Tag Archives: Telly Halkias

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 […]

Stage Names: Portland Stage’s “Ben Butler” brings reflection and rare laughs to the Civil War

PORTLAND – It’s not often a play in a professional theatrical setting gets an immediate standing ovation before the lights are fully dimmed at final curtain. It’s also virtually unheard of for any kind of work – creative or historical –  dealing with slavery and the Civil War to receive a healthy dose of laughs […]

Stage Names: Portland Stage tackles race and more in ‘The Niceties’

PORTLAND – When I was a young boy, I used to spend my summers in a remote Greek farming village, helping my great aunt Nike harvest acres of vegetable crops and groves of olive trees. At night, exhausted, I slept under the stars on a blanket-covered flat stand on her front porch. During my first […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stage Names: Portland Stage’s “Arsenic” poisons winter doldrums with infinite laughter

PORTLAND — When I was in college in upstate NY, the period immediately following Christmas break was affectionately known on campus as “the gray season.” January and February were cold and depressing. Fast forward to today. In northern New England, not much has changed during a time of year that still sees a peak of […]

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 […]

Stage Names: Portland Stage finds more than just a Lost Boy

Sitting in the shadows during a weekend performance of Portland Stage’s “Lost Boy in Whole Foods,” the poet E.E. Cummings haunted me: a man who had fallen among thieves lay by the roadside on his back dressed in fifteenthrate ideas wearing a round jeer for a hat   fate per a somewhat more than less emancipated evening had […]

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 […]