I don’t remember the first time I saw the film The Bad Seed. Based on the 1954 William March bestseller and adapted for the stage by Maxwell Anderson, The Bad Seed had a profound effect on me as a child. By the age of 8, although I hadn’t articulated, it, I’d already determined that children are inherently evil, parents inherently stupid, and suburbia inherently fake. The film validated my deepest thoughts. Making it personal, Patty McCormick, who plays little killer Rhoda Penmark to near perfection, had been a favorite of mine in an edgy sort of way, when she played Ingeborg on the TV show I Remember Mama. I experienced a peculiar “ownership” of her when my doppelganger brat made it big in The Bad Seed on Broadway and then Hollywood. Oddly, Ingeborg and Rhoda were interchangeable with their long hard starched braids. Except for Ingeborg’s 1917 wardrobe, they were identical. Fast forward 30 years. I’m working at the Ohio State University Department of Theatre. Our alumni includes Eileen Heckart, the actress who created the role on Broadway and carried it to film, of Mrs. Daigle, the mother of hapless Claude Daigle, shoved in the lake and drowned by Rhoda Continue Reading →