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In the Noh

Eleven years after “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years,” Julie Andrews now has a second autobiographical volume, “Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years,” which covers her busy movie-making period. Comment
Of all the many and varied films of Ang Lee’s, I think his second, “The Wedding Banquet” from 1993, remains his most satisfying. Comment
Theater

Good Stuff in Bad Times

Theater

Good Stuff in Bad Times

One of the most important and inspiring events to take place in Manhattan this fall will be happening October 28 at Town Hall, when the 17th annual Broadway Stands Up for Freedom concert will be held. Comment
Theater

A Sturges Celebration

Theater

A Sturges Celebration

When Tom Sturges, the son of the great Hollywood comedic auteur Preston Sturges, thanked me for remembering his father with kindness, I had to demur, reminding him of all the joy his father created with his brilliant, hilarious, and amazingly deep movies. Comment
Theater

Salut Aznavour!

Theater

Salut Aznavour!

Of all the great songwriters of the last century, one of the greatest, most distinctive, and — to Americans — least well-known is Charles Aznavour, who died a year ago at age 94. Astonishingly prolific, he was the writer of some 1,000 songs — with countless recordings; music poured out of him. Comment
Theater

When Code-Switching Fails You

Theater

When Code-Switching Fails You

Amidst this summer’s cinematic welter of comic book derring-do, “Luce,” directed by Julius Onah and co-scripted by him and prodigious writer JC Lee, stands as a beacon of intelligent, deeply compelling human drama. Comment
The Broadway season is officially ended, of course and, while more ignorant, commercially-minded theater queens may bemoan the lack of anything big and splashy to get wet over, the most thrilling show I’ve seen so far this year is a two-hander, at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below (on July 12), running until July 28. In fact, “Twohander” is its title, and it stars Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz, who have put together something that has really never been done before. When it began, very abruptly, without the usual “Ladies and gentleman, here are...” shtick, I wasn’t sure if the strong and quite combative personas they were projecting with such fiendish energy and confident brio were characters, or actually just them. Comment
Theater

Pride 50 Doings

Theater

Pride 50 Doings

When playwright/actor Charles Ludlam died at age 43 in 1987, a unique, important creative light was extinguished. One of the most striking achievements of his too-brief career was “Galas,” his satirical take on the life of the ultimate opera diva, Maria Callas. Comment
Theater

Serious NYC Cultural Legacies

Theater

Serious NYC Cultural Legacies

Irascible veteran indie director Abel Ferrara is having quite the season, with a retrospective going on now at the Museum of Modern Art (through May 31; moma.org), which included his “Pasolini,” made five years ago, with Willem Dafoe in the title role. Comment
Theater

A Whitman Sampler

Theater

A Whitman Sampler

The clear, open, and wondering eyes of a child stare out at you from Matthew Brady’s portrait of Our Good Gay Grandfather Poet in the New York Public Library’s show “Walt Whitman: America’s Poet,” running through July 27. Comment
Theater

Enduring Invincibility

Theater

Enduring Invincibility

YouTube is rife with delicious clips of Teflon songstress Lainie Kazan from the heyday of that now-lost TV genre, variety shows. I mentioned that to her as we sat down ahead of her appearances this week at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below, and asked whether the loosey-goosey ribald comments she got from the likes of Dean Martin would fly today. Comment
On a recent Thursday morning, hours before any actual show was staged, the John Lee Beatty-decorated walls of Feinstein’s/ 54 Below rang with joyous sounds, both mellow and ultra-funky, with peeks at the upcoming cabaret lineup at Manhattan’s “living room.” Femmes formidables Joanna Gleason, Rebecca Luker, Betsy Wolfe, and Nicole Vanessa Ortiz each sang a number from their act, and, afterwards, lucky me was able to sit down and chat with two of my all-time favorites, Ortiz and Luker. Comment
Theater

A Unique Feminist Surrealist

Theater

A Unique Feminist Surrealist

If and when I die, I would love to be resurrected in a world created by Leonor Fini — a realm where it is the female who is all powerful, holding complete yet salubrious sway over all men, being […] Comment
Theater

King Of Caricaturists

It has ever been a mystery to me why the great Mexican artist and autodidact Miguel Covarrubias (1904-57) isn’t better known today. At his height — from the 1920s through the 1940s — he was as well known as any dauber, prominently featured in popular magazines of quality, a recognized media hero, and revered as one of this country’s and Mexico’s leading cultural figures. He not only created many works of art but was also a serious anthropological writer of books on subjects ranging from Bali to pre-Colombian Mexico to the Harlem Renaissance. Comment
Theater

The Respite of Documentaries

Theater

The Respite of Documentaries

As American films dumb down ever more, with mindless action and endless Marvel comic book heroes swamping the screen, anyone with intelligence needs to gratefully look at documentaries for substance, i.e., real stories about real people. Comment
Theater

Aggie Diversity

Theater

Aggie Diversity

“The Method School thinks the emotion is the art. It isn’t. All emotion isn’t sublime. The theater isn’t reality. If you want reality, go to the morgue. The theater is human behavior that is effective and interesting.” Comment

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