Every year, six critical writers who hailed from Chicago at least during some point in their careers are heralded posthumously for the important works that left their mark on future generations of writers and artists.
Were Thornton Wilder notable for only explicating one thing -- he's notable for many -- it would be the hope for the human race he promotes in the 1938 play 1938 Our Town and in the 1942 Pulitzer-Prize-winning Skin of Our Teeth.
In the late 1950s Thornton Wilder started a project that was to become a series of short plays depicting the fabled Seven Ages of Man. The first two works, Infancy and Childhood, sparkle on Aurora Theatre's intimate stage in Berkeley.
They were unplanned "Five-Year Plans" for the ages: the amazing proliferation of classic novels published from 1846 to 1851 and from 1922 to 1927. And, believe it or not, one author had a book in both those periods!
As citizens of the nation continue through the summer, distracting themselves by howling at the moon and one another, I spent this past weekend in Manhattan seeing revivals of two classic period pieces of American theater.
There's been talk that the much lauded production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town will move to Broadway. While the producers deliberate this move, let me say, you can really smell the bacon in this play.