Arts & Culture

'Both Your Houses' opens in Sarasota

More than 80 years ago, the great Maxwell Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for "Both Your Houses," a political drama about an idealistic young lawmaker who is shocked at the corruption and irresponsibility he finds in Congress.

Obviously, it's still relevant today. And it's the next play in the season for Sarasota's Asolo Repertory Theatre. It opens Friday and runs in rotating repertory through mid-April.

Anderson is one of America's great playwrights, and also among the most versatile. Among his works are the suspense drama "The Bad Seed," and historical dramas "Elizabeth the Queen" and "Anne of the Thousand Days," both of which are written in blank verse.

"Both Your Houses" is a propangandistic polemic, an insightful and complex look into the workings of Washington, but it's also a lot of highly entertaining.

The Asolo production is directed by Frank Galati. Local audiences know his regular work as a director with Asolo, most recently a controversial version of Brian Friel's "Philadelphia Here I Come!" last season. Nationally, he's known for his adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath," which earned him Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Director, and for co-writing the film adaptation of "The Accidental Tourist."

Details: Through Jan. 23-April 12 at the Mertz Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: Various. Tickets: $55-$69. Information: 941-351-8000,

-- Marty Clear