The Handsome, Witty, Sorrowful Man at the Bar

Michael C. Hall in Thom Pain (based on nothing) (Joan Marcus)
Thom Pain (Based on Nothing), a monologue delivered with poisoned panache, elicits a few laughs and a lot of squirming.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P icture a tony Upper East Side bar on a quiet night. The  man next to you is effortlessly handsome, impeccably dressed in a well-cut suit. His diction suggests an expensive education. He puts away gin-and-tonics like lemonade. He is irresistibly clever, and he knows it. Life, you think, must be gentle on such a fortunate man. Yet it isn’t. He spins sorrowful autobiographical anecdotes from a distance, mocking himself along the way so as to foreclose any suspicion that he is seeking your pity. Whenever he gets close to earnestness or genuine feeling, he capers away. The more playful asides

Most Popular

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More