Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Screwtape Letters - Lantern Theater

Took my wife to see the Screwtape Letters at the Lantern Theater last weekend. I really enjoy this show. I saw it twice when they did it before about 4 years ago. It's a hit - so they do it regularly now - every year or every other year. And Anthony Lawton (one of the few actors in Philadelphia who can actually make a living at the craft) must be making a decent living off of this show - which he created. He is a wonderful actor - beautiful, strong features.

It's a 2 person show - and the other person - Guenevive Perrier - is terrific and hot and a dancer. The show is based on the famous C. S. Lewis book about the ways the devil works on the human soul and spirit.

It is one of those pieces of writing in which almost every paragraph contains one of those - Ah-Ha's - that are illuminating, thought-provoking and make make reading fun. The same for this play.

The physical skits - dancing, fire-eating, stick-fighting that punctuate every scene are wonderful and wonderfully done.

But mainly it is the C. S. Lewis that stays with you. There is the pious Christian who knows himself a Christian and better than his friends when he hangs out with the guys on Saturday - and also knows he more sophisticated than his fellow worshippers in church on Sunday. A real win-win - for the devil.

The tendency of believers to keep their hatreds close but their charity far away. It's easy to give to starving children in Africa - and yet hate you neighbor whom you find annoying or ignore your mother who spends most nights alone just a few miles from her children who are very busy with Church activities, or soup-kitchen volunteering.

This year's run is over - so it is too late to se it. And I didn't write this earlier because very performance was sold-out anyway. But you'll have another chance to see it in a couple years - guaranteed. See it then. Well worth the effort.

PS: An F-minus to the Inquirer's reviewer Toby Zinmann who's bigoted review of this show was as misleading as she could possibly make it.

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