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Salem Rep and CoHo Stage the Dickens Novel Nobody Reads

Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol and maybe, if your school was progressive (or slightly sadistic) David Copperfield, these are probably the four titles that jump to mind when someone says “Dickens.” And, depending on your memories of high school and general temperament, the memory of such titles might well cause you to shudder a bit, and be thankful that those years of adolescence are over – how much nicer it is to only have to worry about a mortgage, rather than your skin, because of course we don’t worry about our skin after we turn twenty, do we? Anyway, as great as those four novels up there are, they tend, in lots of cases, to turn Dickens into one of those writers we leave behind after high school, like Nathaniel Hawthorne or William Golding, and the guy deserves more than that. (Deserves to be read, mostly.) Anyway, we’ve long felt Hard Times is one of his more underappreciated novels, and Salem Rep and CoHo Productions seem to think much the same, because they’ve taken Hard Times and laid it out for the stage, and so, even if you don’t feel like reading it, Portland, you can still go see what Dickens was on about in his less saccharine moments – although the book’s only about three hundred pages, so, y’know… (FULL ARTICLE: Jessie Drake, Portland Mercury)