[asa] Fwd: "Inherit the Wind"

From: Robert Schneider <schneider98@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 22:07:36 EDT

This does not appear to have gone through this morning.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Robert Schneider <schneider98@gmail.com>
Date: Jun 28, 2007 10:46 AM
Subject: "Inherit the Wind"
To: "asa@calvin.edu" <asa@calvin.edu>

Last week Maria and I went to New York City to see the fifthieth anniversary
revival of the Lawrence and Lee drama "Inherit the Wind." We got free
tickets, because the marketers produced a Commemorative Collection edition,
full-color, with photos and articles from the 1925 Scopies Trial, the 1957
Broadway production, and the current production. Included also were excerpts
of pieces by Edward Larson on the play and the trial, Matthew Chapman
(Darwin's great-great grandson), a couple of incoherent pieces by
creationists, and an excerpt from my web essay "Evolution for Christians,"
among other items. Nice to be so honored. We had second row seats for what
turned out to be a marvelous production. The ensemble was first-rate.
Chistopher Plummer played Henry Drummond (the Clarence Darrow substitute),
and Brian Dennehy was Matthew Harrison Brady (the William Jennings Bryan
substitute). I have never seen a better performance from Plummer; fully in
character, and his timing and delivery was marvelous; he got a Tony
nomination for it. Dennehy is less capable in facial expression but his body
language and delivery were first rate. These two old pros played off against
each other in a way that delighted the audience, and themselves. There is a
lot of humor is what is a serous drama. You can read about the current
production on line at http://www.inheritthewindonbroadway.com/theplay.php.

Many of you probably know that the thrust of the play was to challenge the
McCarthyism and "anti-American" witch hunts of the 50s. Larson's piece, an
excerpt from his *Summer for the Gods*, his Pulitzer Prize winning book on
the Scopes Trial, neatly distinguishes fact from drama for the theater
audience. The other selections, including Chapman's comments on the Dover
Trial, well illustrate how the conclift over evolution and creationism
continue to this day. If you have seen the movie version of the play done
some forty years ago and starring Spencer Tracey and Frederick Marsh, I will
quickly say that the stage version is really quite better. In the film Brady
is portrayed as a bit of a buffoon. In this stage production he is shown
as a much more sympathetic character, and in the final scene when Brady
collapses and dies, Drummond delivers the tribute to Brady in the script in
an admiring and even affectionate way. And while the play may take liberties
with the original trial, this production conveys very well its major themes
of defending freedom of thought and academic freedom against its
oppression by govenment institutions.

"Inherit the Wind" has a limited run and ends shortly after July 4th, but if
you are near New York, I recoammend getting some the remaining tickets and
seeing the play. You won't regret it.

Bob Schneider
"Evolution for Christians":

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Received on Thu Jun 28 22:08:29 2007

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