July 05, 2011

Ecos de un verano

Rare comic, published 1978 in Argentina.

May 27, 2011

Isle of Children [1962]

Cort Theatre, New York

March 16 - March 24 1962, 11 performances


Patty Duke:          Deirdre Striden
James Aubrey:          Philip Anding
Bonnie Bedelia:          Cathy Lanene
Norma Crane:          Ruth Striden
Stefan Gierasch:          Leon Hallett
Louise Latham:          Sara Paulson
Noel Willman:          Eugene Striden

Produced by Lester Osterman, Jr.
Directed by Jules Dassin
Written by Robert L. Joseph

"And how Patty Duke plays the wounded child!  Patty has graduated from the role of the mute little Helen Keller in 'The Miracle Worker' to a Deirdre whose sorrow quickens a natural, overflowing articulateness.  It would be an impertinence to call this a virtuoso performance; Patty has transformed herself into Deirdre...Patty encompasses a subtle range of emotions and delivers lines that would faze and adult...'Isle of Children'...has given Patty Duke a role she always will remember."
--Howard Tubman, New York Times 3/17/62

"Miss Duke is not an accomplished child actress, she is an accomplished actress who happens to be a child at the moment."
--Walter Kerr, New York Herald Tribune 3/17/62


Like so many of the plays that are slopped together these days, Isle of Children might have been good. But the basic and undeniable appeal of Patty Duke playing a child about to die will only stretch so far. Despite some fine moments, Isle of Children sinks under a tidal wave of bad acting, wooden direction, and terrible writing.
Miss Duke is a beautiful, beautiful child, and her acting ability is unquestionable. In a way, it is unfair. At the end of the play, there is little Patty Duke kneeling in the center of the stage, her eyes glistening with tears over a vision she has just had; looking at her, you feel like crying, too. You can almost forget that the vision was positively insane, that no child of 14 could possibly have formulated the truths it is supposed to illustrate, and that you have just seen a horrible play come to a confusing and unsatisfying end.
One trouble with the play is that author Robert L. Joseph simply cannot settle on an approach to the problem of a child's death. The play's title comes from a fantasy the little girl and her father (Noel Willman) share about a happy place for skinny people, where it rains but nothing gets wet. This idea is not developed; nor is the sub-plot involving the hysterical mother (Norma Crane) who tries doctor after doctor long after all hope is lost, nor is the last-minute appeal to religion.
Joseph is also inconsistent in his treatment of children. In the first act, right after an upward-looking soliloquy that treats very wisely of life and death, Miss Duke asks a contemporary with open-mouthed wonder, "Duh--what's an agnostic?" Miss Duke and her playmate (James Aubrey) seem mature beyond their years throughout most of the play, but in the final scene they regress practically back to the womb, before surging back into virtual senescence for some metaphysical meanderings.
Miss Duke and, for the most part, Mr. Willman turn in fine performances. Mr. Aubrey starts out fine, but since he only has one expression and one tone of voice, you get sick of him, and by the end of the play you would give the price of an orchestra seat to smack him in the face. Louise Latham is terrible as the girl's friend and history teacher, but her part is so stupid it doesn't really matter. Miss Crane is the worst of all as the mother; rarely have I seen anyone who was so obviously acting.
Stefan Gierasch, as a brusque but sympathetic doctor, is a bright spot in the cast. He tells the little girl, who is matching him insult for insult. "Any more dancing like last night, kid, and your vena cava's gonna fall right out." It's the best line in the show.
Jules Dassin's direction is unimaginative and annoying, I don't care who he is. His actors either stand rooted to the spot or follow the basic blockings that every amateur knows. Howard Bay's set and lighting, on the other hand, are of the highest quality. Ann Roth's costumes are adequate when gaudiness is called for, less than that when everyday dress is worn. The incidental music, by Victor Ziskin '59, is incidental.
The death of a child is, commercially, a good subject for a play; people like to watch little kids die. But even in the professional theatre, such a theme ought to be approached with reverence, care, and originality. All of these are lacking in Isle of Children.



February 28, 2011

The Legend of Deirdre

A celtic tale. Music by Mychael Danna

Deirdre Faegre performs Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now.

February 12, 2011

Deirdre's Home

>>This house has been used for movies! One of the finest summer homes in the famous Chester Villiage! Located less than 1 hour to downtown Halifax and an International airport on waters of Mahone Bay this family oceanfront Home & Cottage offers the perfect place to spend your summer vacation. Enjoy access to sailing, kayaking, boating and fishing all located at your doorstep. Golf courses, restaurants, shopping, theatre, etc. Only a short drive away. Located on Halfmoon Cove in Chester, Nova Scotia this summer home and/or boat house has all that it takes to make a summer vacation complete. Jodie Foster, Richard Harris, and Rob Lowe have made movies in this summer home. Care taker, Enclosed Sun Porch, with large windows, spectacular views of Mahone Bay.Chester is one of the wealthiest communities (per capita) in the province as a result of being a vacation and resort destination, with many seasonal and year-round estates and mansions. The nearby waters of Mahone Bay and its numerous islands are well known for yachting and have made Chester into a cruising destination. A ferry from the town connects to Big Tancook Island and Little Tancook Island. **Private Beach, shared only by neighbour**<< 2,500$/week plus 1500$/week boathouse

November 23, 2010