For Love of a Horse

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Just is patronized by most professors and colleagues; his brilliance, one says, must come from a white ancestor. "Death is the collapse of a biological system," Hannaham remarks. Just's own system seems to have been in collapse almost from the start. He talks almost constantly, as he struggles through his Dartmouth studies and jobs at Wood's Hole and Howard University, through his flight from Europe with a half-Jewish wife, to his death from cancer. Scientific ideas fly through the air, brought down abruptly (in one powerful moment, Hannaham sits before a mirror and rubs white makeup onto his face).

Politics and passion: La Cuadra de Sevilla in Carmen
photo: Ellen Crane
Politics and passion: La Cuadra de Sevilla in Carmen

A lot of the stuff onstage isn't used enough to make it integral (when Hannaham finally plunges his head into a sink, you expect him to arise altered, and when he emerges unchanged you wonder what the action means). At some point the dramatic impetus falters, but the ideas are rich and Hannaham's performance tremendous.

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