Tuesday, September 8, 2009
You Can't Do That, Dan Moody! offers spectators some cracking drama, particularly in the second half, with riveting re-enactments of brutality by the Ku Klux Klan and of the 1923 trial at the Georgetown courthouse in which district prosecutor Dan Moody became the first in the nation to convince a jury to convict and jail Klansmen.
But in intention and form this production is directly in line with the epic origins of theatre.
An epic, taken from the Greek epikos, is a poem or song of heroes. The Oxford English dictionary comments, "The typical epics, the Homeric poems, the Niebelungenlied, etc., have often been regarded s embodying a nation's conception of its own past, or of the events in that history that it finds most worthy of remembrance. Hence by some writers the term national epic has been applied to any imaginative work (whatever its form) which is considered to fulfill this function."
You Can't Do That, Dan Moody! was prepared for the 1998 celebration of Georgetown's sesquicentennial. The Palace's artistic director at that time, Tom Swift, worked with attorney Ken Anderson and his account of Moody's success against the Klan and his political and civic career, including service as governor of Texas.
Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .