June 18, 1995
I first saw Zoe Caldwell act 33 years ago when we were both with the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis ("When Two Legends Meet," by Jan Breslauer, June 11). I made a vow then never to miss one of her performances. In a long life in the theater, I have never seen a better performance than Zoe's. "Master Class" might have some weaknesses, but whatever they are they don't matter. The audience is lifted up, carried along, made to think, to laugh and then wrung out. What more can be asked of it?
April 4, 2004
The article describing the work of Los Angeles architect Paul Williams was bittersweet ("Master Class," by Leslee Komaiko, Metropolis, March 7). Williams is known for his significant contributions to our city's landscape, yet his work faces the threat of destruction. Surely Harvard-Westlake School can find a preservation solution to keep the Morris Landau residence in its historic location. Williams overcame enormous obstacles to achieve success. We should not have to remember his visionary work from pictures.
February 1, 2007
Leading Asian American theater company East West Players stages "Master Class," Terrence McNally's play about fiery opera diva Maria Callas, based on teaching she did at Juilliard at the end of her career. No longer in her prime and aware of it, the still-glamorous, haughty Callas teaches -- and terrifies -- her young student singers, while taking an emotional inward journey through her legendary life.
April 19, 2013 |
Oscar-nominated writer-director David O. Russell ("The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook") has been named guest director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, organizers announced Friday. The festival takes place June 13-23 in downtown Los Angeles. Russell also is this year's recipient of the Spirit of Independence Award, which recognizes an individual for their commitment to the artistic independence in film. As guest director, Russell will host a special screening of his 1999 film "Three Kings" and discuss his work as a filmmaker.
December 22, 2012 |
Making classic puff pastry is one of those techniques that separates the professional chef from the recreational cook. While it's not impossible, it can be time-consuming and very involved. In our latest master class, Nancy Silverton simplifies the art of puff pastry the "rough puff" way: "Rough puff is made using the same ingredients and the same turning method as in classic puff pastry. The difference is that with classic puff pastry, the butter is molded into a large rectangle of a specific size and shape and integrated into the détrempe in a very precise and symmetrical way. With rough puff, the butter is cut into big chunks and integrated into the détrempe in a random way -- a much easier, less time-consuming process.
June 20, 1995 |
Audra McDonald had to battle a case of nerves to win the part of Sharon in Terrence McNally's latest play, "Master Class," currently at the Mark Taper Forum and set to open on Broadway this fall. Sharon, an aspiring opera singer, is bullied in a master class by legendary opera diva Maria Callas (Zoe Caldwell). During the course of her ill-fated lesson with Callas, Sharon sings Lady Macbeth's aria "Vieni! t'affretta" from Verdi's "Macbeth."
March 15, 1985 |
Pianist James Barbagallo is in Southern California, partly to repay an artistic debt. The American medal-winner in the 1982 international Tchaikovksy competition, who credits the encouragement of a master class teacher with his entering the Moscow contest, says he would like to help other young artists in a similar way. "I never thought I'd leave the San Francisco Bay Area," the native Californian recalled recently.
June 17, 1995
"Master Class" at the Mark Taper is a brilliant show and deserves every word of its enthusiastic reviews. But is there to be no escape, even here, from gutter profanity? Zoe Caldwell (portraying Maria Callas) uses the s-word and the f-word not once but several times. Presumably playwright Terrence McNally is trying to shock us into realizing that there was another earthier side to Callas. Instead, it just cheapens the whole performance. One difference between good theater and great theater is that great theater leaves something to the intelligence of the audience and preserves the dignity of its characters, even when showing their darker sides.
August 29, 2012 |
As unlikely as it is irresistible, "Robot & Frank" makes us believe that a serene automaton and a snappish human being can be best friends forever. It's not any actor who can make this scenario plausible, but Frank Langella does it with a performance that's the equivalent of an acting master class as he uses delicacy and underplaying to hold the screen even when he's all by himself. Although many young filmmakers gravitate toward stories about the agonies of being under 30, "Robot & Frank's" creative team, writer Christopher D. Ford and director Jake Schreier, have made a film about a 70-year-old man saddled with a healthcare robot that deals in a good-humored way with questions of age, vulnerability and usefulness.