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Play Time

G.B.S. Tries to Avoid Charlotte's Web A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he... Read more →

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CULTURE WATCH: Podcasts On Multiple Platforms

More than a few podcasts originate as live shows before being adapted for the Internet. Some are produced live, then digitized into podcast format. Others start live, then move into a studio where they are produced as episodic podcasts. You may know about The Moth, a live audience, stand-up, notes-free, true personal story-telling program... Read more →

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Play Time: For Graf and Gobetti, A Labor of Love

She's on her honeymoon. Alone. After the invitations had been mailed, the venue had been chosen, the wedding dress had undergone its final fitting, and all the non-refundable deposits had been paid, her fiancé decided that he didn't want to marry her after all. So here she is, sitting in an airport in Thailand, waiting for her flight... Read more →

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The Re-View: Mexican Food

Mexican food reminds me of Mexican music. Someone is singing or playing a melody, someone else is harmonizing on the side, there’s a deep bass keeping rhythm in the background, there are several other instruments playing complementary but different rhythms, there’s a flute with a whole different agenda and some kind of funky string guitar... Read more →

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Playtime: Confiding Their Concerns To Faraway Friends

Dysfunctional relationships seem to be becoming more dysfunctional with each new play. Dysfunctional and disagreeable. Despairing and depressing. As presented in playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes' "Water by the Spoonful", however, each member of her random group is coping not with dysfunction, but with at least one relationship that is... Read more →

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CULTURE WATCH: History, Crime, Politics Podcasts

Remember “The Graduate,” when Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) is told that there is just one word he needs to know: “Plastics”? I honestly believe that now, other than AI, VR or IoT, the future is “Podcasts.” I have been both immersing myself and dipping my toes into, some good, some bad and some boring podcasts and have found a few... Read more →

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Two Artists, Two Styles

  I spent last weekend with two very different artists. The first was Alberto Giacometti, played by Geoffrey Rush with a perpetual frown and a constantly lit cigarette, in the Sony Classics film "Final Portrait." The other was Marc Chagall in a whimsical song and dance fest titled "The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk", presented on the stage... Read more →

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Culture Watch

WRITING WITH ONE HAND For the past 5 weeks, I’ve become housebound, thanks to a broken left arm that won’t allow me to put proper clothing on the top half of my body.  Poncho style tops cover me for my neighborhood walks and doctor visits, but going to art or theatre openings and being in crowds where the braced arm could be jostled... Read more →

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Playtime: Splendid Threads in London

When a superb actor like Daniel Day-Lewis announces that his current film, “Phantom Thread”, will be his last, you can be sure that all those who admire him as one of the finest actors of his generation will flock to see it. And hope that his retirement will be similar to that of Barbra Streisand, in that he will return periodically, as... Read more →

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FILM: Oscar Choices 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, March 4th. Leading up to that evening, I will give my analysis and my favorites among the nominees over the next three weeks. Actually, I believe it’s absurd to choose winners when art is involved. Art is not a race and carries a great amount of its impact in the eye of the beholder.... Read more →

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Food Review: Little Ruby Café

I watched a program on TV last week that chronicled the life of a very successful restaurant owner in New York City. What I learned from him was that location is mildly important, food quality is important, but above all what makes a restaurant successful is making the customer feel good. That concept came to mind recently when I had a... Read more →

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Playtime: You Will Want To Choose “The Chosen”

Chaim Potok was to the tenets and vicissitudes of Judaism as Eli Wiesel was to the Holocaust. Each man pursued his personal obsession with unflagging intensity, to a total of 57 books by Elie Wiesel and 32 by Potok (including 14 volumes on Jewish Ethics). But Potok was also a prolific playwright, presenting the diversity of Jewish thought... Read more →

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FILM REVIEW: THE POST

In The Post, the character “Katharine Graham” states, “News is the rough draft of history.” This concept has been the mantra of those who have reported for and published newspapers for over a century and it is the heart of this very timely film. Writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer have created an efficient screenplay, establishing a... Read more →