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‘Have a Nice Guilt Trip’: Dueling Bombecks

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Those two very good arguments for the survival of newspapers — Philadelphia Inquirer columnists Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella — are back with a fifth collection of essays from the Sunday edition of the venerable daily publication. Scottoline, who is as Philadelphian as you can get, started “Chick Wit” as a sideline to her enormously […] [Read More]
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Rent it now: gorgeous biopic about Renoir & his son

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Substance and style mesh perfectly in the French film “Renoir” about the painter Auguste Renoir at the end of his life and his son Jean just before he became a great filmmaker. Writer-director Gilles Bourdos avoids the traps many biopics have fallen into by focusing on one summer in the lives of the two men, and […] [Read More]
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‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’: the one that got away

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Movie history is littered with tantalizing unrealized projects by visionary directors. Stanley Kubrick never got around to making the Napoleon epic he worked on for years. Fred Zinnemann had the plug pulled on his planned version of Andre Malraux’s “A Man’s Fate.” David Lean never got the go-ahead for his take on “Mutiny on the […] [Read More]
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‘Clown Bar’: alternate universe noir musical

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Better seen than described, “Clown Bar” has taken over the downtown Manhattan nightclub The Box on Saturday nights, where the story of crime and corruption is played out in and around an audience seated at tables and in booths. With a book by Adam Szymkowicz and songs composed by Adam Overett, the show often plays […] [Read More]
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#FridayReads ‘Literary Brooklyn’ by Evan Hughes

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Evan Hughes puts lots of interesting pieces together in “Literary Brooklyn” (Henry Holt and Company) which manages to combine a history of the huge New York City borough with an account of the writers who have lived and worked there over the past 200 years. It took me three years to catch up with this […] [Read More]
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muchado

Under the stars with ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ & Lily Rabe

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It’s one of the quintessential New York City experiences. Savoring a play by Shakespeare under the stars in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Thanks to the genius and generosity of Joe Papp — who founded Shakespeare in the Park and The Public Theater more than 50 years ago — audiences have been enjoying high quality productions […] [Read More]
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Paul Mazursky R.I.P. : exploring underrated filmmaker’s work

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Film director books presented in a question-and-answer format are often tiresome, and full of obfuscation, but Sam Wasson’s “Paul on Mazursky” (Wesleyan University Press) captures smart talk about the work of the man who gave us “An Unmarried Woman,” “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” (below), “Blume in Love” and many other remarkably realistic comedies. Paul Mazursky […] [Read More]
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‘Broadway Bares 24’: risque benefit raises $1,386,105

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The venerable Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit “Broadway Bares” was forced to move to a new venue this year when Roseland became the latest Manhattan landmark to bite the dust. The bawdy, high energy show didn’t start at Roseland — the first edition consisted of choreographer/director Jerry Mitchell and six of his pals stripping at […] [Read More]
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