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Latest Review

Re: “Coleman Public House

Without a doubt, the best burger and fries to be had anywhere around. My generously portioned, juicy, succulent burger was perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the choice of toppings (I ordered the Southern burger which sports a fried green tomato among other items) was really imaginative. The fries were out of this world. My wife had a terrific cob salad. Wide selection of beers (bottled and on tap), wines by the bottle or glass, and some interesting cocktail options. The decor is neither upscale nor low-end; just a comfortable, relaxing, friendly place to eat, drink and linger. The staff was genuinely friendly and attentive. (Thanks, Rob!) We will definitely be back. Want to try those lamb burgers!

I can't believe someone actually would take the time to complain about something as pedestrian as a mimosa.

1 of 2 people like this.
Posted by natj on June 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

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Re: “Mount Pleasant kicks off Saturday morning seafood market

Oh, come on, City Paper, can't you get garbage like the preceeding troll ads off your website. Wake up, and be professional.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by natj on May 8, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Re: “The Holocaust drama Bent is as redemptive as it is heart-wrenching

My thoughts about "Bent," now playing at Threshold Repertory Theatre in Charleston, and why everyone in this country should take the time to see this play:

"I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when He is silent."

These words, discovered on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany after the end of World War II, scrawled by an anonymous writer who likely perished, are what came to mind when I first read this astounding play. Believing in love even when not feeling it is what "Bent" is all about. It is a love story: a love story for the human race that is particularly apt for those fickle times like the 1930s, and horrifyingly, today, when we, the human race, have fallen out of love with each other.

"Bent" is an historical play. For those who don't know the history, the plot unfolds the day after the Night of the Long Knives in late June 1934, when Hitler executed those whom he considered to be a threat to his power. One of these men was Ernst Rohm, a principal in the SA (the 'legitimized' organization that evolved from the Brown Shirts). He was also a homosexual. As a result of his demise (along with about 85 other "conspirators"), all gay men became, in effect, political enemies of the state, and they were shipped off the concentration camps in droves. The were treated even worse than the Jews. They were the lowest of the low.

Come the end of the war, many of these people remained incarcerated for, or under suspicion of, the "crime" of being homosexual. Laws in Western Europe freeing gays from this stigma of shame did not come about until the 1970s. What makes it even more incomprehensible is that we in the United States are still trying to make it a crime, socially and legally, to be gay, to be lesbian, to be bisexual, to be transgender. Just today, a politician in our state of South Carolina (with the oxymoronic name of Lee Bright) has put forth a policy similar to the one signed last week by the governor of North Carolina. It is too much to fathom that transgender bathroom privileges in the Carolinas and the existence of gays in Mississippi could possibly be considered a threat to religious freedom, but that's the situation: denying rights and privileges to an entire segment of the population because it is your inherent, God-given religious liberty to do so. And here we thought it was only the Nazis who were crazy.

This play is about homosexuals. You will see homosexuals kissing. You will see homosexuals hugging. You will see homosexuals' naked backsides and privates. You will see homosexuals getting the shit beaten out of them. You will see them having orgasms. If the abundance of of all this frightful homosexual "closeness" bothers you, all I can say is: Please get over it. In essence, grow the hell up, and really, truly learn what it means to love. Learn to love people who are different from you. Learn to appreciate that people who appear to be so different from you really aren't that different at all.

I play an older gay man in this play. I am not gay. One of the leads in this play is gay, the other isn't. In my dressing room, I share space with a body builders, a yoga instructor and a drag queen. We don't recoil from one another. We enjoy each other's company. We talk. We laugh. We make the same distasteful backstage jokes that are made in every green room in the world. As actors, we are fully cognizant that in acting and finding our characters, we are laid bare. We are vulnerable. We are open. We are allowing ourselves to be hurt. We are giving others access to our souls. Which brings me to my next point:

What is important about this show, and the absolutely brilliant acting, writing and direction that comprise it, is that this is a show about people. People who, like all people, make mistakes and make excuses. We fluff up who we are, and we also deny who we are. The principal character in this play denies he's a queer to get a "better deal" being a Jew. He denies his friend and contributes to his death. He denies his connection to love, until he learns that love transcends life. We are all Peters in this world, not seeing what is plainly and simply in our sight. Our silence eighty years ago was unacceptable. Our silence today is simply unholy.

This is a play about love for our fellow man. No matter how much we may hate, our hate does not make us whole: it reduces us to fragments. It makes our lives the equivalent of carrying heavy rocks back and forth from place to place. Can you feel the sun? It's there. Can you feel love in absence of a touch or a caress? Yes, you can. "Bent" is a love story and it is a soaring song of hope. In this day and age, when we are beset by our own dark Nights of Long Knives, we need a glimmer. A small shaft of light that we can stand in, close together, and share the warmth.

"Bent," written by Martin Sherman, is directed by Jay Danner and features Patrick Arnheim, Randy Risher, Brandon Martin and Jimmy Flannery. "Bent" enters its final weekend tonight, Thursday, April 7, and runs through Sunday April 10. Curtain time is 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a 3:00 matinée on Sunday.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by natj on April 7, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Theater review: The Explorer's Club is a period comedy treat

Thak you, Kristin Barner, for the wonderful review! Just one little thing: the actor playing Beebe (the monk) is Bronson Taylor.

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by natj on May 2, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Best Teenage Nightmare

Agreed. She was amazing to watch. I am also happy to have learned a new word, "otaku."

Posted by natj on April 3, 2015 at 9:48 PM

Re: “The race race

I think the cartoonist needs to learn how to hyphenate the word "offended."

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by natj on December 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

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