s how it begins) is boldly proclaimed by the NYCB Orchestra, conducted by Andrews Sill.
From the beginning, the choreographer’s assurance made itself known, so we sat back and enjoyed Wheeldon’s intelligent use of music and his tricky little interpolations tossed off during lyrical phrases, such as the women shaking their shoulders as they bent down, or twirling their wrists, or sliding across stage on their toes, or lifting up their legs and bending them.
The piece depicts varying moods and often two or more at the same time, and it moves toward a pensive Wendy Whelan wandering through a festive corps. Sara Mearns and Amar Ramasar brought us through a luscious, tempestuous duet that reminded me of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Mearns pushing away and then sinking back to her partner. The ballet’s conclusion was festive and colorful, and yet, because of the differing moods throughout, the effect was one of depth, not superficiality. We had been given plenty to enjoy.
The festive giddiness in the audience was dispelled during Polyphonia by Jennie Somogyi’s injury. Partnered by Gonzalo Garcia, she abruptly seemed to shrink, an awful expression on her face, and then simply stopped dancing and limped offstage, the space she walked seeming to be like a mile for those of us who suffered with her. Garcia kept going for a bit and when he danced off, the stage remained empty while Alan Moverman rather relentlessly pounded on the piano, rendering Ligeti’s transcendent music to rhythmic rubble. The music kept on going like a god indifferent to whatever happened with the humans on stage. The next trio was a duo minus Somogyi, but eventually, Tiler Peck danced in her place. Later news accounts stated that Somogyi had injured her Achilles tendon and would be out the rest of the season.
This early piece of Wheeldon’s tosses off references to Balanchine’s  Violin Concerto and Agon as well as to Apollo and Episodes. Yet Wheeldon’s dancers move deeper into the movement, bringing us inside, an approach that ends up as not being derivative but decidedly individual – a new way of seeing and experiencing the movement and the music. The woman next to me murmured, “This is the choreographer we wanted Martins to be.” I understand what she meant, but Wheeldon isn’t running a company and he quickly dropped the small one he’d been part of. Still, the energy, inventiveness, and swirling energy of his work surpasses the dry “for dancers only” pieces Martins has given us over the years. One could call Martins’ pieces “combinations” – a sad misinterpretation of Balanchine’s whimsical use of the word. Martins rarely has an audience in mind, just the dancers. Wheeldon’s pieces are for an audience, and they are way ahead of being “new combinations.”
We moved on to the New York premiere of Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse, which reminded me of Robbins’ Glass Pieces – the legato dancing to a rapid pulse, the corps in shadowy background as counterpoint. The scenery by Jean-Marc Puissant seemed to indicate an apocalyptic train wreck, an odd choice for a tribute to France’s TGV rail system, but it worked, with dancers emerging from the wreckage (or whatever it was) throughout the piece. Wheeldon poured it on with Michael Nyman’s dynamic score conducted by NYCB’s dynamo, Clotilde Otranto. The pas de deux flowed into the corps filling the stage, the dancers leaping with furious energy while the principals confronted each other. (The dancers included the marvelous Ashley Bouder, Joaquin De Luz, Maria Kowroski, Andrew Veyette, and the ubiquitous MVP of the evening, Tiler Peck.) The score and the dance didn’t quite know where to end, but this is a thrilling piece with thrilling dance, and the usually laid back NYCB audience, overcome with affection and gratitude, gave the choreographer a well-deserved standing ovation.
New York City Ballet All Wheeldon Evening. Jan. 28, 2010.

            Les Carillons (World Premiere). Music by Georges Bizet (L’Arlésienne Suites Nos. 1 and 2). Costumes by Mark Zappone. Scenery by Jean-Marc Puissant. Lighting by Mary Louise Geiger. Conducted by Andrews Sill. With Sara Mearns Wendy Whelan, Maria Kowroski, Ana Sophia Scheller, Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar, Robert Fairchild, Tyler Angle, Daniel Ulbricht, Gonzalo Garcia.

            Polyphonia. Music by György Ligeti. Costumes by Holly Hynes. Lighting by Mark Stanley. Pianists: Cameron Grant, Alan Moverman. With Wendy Whelan, Jared Angle, Jennie Somogyi (replaced by Tiler Peck), Gonzalo Garcia, Sterling Hyltin, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Sara Mearns, Craig Hall. Premiere: Jan. 4, 2001, New York State Theater.

            DVG: Danse à Grande Vitesse (New York City Ballet Premiere). Music by Michael Nyman. Scenery and costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant. Lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Lighting recreated by Jesse Belsky. Conducted by Clotilde Otranto. With Teresa Reichlin, Craig Hall, Ashley Bouder, Joaquin de Luz, Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, Tiler Peck, Andrew Veyette. Premiere: Nov. 17, 2006, The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden.

            The New York City Ballet season extends to Feb. 26 at the erstwhile New York State Theater in Lincoln Center. For information, go to www.nycballet.com.

Mary Sheeran is the author of Quest of the Sleeping Princess, a novel set during a gala performance at the New York City Ballet, and Who Have the Power, a historical novel set during the Comstock Lode era, concerning the effect of the mining on the native tribes. Her CD, Through the Years, is available on CD Baby.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Embrace your life

“Jesus is the principle of life. In everything he says and does he works against the denial and avoidance of life. He embraces it and encourages all to do the same.”
--Thomas Moore, Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels

“Are we to understand the imitation of Christ’ in the sense that we should copy him . . . or in the deeper sense that we are to live our own proper lives as truly as he lived his in all its implications? It is no easy matter to live a life that is modeled on Christ’s, but it is unspeakably harder to live one’s own life as truly as Christ lived his.”
-- C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Becoming conscious

“The yoke of Christ is the yoke of becoming conscious.”
-- John Sanford, The Kingdom Within: The Inner Meaning of Jesus’ Sayings

I love Jesus, who said to us:
Heaven and earth will pass away.
When heaven and earth have passed away,
My word will remain.
What was your word, Jesus?
Love? Affection? Forgiveness?
All your words were
One word: WAKEUP.
-- Antonio Machado, Times Alone