Category Archives: New York

Review: “Morning’s at Seven”

Paul Osborn’s Morning’s at Seven (playing at St. Clement’s) is the most James Thurberish play I know and it isn’t by Thurber. Some people are charmed by Thurber. Some are immune. (Some have no idea who he was.) I am … Continue reading

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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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Fairycakes, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Chicken and Biscuits

It could be that, after months of having to watch actors in two dimensions on screens, I am so grateful to be in the company of life-sized human beings that I’m in a glass half-full mode. I have seen a … 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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Returning to the Scene

To be simultaneously separated by masks (I wear two) and joined in responding with laughter with hundreds of others is to experience the contradictions of going to the theater these days.  Of course, you can’t see the mouths, but maybe … Continue reading

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Review: “Sanctuary City”

Movie trailers today mostly are constructed the same way – a line or two of characters yelling or a violent incident quick cuts to another violent incident or line or two of characters yelling. And accompanying each cut is a … Continue reading

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New York Through Kids’ Eyes

One of the benefits of marrying Kristine twelve years ago (July 15 was our anniversary) is that I acquired, with no effort, six grandchildren. Four of them visited us this past week.  Whenever you host visitors, you can’t help but … 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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TROUBLE IN MIND — Alice Childress

I continue to read plays from the past I’ve never gotten to see. Mostly, as I’ve said before, I’m alternating between an anthology of plays that won the Pulitzer Prize early on and an anthology of post-war plays by Black … Continue reading

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