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October 22, 2004

Project Open Hand merges with LifeCare Alliance

 

Columbus--The merger of a ten-year-old food pantry and delivery organization for people with HIV and AIDS with a larger group that provides Meals on Wheels and visiting nurse services will benefit clients, according the board chair of the AIDS service organization.

The merger of Project Open Hand Columbus into LifeCare Alliance was announced on October 14.

�It�s very exciting,� said David Todd, Project Open Hand�s board chair. �It moves the disease from being viewed as a segmented disease to another disease among the Columbus community of people.�

The organization will still operate under its own name and have its own advisory board, as well as engage in independent fundraising. However, the partnership with LifeCare will provide better access to meal delivery, as well as visiting nurse services.

Project Open Hand Columbus was formed in 1994 by Matt Taylor, an HIV-positive man who saw the need for nutritional services to the HIV and AIDS community. Since then, the group has served and delivered over 250,000 meals, most of the work done by volunteers.

The organization was operating on a budget of nearly a quarter million dollars, but the loss of $63,000 in grants last year dealt it a severe blow. The board began looking at national trends among AIDS service organizations and saw many smaller groups merging or partnering with other organizations.

�We�re part of one big happy family now,� Todd said. �I was amazed and pleased at the reception we received from their staff and board members.�

�I think it�s good. It will allow the opportunity for other organizations to ask the question, are there partnerships or linkings that would make things better for both organizations?� he noted. �I hope this allows a healthy conversation among AIDS service organizations.�

The partnership will also bring ten times the experience Project Open Hand has. LifeCare Alliance was formed in 1898 as the Visiting Nurse Association, the first one in central Ohio.

 

 


How will Ohio top court candidates handle gay issues?

A profile of the seven people seeking the bench

Among the most important non-federal votes that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Ohioans will cast this November are to decide who will sit on the state�s highest court.

Since 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court has decided five landmark cases directly affecting LGBT rights, equality and family life. This is more such cases than the court heard in all the years before.

Last winter�s �defense of marriage act� and the possible passage of the Issue 1 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and anything resembling the �design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage� guarantees that the Ohio Supreme Court will hear many LGBT cases in the future.

While judicial candidates cannot express opinions on matters they may be asked to judge, most interest groups know that there are ways to tell how they might rule. These include familiarity and comfort level with the issues and the people who bring them, and the judge�s personal experiences and world views.

Also important are prior rulings and the judge�s beliefs about the relationship between the constitution, legislative action, and the court�s interaction with the other branches of government.

In Ohio, judicial candidates run without party affiliation on the ballot, though both major parties back their candidates and seated judges are expected to raise funds for their parties. For that reason, it is important to know the candidate�s party.

State Supreme Court justices are often recruited by presidents for appointment to federal benches. One of the four openings on Ohio�s seven-member high court was created when former Justice Deborah Cook was appointed to a federal judgeship by President Bush last year.

Governor Bob Taft appointed Republican Justice Terrance O�Donnell to fill the remainder of Cook�s term. He is defending that seat against Judge William O�Neill in this election.

Republican Chief Justice Thomas Moyer is running for re-election. He is being challenged by Democrat Judge C. Ellen Connally.

Republican Justice Paul Pfeifer is unopposed in his re-election bid.

Seeking the open seat of retiring Democrat Justice Francis Sweeney are Democrat Judge Nancy A. Fuerst and Republican Judge Judith Lanzinger.

The term of an Ohio Supreme Court justice is six years. The Gay People�s Chronicle spoke to the candidates and has prepared these profiles:

C. Ellen Connally, a Democrat running for chief justice, is a retired Cleveland municipal judge, having served there for 24 years.

Connally is endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of Cleveland and Columbus and the Stonewall Community Action Network�s political action committee.� She said that she has LGBT people in her circle of friends, specifically mentioning a gay man she knows from law school.

Connally said her experience on the municipal court has exposed her to disparities in how LGBT people are treated by the law. She specifically talked about men brought to court after being arrested in parks.

�Gay people are arrested and brought to court while heterosexuals are told by police to move on,� said Connally, who went on to talk about the difficulties gay, lesbian and transgender people have in jails.

Connally said LGBT people �face legal challenges� and are not always treated the same as other people by the courts.

As her guide, Connally cites U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan�s lone dissent in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, an opinion now regarded as �a beacon of reason in a dark time of desegregation.�

Harlan wrote that the constitution �neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.�

Connally said she believes that reasoning guarantees everyone protection by the Constitution whether or not their class is specifically mentioned in in the Constitution or in law.

Thomas Moyer is the current Republican chief justice, having served since 1987. He presided over the court in five cases on LGBT equality, including the unanimous 2002 decision that Ohio�s importuning law was unconstitutional.

Also that year, Moyer wrote the opinion opening the door for same-sex couples with children to file parenting plans with domestic relations courts, and agreed with the majority in two cases saying probate judges can�t discriminate against LGBT people who want to change their name.

Moyer is endorsed by the Columbus Log Cabin Republicans and has spoken at Columbus HRC events. He talks about his friends who are a gay couple.

Moyer says there is a perception that LGBT people are treated equally under the law in Ohio, and it is true in some areas, but, �there are areas where it is not [true] due to ordinances.�

Moyer said he believes LGBT rights are civil rights constitutionally, and that they �should be under statute and case law� as well.

Moyer believes the Ohio constitution �is a living document that has flexibility.�

�Law should not be static,� said Moyer, �but it should develop incrementally. If citizens believe courts are unpredictable; if they believe court decisions do not rest on principle, they will lose faith and the ability to maintain the rule of law will suffer.�

Terrence O�Donnell, a Republican, was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court in May 2003 after Justice Deborah Cook�s appointment to the federal bench. His re-election is endorsed by the Columbus Log Cabin Republicans.

O�Donnell said there are no LGBT people in his circle of friends that he knows of, adding, �I don�t include or exclude people based on that.�

O�Donnell defines civil rights as �those to which a person is entitled by the Constitution or by statute.� He said he doesn�t see any class distinction or segregation based on sexual orientation as far as the Constitution is concerned.

�Everyone is entitled to equal protection,� said O�Donnell, adding that he would rule on statutes that do not include specific mention of sexual orientation or gender identity on a case by case basis.

�I like to remain open-minded and look at the facts and the law,� said O�Donnell.

�I�m not looking to expand or restrict the Ohio Constitution,� said O�Donnell, �That�s to be done by the legislature, not judicial fiat.�

O�Donnell said Ohio�s legal structure today, in his opinion, makes �no distinction based on sexual orientation.�

O�Donnell also believes the Ohio Constitution should be more inclined to preserve the intentions of the framers.

�It�s not living and breathing,� said O�Donnell.

�Judges are not representatives,� said O�Donnell, �They don�t represent constituencies. The oath is to the Constitution.�

William O�Neill, a Democrat, currently sits on the Eleventh District Ohio Court of Appeals in Warren. He is also a registered nurse and a single parent since the death of his wife in 1995. Seeking O�Donnell�s seat, he is endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of Columbus and Cleveland.

O�Neill is a maverick among judicial candidates in that he strongly believes that judges� opinions on issues should be known. As a result of his campaigning that way, the Ohio Republican Party filed a complaint with the Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel. O�Neill returned the fire with a federal lawsuit saying his free speech rights were being violated by the restrictions. He prevailed, and has made issues part of his campaign.

�Let�s talk about Issue 1,� said O�Neill. �The people who wrote the second sentence should be taken outside and horsewhipped. It�s unreadable and makes no sense.�

�We learned in Brown v. Board of Education that separate is never equal,� said O�Neill, �and why is it of my concern what someone�s lifestyle is in their home?�

�Issue 1 will be examining everyone�s lifestyle, and I am offended by that,� said O�Neill. �Whether or not it is constitutional will have to have to wait for another day.�

O�Neill said the DOMA law and Issue 1--if it passes--will be challenged in both the Ohio and U.S. Supreme Courts.

O�Neill believes that LGBT people are treated equally by the Ohio Constitution, and says that�s the reason the �defense of marriage� actions will not be held constitutional.

�They are attempting to draw a line of discrimination between married heterosexuals and the rest of the world,� said O�Neill.

Nancy Fuerst, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge seeking the open seat on the high court, has personal experience with laws that effect LGBT people and their families. Her step-daughter Maureen is openly lesbian and living in Washington state. She and her spouse were married in Oregon while same-sex vows were recognized there, and will be giving Fuerst a grandchild in March.

Fuerst said the couple left Ohio because �Ohio is not a friendly state� for gays and lesbians.

A Democrat, Fuerst is endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of Cleveland and Columbus and the Stonewall CAN PAC.

She said that even though Ohio law does not explicitly protect on the basis of sexual orientation, the constitution allows for implicit protection �if the case law is allowed to develop.�

On basic LGBT equality, Fuerst said, �there�s always room to improve in places like the workplace.�

Fuerst said it is up to the courts to defend individuals� rights to life, liberty and property. She has made a �level playing field� a theme of her campaign: �The idea is to make sure the majority do not overwhelm the minority.�

�Hopefully,� said Fuerst, �civil rights should prevail� when laws like DOMA are challenged under equal protection.

Judith Lanzinger, who is seeking the open seat, currently sits on the Sixth District Ohio Court of Appeals in Toledo. She counts LGBT people among her friends, including a gay man who served as her treasurer in an earlier campaign.

The Log Cabin Republicans of Toledo have endorsed the Republican judge in past races, and have done so in this race as well.

Lanzinger said everyone has civil rights, and that it�s wrong to categorize people out of them.

Lanzinger talked about the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and implied that sexual orientation and gender identity would not be covered under that law unless there was action by Congress.

�It would be rooted in the statute,� said Lanzinger. �It�s not my job to legislate.�

Lanzinger said she has heard the position that Ohio law today does not treat LGBT and non-LGBT people equally, but wasn�t sure whether or not she agrees with it.

�I�m just not able to say,� said Lanzinger.

�I take a traditional view of judging,� said Lanzinger, �based on the way laws were written at the time.�

Lanzinger said the Ohio Constitution is not a static document in that it can be amended, �as long as it�s done by a process of the voters.�

Paul Pfeifer is seeking re-election without opposition. The Republican justice has held the seat since 1992. Prior to joining the high court, he was a member of both the Ohio House and Senate between 1970 and 1988.

Since he is unopposed Pfeifer has stopped talking to all media regarding his campaign.

He is often at odds with the Ohio Republican Party, which thinks he�s too liberal.

The business community calls him one of the �gang of four� that often opposes their interests and who believes Ohio�s school funding formula is unconstitutional. The other three of that distinction are now-retired justices Andrew Douglas, a Republican, and Democrats Alice Robie Resnick and Francis Sweeney, who is retiring.

Pfeifer joined the majority in favor of LGBT equality on all four cases the high court heard in 2002, and joined Resnick in a separate concurring opinion in the 2000 Retterer v. Whirlpool Corp., suggesting that Ohio law might already protect people on the basis of sexual orientation without explicitly saying so. A case that will test that legal theory is currently working its way to the Ohio Supreme Court.


New poll shows Issue 1 in a virtual dead heat

Columbus--An ABC News poll conducted between October 14 and 17 shows support for Ohio�s anti-gay Issue 1 has slipped, bringing proponents and opponents neck-and-neck.

In the new poll, 48 percent favor the proposed amendment, which would bar recognition of same-sex marriages and any state, municipal or other benefits for unmarried couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex. Opponents came in at 45 percent.

Taking into account the margin of error of 3.5 percent, the race appears to be a dead heat.

A September University of Cincinnati poll found almost two-to-one support for the amendment. However, the phrasing of the question in the ABC poll was different. Since the U.C. poll, a number of newspapers have called for Issue 1�s defeat and many politicians have come out against it, including Ohio attorney general Jim Petro, Gov. Bob Taft and U.S. senators George Voinovich and Mike DeWine.

Married women favor the measure, while unmarried women oppose it. Married and unmarried men both oppose the amendment by about a ten percent margin.

Only seven percent of white evangelical Protestant voters said the amendment was the main draw on the ballot for them. Four percent of the general population said it was their main draw.

A random sample of 1,027 registered voters in Ohio were polled by telephone, including 789 likely voters.


Over a week later, Mary comment is still trumpeted

Washington, D.C.--The tempest stirred by Sen. John Kerry�s reference to Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and head of vice presidential affairs for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, still continues over a week after the final presidential debate on October 13.

While answering a question on whether or not homosexuality is a �choice,� Kerry said, �I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney�s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she�s being who she was. She�s being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it�s not a choice.�

Conservative pundits and Republican politicians came out of the woodwork the next day, accusing Kerry of going out of bounds by referring to an opponent�s child. The complaining continued, mostly on cable TV, well into the following week.

Mary Cheney has been silent during the firestorm, but she has been publicly out for years. Before heading her father�s reelection campaign, she was the LGBT outreach coordinator for Coors Brewing, and was one of the main people responsible for ending a gay boycott of the brand begun in the 1980s.

Robert Novak, a conservative columnist who is under investigation for publishing an undercover CIA agent�s identity against federal law, portrayed the comment as a desperate, violent outburst by a bewildered Kerry.

Lynne Cheney, who had rebuked ABC News� Cokie Roberts in a July 2000 interview for even mentioning her daughter�s sexual orientation, accused Kerry of a �cheap and tawdry political trick.�

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, responded in a radio interview, �She�s overreacted to this and treated it as if it�s shameful to have this discussion . . . I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter�s sexual preferences . . . It makes me really sad that that�s Lynne�s response.�

Kerry�s standing in polls dipped slightly following the debate, and conservative forces have continued to drum up outrage, trying to paint Kerry as mean-spirited.

Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian task Force, believes the controversy is another attempt by the Republicans to distract attention away from more serious issues in the election.

�Simply put, there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian, let alone saying that an out lesbian is a lesbian,� he said. �It wasn�t a story in the first place, and continued focus on it is insulting to any thinking person.�

Mary Cheney�s sexual orientation was also mentioned in the vice presidential debate a week before, but there was no outcry. When the topic of the Federal Marriage Amendment came up, Sen. Edwards referred to the Cheney family�s love and acceptance of Mary, and the vice president responded only by briefly thanking Edwards �for his kind words about my family.�

The vice president then gave up the rest of his 45-second answer time, prompting a surprised moderator Gwen Ifill to ask, �That�s it?�

 


Anglican paper calls for a halt to gay bishops, vows

Long-awaited report asks U.S. church to apologize, but also tells African bishops to cease moves in America

London--The Anglican Communion�s report on same-sex unions in the United States and Canada and the ordination of a gay bishop in the U.S. was released on October 18, and both liberals and conservatives in the church criticized it.

The major factor in the creation of the report was the November 2003 consecration of Gene V. Robinson, an openly gay man living with his partner, as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. A secondary factor was the decision of some dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada to consecrate same-sex unions.

Both actions were banned under a 1998 measure, pushed by arch-conservative bishops in Africa.

This week�s Windsor Report was approved unanimously by the Lambeth Council on Communion, the body that was commissioned to study the matter.

It calls for a moratorium on the elevation of gay men and lesbians in relationships to bishop in any of the Anglican Communion�s regional churches, which include the Episcopal Church in the United States.

The report asks the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to apologize for the pain caused to Anglicans around the world.

It also recommends that conservative bishops cease their efforts to extend their reach into other areas of the Anglican Communion.

Some congregations in the United States have attempted to ally themselves with African bishops. Some Los Angeles congregations have aligned with the Ugandan branch of Anglicanism, and lawsuits over the church property are now underway. Under Episcopal law, church property is held in trust for the denomination, and is not owned by the individual congregations.

�The report calls our Communion to reconciliation, which does not mean the reduction of differences to a single point of view,� said Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, the head of the Episcopal Church. �It is important to note here that in the Episcopal Church we are seeking to live the gospel in a society where homosexuality is openly discussed and increasingly acknowledged in all areas of our public life. For at least the last 30 years, our church has been listening to the experiences and reflecting upon the witness of homosexual persons in our congregations.�

�I hope . . . that everyone with the well being of our Communion at heart will now take tie to study the report, and to pray and reflect upon its proposals which, as the Commission has made clear, offer neither easy nor simple solutions to real and demanding challenges,� said Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is both head of the Anglican Church in England and the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion.

�Overall, it seems to us that the report is a call to an earnest, Communion-wide discernment process about the nature of the Gospel and the nature of the church given the contexts of our varied interpretations of the Scriptures, our differing approaches to Anglican tradition, and the complex realities in which the various provinces of the Communion live and move and have their being,� said Rev. Susan Russell, president of Integrity USA, a group for LGBT Episcopalians.

Her counterparts in the Canadian body of Integrity, Steve Schuh of Vancouver and Chris Ambidge of Toronto, also weighed in.

�We hope that conversations will begin widely across the church on these questions, and trust that they will include lesbian and gay Anglicans,� they said. �Integrity has been part of the church for nearly 30 years, and will be happy to make ourselves available for ongoing dialogue.�

 


Log Cabin sues to end dont ask, dont tell

Washington, D.C.--The country�s largest organization for LGBT Republicans is suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the United States government on October 12, seeking to strike the Pentagon�s policy on gay and lesbian servicemembers.

The suit was filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles on behalf of the Log Cabin Republicans.

It charges that recent Supreme Court decisions call into question the legality of the policy. These include Lawrence v. Texas which overturned state sodomy laws last year, and Romer v. Evans, the 1996 ruling that discrimination against gay men and lesbians could not be justified solely by animus or �morality.�

Current Pentagon directives, known as �don�t ask, don�t tell,� state that gay men and lesbians may serve as long as they do not disclose their sexual orientation or engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex.

The policy was put in place in 1993 by then-president Bill Clinton. He had originally promised to completely lift the ban on gay servicemembers, but encountered strong opposition. Congress later enacted the policy into law.

After the new policy was implemented, discharges increased annually until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Since then discharges have dipped as stop-loss orders were issued to all branches of the military, but 787 men and women were still discharged under the policy last year.

�A lawsuit should not be necessary, when public opinion overwhelmingly favors gays and lesbians serving openly and honestly,� said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero. �A lawsuit should not be necessary when the experience of our allies in the war on terror, including Great Britain, Israel and Australia, all allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and honestly.�

�A lawsuit should not be necessary when our military has lost thousands of needed military personnel under this policy. However, under these circumstances, where we are a nation at war fighting a global war against terrorism, we can no longer sit by and wait for our elected officials to find the political courage to do the right thing,� he concluded.

According to figures from the University of California-Santa Barbara�s Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, as of June 21, 2004, 9,682 military personnel were dismissed under �don�t ask, don�t tell.� Between 1998 and 2003, 49 nuclear, biological and chemical warfare specialists were discharged, and 88 linguists, despite a shortage of military specialists.

�This case is fundamentally about correcting a misguided governmental policy based on prejudice towards gay and lesbian Americans,� said Marty Meekins, an attorney with White and Case, the law firm that is handling the case. �A decade of experience with the policy demonstrates that it actually weakens our national defense.�

�It seems especially offensive to compel members of the armed forces, who fight to protect our liberty, to deny them their constitutional right to freedom of speech and to engage in private, intimate relationships,� he said.


Devil in America

Before 'Angels,' the Beast romped in Europe. Now he�s back

Cleveland--Long before angels were giving visions to gay men in the United States, the devil was busy across the ocean in Germany, watching as the Weimar Republic came toppling down around him with the rise of the Nazi Party.

Before Tony Kushner penned his magnum opus Angels in America, a condemnation of the reaction of the government and the American people to AIDS, he wrote A Bright Room Called Day, his condemnation of the second Reagan inauguration. It�s now playing at Cleveland Public Theater.

In the earlier play, Kushner draws parallels between the events of 70 years ago and the mid-1980s. Little did he realize how much worse the situation would be another twenty years on.

Or perhaps he did.

The play takes place in two eras. The Weimar events are pretty much set in stone, but Kushner gave permission and some assistance to updating the later segues to the present day. In these, a paranoid conspiracy theorist named Zillah speaks directly to the audience about her mistrust of the government, or about visitations in dreams from a desperate soul she saw in a book. Sometimes she just sits there, reading, while her radio plays news reports on the fascistic overthrow of American democracy.

�The Weimar Republic had a constitution,� she tells the audience, countering the argument that �It can�t happen here.�

Zillah is portrayed by Alison Hernan, who serves double duty on the play since she is the costume designer as well. Hernan is also currently directing Othello at Cleveland Public�s new venue, Orthodox.

As Zillah, Hernan is almost completely unrecognizable; her usual playful demeanor completely submerged beneath manic intensity and diamond-hard edges. While she sits and reads silently, the actions of those past decades goes on behind her on a set right out of a German Expressionist film, all odd angles and strange slopes.

A motley crew of friends, all of the �artistic� variety, meet in an apartment in Berlin. The first the audience sees of them, it is New Year�s Eve. As the clock ticks over to 1932, Baz, Paulinka, Annabella and Husz celebrate in Anges� apartment.

Baz, a gay man working for Magnus Hirschfeld�s Institute of Sexual Science, is enjoying life, making the most of the sexual freedom offered under the Weimar Republic. Paulinka and Agnes are both film actresses, although Paulinka is a star and Agnes a character actor. Husz, Agnes� lover, is a one-eyed cameraman who lost his other eye bringing Communism to the world, and Annabella uses her skills as a painter to spread socialism to the masses.

As events go by in their lives, the Nazis rise to power. Bickering between the Social Democrats and the Communist Party allows Hitler to be elected chancellor. People worry about the fascists, but surely in a democratic society, one little man with a paintbrush mustache cannot do too much damage, can he?

Until it�s too late.

The devil walks in Berlin, Husz knows. His ancestral village in the Carpathians is a favorite place of the devil, and he has a special fondness for its residents. Husz calls him and he comes, sounding suspiciously like James Mason at times. The devil has adapted to the age in which he lives, and finds that he really does enjoy Berlin.

The fascists burn the Reichstag, the legislature. They take over the film industry, putting it under the control of a government office. Both Paulinka and Agnes are given the choice of working on pro-fascist films, or not working in film at all. Husz is badly beaten by a trio of Nazi thugs. The Institute is closed, Baz is arrested. Eventually, everyone leaves except Agnes, who is faced with Die Alte, the old woman who might be a ghost from the past, or the from the future. Or perhaps she is just an old woman with a penchant for entering and exiting through windows.

Kushner�s original work is powerful and thought-provoking, occasionally even bringing a tear to the eye. The modernization of Zillah�s framing sequences are more terrifying than perhaps anything else in the piece, truly defining just how bad things are now, and how much worse they can get.

Perhaps the only bad thing about this play is trying to pick out individuals from the ensemble cast to praise above others. The pure skill evident on that stage was dazzling.

Jill Levin gave a moving portrayal of Agnes, a woman fraying around the edges like a rapidly-disintegrating sweater. Tracee Patterson as Paulinka was a sight, the incarnation of a 1930s movie star using opium to keep from falling apart.

Randy Rollison as Husz is marvelous. The man has more hats than Imelda Marcos had shoes, being artistic and executive director of Cleveland Public Theater as well, but still turns in a thunderous performance.

Many was the dream had about Michael Seevers, Jr. after Cleveland Public�s run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Now he is living a nightmare as Baz, exemplifying the highs and lows of being gay in a time when one minute, it was free and fun, and the next, it warranted the death penalty.

Holly Holsinger�s Annabella has an intensity to her that makes the character always seem to be on the verge of doing something shocking, perhaps a glint in the eye or a tension in the hands. It�s subtle, but it�s there. She�s reminiscent of Harriet Sansom Harris from Frasier and It�s All Relative.

The devil, by the way, is now known as Gottfried Swetts, portrayed by Charles F. Kartali, who really is most dashing, yet menacing, on stage. The cast is rounded out by Bernice Bolek as Die Alte, proving Bolek�s skill as a character actor, and Gregory Vovos and Elizabeth R. Wood as two Communist operatives watching their party�s downfall in Germany.

On the eve of a U.S. election that, should it go poorly, could spell the end of constitutional protections as they are known now, A Bright Room Called Day is even more relevant that it was in early 1985. It is a piece that needs to be seen.

A Bright Room Called Day plays at 7:30 pm on Thursdays, 8 pm Friday and Saturday, and 3 pm on Sunday, October 24. The play runs through October 30. For tickets or information, call 216-6312727, or log onto www.cptonline.org.

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