Goodreads Book Giveaway

Marilyn and Monet by Paul Levinson

Marilyn and Monet

by Paul Levinson

Giveaway ends November 28, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Lady in the Woods: The Snake, with a Twist and Political Upshot

Continuing my reviews of the six semi-finalists in the New York New Works (NYNW) Theatre Festival which I saw on Friday night at The Duke on 42nd Street - short plays, all of which were excellent - we have Hyten Davidson's The Lady in the Woods, which takes place in "a cabin the forest, upstate New York, the present, late November".  In other words, in both place and time, pretty close to home.  In more ways than one.

For although The Lady in the Woods may sound like an allegory, and it actually is, it has cutting-edge relevance to what we see and hear on the news every day.  The Lady welcomes a man from the forest with frostbite on his feet and frost in his hair into her home, where she's alone, and offers him food.  Much like the "tender-hearted woman" in Al Wilson's 1968 hit record, "The Snake" (which also has frost on its skin) (written by Oscar Brown and co-produced by the great Johnny Rivers), in turn based on "The Farmer and the Viper," an Aesop's fable.

Here's the song in case you don't remember or never heard of it:

So in the song and the fable, the woman (farmer in the fable) are rewarded for their kindness by  death from the snake (viper) which proceeds to more than the bite the hands that fed them.  Now if that moral sounds queasily familiar, it may be because none other than Donald Trump read lyrics from "The Snake" at campaign rallies in 2016 and after he became President in 2017, to illustrate his argument about what would happen if we good Americans let Syrian refugees into our country (I wish I were kidding).

But this makes the ending of The Lady in the Woods even more notable.  I won't give that ending explicitly away, but suffice to say that our Lady does not end up the same as the tender-hearted woman in Al Wilson's song, or Trump's painting of Americans in her image.

Very well acted by Laura Frenzer as the Lady, and Jack Coggins as the man from the forest.  See it if you can.


It all started in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn Monroe walked off the set of The Misfits and began to hear a haunting song in her head, "Goodbye Norma Jean" ...

See also my reviews of the other NYNW semi-finalists:  Max & Domino ...  Frozen West ... Dear Diary, Burning Leaves, Sammy and Esther Are Breaking Up

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