This winter, I developed an odd napping habit. As I described to my doctor, this new habit is different from my lifelong affection for the pleasures of plush pillows, soft blankets and high thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets (preferably Italian, if we're sharing pillow talk).
No matter how beautifully written or "literary," a novel resonates deeply because the storyline tugs powerfully at us. It upsets, confounds and presents chaos, conflict, imbalance and upheaval -- either within its character's mind or circumstances.
Tony Scherman is a painter's painter, because other painters who paint with a seriousness of purpose immediately recognize in his distinctive work a high command of skill, idiosyncratic maturity, captivating inventiveness, and an obvious love of picture-making.
Taken out of their original context and ingeniously recycled into a mosaic of quotations, these sentences now tell a compelling new story that, according to the author, bears a close resemblance to his own life.
I've seen over half a dozen Macbeths over the course of my career. We're going to have Romeo and Juliet running off-Broadway the same time it is running on Broadway. I'm often asked: Why? Yes, they are Shakespeare classics. But do people really want to see them again and again?
And then I saw it -- Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. Now, I have read this book about 1,000 times -- as a kid, to my kids. But as our daughter starts her first day of college, I read its bright, cheerful pages with new eyes.
I'm not sure what All My Sons has in common with Antony and Cleopatra, or Molly Sweeney with Dickens in America; but the first four plays of the American Players Theatre season in Spring Green, Wisconsin, were clearly chosen with cross-referencing in mind.
At 74, his eyes are still exceptionally blue and a little bit mischievous. He sits calmly, listens to a question about how often he is offered roles like the one he plays in Unfinished Song, and smiles.
Beginning in medieval times, modern Jews have understood the Torah to be monotheistic, testifying that only one God exists. But it might be more accurate to say that the Torah is monolatrous -- that multiple Gods exist, but we choose to worship only one of them.
Mental illness, like Hamlet, who may or may not be the only sane person in the play, is mysterious and paradoxical. And psychosis works the way nightmares do, by metaphor and symbolism. Delusions often stand in for something else.