Category Archives: Commentary

Playwriting: a few notes and comments

A few years back I wrote a play called “Dinners With Augie,” which I have produced three times. Most recently in Tucson Arizona.  The notes below are a distillation of what I’ve learned from writing and producing that play, as … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Plays | Leave a comment

Nick Gandiello’s “The Wedge Horse”: notes and comments

I’m going to recommend you see a play that I haven’t seen — in fact I’m going to strongly recommend you see it. And I’m not going to tell you what it’s about.  I know what it’s about because I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Plays, Reviews | Leave a comment

Making Light Comedy Fest: notes and comments

Comedy seems to me to be an amazing cultural phenomena.   In what other segment of the natural world do we see “comedy” other then in human beings?  Not just that, how far along in cultural development does a culture have … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Reviews | Leave a comment

Nicholas Thurkettle’s “Stages of Sleep”: notes and comments

Nicholas Thurkettle’s writing is finely tuned. Immediate, lyrical, and lean.  His work has elements of various American short-story masters — Damon Runyon comes to mind.  So does O. Henry. And particularly Ray Bradbury. In “Stages Of Sleep” Thurkettle offers up 15 … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Reviews | 1 Comment

The Water We Swim In: From Jesus to Miley and Back Again

Last week I went to see the KOLT production of “My Own Stranger.”  Among other comments I wrote that love and redemption were the two great themes of Western Civilization.   These two themes have emerged in the last two … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Plays | 1 Comment

The Problem for President Barack Obama: Where’s The Upside?

My sense of things is that what we’re seeing right now is not Obama vs. Romney, it’s Carter vs. Reagan. And I think that gives Mr. Romney a big, big advantage. If Mitt Romney can keep his head above water, stay on the offensive, and get just a few more people to question Mr. Obama’s ideals, and his track record, he can win the election. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment

Mitt Romney: From Jackass to Thoroughbred

Mr. Romney is now talking about God, patriotism, and the American Way. The new message is that America is great because it’s people are great, that we are special, that God loves us. Does that sound familiar? Yep, Ronald Reagan. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | 1 Comment

This Year’s Disappointments in Politics

The biggest disappointment for me this year wasn’t that Barack Obama is a “socialist” (we knew that, sort of), or that Mr. Obama plays viscous, hard-ball politics (we knew that too) or that he can be devious (also known.) No, the biggest disspointment was how easy it was for the Obama team to make Mitt Romney look like a jackass. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | 2 Comments

Belen Fernandez: The Imperial Messager; Thomas Friedman At Work

Before I talk about Belen Fernandez’s book, The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman At Work, I want to relate a story from my childhood.  When I was about four years old I was watching a movie on television about the American Civil War. … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Reviews | 5 Comments

60 Minutes Interview with President Obama: Notes and Comments

Watching Mr. Obama become president right there in front of Steve Kroft was instructive. Of course he was president before, but I hadn’t really respected that. And of course the wisdom of hindsight, many years, decades or centuries from now will render a verdict that I cannot predict. But in the moment, the here and now, President Obama seemed intelligent, pragmatic, and determined. Not just resolved, but optimistic. The comparison that comes to mind? JFK. As George Will might also say, “of course.” Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | 1 Comment