Play based on Hank Williams’ final ‘tour’

By John Lyle Belden

Playwright and retired journalist Garret Matthews incorporates aspects of people he has known and interviewed into his plays. In his latest, “Opening Hank,” he includes the story of someone more familiar to most of us.

On New Years Day 1953, country music legend Hank Williams Sr. rode his Cadillac into eternity. In a body weakened by a hard life that included alcohol and painkillers (mainly to deal with chronic back pain), his heart gave out on the way to a Jan. 1 concert in Ohio, discovered dead in the backseat in Oak Hill, West Virginia. This necessitated another ride, in a hearse from there back home to Montgomery, Alabama.

On that route, in Mathews’ play, is the town of Bluefield, where you can get gas, car repairs, and “a free Coky-Cola with a fill-up” at the West Main Esso. Willie T. McClanahan (Taylor Cox), a savant with car engines but largely seen as a kind but simple soul otherwise, barely notices the news on WHIS radio as he challenges himself at checkers, but his second-shift manager Steve Tatum (Zachariah Stonerock) has heard and is not taking it well. Williams’ music and songs inspired him to take up writing for the first time since his horrific experiences in World War II a decade earlier.

A nicely dressed gentleman, Hiram Ledbetter (David Mosedale, who also directs) enters what he declares to be the “gasoline emporium” not seeking fuel but rest, and offering a proposition. He pilots Williams’ transport, and while he finds a meal and a nap elsewhere in town, he says, he would leave the coffin at the service station for safekeeping and in exchange for a fee, Steve could then charge the townspeople to get their last look at the hillbilly music superstar.

Having a dread fear of the trappings of death, Willie is sent away, leaving Steve, who takes up the undertaker’s offer, but for his own reasons.

While fictional, this story contains characters, events and anecdotes based on actual stories Mathews reported, and we get an excellent refresher on Hank Williams’ life, struggles and music, with several songs featured before and during the play. There is much heart and humor, with moments of dire drama. We get a feel for the brotherly relationship between Willie and Steve long before we learn their connection, as well as how they are essential to each other’s wellbeing. Cox and Stonerock have a natural chemistry, borne of talent as well as working together before. Mosedale cuts an interesting character himself, with hints of the Devil-in-a-suit archetype but with Southern charm and a grudging bit of good conscience. Ol’ Hank is a bit stiff in that box, but does sound good on the old radio.

In a post-show talk, Mathews and the cast give hearty thanks to stage manager Aaron Henze for his contributions, so we will as well.

Remaining performances are today and tomorrow (Nov. 19-20) as I post this, at the Cat, 254 Veterans Way in downtown Carmel. Get info and tickets at thecat.biz.

Indy Bard Fest’s Band of Sisters

By John Lyle Belden

During World War II, Fort Benjamin Harrison had America’s largest Reception Center for soldiers joining the Allied effort. Meanwhile, the civilians in Lawrence, Ind., adapted to life in wartime. Things were going to be different, but it helps to have something familiar.

This sets the scene for Indy Bard Fest’s production of “Into the Breeches!” by George Brant, at, appropriately, Theater at the Fort through Sunday. 

The Shakespeare-focused Oberon Theater has gone dark as the male actors and crew have gone off to fight, but Maggie Dalton (Madeline Dulabaum) honors her husband’s wish to keep the stage alive by producing the Henriad (Shakespeare’s Henry IV and V plays) with a small cast of women – a thing no one would even imagine trying before 1942. But these are highly unusual times, and Maggie has convinced the Oberon’s legendary Celeste Fielding (Susan Hill) to take a lead role. Still, board chairman Ellsworth Snow (Kelly Keller) isn’t on board until his wife, Winnifred (Tracy Herring), expresses interest in taking a part. 

With the help of stage manager Stuart (Kaya Dorsch) and costumer Ida (Anja Willis), Maggie auditions and casts servicemen’s wives June (Michelle Wafford), who is heavily involved in homefront resource drives, and Grace (Dani Gibbs), who sees this as a way not to dwell on the dangers her husband must be facing.

“We happy few”? Not entirely. For diva Celeste, it’s Prince Hal or nothing; and the company risks it all by the necessity of casting Ida, who is Black, and Stuart coming out of the closet to take the female roles. Mr. Snow is again concerned, to say the least.

This is a wonderful production, with bright optimism tempered by the shadows of war, an excellent snapshot of life on the Homefront, with its own distinct stresses. Performances are heroic, starting with Dulabaum’s portrayal of how stage director is such a varied rank – from the leadership of a field officer to the cunning of that enlisted hand who always comes up with just what the company needs. 

Hill makes Celeste both adorable and unbearable, impossible and essential – her method for helping fellow actors “man up” is a comic high point. Wafford is a “Do your part!” poster at full volume, but also unwavering in her love of the stage. Gibbs is a stellar talent playing one realizing her own potential, and the strength necessary to endure a lack of news from the front. 

Willis gives insight on facing inequality at home in a land fighting for freedom overseas. Dorsch gives us Stuart’s personal dedication and bravery in what was a dangerous time on all fronts. Herring is a delight, especially as Winnifred discovers her inner Falstaff. As for Keller as the frustrated husband, how he has Ellsworth come around is too adorable to spoil here. 

A big salute to director Max Andrew McCreary for putting this together, including stage design, with the help of Natalie Fischer and stage manager Case Jacobus.

For information on this and future Bard Fest productions, visit indybardfest.com.

Orange is the new Bard

This is part of Indy Bard Fest 2022, the annual Indianapolis area Shakespeare Festival. For information and tickets, visit indybardfest.com.

By John Lyle Belden

Welcome to a secure common room at a local women’s prison. The ladies of D Block present for the visitors (us) the fruits of their fine arts program, a staging of William Shakespeare’s “Richard II,” adapted by the company with director Glenn Dobbs.

For those like me who sometimes struggle to keep all the Histories straight, Richard II (1377-1399) rules England over 150 years after the fall of King John – who was brother to Richard I (Lionheart), among the first Plantagenet Kings, and the unfortunate subject of another Bard Fest offering this year. Richard will end his reign childless (no obvious heir) as the Plantagenets fracture into the Houses of Lancaster and York in the Wars of the Roses. Also, like John, he is not regarded well by history and lore, considered a tyrant especially as he was a big believer in a king’s absolute power by Divine Right.

As presented by these orange-clad thespians, we easily accept that the mostly-male characters will all have feminine voices. This cast of local actors (not real felons, but play along) get to engage in two levels of character work. Aside from portraying the machinations of the 14th Century English Court, they are also women forged in difficult circumstance, feeling a familiarity to this treacherous culture. At any moment, your blood could be on the floor. To emphasize a challenge, a pack of premium smokes cast down is your gauntlet. Which boss inmate you follow can be a matter of life or death, and that crown – whether metal or bandana – is never fully secure.

Outstanding talents take the lead: Afton Shepard as Richard and Rayanna Bibbs as cousin/rival/successor Bolingbroke; with Damick Lalioff as the Duke of York, Evangeline Bouw as Richard’s faithful noble Aumerle, Savannah Scarborough as Bolingbroke’s right hand Northumberland, Nan Macy as John of Gaunt and the Duchess of York, and Sofy Vida as the banished Mowbray and secretive Bishop of Carlisle. Great contributions as well by Missy Rump, Genna Sever, Gracie Streib, Rachel Kelso, Jamie Devine, Gillian Bennett, Gillian Lintz, and a special shout-out to young Ellie Richart as Richard at coronation.

Shepard gives the kind of strong performance we’ve come to expect from her, showing all the various infamous aspects of the King, delivered with an instability that flows from the madness of power to the wilder madness of being without it. Bibbs gives a commanding performance like someone who somehow knows he will be the title character of the next two plays in the series. Bouw gives us a tragic character we can feel for, a young Duke sure he is on the right side – until he isn’t – then all too desperate to redeem himself. Lalioff smartly plays York as shrewd and decisive (things Richard is not), enabling him to ride the changing tides. Macy is again a marvel in her paternal and maternal roles.

It is from this play we get the line, “let us… tell sad stories of the death of kings,” and what a story we are delivered here! Three performances remain, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 28-30, in the Indy Eleven Theatre at the IndyFringe building, 719 E. St. Clair, Indianapolis.  

IRT’s ‘Chinese Lady’ a living history lesson

By John Lyle Belden

Afong Moy was the most amazing exotic spectacle many people had ever seen, and she just had to be herself.

Born in China, circa 1820, Moy was effectively purchased from her family by American merchant brothers Nathaniel and Frederic Crane as an enterprising way to promote the sale of Chinese goods in New York. Starting at age 14, she would sit in an exotically furnished room while people who had paid admission (starting at 10 cents a person, a nickel per child) would watch her. She would occasionally walk briefly on her tiny, traditionally-bound feet. She would eat delicately with chopsticks. She would ritually make tea. She could even talk through her Cantonese interpreter, Atung.

This was the act. It made her a sensation, touring the U.S. and even getting a meeting with President Andrew Jackson. But by the Civil War era, not even exploitation by P.T. Barnum could save her fading stardom. However, playwright Lloyd Suh notes that America is still staring, still curious, yet misunderstanding the otherness of Moy and her people – not acknowledging that Asians are as human as the ones outside the room, looking in.

Indiana Repertory Theatre presents the local premiere of Indy-area native Suh’s “The Chinese Lady” on the IRT’s intimate Upperstage, where Mi Kang sits as Moy, presented for our edification, with the help of Trieu Tran as faithful but “irrelevant” Atung. Direction is by Ralph B. Pena, who has been with the play since its world premiere with Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York in 2018.

Kang, who has stood in Moy’s special shoes since a Chicago production earlier this year, brings an amiable, appealing charm to the “Lady” who became a public curiosity as a girl. As naïve as one would expect, the teen has us rooting for her with her ambitious perspective. She sees herself as a sort of cultural interpreter (something 21st-century audiences would be more familiar with) bringing awareness of both the differences and similarities between two peoples. To the gawkers, though, she was mainly – as Jackson himself plainly put it – just another curiosity, a prettier freak show.

Atung sets up the show, brings it to a close, and sets it up again. It is his job, a burden to his body, and as Tran lets us subtly see, to his soul. Being a little older and experienced (and being bilingual, knowing what the Whites around him are actually saying) he is aware, but doesn’t want to do more than hint to Moy the truth of her situation. He confesses to us a unique love for her, but never forgets his place in this world. With practiced inner fortitude, he puts on a stereotypical smile, lifts the bells and (*ching!*) gets on with another performance. Ironically, like his ill-used countrymen elsewhere in America, it is “irrelevance” that keeps him employed.

Kang lets Moy gently age before us – seen at 14, 16, 17, 29, 44… – and gain a sense of how she is being used, but she never lets go of her sense that she is still a sort of ambassador, that her mission of unity is still attainable. Filtered through that perception, she gives us a serious perspective on the events of her century.

“I have always thought Lloyd’s play to be timeless,” Pena says in his program note. “Today, I think of it as timely.”

There is no death record of Afong Moy. As this blending of Suh’s words and Kang’s performance demonstrate, “The Chinese Lady” is still with us, inviting us to look, and to understand.

Performances run through Nov. 6 at the IRT, 140 W. Washington St., in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Get tickets and information at irtlive.com.

Bard Fest: Humor and History with ‘King John’

This is part of Indy Bard Fest 2022, the annual Indianapolis area Shakespeare Festival. For information and tickets, visit indybardfest.com.

By John Lyle Belden

When most of us last saw or even thought of King John of England, he was still a Prince, frustrated with the antics of Robin Hood.

However, while Robin is legendary, there was a real John. Those taxes the Merry Men resented were a literal king’s ransom to rescue King Richard the Lionheart, his Crusading brother, and once John did ascend to the crown himself, his big achievement was getting badgered by the nobility to sign the Magna Carta. It didn’t help his reputation that he lost most of England’s lands in modern France, and that with historians he is overshadowed by one of the most awesome women of Medieval Europe, his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Can even William Shakespeare rehabilitate the image of this man? His “The Life and Death of King John” reads more like a complex cautionary tale with its twists of fate, as well as digs at the expense of France and the Catholic Church to keep Elizabethan audiences happy.

Now it is in the gentle hands of local director Doug Powers, who brings the Indy Bard Fest production of “King John” to The Shelton Auditorium at Butler University. His handling of the text brings out the humor in this history play, borne of the constant shifts between belligerence and brokered peace. The flow of the plot goes like: We’re at war! Now we’re not! We’re at war again! We’re… where were we…? There’s a dry, almost Pythonesque feel to some of the scenes, eliciting several chuckles from the audience.

Excellent casting helps: Zachary Stonerock gives John a sense of purpose, edged with frustration and notoriously quick temper. He strives to be a good ruler, while his mouth writes checks his army can’t cash. Gari Williams gives Queen Eleanor the regal bearing she held to her last days, her counsel helping keep John on task. Kevin Caraher portrays Philip of France as a monarch weary of war, but not relenting until his son Louis the Dauphin (Cael Savidge) and Duke Arthur (Max Gallagher), who has a claim to England’s throne, get their due. Star turns in supporting roles include Sabrina Duprey, who finds herself little more than a pawn in this game as Princess Blanche of Spain; Tony Armstrong as Hubert, a faithful servant with an impossible choice; and the brilliant Matt Anderson, first as a citizen of a besieged city who offers a crucial compromise, and later as Cardinal Pandulph, who acts with the Pope’s authority to excommunicate King John.

The top performances here are by Georgeanna Smith Wade in two fiery mother roles – most notably railing at all the politicking and half-measures keeping young Arthur from the throne – and by Taylor Cox as Philip “The Bastard” Faulconbridge, illegitimate son of John’s brother Richard, named a Knight in the King’s forces. Cox exudes a brash confidence that seems unearned at first, growing throughout as his role makes him both provocateur and chorus, giving many a sly aside or clever commentary to us watching.

Once again, Bard Fest has served up a Shakespeare work we don’t often see and makes it entertain and even enlightening when compared to the fickle nature of modern statecraft. Remaining performances are Friday through Sunday, Oct. 14-16 at the Shelton, 1000 W. 42nd Street, on the grounds Butler shares with Christian Theological Seminary.

IndyFringe: Jewel Box Revue 2022

This is part of IndyFringe 2022, Aug. 18-Sept. 4 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

Tom Alvarez and Dustin Klein’s Magic Thread Cabaret celebrates the past and showcases today’s talent with Jewel Box Revue 2022 at the District Theatre.

The original Revue toured nationally and internationally from 1936 to 1999, featuring live-singing “female impersonators” and a “male impersonator” – what we now call drag queens and kings. With their widespread appeal and fame, as Alvarez notes, “these pioneers were among the first to crack open the closet door.”

Today’s jewels are Miss Pearl (Keith Potts), Miss Sapphire (Isaiah Moore), Miss Opal (Ervin Gainer) and Miss Ruby (Jim Melton); with emcee Danny Diamond (Kelsey VanVoorst); dancers and co-choreographers Topaz (Xavier Medina) and Jade (Jade Perry); and sparkling on-stage musicians Galen Morris on bass, Matthew Dupree on drums, and music director Klein on piano.

Alvarez wrote and directed the show, featuring songs from Broadway and past greats.

Among the various numbers: Potts is exquisite in delivering the Judy Garland hit “The Man That Got Away” as well as “The Ladies Who Lunch” from the musical “Company.” Moore has us feeling Etta James’ “At Last.” Opal gives proper sass to Pearl Bailey’s “You Can Be Displaced.” Melton is arousing with “Don’t Tell Mama” from “Cabaret” and inviting with Rosemary Clooney’s “C’mon-a My House.” Even VanVoorst gets into the act, challenging Potts with “Anything You Can Do.”

Wendy and I were fortunate to get into a sold-out audience. It’s recommended you act fast to get in to see this marvelous show, 7:15 p.m. Thursday or 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1-2.

IndyFringe: Sadec 1965, A Love Story

This is part of IndyFringe 2022, Aug. 18-Sept. 4 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By Wendy Carson 

A brilliant storyteller, Flora Le spins the tale of “Sadec 1965: A Love Story,” her quest to discover her father’s hidden past in Vietnam prior to his arrival in Canada, where he attended college and married her mother.

Le’s relationship with her father was never great. He left the family when she was five. During her bi-weekly forced visitations she was neglected and abused. He refused to tell her anything about him, his family or Vietnam, no matter how much she asked.

This lack of a male touchstone in her life led her to make some poor and questionable choices along the way. However, her friend convinces her that the only way she will truly learn about the man is to visit Vietnam for herself. So, she leaves her soul-sucking job and goes upon a motorcycle tour of the country.

She proudly buys herself a beautiful motorcycle, disregarding the fact that she has never ridden on, let alone driven one. She is excited to see the foreign land, disregarding that she only knows approximately three phrases in Vietnamese. Still, she valiantly forges ahead.

Her discoveries throughout the countryside are interspersed with memories of her father. When he is struck down by a brain tumor, she visits him in the hospital but his treatment of her has not changed since she was a child. In fact, she only learns of her father’s past from interviews of the Vietnamese man her brother hired to sit by her father’s bedside.

Through him she finds out about her father’s first love, whom he left behind. She pledged herself to be faithful and wrote him over six hundred letters during a span of about six years. This devotion makes Le desperate to meet the mysterious woman, but will that connection actually be made?

Le’s story is raw and lovely as she pulls no punches regarding anyone’s faults (especially her own). However, the tapestry she weaves is engaging and beautiful and hopefully there will be another opportunity if you missed viewing it during the opening weekend of IndyFringe.

Flora Le’s story continues on her website, containing photos of those involved as well as some of the letters written. Check it out at https://www.sadec1965.com/

IndyFringe: The Real Black Swan

This is part of IndyFringe 2022, Aug. 18-Sept. 4 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

Popular Fringe storyteller Les Kurkendaal-Barrett returns to bring us “The Real Black Swan: Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen.” In the process, he gets in a few confessions of his own.

For most of his life, Les had a Pink Bubble. It’s like the one Glinda the Good Witch rides in on in “The Wizard of Oz.” Only he can see it, but it protects him.

More recently, Les had a lump in his thigh. It turned out to be a tumor, but neither it, nor the growing Black Lives Matter movement outside his doors concerned him, as the Pink Bubble remained intact.

As he prepared for surgery to remove and examine the lump, Les learned of an article about William Dorsey Swann, who was born a slave in the 1800s and went on to become a Black drag queen (reportedly the first) as well as the first LGBTQ activist on record. This being good material for his next show, Les let it into the bubble. Then he checked in to the hospital.

Under anesthesia, Les drifted in a haze, surrounded by the bubble’s pink glow. Then he saw someone walking towards him – this person was tall, Black, and in a 19th-century dress. In a gruff voice, Swann declared, “You need to start feeling things!”

POP!

We’re not in Oz anymore; this dream takes a more “Ebenezer Scrooge” turn, as Les – and we – examine Swann’s life, and the moments where Les could have used The Queen’s strength. His talent for entertaining us with his introspective stories is blended with a fascinating biography. We get an insight into the history of “gay life” (in both senses of the word) in old Washington, D.C. As one would expect, Swann saw his share of trouble, but being taught how to write while in jail led to his petitioning President Grover Cleveland for a pardon – securing his place in history, regardless of the outcome.

This exercise in self-reflection – we learn why “Kurkendaal” is spelled that way – coupled with seeing worlds outside the bubble, make for yet another great performance in Les’s exceptional repertoire.

Pop on over to the District Theatre to see him 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, and 5:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28.

IndyFringe: Bigfoot Saves America

This is part of IndyFringe 2022, Aug. 18-Sept. 4 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

If you see only one cryptid-centered action-adventure comedy this Fringe Festival, it was probably this.

“Bigfoot Saves America,” by Dakota Jones, tells the story the government (allegedly) doesn’t want you to see, how in 1978, agents of H.A.I.R. reactivated the being known as Bigfoot to team up with the reanimated – but lycanthropy-infected – President Theodore Roosevelt to rescue Mr. Foot’s ex-wife, top scientist and hot blonde Dr. Love Interest from the diabolical Mothman. For this reenactment, the roles are portrayed by Tony Schaab, Aaron Henze, Kyrsten Lyster, and Jo Bennett, with Matthew Walls and Taylor Cox as both Federal Agents and Gay Hench-Moths (see if you can tell the difference), as well as master stagehand Lillian Eisenbraun as needed.

Sponsorship for this episode provided by wonder-drug Sexadryl (“Sexadryl”). See show for possible side-effects.

The best description I can come up with for this is a Cartoon Network “Adult Swim” episode come to life. Absurdity, goofy go-with-it attitudes, and echoes of the self-awareness of action spoofs like “Venture Brothers” or “Bird Girl” abound, with the characters taking things just seriously enough to advance the plot. Cartoonish but for college-age kids, taken on this level “Bigfoot Saves America” is one of the funniest things you’ll see at the Fringe.

If you love America, and don’t want your genitals to explode, you’ll see this unbelievable adventure, playing Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon, Aug. 25 and 28, as well as noon and 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, at the District Theatre.

Examining our Hoosier President

By John Lyle Belden

History’s judgement of President Benjamin Harrison, Ohio-born but spent most of his public life in and in service to Indiana, is sort of a mixed bag. During his one term, 1889-1893, he championed progressive policies and admitted a half-dozen states to the Union, but then there was the protectionist tariff and economic troubles, rocky relations within his own party, and, in hindsight, the opportunities lost. Scholars rank him middling to lower-half on the list of best-to-worst Presidents, while Hoosiers like to celebrate their only Chief Executive (aside from his grandfather, territorial governor and “Tippecanoe”).

In “Benjamin Harrison Chased a Goat,” a new play by Hank Greene finally getting its premiere at Theater at the Fort (former U.S. Army post Fort Benjamin Harrison), the policy and politics are background to an examination of Harrison the man. In addition, we are reminded of important women in his life: Caroline Harrison, his wife, and Alice Sanger, the first woman stenographer in the White House.

And then, of course, there’s Old Whiskers, which would be referred to as the First Pet by today’s news media.

We meet the President (Steve Kruze) in the Oval Office as just a few hours remain before returning it to Grover Cleveland. He works on his Farewell Address, stuck for an ending, when he is surprised by the arrival of Sanger (Morgan Morton) – the only staffer left working in the White House, as all the men have exited for new positions. He is reluctant, but she persuades him to let her “polish up” his scattered notes. As he goes out to ruminate on the speech’s closing, Harrison is distracted by the wandering ruminant.

Much of the story follows in flashback. Harrison, flanked by trusted advisors Caroline (Carrie Schlatter) and longtime aide James Noble (Alex Oberheide), greet inauguration with optimism, despite not winning the popular vote in the 1888 election. Haunted by his famous name – and the soured legacy of John Quincy Adams not living up to his own Founding Father – Harrison is determined to accomplish great things in his own right. Seeds of doubt from this are nourished by Republican Party operative Edward Proctor (Joshua Ramsey), who blunts the President’s bold moves by advising the GOP’s cautious approach.

We also get glimpses of the relationship between Benjamin and Caroline, from the first dance to the last chimes of the music box. Her importance becomes clear, despite the mostly ceremonial position of First Lady. She chafes at being only known as the woman who brought electricity to the White House, and who rid it of (four-legged) rats. Trouble stirs at both the speech Mrs. Harrison gives to the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the speech she opts not to give.

What happened to that electrifying speaker who helped elect an Indiana governor? What will his last words as U.S. President be, and will they be remembered? And where is that goat, anyway?

Kruze and Schlatter make a dynamic First Couple, devoted though their love gets tested to the breaking point. Their then-controversial “progressive” views sound more like conventional wisdom now (and the gold vs. silver standard debate, rather quaint) so we mainly see committed public servants working with the noblest intentions. Morton helps put a spotlight on another real historical figure, as Sanger speaks for the common person wanting to know why all this politics and policy matter.

Oberheide delivers an excellent performance of the right-hand man who becomes taken for granted, Noble’s disillusionment the indicator that our leader’s path has gone astray. As Proctor, Ramsey’s delivery is as perfect as his impeccable facial hair. He doesn’t twirl that curled mustache, though, as he is not a villain but more representing the way party politics have been conducted throughout American history. His arguments for inaction and vague promises can be heard on Capitol Hill today.

Directed by Christine Kruze, this play, like many historical dramas, is an enlightening look at the past with some lessons for our present. Best of all, it’s a nice insight into a man whom history largely overlooks. Circumstances limited the run to the current weekend, Aug. 12-14. If you are reading this in time, find tickets at ArtsForLawrence.org.