Found in one of those little library boxes outside a church in our neighborhood. For free. I've been meaning to read this for a while because I love history and this looked like an interesting read. Sarah Vowell takes us on a funny, quirky road trip down American history lane. With her sister and macabre-obsessed toddler nephew, Vowell visits various locations associated with the assassinations of three presidents--Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley. Along the way, she offers views on the current state of our nation, drawing parallels between the McKinley and Bush administrations (the book was written during the Iraq war). There are also fascinating recreations of each shocking moment of violence, the bizarre coincidence that Robert Lincoln, Abe's eldest, was present for all three killings, and the state of our union during the various time periods. Enjoyable and sharp.
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
B'way Update: Making 'Room' and Changes to the OCC Awards
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Reconstructing the Carol Burnett Show, Part 35: Down the Helen Reddy Wormhole
|Carol with Helen Reddy|
Friday, January 20, 2023
Off-B'way Update: Days of Wine and Roses Musical
|Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in|
Days of Wine and Roses
Monday, January 16, 2023
Reconstructing the Carol Burnett Show: Part 34: Carol's 1991 Comeback
|Carol with Martin Short on her|
short-lived 1991 variety series
Thursday, January 12, 2023
B'way Update: Here Lies Love and Hamlet
|Jose Llana and Ruthie Ann Miles in|
the Off-Broadway production of
Here Lies Love.
Here Lies Love, featuring a sung-through score by pop icons David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, will begin previews at the Broadway Theater on June 17 and open on July 20. The theater will be reconfigured into a dance floor for the show's environmental design. The original production opened at the Public Theater in 2013 and won five Lucille Lortel Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. The show has had subsequent stagings in London and Seattle. Original director Alex Timbers (Tony winner for Moulin Rouge) returns to the production.
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Broadway Update: Parade Revival with Ben Platt
|Micaela Diamond and Ben Platt in|
Parade which will transfer to Broadway
after its NYCC run.
Credit: Joan Marcus
Parade, directed by Michael Arden (Once on This Island, Deaf West's revival of Spring Awakening) will begin previews on Feb. 21 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater and open on March 16 for a limited run until Aug. 6.
Sunday, January 8, 2023
Lionel Barrymore Imitations in Cartoons
|Lionel Barrymore in|
It's a Wonderful Life
Book Review: Lucy by the Sea
One of my resolutions of 2023 is to post my reviews of the books I read, no matter how short. I have been doing this on the website Goodreads.com. I did copy over some reviews occasionally in previous years, but I want to start keeping a record of my reading here on the blog. Also to record where I got the book as a journal of my connections with the book world.Bought at Barnes and Noble for $28 with a few dollars left on a gift card from last year. I really enjoyed reading Strout's fourth novel about Lucy Barton, presumably an autobiographical figure, a novelist dealing with aging, her ex-husband, her two grown-up daughters, and the trauma of growing up within a dysfunctional, poverty-stricken household in a garage rather than a house. (Previous works are My Name Is Lucy Barton, Anything Is Possible, Oh, William. The first one was made into a solo play starring Laura Linney on Broadway.) In this version, Lucy chronicles her experiences of the COVID pandemic. Her ex-husband William, a scientist, brings her to stay in a remote house in rural Maine to avoid the mass infections in NYC. As the lockdown drags on, William and Lucy reconnect, her daughters encounter their own crises, and she makes friends with characters who also appear in Strout's Olive Kittredge novels (Pulitzer Prize, made into an HBO mini-series with Frances MacDormand). Spare, incisive prose cuts to the heart of her characters. Lucy deals with Trump supporters and the BLM movement with compassion. No one is a hero or villain, just people trying to get along.
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Reconstructing the Carol Burnett Show: Part 33
|Carol as Trilby and Jack Palance as Svengali|
Channel 21 continues to air full-hour reruns of Carol's show, but this is one of the rare ones that heretofore has not surfaced in its entirety. I discovered it several weeks ago and DVRed it. I had seen the MeTV edited versions plus YouTube clips of Carol's numbers with Liza. Previously unviewed material includes a typically lame Carol-and-Sis sketch where Carol and Roger entertain Crissy's date--a whacked-out hippie. But it turns out he's not her date, just a crazy guy looking for a hand-out, and then an even weirder guy in black leather motorcycle gear show up as Crissy's real date. Later Carol plays a saloon entertainer in the Wild West who destroys a bar with her Ethel Merman-like vocals. Then she has a solo warbling a slow version of "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nelly."