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LETTERS TO EDITOR
Robert Graves (1895- 1985) was a British poet, novelist, classicist, mythographer and lecturer. He first came to public attention for poems he wrote from the front as a participant in the first world war. His most famous work is I, Claudius. His longtime relationshipe to another temptuous poet, the New York born Laura Riding, was a tempestuous affair. In 1939, Robert and Laura, went to live on the farm of struggling poet and sometime critic for Time, Schuyler Jackson and his wife. Undeterred by the fact that Jackson had a wife and four children, Laura ended up marrying Jackson and together they published Rational Meaning: A New Foundation for the Definition of Words. Since her death she has become something of a rediscovered, neglected poet.
The facts surrounding the summer of 1939 when Robert and Laura came to live with the Jacksons inspired John O'Keefe to adapt the facts for Glamour, the first of a projected trilogy about the World War II years. The idea of linking the invasion of Europe with the invasion by the expatriates of the Jackson's home is interesting but it takes a defter hand than O'Keefe's to bring off. Unfortunately, his script squanders the potential for a credible drama about people who engage your attention and sympathy. Glamour, which bases its title not on the modern definition ("an air of compelling charm") but the archaic "a magic spell, enchanment" is neither compelling, charming or enchanting. The same can be said of the actors, especially Tracy Arnold who as Laura Riding, gives one of the worst performances I've seen on or off-Broadway this season.
The story progresses through a series of short scenes all ending with increasingly off-putting blackouts. There is one scene between Kit Jackson (Suzanne Thomas) and Robert Graves (Bruce DuBose) at the top of the second act that gives a hint of what might have been, but it quickly gives way to more awkwardness and a truly disastrous finale. The set is adequate but the costumes are not only incredibly unflattering but not especially authentic. Director Katherine Owens has done her best with the little she has to work with, but her best is simply not enough to recommend this play or anticipate its intended sequels.
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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