A Writer’s Ode to Hamilton-An American Musical

Me at Hamilton

Me at Hamilton

Only for my birthday, a visit to the Great White Way, to see the show called Ham–like the theater nerd I am.
The price I paid was serious, to have the full experience. I can’t explain, was I insane?    But, oh…the show was all that’s claimed.

The music, lyrics, genius- born; design & lighting, three snaps up.
And if the hooks were not enough, choreography did all its stuff–
with pops and slides and steps and quakes, and slo-mo moves owning the stage.

Lin-Manuel was sure not messin’, when he conceived this history lesson.
Messages/themes both past and present:
Power, freedom, human condition, jealousy, legacy and ambition.
Lovers and Kings & fathers and sons.
“Immigrants: we get the job done.”

Hamilton dance movesGreat work changes how we see things.
Moves the needle in creating.
Borrows, samples, adds new heights, morphs the art and rocks the mic.
My great takeaway is this: Art must always be ambitious.

Take the form and give it bling.
For this writer, this play’s the thing.


It’s Always a Mystery

Walter Mosley @ Politics and Prose.

I adore a good mystery and I really enjoy reading Walter Mosley.    I saw him at a recent book signing at the cherished Washington, DC independent bookstore Politics and Prose.  Mosley read from his new work and was peppered with questions from a large and appreciative audience.     

 I’d become a fan of Mosley while reading my first Easy Rawlins mystery and I was one among many at the reading that evening who loved the characters in this series.  Someone asked Mosley if he missed the charismatic Easy and the sociopathic “Mouse” Anderson and Mosley answered emphatically that he did not.  He must have seen the collective sag of our soldiers so he admitted that he had not intended to “kill off” Easy, it just seemed to happen and then decided to leave Easy’s demise as written.  That revelation confirmed what we already felt-Mosley may have created Easy Rawlins for the page, but Easy is such a strong force he has created a life of his own.  

Just a week ago, I watched Devil in a Blue Dress, based on the first novel in the Rawlins series.    The film has a very cool Denzel Washington playing Easy and the inimitable Don Cheadle as Mouse.   I’ve seen this film several times and I’m always amazed at its brilliant design.   Carl Franklin directed and wrote the screenplay for this cinematic gem that is at once raw and endearing.  It’s not often the case that a movie version of a novel can satisfy the way the book does.  That this film succeds, is a tribute to Walter Mosley’s authentic voice and his genius at developing vivid and enduring characters. 


p.s.  I am always happy when reading a well-written mystery.   In future blogs, I’ll give tribute to Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series; Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone mysteries; the brilliant Blanche White series by Barbara Neely; and, of course, there’s Agatha Christie.