An Enemy of the People

 

“Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls has chosen well in selecting Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for a new adaptation, currently onstage in the Albert Theatre. One hundred and fifty years after its debut, the play’s themes feel ripped from today’s headlines. Press materials succinctly describe Ibsen’s complex masterpiece as follows, “When a water contamination crisis puts their community in peril, two brothers—Dr. Stockmann and Mayor Stockmann—face off in a battle of political ambitions and moral integrity.”

If this synopsis evokes visions of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, or if it reminds one of the Flint water crisis, which is approaching its fourth lead-fueled anniversary, this is no accident. Falls’ staging of An Enemy of the People tweaks the timeless source material just enough to leave absolutely no doubt that we’re looking at today’s sociopolitical climate. Ibsen was ahead of his time but he didn’t coin the term ‘fake news.’ Audiences will see terrific actors in comely period costumes rather than MAGA hats, but Falls and his production team won’t let us leave Trump’s America.”

Read the full review on The Broadway Blog.

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Missing in Action: The Week’s Overlooked News Stories

missing

Welcome to May! Is a reporter fired for an unusual Prince tribute a “Sign O The Times?” Can we make a supermarket terrorist eat his weapons? And a dedicated, waitressing granny enjoys a pleasant surprise from one of her customers. It’s a mixed bag this week…. 

Sports anchor fired over his love for Prince

The staff of BeckySarwate.com continues to struggle with the loss of one of the world’s all-time greatest musical minds.  As information surrounding the life and death of Prince continues to trickle out, the multi-layered devastation of his passing becomes more clear. Drug overdoses are preventable, and after a career devoted to clean living, it’s sad and ironic that pain and addiction may have produced a stereotypical rock star end for a truly unconventional artist. As we consumed everything Prince-related that circulated through the news this week, this story got our attention. A reporter from Nashville was relieved of his duties after he gently wove Prince lyrics into a sportscast.  We find the line “The clock hits 00:00. Oops, out of time. It’s the Ducks who are going to party like it’s 1999,” to be clever and, frankly, perfect. Prince was a huge sports fan and enjoyed a good pun. The reporter’s bosses didn’t agree. If we had jobs to offer, Dan Phillips wouldn’t be in the unemployment line. As the Purple One might have asked, “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?”

Michigan man sprays toxic mix of chemicals on open food in grocery stories

Toss this one in the “humans are senselessly disgusting” file. It’s our job to monitor it of course, but the news can be depressing. It reminds us of how flawed and awful man can be. But this story? Ugh. Another level. The FBI got involved in the case, and says this punk (we won’t use his name) targeted about 15 different stores in cities across Michigan, including Flint. Because Flint hasn’t suffered enough. Whatever the maximum punishment is for this sort of criminal filth, I hope the courts levy it.

Grandmother raising triplets gets a special gift

Well, we need a shower and a healthier page turn. So we bring you this heartwarming story from North Dakota. A waitress was proudly discussing her triplet grandsons on the job. Shiela Weisgerber has been raising the four year-old boys on her own since shortly after their birth. One of her tables, a husband and wife visiting the area from out of town, overheard the conversation and decided to leave a large tip and a kind note on their receipt to show their support. For every crazy poison sprayer, there are generous, empathetic people. That’s how society keeps its balance.