Category Archives: movies

Lee Grant

One of the treats about living where I have (and do) on the upper west side is that, walking my dog, I kept (and keep) running into Lee walking her dog. We always stop and swap stories. One time, I … Continue reading

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Thoughts after watching THE VERDICT

Just watched The Verdict for the first time since it came out forty years ago in 1982. Sidney Lumet at the top of his game, a perfect damn script by David Mamet (I can’t say how much it owes to the … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago theater, drama, film adaptation, movies, off-Broadway, playwriting, Pulitzer Prize, Second City, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: “The Visitor”

For about the first half of its 90-minute running time, The Visitor, the new musical playing at the Public Theater based on Tom McCarthy’s 2007 film, works very nicely indeed. Kwame Kwei-Armah and Brian Yorkey’s script effectively translates McCarthy’s screenplay … Continue reading

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“Deep in My Heart”–Stanley Donen and Sigmund Romberg

Some years ago, I was at a memorial for a friend who had appeared at the Compass in Chicago. I saw a man standing to the side looking a bit perturbed. Elaine May was attending the memorial and, putting two … Continue reading

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Thoughts Triggered by “Next Stop, Greenwich Village”

I’ve been working on a revised edition of Something Wonderful Right Away, my oral history of the founding and early days of Second City. It was originally published in 1978 and, inevitably, many of the people I interviewed for the … Continue reading

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“People on Sunday”–a film of pre-Nazi Berlin

Have started reading Joseph McBride’s new book, Billy Wilder: Dancing on the Edge, which naturally led to my watching People on Sunday, a silent film co-directed by Robert Siodmak and Edgar Ulmer (with assists from Curt Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann and … Continue reading

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Men in White, Sidney Kingsley, and Ancillary Thoughts

I recently read Sidney Kingsley’s play, Men in White (1933), and last night I watched the 1934 film adaptation directed by Richard Boleslawski. (Interesting that Boleslawski directed the film version of a work that had been directed on Broadway by … Continue reading

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From “Crime in the Streets” to “West Side Story”

Watched a clumsy but fascinating film called Crime in the Streets. It started as a 1955 live TV play by Reginald Rose presented by the Elgin Hour, directed by Sidney Lumet. A young John Cassavetes starred as Frankie, a member … Continue reading

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Encountering Rose Franken

Continuing to wander through obscure corners of American playwriting, I have stumbled across a forgotten phenomenon.  A writer named Rose Franken created a character who appeared first in a series of stories for Redbook, then in a series of eight … Continue reading

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Wandering Through History

Sometimes I think of the past as a huge black box, and any time you read a book of history or a biography or a historical novel it’s like shining a concentrated beam of light through that darkness, briefly bringing … Continue reading

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