Vera and her grandson Leo are each lost in a journey of aloneness but determined to somehow survive without complaint. In less than two hours 4,000 Miles brings us nine truths too rarely found in theatrical experiences.
Contrary to what you see in most movies and plays, “happy endings” last at best for a few days, and more likely a few hours. Kenneth Lonergan's haunting Margaret is that rare film that captures reality with gripping accuracy— if you can find it.
Howard Shapiro, the Inquirer's last full-time theater critic, was recently reassigned, leaving the theater beat to be handled by free-lancers. Is this how a major metropolitan newspaper covers one of Philadelphia's most exciting continuing stories?
Can potential mass murderers be spotted in advance? Maybe. But the more important question is: Why are so many American kids growing up angry, antisocial and withdrawn? And we already possess the tools to cope with that problem.
Another helpless child has died due to neglect by Philadelphia's overwhelmed human service agencies. The real tragedy is that they needn't be overwhelmed— if they'll accept help from outside professionals.
I was trained as a therapist at a time when women were easily blamed for “castrating” their men. For three decades I've counseled rape victims who believed their misfortune was their own fault. The SlutWalk protesters who challenge this notion may be young, but who else is willing to take the risks necessary to change the world?
The alleged sexual predations of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn make the headlines but are only the tip of the iceberg. As a family therapist, I can testify firsthand that sexual abuse is prevalent in all cultures, the privileged as well as the poor.
In her prime, whatever Elizabeth Taylor wanted, she took. Only later, when the roles and the men no longer came so easily, did this enormous talent channel her passions into saving and changing the lives of others. That's when she won her deepest respect.
As a family therapist, I know that some children in a city as complex as Philadelphia will suffer illness and poor care, and some will die as a result. But Lynne Abraham, as district attorney, at least tried to break the cycle of neglect, abuse and violence. We need more of that mixture of imagination and concern.
Conor McPherson's Shining City portrays a world of souls in torment. Why then the upbeat title? SaraKay Smullens, a family therapist, finds a message of hope in McPherson's desperation.