‘Wishful Drinking’: a woman under the influence

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HBO Video is releasing a DVD of Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show “Wishful Drinking” that appears to have been recorded on an off night last year. Fisher toured the country in the vehicle about her existence as a child of Hollywood — she made a stop at Hartford Stage early on — and then set up […] [Read More]

Rent it now: Adam Rapp’s debut film, ‘Winter Passing’

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Adam Rapp is one of the most talented and prolific young playwrights in New York City. Each year seems to bring us one or two new productions of his tough-minded and funny scripts. Next month, Rapp will be unveiling a new site specific play in a room at the Gershwin Hotel — “Hotel/Motel” — with […] [Read More]

‘Serving Life’: finding redemption instead of hopelessness

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Most of us have seen so many prison dramas for so many years that we’ve probably all wondered how we would do if someone locked us up and threw away the key. A maximum security prison may be the closest thing to hell on earth that we can imagine, but a sensational new documentary, “Serving […] [Read More]

The ‘get a room!’ school of magazine celebrity profiles

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The bizarre recent trend in celebrity journalism of the writer turning an interview into a quasi-date has been popping up in some of the best magazines lately. GQ has run three embarrasing examples of this style so far this year, including the August cover story on Mila Kunis. The current New York magazine has another embarrasing […] [Read More]

Bright young New Yorkers facing the Age of Obama

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There is a long tradition of plays and movies that have captured the lives of bright young people looking for friendship, creative work and romantic excitement as they struggle through their 20s and early 30s. Paul Mazursky made one of the best forays into this genre with “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” in 1976 and Joan […] [Read More]

‘Master Class’: Tyne Daly hits it out of the park

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“How can you have rivals when no one else can do what you do?,” Maria Callas asks in the remarkably durable biographical drama “Master Class” by Terrence McNally. It’s a play about ego and stardom and a woman trying to make it in a man’s world. Ironically, despite what Callas says in the play about […] [Read More]

Elin Hilderbrand puts herself in Ruth Madoff’s position

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“Silver Girl” (Little, Brown) tells an engrossing story about two old friends trying to reconnect at a beach house in Nantucket, but it also allows the author to pull off a remarkable display of empathy. Elin Hilderbrand deals in fiction, but her character Meredith Delinn is clearly modeled on Ruth Madoff and the writer manages to […] [Read More]

What’s Hugh Hefner doing on Lifetime tonight?

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I know that Lifetime has given up its slogan “Television for Women” but it still seems odd for the cable network to present something like tonight’s special “Hef’s Runaway Bride.” The show is a spin-off of the E! series “The Girls Next Door” which has chronicled Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner’s adventures with his live-in Bunnies […] [Read More]

‘Eyes Wide Open’: a thriller powered by personal tragedy

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In his new novel, “Eyes Wide Open” (William Morrow) Andrew Gross takes a break from his sensational Ty Hauck series to give us a stand-alone thriller that has unusual emotional weight. It isn’t easy to turn a domestic tragedy into a high velocity page-turner, but Gross uses the suicide of a disturbed young man as the […] [Read More]

What’s a good film actress to do in the age of ‘Transformers’?

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The other night I watched the 1966 comedy-drama “Morgan!” (below) starring Vanessa Redgrave and David Warner and was inspired by my enjoyment of that oldie to pull out a copy of another Redgrave film released the same year, “Blow Up” (above). The double-feature made me think about the way young actresses broke into movies and […] [Read More]