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]
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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]
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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

Out of the Columbia vaults

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“Flower Drum Song” was a bit of an oddity in the careers of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The 1958 musical — about the assimilation of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco — was a critical and box-office hit in its day, but over the years it has fallen off the Broadway radar. The R&H […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Down and out on the Lower East Side

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Inspired by a whole host of counterculture gods — ranging from Alejandro Jodorowsky to Terry Southern — the New York theater troupe, The Amoralists, puts on shows it describes as “an honest expression of the American condition…Rollicking, rebellious, and raw, our work will go home with you…Boom!” The company’s latest offering, “The Pied Pipers of […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Coming of age in the Village

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Paul Mazursky is almost always given short shrift when critics and historians write about the movies of the 1970s. The actor-turned-writer-turned-director never made a landmark film on the order of “The Godfather” (1972) or “Taxi Driver” (1976) — and he didn’t get embroiled in the juicy sex/drug chaos that added to the legends of Martin […] [Read More]
Categories: General