Memorial Day 2010

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Like many other Americans, I have today off and plan to enjoy it, but I do try to spend some time every Memorial Day remembering the men and women the holiday was created to honor. Yesterday, I spent a few hours at the parade in Milford, Connecticut, marking the holiday, and talked to many veterans […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Erotic vagrancy’ or: When Elizabeth met Richard

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So many books have been written about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton — and the most important movies they made together — that you would think the well ran dry on “Liz & Dick” fodder many years ago. But Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger take a new approach — and unearth lots of new material […] [Read More]

When pop entertainment stirs up young people

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Adam Rapp is one of our most prolific and challenging young playwrights — and you can never guess where his next play might take you. “The Metal Children,” which has just opened at the Vineyard Theatre off Union Square in Manhattan, is longer and less structured than some of Rapp’s recent plays, but it deals […] [Read More]

‘The Terrorist’: another terrific post-9/11 espionage novel

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Although some critics feared the end of the Cold War might also mean the end of the modern espionage novel — goodbye John LeCarre! — the post 9/11 world has proven to be fertile ground for novelists. LeCarre has prospered along with a whole new crew of excellent intelligence community novelists including Alex Berenson and […] [Read More]

‘New Islands Archipelago’: strange & funny downtown ‘cruise’

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The latest theater piece by The Talking Band — “New Islands Archipelago” by Paul Zimet — is a very engaging mix of zany comedy about cruise ship travel and more serious performance art-style musings on disconnected families and dream logic. What starts as a fairly broad piece about the search for personal connections on board […] [Read More]

‘Elysiana’: sex, drugs & anxiety fuel 1960s flashback novel

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You can practically smell the salt air, the booze — and the pot smoke — in Chris Knopf’s highly atmospheric noir thriller, “Elysiana” (The Permanent Press), set on the Jersey shore in the summer of 1969. Knopf who lives in Avon, Connecticut, is the author of a series of detective novels set in the Hamptons, […] [Read More]

Russell & Megan: hard times for movie stars

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Is Russell Crowe a movie star? That’s the $15-$20 million question facing any producer who is pondering the idea of hiring the Oscar-winning New Zealand native for his or her next movie. Crowe might be a “star” in the sense of having enough talent and a large enough screen personality to carry a big mainstream […] [Read More]

Mixing history and kitsch at the last inauguration

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HBO Video recently released an engrossing two-disc DVD set that brings together two days’ worth of the festivities that surrounded the Barack Obama presidential inauguration last year. The package starts with the controversial invocation speaker Rev. V. Gene Robinson, takes us through the seemingly endless “We Are One” Hollywood extravaganza on the steps of the Lincoln […] [Read More]

‘Touching Home’: kids who have to raise themselves

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A powerful independent film about overcoming bad parenting — “Touching Home” — is making its way around the country and opens today at the Criterion in New Haven. The movie arrives without the advantage of a major marketing campaign — and right at the start of the summer Hollywood blockbuster season — so the film has […] [Read More]

‘Promises to Keep’: one from the heart

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Jane Green is that rare popular novelist who has never rested on her laurels by serving up additional helpings from past bestsellers. The former journalist launched her fiction writing career in her 20s with two big hits — “Straight Talking” and “Jemima J” — both novels about young women looking for career and relationship success […] [Read More]