I don’t quite know why I instinctively associate David Bowie with Bertolt Brecht, but maybe the city of Berlin has something to do with it. The English rock star moved there in 1976 and (in collaboration with Brian Eno) recorded his influential “Berlin trilogy” of albums — Low, “Heroes”, and Lodger.[...]
Are your idle moments spent inventing imaginary conversations between strange bedfellows? The sort of conversation that might transpire in a pickup truck belonging to Samuel Beckett, say, were the Irish playwright to chauffeur the child André Rene Roussimoff—aka pro wrestler André the Giant—to school?
Too silly, you say? Nonsense.
1961 saw the television debuts of The Bob Newhart Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Yogi Bear, and …um, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, famously described by theater critic Vivian Mercier as “a play in which nothing happens, twice.[...]
Other than Romeo and Juliet and possibly Hamlet, Shakespeare doesn’t exactly lend himself to the elevator pitch. The same creaky plot devices and unfathomable jokes that confound modern audiences make for long winded summaries.
Not to say it can’t be done.
Before he directed Citizen Kane, Orson Welles was already famous. He was an enfant terrible of that new medium radio — one of his plays, an adaptation of War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, famously terrified the nation in 1938. He was also known as a wunderkind of the stage.[...]
Stephen Sondeim’s “Send in the Clowns,” like the much mangled “Memory” from the much maligned musical CATS, has weathered any number of ill-advised interpretations.[...]
Between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, men and women alike made scrapbooks as a way of processing the news. As Ellen Gruber Garvey shows in her book Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance, the practice crossed lines of class and gender. Everyone from Mark Twain and Susan B.[...]
Long before he played Gandalf or Magneto, Sir Ian McKellen was known as one of the finest stage actors in England. A stand out in the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Ian played the lead in its 1974 staging of Doctor Faustus and its 1977 staging of Macbeth.[...]
The Yale Puppeteers, consisting of Forman Brown, Harry Burnett, and Roddy Brandon, came together in the 1920s and spent almost the next seven decades touring the United States, putting on satirical performances that featured puppets in starring roles.[...]
Having spent the fall lounging in the bath dressed as a lobster, and gamboling around New York City with Waiting for Godot cast mate Ian McKellen, the irrepressible Patrick Stewart brought 2013 to a close by indulging a curious fan of NPR’s How To Do Everything podcast.
Her question? What do English cows sound like when they moo.