May 1, 2015 |
When spooky author Neil Gaiman was an 11-year-old boy in Portchester, England, he saw the great Welsh actor and dramatist Emlyn Williams do a one-man show as Charles Dickens, based on the author's tours of America. "He recited from Dickens' works, told bits of his stories about going from town to town, Philadelphia included - very dramatic," Gaiman says. "At the end, the audience felt - truly felt - as if Dickens had come alive and into focus for them in a way that was really enjoyable.
November 1, 2014 |
It cannot be a simple task, adapting Charles Dickens' Great Expectations for the stage, but playwright Gale Childs Daly gave it a go. A few nips and tucks later, the Arden Theatre Company's new production brings bright, young Pip, dismal Miss Havisham, and her ice-cold adopted daughter Estella (along with more than 30 others) to life with a six-person cast and minimal props. However, those reasonable cuts - even Dickens purists might not miss the excised personages and events - don't result in an entirely taut show.
April 12, 2014 |
It's heartening to know that even Charles Dickens, that pillar of Victorian virtue and civic responsibility, had his share of forbidden passions - and even succumbed to one. That would be the great author's adulterous love for Ellen "Nelly" Ternan, an actress 27 years his junior whom he met in 1857 when he was casting The Frozen Deep , a play he co-wrote with Wilkie Collins. A year later, the 45-year-old Dickens left his wife of 22 years, Catherine - ostensibly for the 18-year-old Nelly.
January 20, 2014 |
Whoa, Nelly. There's a tough scene in The Invisible Woman - the Ralph Fiennes -directed account of Charles Dickens' tumultuous affair with the actress Nelly Ternan - in which the famous Victorian scribe forces his wife to deliver a bracelet she had found, and presumed hers, to its intended recipient: Dickens' lover. It was a "weird act of cruelty," concedes Fiennes, who stars as Dickens, opposite Felicity Jones' Nelly, in the handsome period piece. Joanna Scanlan is Catherine Dickens , the sorry cuckquean (yes, cuckold has a female equivalent - thank you, OED!
January 17, 2014 |
THE TITLE character in "The Invisible Woman" is Charles Dickens' teen mistress and kept woman, and while she's not quite invisible, her place in society is apparent. Director Ralph Fiennes drives this idea home in a bleakly funny scene of Dickens (played by Fiennes) insisting, rather roughly, that the two of them take a lively public argument inside. A passing policeman sees the dispute, sees the older man towering over the distraught young woman, and says: "Is this woman bothering you, sir?"
May 12, 2013 |
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a gooey confection of seasonal sentiment. It also is an economic manifesto. It concerned a 19th-century debate that is pertinent to today's argument about immigration. Last week, a disagreement between two conservative think tanks erupted when the Heritage Foundation excoriated the immigration reform proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators. Heritage's analysis argues that making 11 million illegal immigrants eligible, more than a decade from now, for welfare-state entitlements would have net costs of $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years.
December 25, 2012
By Dolores Lehr Charles Dickens has always been popular in Philadelphia. The city has its statue of this famous Victorian author where the Friends of Clark Park gather each February to celebrate his birthday. The "Dickens Village" at Macy's, moved from its former location in Strawbridge's, attracts large crowds of visitors every year during the Christmas holidays. The Philadelphia Free Library is concluding its yearlong celebration of the Dickens' Bicentenary (1812-2012), which has included monthly discussions of Dickens' works, displays of his letters and artifacts, and other festive events.
December 21, 2012
* MR. MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL. 8 p.m. Saturday, NBC 10. I USED TO BE a little embarrassed that my favorite Scrooge was Mister Magoo. The adult choice, I knew, was Alastair Sim, the Scottish actor whose 1951 portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is considered the gold standard for holiday-movie misers. Sim, who has one of the more entertaining entries on Wikipedia - really, you should check it out - is probably a worthier candidate than, say, Bill Murray, a fascinating actor whose "Scrooged" wasn't exactly one for the ages.
December 21, 2012 |
THE YEAR OF DICKENS is coming to an end. The Free Library has been marking the famous author's 200th birthday with a variety of events throughout the year, continuing through December. December's activities have had a holiday theme, which is appropriate since Dickens pretty much invented Christmas - or at least the way we celebrate it these days. It's difficult to imagine Christmas without Ebenezer Scrooge, or Tiny Tim, or those ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Dickens' A Christmas Carol met widespread acclaim when it was published in 1843, and the public's love affair with the tale shows no signs of fatigue nearly 170 years later.
December 14, 2012 |
Saturday Chanukah bowling Join the Chabad of Penn Wynne for a bowling Chanukah celebration. Enjoy pizza, unlimited bowling, and a bowling-pin menorah. Wynnewood Lanes, 2228 Haverford Rd., Ardmore. Admission: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Info: 610-529-9011, www.chabadpennwynne.org . Saturday Winterfest in Center City Bring the entire family out to Sister Cities Park's first Winterfest. The festival will offer a sing-along with Frosty the Snowman, snowflake science presented by the Franklin Institute, and cookie decorating, among other activities.