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Nick Ziebro’s ‘A Lot of Livin’ to Do’: the next Michael Buble?

The talent, confidence and musicianship evident on Nick Ziebro’s debut CD “A Lot of Livin’ to Do” would be impressive from a singer of any age. The fact that the vocalist was only 17 when he laid down these tracks at Nola Studios in New York is rather astounding. The CD is a very smart […] [Read More]

#FridayReads ‘The Book of You’ by Claire Kendal

Claire Kendal makes a smashing debut with the stalking thriller “The Book of You,” which will be published by Harper on May 6. The suspense novel was the subject of a pre-publication bidding war and it only takes reading a few chapters to see why — Kendal sets up a terrifying, all-too-real scenario that keeps […] [Read More]

‘Acting Foolish’: Lewis J. Stadlen’s lowdown on show biz

There are few stage actors who have given me more pleasure over the years than Lewis J. Stadlen, from the 1974 Broadway revival of “Candide” (above), in which he played Pangloss, right up through last year’s vaudeville drama, “The Nance” (below), in which he co-starred with Nathan Lane. So, I wasn’t surprised by the wit […] [Read More]

‘Cosmicomics’: Ildiko Nemeth’s big bang theory

The impossible-to-categorize director-writer-designer-filmmaker Ildiko Nemeth is back with another one of her funny and visually stunning stage pieces, “Cosmicomics,” which is running through April 19 at Dixon Place in downtown Manhattan. Nemeth and her New Stage Theatre Company create works of great beauty and heightened theatricality in various New York City spaces. While I’m sure […] [Read More]

Linda Lavin: a portrait of the artist in Fairfield

Leave it to the smart and adventurous actress Linda Lavin to come up with a new way of doing a public interview. On Sunday, Lavin and her husband, the musician and artist Steve Bakunas, came to the Edgerton Center on the campus of Sacred Heart University for the ongoing “American Legends” series in which performers […] [Read More]

Rent it now: unexpected thrills in a French kitchen

D.A. Pennebaker has been making good documentaries for so many years now that film buffs have learned to follow the director-cameraman-editor wherever his interests might take him. Pennebaker’s long list of films includes the classic Bob Dylan documentary, “Don’t Look Back” (1967), as well as the Clinton campaign film “The War Room” (1993) he made […] [Read More]

Bad Movies We Love: ‘Youngblood Hawke’

The sexual revolution of the late 1960s put an end to one of my favorite Hollywood genres — the lurid potboilers adapted from the naughty novels of hugely popular (and now forgotten) writers such as Harold Robbins and Grace Metalious. The filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s couldn’t get away with the smut to be […] [Read More]

‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’: The lost art of letter writing

We’ve gained so much through the technological advances of recent years, but we’ve lost some wonderful things, too. Near the top of my list of sad losses is the end of letter writing brought about by the rise of emails and texting and the social networks. A decade ago, when I was packing up my […] [Read More]

#FridayReads ‘My Lunches with Orson’

2013 was a great year for books about old-time Hollywood. First, we had the fantastic “Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations” and then “My Lunches with Orson” (Metropolitan Books) which preserves a number of conversations director Henry Jaglom had with Orson Welles 30 years ago. The appeal of both books is their presentation of no holds […] [Read More]

Alison Fraser & the music of Tennessee Williams

Ghostlight Records has preserved a cabaret show called “Tennessee Williams: Words and Music” by the terrific singing actress Alison Fraser who has graced countless New York shows over the past 30 years, from the original production of William Finn’s landmark musical “March of the Falsettos” to the recent, daffy Charles Busch comedy “The Divine Sister.” […] [Read More]