Quintessence Theatre Group presents “Othello”
Through Nov. 11, The Sedgewick Theater. quintessence.org
Overall vibe: The Sedgwick Theater, a Roaring Twenties movie palace stripped bare of all its art deco opulence, still majestic, like this Shakespeare play on its vacant runway stage.
Most memorable moment: You forget to breathe when, in this all-guy production, Othello says, “Here comes the lady, let her witness it.” Blue light floods the stage, electronic crunchy beats of Philadelphia’s own Mad Decent spills out of the speakers, and Ross Bennett Hurwitz enters in spotlight as the gentle lady, Desdemona.
Scene stealer: Director Alex Burns, who left the actors barefooted, bare chested, on a bare black stage, the audience surrounding them, with only the Bard’s words holding them up. (Jessica Foley)
By Irvine Welsh (W.W Norton & Company)
In summary: This prequel to Trainspotting shows Rent Boy and the Edinburgh all-stars in their innocent younger days. Don’t worry, though: It only takes 52 pages for them to find their stride and slowly but surely become the lads we love to hate.
Akin to: Visiting Scotland. After penetrating Welsh’s thick use of dialect, try even mentally deciding on dinner without a Scots accent.
Author fun fact: Welsh appeared in two films based on his novels: Trainspotting in 1996 and The Acid House two years later. (Anthony Trivelli)
Into the Wilderness
By David Ebenbach (Washington Writers’ Publishing House)
In summary: A collection of 14 stories about parenthood—including wanting babies, having babies, dealing with children of divorce and helping kids through heartbreak—that whisper truths and raise questions instead of preach.
Akin to: The stories you don’t hear from parents because they’d rather not admit they ever thought they were unfit to raise kids.
Author fun fact: Ebenbach, born and raised in Philly, now lives with his wife in Washington, D.C., where he teaches at Georgetown. (Rosella Eleanor LaFevre)
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