Jarnsaxa and Mockingbirds

Playwright Nick Wardigo, posing between the evening's stars, director Sam Barrett and actor David Hutchman.
Playwright Nick Wardigo, posing between the evening’s stars, director Sam Barrett and actor David Hutchman.

The Pope’s whirlwind visit to Philadelphia was punctuated by an eerie lunar eclipse that turned the moon blood-red.  Foreboding portent of strange days to come?

Nah.  Kinda doubt it.  Pretty moon, though.

Anyway, two non-Pope-ish things occurred over the weekend that merit mention.  First, I caught the final performance of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Colonial Playhouse, directed by salon aficionado, Sam Barrett.  I’m really coming to dig this local community theater, and I enjoy adding it to the circle of professional theaters I frequent.  And while Mockingbird certainly can’t be considered a piece of modern, bleeding-edge theater, it still has some teeth, and it was cool to be in an audience of non-regular-theatergoers, whose only experience might be insipid musicals that come with a complimentary meatloaf. Kudos to Sam for making people squirm in their seats!

The second thing is that Lindsay Harris Friel’s new podcast serial, Jarnsaxa Rising, just went live with its first two episodes.  It’s a fantasy of sorts, involving Norse gods manipulating modern mortals into world-changing events.  This started out as a play, and I know that because I attended a reading of it at Walking Fish Theatre, maybe seven or eight years ago.  Lindsay has adapted it into a radio-show-like format, something like The Shadow meets Neil Gaiman with a foley artist.  It’s pretty slick, so if you like your podcasts spiced with Norse gods speaking large and public hearings uncovering political sexual misconduct, this is the show you’ve been waiting for your entire life.

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