Distribution Automatique

Saturday, November 27

Sin (A Cardinal Deposed)

is the title of a play by our friend Michael Murphy
now in its last few days at Theatre Row
(410 West 42nd Street, bet 9th & 10th Ave.-
tel: 212- 244-3380).

This play, excellently directed by Carl Forsman,
was based on transcripts of the trial
of Cardinal Law of Boston, who was accused
of neglecting to confront priests who were
sexual child abusers in his diocese. We were
amazed at how compelling this production was,
considering the dialog is completely based on
transcripts a la court tv. Cardinal Law failed
to confront a single child abuser in his diocese
although there were many proven cases, including
one priest who was a leader in Nambla.

The play was presented in a very comfortable
small theatre, part of a kind of multiplex
off-Broadway group of theatres. The staging
was effective, utilizing vignettes from complainants
in screens off to stage right and left, while the
main part of the play takes place completely
in center stage at a conference table. Due to
the finely focussed acting and presentation, this
play, not overly long, remains
a gripping, provocative and
suspenseful experience.

Thinking and talking about this play brought to
mind the tendency on the part of bureacratic
institutions to shield themselves from public
scrutiny and outrage. This play also brought
home the tendency, a la Nazi Germany, for
this country to breed cults that are openly
abusive-certain groups within the
Catholic Church being among
the core constituency of the far right wing
political/religious movement in this country.
Another issue, among many this play evokes,
has to do with a contagious paralysis,
on the part of so many people working
within any kind of hierarchy,
in the ability to think for themselves, or to
stand up for any ideal unless it embraces the
stated and unstated aims of
the given power structure.
The cast in this play included John Cullum
who was chillingly convincing at Cardinal
Bernard F. Law.

We were also excited to learn about
The New Group, a repertory group
that makes inexpensive memberships
available at this theater. Upcoming
plays include *Hurlyburly* by David
Rabe, directed by Scott Elliott, with a
star studded cast featur�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ing Wallace
Shawn, Parker Posey, Ethan Hawke
and others.
Gary Sullivan's *New Life* cartoon
today focuses on the ongoing tragedy in
Elsewhere {click here}

"Behold the Machine:
how it rolls and wreaks vengeance
and drains and deforms us."

from : *Sonnets to Orpheus*
Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Edward Snow
North Point Press, 2004