‘Playbill Yearbook’: Broadway as an incredible high school

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Whether you page through it for fun or put it on your theater reference shelf, “The Playbill Broadway Yearbook” is the best annual account of what happens on those fabled few blocks in midtown Manhattan where masses of people see great — and not so hot — shows 8 times a week, 52 weeks a […] [Read More]

The zany, irascible dame behind Judy & Liza & Eloise

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Kay Thompson’s status as a show business cult figure — 12 years after her death — is bolstered by the impressive crew that contributed jacket blurbs to the new biography by Sam Irvin. Pre-publication raves were assembled from Liza Minnelli, Andy Williams, Angela Lansbury, Leonard Maltin, Michael Feinstein and a few more notables. Irvin’s book, […] [Read More]

Ryan Reynolds: the synergy-est man alive

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Sports Illustrated has that bizarre annual swimsuit issue — with all of its attendant advance hype — so it is hard to criticize Time Warner sister magazine People’s annual PR blitz for its “Sexiest Man Alive!” issue. The suspense surrounding this year’s race ended a few hours ago when People announced that Ryan Reynolds will […] [Read More]

‘Dark Light’: did you hear the one about the blind photographer?

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HBO is debuting a remarkable short documentary tomorrow night at 8 p.m. — “Dark Light” — that takes us into the world of blind photographers. No, I am not pulling your leg. I started out watching the 30-minute film thinking that it might be some sort of elaborate put-on — how can a blind person take […] [Read More]

Adam Rapp & The Amoralists prove to be perfect partners

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The Amoralists have become one of the most exciting theater companies in New York City through the intense collaboration of a group of amazing young actors with the powerhouse playwright/director Derek Ahonen who also serves as co-artistic director and literary manager. Ahonen has written a series of wonderful plays designed for his company — hard-to-describe […] [Read More]

Dino De Laurentiis, R.I.P.

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He was a producer whose credits ranged from “La Strada” to “King Kong” and from “Serpico” to “Flash Gordon.” A believer in globalization long before that term became common business practice, Dino DeLaurentiis — who died Wednesday in Beverly Hills at the age of 91 — started out making movies in his native Italy, but […] [Read More]

The wisdom of Adriana Trigiani’s grandmothers

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In the introduction to her new memoir/self-help book, “Don’t Sing at the Table” (Harper), novelist Adriana Trigiani writes about her “luck” in having two “stellar grandmothers” to pass along their life lessons. Well, readers are lucky, too. Lucky that Trigiani decided to take us into the life of her own family and to tell us the […] [Read More]

‘The Scottsboro Boys’: when irony is mistaken for racism

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More than 40 years ago, when the original production of the musical “Cabaret” was trying out in Boston, one of its most acerbic moments became the target of religious protests. During the song and dance number, “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes” (below), the sleazy Berlin cabaret master of ceremonies played by Joel Grey […] [Read More]