The Virgin Mary is becoming a stage diva, and she’s counting Pope Benedict XVI as one of her biggest fans. A pope-endorsed musical, “Mary of Nazareth,” is about to debut at the Vatican’s own concert hall later this month. By definition, this’ll hardly be a racy production, but—bonus!—Alma Manera, the performer picked to play Jesus’ mother, was once a Miss Italia contestant!
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” seems, at first, to be merely a skillful and familiar rendition of a masterpiece. But like many great works of art, the power of this production is cumulative.