A joke among diabetics is that we're not allowed to see The Sound of Music because of all the sugar. Well, there's plenty of the sweet stuff, but after adjusting my insulin pump at Media Theatre, something I'd forgotten hit me as the show progressed: its clear, dark side.
Let me hear you say arrrrrr! Not loud enough. Let me hear you say arrrrrrrr! Much better. An all-purpose interjection primarily associated with pirates, it could mean yes, no, maybe, or nothing at all. At People's Light and Theatre Company, where a twisted and slick version of Treasure Island: A Musical Panto opened Saturday night, it means Big Fun.
Come into the cavernous California living room of the well-known Wyeth family, gathering for good tidings at Christmas Eve, 2004. Over here are the parents - he, a former movie star turned politician; she, a former Texas Jew turned WASP and a one-time Hollywood screenwriter.
In The How and the Why, two women meet, discover they are both (of all things) evolutionary biologists - at the opposite ends of their careers - and enter into a dialogue that reveals as much about their present identities as it does about their pasts.
Howard Shapiro joined The Inquirer in 1970 and has held many writing and editing positions, including cultural arts editor and travel editor. He now writes for The Inquirer’s features section.
His “On Travel” column appears occasionally on Sundays in Travel, and his theater reviews appear in the Daily Magazine and Weekend.
Find his podcasts with theater artists at http://go.philly.com/theater