CANCELLED! “Transfiguration” goes to London. United Solo London postponed until the autumn of 2021.

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Ralph Belard, All-American. Photo Lucas Miller.

Ralph Belard, All-American. Photo Lucas Miller.


Michael Miller’s solo play “Transfiguration,” winner of Best One-Man Drama at the 2018 United Solo Festival, will play in London, as part of United Solo’s First London Festival in September, 2 to 12, at the Actors Centre. Gary Hilborn will repeat his award-winning performance, directed by Graydon Gund.

Meet Ralph Belard. You’ll find Ralph lunching on sushi and sake—all deluxe—at his favorite harborside restaurant.

His neighbors were shooting each other dead in the street this morning. He kept his cool and his life, but a guy has to move on, doesn’t he? He might even deserve a little treat, just to help him get over it. Ralph never learned what made them do it. He didn’t care anyway. He watched a woman and her children die. He killed a couple of men in self-defense, and he enjoyed it. Also a cat—by accident.

Rather than try to stop the mass murder, Ralph joined in and survived by following the behavior around him. Shooting people made him feel big at first, then small, when he thought the police might appear and take him in for questioning. But they never showed up, much to his relief. His next step was to treat himself to an expensive lunch with plenty of Otokoyama Junmai Daiginjo (“Man’s Mountain”). Then it was time to move on.

As we constantly take in human disasters like this—and the epidemic of gun violence can stand in for other man-made emergencies like racism, criminal abuse of innocents, corruption, destruction of the environment, and plain old hate and greed—through the media, or, for some of us, experience, what do we do? Are we any better than Ralph? Not enough of us, not enough.

About the author

The Editor

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts, an International Journal for the Arts and The Berkshire Review, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L’Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

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