‘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]
Categories: General

‘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]
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‘Armida’ or: when stars miscast themselves

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Renee Fleming is an opera singer with the charisma of a movie star — and a huge international fan following — but she couldn’t keep a packed house in its seats at the final performance of the 2009-2010 season at the Metropolitan Opera Saturday night. Fleming used her clout to get the Met to stage a Rossini […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Lee Child keeps the Reacher ball in the air (again)

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Don’t believe the advance reviews that have claimed the new Lee Child novel “61 Hours” (Delacorte Books) — in stores tomorrow — ends with a “cliffhanger” or, God forbid, with the end of the writer’s phenomenally successful series character Jack Reacher. A careful reading of the last few pages of the novel will reveal (subtly) […] [Read More]
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‘Red’: Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko

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When you enter the John Golden Theatre to see “Red” by John Logan, the curtain is up, and Alfred Molina is already on stage in character as the painter Mark Rothko. Molina is seated in a chair, staring at a canvas on the back wall, as theatergoers fill the auditorium, and wait for the lights […] [Read More]
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Rent it now: ‘A Face in the Crowd’

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19 years before Paddy Chayefsky went after the excesses of TV in “Network” (1976), writer Budd Schulberg and director Elia Kazan were horrified enough by the relatively new medium to create “A Face in the Crowd.” The movie was made at a time when smart people were starting to worry about the negative impact of television […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The man who gave us Reagan & Bush I & Bush II

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Imagine you are at a funeral and one of the eulogists says of the departed, “He was Machiavellian in the best sense of the word.” No, I am not quoting a deleted scene from “Dr. Strangelove” or “The Manchurian Candidate.” It’s what former secretary of state James Baker said at the 1990 memorial service for […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘A secretary is not a toy’

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A revival of the 1961 musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” is set for next season, with Daniel Radcliffe (below) taking on the role that made Robert Morse (above) a star almost a half-century ago. A show about the business world that you might think would be hopelessly dated — the Frank […] [Read More]
Categories: General