‘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]

Emma Stone in VF: the return of the bathing suit competition

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The surface style of the movie star profiles in the glossy magazines has changed fairly radically in the last few years. In an apparent attempt to keep up with reality television and the new fake intimacy of social networks, reporters are giving the illusion of being closer than ever to their interview subjects. I wrote […] [Read More]

At ‘summer camp’ with Jeffrey Deaver, Ken Follett and company

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It was so much fun — and so informative — to hang out at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan over the weekend during the annual ThrillerFest gathering. Sponsored by the International Thriller Writers organization, the event drew more than 800 writers, agents, publishing industry people, aspiring novelists and fans. Novelist Jon Land — who is […] [Read More]

Dead designer draws King Tut-sized crowds in New York

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The Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Musuem — “Savage Beauty” — is a scene as well as an art exhibit. Set up in one of the mammoth museum’s smaller, non-blockbuster exhibit galleries, the show has turned into one of the runaway hits of the New York summer. The crowds are so huge at this […] [Read More]

‘Unnatural Acts’: secret witchhunt at Harvard 90 years ago

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The new collectively developed play “Unnatural Acts” is set to close at the Classic Stage Company on July 24, but I have a hunch this powerful drama about sex, friendship and betrayal will have a long afterlife. The show might not get the commercial transfer in New York City that it deserves, but it will […] [Read More]

‘Buried Secrets’: corruption and kidnapping in Boston thriller

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Joseph Finder has just delivered his second book on private intelligence operative Nick Heller — “Buried Secrets” (St. Martin’s Press) — and it’s a powerhouse thriller that puts its hooks into you in chapter one and never lets go. Heller is a marvelous creation, a former government agent who has set up his own business in Boston with […] [Read More]

‘The Illusion’: a Tony Kushner ‘Twilight Zone’ episode

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The Signature Theatre picked the perfect play to end its life in the snug little Peter Norton Space on far West 42nd St. “The Illusion” by Tony Kushner is about the magic of theater — how it can almost replace “reality” for some of us — and director Michael Mayer and his top notch ensemble pull […] [Read More]