Author: Ann Firestone Ungar

MESSENGER #1, A New Ancient Greek Tragedy

In 1966, when Tom Stoppard reimagined Hamlet by plucking from it two minor characters and giving them fully developed personalities for his groundbreaking existential play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, perhaps he suggested to the fertile imagination of playwright Mark Jackson a way to reimagine The Oresteia by Greek playwright Aeschylus, c. 500 B.C.

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The DingDong, a first-rate farce presented by The Pearl Theatre Company, is based on Le Dindon by the French playwright Georges Feydeau (1885-1921). Adapted by Mark Shanahan, The DingDong plays fast and loose and is often ferociously funny and somwhat surreal.

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Defendant Maurice Chevalier, a play with music, was written by Alexis Chevalier, the great grandnephew of the famous French singer and entertainer. In 1944 Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) was accused of collaborating with the Nazis and tried in Paris by representatives of the Provisional Government of the French Republic based in Algiers. He was ultimately found innocent, with a consistent alibi.

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Tanya Tagaq in Concert with Nanook of the North

Ms. Tagaq brings her magical throat music, wordlessly creating the wind, the ice, the lonely night, the dogs, the agony of the captured walrus and seal, the passion and despair of the free mates of those unfortunate animals. And throughout, the singing and instrumental expression convey the emotional life of Nanook’s family as they live in constant service to survival in this most melancholy of places on earth. The impact of the performance is haunting.

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