Category

Theater

History, Politics, Religion, Theater

Secrets and Lies in Old Salem

Contrary to what the cynics among us might think, revivals of plays and musicals exist not only to bring in theatergoers desperate for the tried and true. Successful ones rely on a confluence of factors: a director (Ivo van Hove, who, evidenced by this current theater season, should now be allowed to direct everything—everyone else,…

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New York, Theater

Tony Casualties

Musicals, when they work, are the holy grail of catharsis. A good one creates a kind of dream that’s a bit like falling in love. It just…works. A world unfolds with a kind of inevitability that defy questions or puzzlement. No one feels manipulated. When you’re watching the right one, it’s like a pilgrimage to…

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Music, Theater

Prince Power

Back in the day he’d been on the edge of my consciousness, what with music for Purple Rain and Batman (that soundtrack’s “The Arms of Orion” duet with Sheena Easton is, note for note, a delectably romantic morsel of pop craftsmanship); aside from those, I owned approximately one other Prince album (Lovesexy), but I still…

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Film, Television, Theater, Vespers

Patty Duke 1946-2016, Ken Howard 1944-2016

For us union performers, the names Ken Howard and Patty Duke were synonymous with leadership; both served as president of the Screen Actors Guild at pivotal transition times. Duke famously took over the reins from William Schallert, a case of TV-bred nepotism (Schallert played Duke’s character’s father and uncle). More recently Howard shepherded the merger…

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Criticals, Film, Gay, History, Short Cuts, Theater

Oscar Bait!

It isn’t true for every child that grows up in a large family, but it was true for me: I wanted to be seen. There I was, a middle child (one of ten) convinced of his invisibility, and fighting like hell to rectify the injustice.  From where I sat, recognition came either by way of…

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Film, Television, Theater

Mike Nichols, 1931-2014, Director

The very first play I saw on Broadway was the original production of D.L. Coburn’s The Gin Game. By then, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy had left, and been replaced by E.G. Marshall and Maureen Stapleton. No matter: it was still a once-in-a-lifetime evening watching those two deliver performances so perfect they made me weep….

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