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Byron Toben

RED, the play, paints a powerful portrait of an eccentric genius

By Byron Toben on December 3, 2012

RED , the Tony award winning drama, is a powerful and absorbing theatrical experience.

Written by prolific John Logan (12 stage plays, 5 movies) and directed by National Theatre School grad Martha Henry ( Stratford and Shaw festival director and actor), this show is well served by actors Randy Hughson and Jesse Aaron Dwyre.

 

Hamlet Lives On

By Byron Toben on November 6, 2012

hamlet10.jpgWritten around 1596, Hamlet has endured as one of the world`s greatest plays. Although Hamlet dies at the end (as do all of the main characters, save Horatio), yet he lives on in myriad performances , both live and filmed. In his latest incarnation by the fine Persephone Productions, the melancholy Danish prince comes alive again for three hours in an incisive portrayal by Christopher Moore. As Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play, it requires a protagonist with stamina as well as clear elocution and acting chops. Mr. Moore brings these skills to the fore.

 

Guys and Dolls revisted

By Byron Toben on October 19, 2012

This is how my strange and wondrous experience happens.
I am floating around Writers Valhalla, which is in a place called Eternity, chatting with wise guys Willie the Shakes and  North Side Hendrik, when Big Mouth G.B. Shaw butts in.

“Damon, Dear boy…” sez He,
“You talking` to me ?” sez I...

 

Montreal Democrats Abroad Cheer Obama Nomination

By Byron Toben on September 8, 2012

About 50 US Democrats (many dual citizens) gathered at Hurley`s Irish pub on September 6 to watch the final day of the national Democratic convention in North Carolina as President Barak Obama accepted his party`s nomination for a second term.

The night before, delegates from the 50 states plus Democrats Abroad had unanimously voted to nominate him. Democrats Abroad (as well as Puerto Rico, Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands ) may vote to nominate the president but does not have electoral votes in the general election.

Student rioters might be banned from USA

By Byron Toben on May 27, 2012

Can arrests or convictions of student protesters bar them from future entry to the USA? I have been asked this increasingly. A complete answer could fill a booklet.The ultimate conclusion is yes, in some cases. The details, translated from legalese into plainspeak, are the following.

Of prizefighting and playwrighting

By Byron Toben on October 26, 2011

prizefighter_playwright.jpgOn September 22, 1927, the most famous battle in boxing history took place in Chicago. Gene Tunney, the quiet, literary heavyweight, defended the world championship he had won one year before from Jack Dempsey, the “Manassa Mauler,” who had held it for 10 years. This was the fight with the famous “long count” controversy played over many times today on YouTube. It was the first over $2 million dollar gate in entertainment history ($22 million in today’s money), seen live by 125,000 people (no TV in those days).



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