Two polar opposites whose only common ground is talent, astute musical perfectionism and the ability to send their listeners away happy, Sandy Stewart and Marilyn Maye are, ironically, appearing on separate cabaret stages this week. Talk about an abundance of riches.
I went to see four Christmas and Chanukah shows recently, and I trust I won’t be revealing any bias—kayn aynhoreh—in anything I say about them.
Take Slava’s Snowshow, now at the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway. The masterly Russian clown’s production brought out the Grinch in me in this crucial respect: Read More
The screen persona of Fred Astaire is more enduringly charismatic than that of any other musical performer in the history of the medium. Yet, the now-celebrated report on his
Hollywood screen test gave little indication of things to come: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”
Then along came a magical sprite named Read More
The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin , edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet. Alfred A. Knopf, 530 pages, $65.
When the smoke cleared and the rubble subsided, one New Yorker stood tall, his high spirits undiminished in the face of adversity, his reputation repolished to a blinding gleam. Cometh the hour, cometh the man: Read More
In the forthcoming avalanche of big-budget, end-of-the-year Hollywood epics with limitless money for marketing and promotion, don’t overlook The Weekend and A Good Baby , two small, sincere, modestly financed but extremely intelligent independent films worthy of attention. The Weekend , written and directed by Brian Skeet, is a lushly photographed reverie about a group Read More
The antigun posturing in the wake of the massacre in
Littleton, Colo., took a bizarre turn recently when the irrepressible Rosie
O’Donnell used her clout with the Tony people to propose changing a song from
Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun to
eliminate the offending lyric: “I can shoot a partridge/ With a single
cartridge.” Read More
Why is it that Irving Berlin’s songs–he wasn’t musically trained, he could barely play the piano (and only in the key of F sharp), etc.–sit up and go right to work with the vitality of just-unbottled sprites, when they were written 40, 60 and 80 years ago? What was his weird inner genius, a strength Read More
Irving Berlin: American Troubadour , by Edward Jablonski. Henry Holt, 406 pages, $35.
While packing to go to Key West for a few days, I tossed two books on the bed between a bathing suit and my makeup case, planning to take one of them along, either Isaiah Berlin , by Michael Ignatieff, or Irving Read More
The new production of Irving Berlin’s vintage Annie Get Your Gun is a key event in the history of the American musical: It is the first politically correct musical of our time. I believe that such political correctness is a form of censorship by and for people who have no sense of humor. Please permit Read More