Tag Archives: Portland

For colds and flu, Musterole remains my dream panacea

My contractor had to delay repairing my kitchen floor for several days while caring for his sick boy, who had a chest cold. After the second postponement, I sent him this text message: Vicks on his chest, back and throat might help; too bad you don’t have Musterole. Ah, Musterole; how easily that word came […]

Memories that never end: the blur of 9/11

In my lifetime, there have arguably been three events considered show-stopping cultural icons; instances when, years later, someone might ask: “Where were you when … ?” or “What were you doing when … ?” The first was President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. As a young boy not yet in school, I didn’t grasp […]

Stage Names: Portland Stage’s ‘Red Herring’ a welcome antidote to the season

PORTLAND – I’m convinced that Portland Stage’s executive and artistic director Anita Stewart is a very funny lady. Not that Stewart isn’t dead serious, and professional about her job and about bringing high quality theatre to Portland Stage’s audiences. I’ve seen her intensity at work first hand. But every year when the company’s season is […]

Stage Names: “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Portland Stage a last minute present for the family

PORTLAND – As a boy, my eyes always misted up at the end of Frank Capra’s 1946 silver screen Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” So when I recently took in Portland Stage’s 2017 rendition of Joe Landry’s well-regarded 1996 stage version – which I never before had seen – the jaded journalist in me almost […]

Ethnically labeled

A while ago, some old friends visited from out of town – their first time in New England. My mother, who was also visiting, doted on them with her old-country Greek hospitality, as she does on anyone spending an overnight. Today, she speaks fondly of their visit, always referring to them as “Gregory and Victoria, those […]

Would you let partisan politics ruin your family?

  In my summer travels and writings, I recently had an opportunity to see the play “The City of Conversation,” by Anthony Giardina. The play is about family and politics, and how the latter could affect the former. In short, and without diving into the work itself too much, the play is about two strong women, […]

My Father’s Day

On Pearl Harbor Day, 1996, I came home early from work, and within minutes of walking in the door, my sister called with news of our father’s death. After hanging up, the poet Robert Lowell came to mind. A New Englander who spent his life at odds with an old-school father, Lowell once wrote: I struck […]

Her eternal search for E.E. Cummings

  I‘ve made the pilgrimage before, even in the rain. Early one morning, under a misting sky, I drove down to Boston – specifically, to Jamaica Plain. My last visit had been years before, yet I followed the course by memory. Urban landscapes can change in 35 years, but finding Forest Hills Cemetery is never […]

A hotel room for Christmas

  My best Christmas was spent in a hotel room, and I have the candy jar to prove it. Filled to capacity with old, inexpensive holiday ornaments, it sits at home on a bookshelf and collects dust, yet remains a treasured possession. In the early 1990s, I used to make monthly pilgrimages to Iowa to […]

Stage Names: What Martin Luther King, Jr. tells us from Portland Stage

PORTLAND – About halfway through Portland Stage’s current production,  “The Mountaintop,” a fictional, near-fantasy account by Katori Hall of the last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life in a Memphis motel room, I heard the echo of Greek novelist Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) : “This is not a biography; is the confession of every man who struggles.” Those words, […]