Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom ( #AugustWilson #CenturyCycle, 3 of 10)

August Wilson’s Century Cycle >  Spoiler-free scene breakdown Premiered: 1984. Setting: a recording studio in Chicago, 1927. 10 characters An opening note describes the context of the city and the significance of blues music. Act I Money-man Sturdyvant orders manager Irvin to keep “her” in line. To Sturdyvant, this is all just business. When band leader Cutler, bassist Slow Drag, and pianist Toledo enter, Sturdyvant is annoyed that Ma isn’t…

Man arrested in DC with weapons is released; says he made a mistake

A man arrested at DC checkpoint yesterday tells the Washington Post he is a private security guard, hired to protect media equipment. Yes, lots of people are understandably uptight after the insurrection at the Capitol last week; but in America, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Wesley Allan Beeler has already been released — a sign the authorities don’t consider him a terroristic threat.…

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (August Wilson’s Century Cycle, 2 of 10)

August Wilson’s Century Cycle >  Spoiler-free scene breakdown Premiered: 1988. Setting: The Hollys’ boarding house, Pittsburgh. 1911. 11 characters (a fairly large cast for a drama, including 2 children who would typically be double-cast; not an easy play to produce) Long stage directions before the first scene describe the children of freed slaves moving north. I.1 (morning) Ornery Seth describes to his long-suffering wife Bertha the “heebie-jeebie” pidgeon-blood ritual that…

Kirk’s manly, sensitive advice to young Charlie

In poplar culture, Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek has a reputation of being a womanizer. Chris Pine’s portrayal of Kirk in the rebooted movies certainly plays up that character trait, but in Kirk’s original appearance, the second pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” it’s Kirk’s helmsman Gary Mitchell who follows a female crewmember with his eyes, holds hands with a pretty yeoman during a crisis on…

A stranger approached me today.

A stranger approached me today. I was actually kind of terrified at first, since the last time a stranger approached me it was a security guard telling me I had overstayed my welcome in a mall that was closing for the night. (I was trying to get work done while waiting for a family member to return from a sidequest.) But this person was just curious, and friendly. And she…