shootme

‘Shoot Me’: Elaine Stritch & ‘the end of pretend’

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The early 2014 documentary “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” now serves as a perfect send-off for the great stage star who died last week at the age of 89. Stritch’s unique combination of talent, ego and high anxiety fueled her 2001 one-woman Broadway show “Elaine Stritch At Large.” Already in her 70s then, the star told […] [Read More]
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douglasevans

‘Douglas Evans’: the playwriting game in New York

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In the New York theater world, Derek Ahonen is just about peerless when it comes to pure unadulterated guts. Taking huge new risks with each play he writes — and his output is prodigious — Ahonen makes it impossible for anyone to type him. The man writes for himself and for the terrific company he […] [Read More]
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freeforall

#FridayReads ‘Free for All’ by Kenneth Turan & Joe Papp

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It took me a five years to get around to reading Kenneth Turan’s oral history of the New York Shakespeare Festival — “Free for All” — but that may be apropos for a book that took almost 30 years to see the light of day. Turan and NYSF founder Joe Papp made a deal in […] [Read More]
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davidcampbell

The return of David Campbell and John Bucchino

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The Australian singer-actor David Campbell made a big splash in the New York theater and cabaret worlds two decades ago when he was still in his early 20s. Appearances at clubs like (the sadly defunct) Eighty Eights and Rainbow & Stars earned him extravagant praise; he also did very well in the Encores! production of […] [Read More]
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diane2

How did Diane Schuler end up killing 8 people?

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Thanks to Amazon Instant, I was able to catch up with Liz Garbus’ fascinating 2011 HBO documentary, “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane” about that terrible head-on collision on the Taconic Expressway in July, 2009, that ended with eight people dead. The mystery at the heart of the crash has never been solved — how […] [Read More]
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lazhar

Rent it now: a Canadian gem about school life

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The French-Canadian drama “Monsieur Lazhar” was one of the four foreign language films that lost to “A Separation” in the Oscar race in 2012, but it’s a beautiful little picture about students and teachers coping with a school tragedy. Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) is the new teacher at a Montreal elementary school that was devastated […] [Read More]
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2014thrillerfest2

ThrillerFest IX: terrific gathering of star writers & fans

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What a pleasure it was to attend ThrillerFest at the Grand Hyatt in New York City over the weekend. This ninth edition of the annual gathering of the International Thriller Writers organization came off without a hitch, combining three days of seminars for aspiring writers, with two days of terrific panels where fans of the […] [Read More]
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hammer

The B-movie studio that baby boomer kids loved 50 years ago

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When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, I didn’t really know one movie studio from another, with the single exception of Hammer Films. The Hammer label always meant horror movies that went a little further than standard Hollywood fare. The British company specialized in re-tellings of classic horror stories such as “Dracula” and […] [Read More]
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