James Davis as Juliet
(Photo by Todd Franson)
When I was a young lad, my father sat me down, looked me squarely in the eye and said, ''Son, the arts are the food of the soul. And to acquire their full nutritional value, you must feed on a portion daily. See a movie one night -- something trashy by John Waters, perhaps? -- and take in a play the next -- something impenetrable by Harold Pinter. Then take in a Stones concert, followed by a soothing symphony by Beethoven -- the composer, not the Saint Bernard. On day five, skip over to a gallery and stand in front of a painting for 13, maybe 14 hours until you grasp the artist's full intent. But don't grasp it too hard, because art should always be left open to interpretation. Oh, and speaking of interpretation, why not take in a modern-dance recital, followed by a lecture explaining why, exactly, all those men were dressed as eggplants. Last but not least, don't forget to start each and every day with a bagel and a shmear. It will give you energy.''
Needless to say, the arts have provided me nourishment ever since dad's talk. As, I imagine, they nourish you. And this fall, as with every fall, we launch into a new season filled with artistic flair and promise. Not to mention muses. And it so happens the muse for this year's issue is 23-year-old actor James Davis, currently playing the role of Juliet in The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Romeo and Juliet, boasting an all-male cast, just as it would have been played in the bard's day. It's enough to make you croon, ''Romeo, oh, Romeo, wherefore art?'' Well, as Romeo might answer: just click on any of the related links, and you'll find plenty of it.