Books & Magazines

Theater Books from All Over: The Friedkin Connection

The Friedkin Connection—A Memoir By William Friedkin. (HarperCollins, 2013)   The title of William Friedkin’s memoir alludes to the fact that he directed the action film classic The French Connection, with its revolutionary car-chase sequence. A tagline on the book’s cover mentions that more explicitly, and adds that he’s also the “legendary director” of The … Continue reading »

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Tempest in a Three-Book

Prospero Regained—The Stunning Conclusion of Prospero’s Daughter By L. Jagi Lamplighter The third 500-page volume in a trilogy which takes the characters in Shakespeare’s The Tempest a lot more seriously than Shakespeare ever did. Lamplighter has grown a whole mythology around Miranda and her siblings. Siblings? Yes, Prospero’s been busy—or just bored since he’s apparently … Continue reading »

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Get Over Yourself

I’m Over All That and Other Confessions By Shirley MacLaine (Atria Books, 2011) This is a dumb, lightweight book in which whimsical old Shirley shares things she’s gotten over. And some things she hasn’t. Duly noted, the chapter heading on page 199 reads: I Will Never Get Over the Thrill of Live Performing. MacLaine rhapsodizes … Continue reading »

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Conan Doyle or Doyly Carte?

Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly and Other New Adventures of the Great Detective By Donald Thomas (Pegasus Books, New York). Thomas is such an accomplished hand at writing Sherlock Holmes yarns that he overwrites and overindulgesd, lulling you into complete credulity. When he writes at length about a late-19th century actor-manager named Caradoc … Continue reading »

Categories: Books & Magazines, European Theater, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Newish Mystery Novels About Antiquing and Community Theater

“Cozy” mysteries are all the rage—or all the lack of rage, since they tend to be about settled, elderly folks solving mysteries in quaint rural communities. Naturally, in such adventures, community theater comes up. Backstage Stuff—A Jane Wheel Mystery By Sharon Fiffer (Minotaur Books, 2011) She hates the script, but private investigator and antiques enthusiast … Continue reading »

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The Fabulous Invalid, Undead

Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime By Michael Spradlin. Illustrated by Jeff Weigel.   Something inside me died when I read/sang my way through this latest literary exploitation of the undead. It’s strictly a songbook, line-for-line rewrites in which loving and romancing is replaced with biting and eating. That doesn’t bother me. The humor may not … Continue reading »

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The Leftovers Audiobook Review

The Leftovers (Audiobook edition, read by Dennis Boutsikaris, MacMillan Audio, 2011). Given his awards, acclaim and experience, getting Dennis Boutsakiris to perform the audiobook version of your novel must be like getting Pacino or DeNiro to star in the movie version. Boutsakiris has a string of impressive acting credits, including several awards for the recent … Continue reading »

Categories: Audiobooks, Books & Magazines | 1 Comment

Artistic Viz-ion

I’ve been reading VIz for over 20 years, shortly after it debuted and when I was still in its target audience of horny, irrespressibly young adults who think they’re smarter than everyone else. I never “outgrew” the magazine partly because I never “outgrew” the British comic books and tabloid newspapers which it satirizes. Also because … Continue reading »

Categories: Books & Magazines, Shakespeare, Stand-Up Comedy | Leave a comment

I saw a smith stand with his hammer thus

At this point in our careers, we checked into hotels under pseudonyms. If you used real name, you’d have a tribute band delivering your room service or a girl larger than your whole family trying to climb through your window. Mentioning the name Aerosmith brought nothing but pain and penicillin . But then what else … Continue reading »

Categories: Books & Magazines, Rock Theater, Shakespeare | 8 Comments

Little Theater for Little Women

I’ve had kids’ theater on my mind these days, and want now to acknowledge my awe for one of the best anthologies of theater BY children that’s ever existed. Comic Tragedies was copywritten 1893 by Anna B. Pratt but the title page says “Written by ‘Jo’ and ‘Meg’ and acted by the ‘Little Women’.” A … Continue reading »

Categories: Books & Magazines, Children's Theater, Uncategorized | 1 Comment