To Be Or Not To Be...Whacked

Howard Arenstein is a correspondent for CBS News in Washington.
(AP Photo/HBO, Barry Wetcher)
Only one person got whacked in "The Sopranos" on Sunday night. Some fans were disappointed.

I was at a play at the time of the first airing of this final pack of episodes.

In that play, there was:

1. A rape by two brothers in which the woman's hands were cut off and her tongue cut out so she wouldn't talk about it,

2. The beheadings of two brothers with their heads delivered to their father, along with his own hand that had been cut off in an attempt to save his sons,

3. And in a final act of bloody gore, two other brothers were beheaded, their heads baked into a pie and served to their mother for dinner.

This was at a Washington, D.C. theatre just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Staged by a distinguished Australian director, Gale Edwards, who came to Washington as part of the city's current Shakespeare festival.

The production is a seldom produced early Shakespeare work, "Titus Andronicus," playing through May 20th.

On its web site, the theatre warns: "written at the beginning of Shakespeare's career, the play reinvents the revenge tragedies popular in Shakespeare's day, heaping scenes of bloodshed one on top of the other."

Guaranteed ... more "whacks" than "The Sopranos."