Mr. Ed

When choosing a season, a company should be realistic about its own gifts. The greats of the stage, actors such as Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellen or Patrick Stewart, speak longingly of roles they intend to approach when they reach the appropriate age or gain more experience. If these masters can understand and appreciate their limitations, then less gifted performers should acknowledge those plays that they don't have the expertise to adequately understand and present. Equus is only for the best, but then perhaps you have to be a great artist before you can understand why.

Meanwhile, Schiff in his other role as company artistic director has been trying to garner publicity for the show by touting semi-nude photos to the press (see above). He's also encouraged the attention of the county's right-wing Citizens for Decency, hoping the group would protest the production's use of full-frontal male and female nudity. Like Luke Campbell and the 2 Live Crew, he perhaps expected a raft of "Banned in Broward" press clips to translate into more dollars at the box office. Actually, the short nude scene is tastefully done. Schiff's Madonna-like approach to play promotion is at best ludicrous and at worst, missing the whole point of great theater. Besides, no pickets showed up.


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