We are a very small family. Even then, I am only in touch with a smaller subset of my relatives. Outside my immediate family, my closest relative is Cousin Michael. He and his family live in California – in the OC.
Michael is our most educated Fox. He has a closet full of bachelor and masters degrees, plus a law degree and PhD.
When he was in high school, he wanted to be a farmer¹. That’s not the normal career path for someone born within walking distance of the Flushing El, who could see the Empire State Building from the front steps of his Queens apartment building.
If I remember correctly (and he’s not shy about correcting) he then studied library science, and of course, law. I’m sure I’m leaving something out.
He ended up working for the federal government as a staff attorney for the Labor Board in Washington. I remember visiting his office in a government building so depressingly institutional, linoleum and green wall paint would have classed the joint up.
At some point in Washington, he got hooked on theater. I don’t know how that happened, because Michael and I were out of touch for many of those years, but he got the bug. Michael gravitated to directing.
Though he taught and occasionally did ‘lawyer work,’ directing was obviously his vocational passion.
I have never seen Michael’s work, but now I’ve gotten to read about it. His latest production, Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” is in the midst of a short run in Santa Ana, CA.
The Orange County Register’s reviewer was very positive.
This could be some bizarre, post-nuclear world where everyone struggles for survival, or it could simply be the extreme result of societies that value ideologies or materialism over human life. The time, place and context are never specified because, as director Michael David Fox’s staging proves, Beckett’s ideas transcend such specifics, creating disturbing images while raising philosophical questions deeply troubling once dwelled upon.
Beckett means for us to dwell on these issues, and Fox and company oblige with a compact staging that, like “Godot,” can be achingly funny one moment, stark and bleak the next.
I wish I could pop on down to Southern California to see it. The show runs through May 20, Friday and Saturday evenings and a Sunday matin