Posted inArts & Culture

The Lives of Others

I spent only an afternoon in East Germany before the Berlin Wall fell, but the fearful silence in public places left a lingering impression. The reasons behind it are explored by writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in his accomplished first feature, about the Stasi, the country’s secret police, which had a staff of over 90,000, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Evan Mandery

The copyright page of Evan Mandery’s first novel, Dreaming of Gwen Stefani (Ig Publishing), lists the following Library of Congress categories: 1. College dropouts. 2. Cookery (Frankfurters). 3. Stefani, Gwen, 1969. To which could reasonably be added: 4. Life, the meaning of. The college dropout and dreamer of Gwen Stefani is Mortimer Taylor Coleridge, an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Court-Martial at Fort Devens

A World War II historical footnote provides the plot for Jeffrey Sweet’s new play: black Wacs trained as medical technicians protest their white commanding officer’s racism when he assigns them only menial chores. The story contains few real surprises, but it makes for a sturdy if occasionally heavy-handed docudrama. Andrea J. Dymond’s staging is brisk, […]