Theater: Woe in a Muddy Basin

It may sound odd, but misery needs to be entertaining. Appalling calamities befall some people; yet they manage to make them sound drab and boring. Others possess the gift of making a minor mishap vividly compelling.

Unfortunately, Boesman and Lena is one of those accounts of unlimited woe that try the playgoer's patience. Boesman (James Earl Jones) and Lena (Ruby Dee) are pitiable South African Coloreds whom God and man have forsaken, and whose only shelter is some abandoned junk on the banks of a muddy river basin. Nature wheels around them like an...

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