Where did those three girls (and their teacher) go?

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Last night in Waterford, fireworks started going off just a few minutes before the end of the final performance of “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” the new musical drama by Daniel Zaitchik (above). The loud sounds outside proved to be only a temporary distraction for the full house that had gathered in a barn on the […] [Read More]
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The ups and downs of Michael Mann

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It’s hard to believe that the man who directed “The Insider” (1999) and “Heat” (1995) would be capable of making something as misguided — and as painful to sit through — as the new John Dillinger bio-pic, “Public Enemies.” Then again, until I consulted his imdb listing this morning, I had completely forgotten that Michael […] [Read More]
Categories: General

A master entertainer

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  Elinor Lipman’s tenth novel, “The Family Man” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a Manhattan-set charmer about a happily settled single gay man named Henry Archer whose life is upended when he decides to reconnect with his grown stepdaughter. Two decades earlier, Henry was closeted and briefly married to the zany Denise — a recent divorcee with a […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The prime of Patricia Clarkson

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Although work for many female movie actors starts to disappear as they head north of 40, Patricia Clarkson has been defying the odds for the past decade, with an unusually varied filmography that includes some of the best parts she has played since her screen debut in “The Untouchables” in 1987. The Yale Drama School […] [Read More]
Categories: General

She knows what she’s writing about

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While I was on vacation last week, I got a big kick out of reading “Queen Takes King” (Simon &Schuster), the new novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer. The book was lumped rather patronizingly into a “chick lit” review column in the Times a few weeks ago, but it is a hard-edged social satire about the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Donations lower, fun quotient still high at Broadway Bares

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Last Sunday night’s charity burlesque show “Broadway Bares 19″ took a slight hit from this terrible recession we are in — raising less for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS than it did last year — but it was still a spectacular evening in which about 200 of Broadway’s best dancers and performers strutted their stuff in […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Friendship during and after college

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When was the last time you read a novel that you wished was 100 pages longer? That was my reaction when I reached page 320 of J. Courtney Sullivan’s wonderful first novel, “Commencement” (Knopf). I wanted more of the adventures of Celia, Bree, Sally and April — four very different young women who become the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

A leftover from pre-recession Manhattan

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I didn’t read Sophie Kinsella’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic” until late last year when a movie tie-in paperback edition landed on my desk. Since the novel was first published in 2000, I figured it would be a hopelessly dated “Sex & the City” spin-off about single career gals wasting their salaries on designer clothes. But, […] [Read More]
Categories: General