Skin of Evil (TNG Rewatch, Season 1 Episode 23)

My rewatch reflection on the Star Trek:TNG episode “Skin of Evil,” in which the crew encounters a malignant oil slick. Some good character moments with Worf and Yar, and some good solo acting from Marina Sirtis as Troi psychoanalyzes a disembodied voice. While I appreciate the Roddenberrian argument against playing along with a power-mad enemy’s sick games, dramatizing a that philosophical concept is not enough to carry a full episode. If you’re a fan the final holodeck send-off scene is worth watching but overall it’s a weak episode.

Symbiosis (TNG Rewatch, Season 1 Episode 22)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. Picard mediates a dispute over a shipment of medicine. This disjointed episode has a actiony/sciencey opening, a worthwhile medical/cultural mystery in the middle, and a morality play with a moderately Trekworthy finale. I have no memory of seeing any part of this episode. While I enjoyed seeing a new-to-me episode, I winced a lot, too. The fuzzy approach to the…

‘Twelfth Night’ is a Shakespearean hoot, and Prime Stage actors Carolyn Jerz, Malcolm MacKenzie, and Dana Babal have their hootin’ duds on. (photo courtesy of Prime Stage Theatre)

Why is Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night enjoying a new wave of popularity? Perhaps real life has become so bizarre that no contemporary comedy can match it, so we have to go back 417 years to find one. Anyhow, the play has been turning up on schedules regularly, and now Pittsburgh’s Prime Stage Theatre is doing Twelfth Night. This comedy has it all: shipwrecked twins, Sir Toby Belch (“Dost thou think because thou art virtuous,…

Prime Stage Theatre Makes A Statement With Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”

  For Carolyn Jerz, who plays Viola in Prime Stage Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the Bard runs in her blood. “My dad is an English professor at Seton Hill University and he teaches a Shakespeare class,” she says. “So from a very young age he would just tell me whatever his students were learning in their college classes and read me Shakespeare plays and take me to see [it] done…