No win zone

01Sep17

Sometimes, the people in charge of things just can’t win, especially in the age of social media, where everybody’s a pundit.

Recently, town officials announced several more initiatives to try to revitalize the downtown. Of course, it’s never enough. Or is it too much? Either way, the town is sure to get slammed for doing it. Or not doing it. It’s the classic case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common complaints and the responses.
Continue reading ‘No win zone’

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My horoscope for Saturday, Aug. 19 said that I would be faced with a difficult choice. As always, it was correct, which is why I base all major decisions on the stars.

Everything good always happens on the same day. My dilemma on Saturday was whether to grab my Louisville Slugger and my mask and head into Boston to fight the fantasy fascists or go to Festival Italia in Wakefield.

I decided that the food would probably be better at Festival Italia. Since my anti-fascist brothers and sisters outnumbered the Free Speech demonstrators by roughly 30,000 – 40, I figured they probably wouldn’t need my muscle in Boston.
Continue reading ‘Food for thought’


By MARK SARDELLA

It should come as no surprise that as playwright Israel Horovitz has grown older, the 1956 Wakefield High School graduate’s plays have explored themes of aging. The title of last year’s “Man in Snow” referred in one sense to the whitening hair that comes with age.

In “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” Horovitz’s current offering at Gloucester Stage, he returns to his beloved Paris where four women have arrived for the funeral of the 100-year-old man who loved all of them – at times separately and at times simultaneously – along with a host of other conquests along the way.

These “babes” out of whose mouths Horovitz’s words come were all one-time students of the professor/writer who became lovers and/or wives of the “rock star” university teacher. They arrive in succession at the Paris apartment that they each at various times shared with of the recently deceased centenarian.
Continue reading ‘Israel Horovitz’s latest play is a witty comedy’


Weeded out

11Aug17

The good news for the Cannabis Community is the Massachusetts Legislature finally finished tinkering with the law making recreational marijuana legal and Gov. Charlie Baker has signed it.

The bad news is the first pot shops won’t open for another 324 days.

But who’s counting.
Continue reading ‘Weeded out’


At long last, I’ve seen the light.

I’m admittedly a slow learner, but it has come to my attention that some readers find my weekly entries in the space needlessly caustic. Some might say “snarky” or even “mean.” I was deeply troubled when I learned of this. The knowledge that my writing may have caused anyone to entertain uncomfortable thoughts or experience unpleasant feelings was more than I could bear, once it finally sank in.

That’s just not who I am.
Continue reading ‘Our beautiful Lake’


Hate-free zone

21Jul17

Hate has no home here.

There. I said it. I am now officially a good person.

I’m considering adopting that as the permanent tagline for my column so that people will know that this is safe place, where they won’t find ideas that they disagree with or make them uncomfortable. But that’s just a secondary reason.

The main reason I’m doing it is so that everyone will know what virtuous, noble person I am.
Continue reading ‘Hate-free zone’


Let it rain

19Jul17

‘The Rainmaker’ at Gloucester Stage



By MARK SARDELLA

GLOUCESTER – I almost didn’t go to see The Rainmaker when it opened at Gloucester Stage last weekend. But I’m very glad I changed my mind and went to see this classic American play by N. Richard Nash.

Written in the early 1950s, The Rainmaker is easily the best known of Nash’s plays. Some may remember the 1956 film adaptation starring Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn. But although it has been revived frequently on stage, many have never seen it. Under the skillful direction of Artistic Director Robert Walsh, Gloucester Stage is bringing this uplifting work to a whole new audience.
Continue reading ‘Let it rain’



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