September 26, 1989 |
This is living? Premiering at 8:30 tonight on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42, ABC's "Living Dolls" is the last of the fall season's new comedies, and the least. If ever there was evidence of the creative cupboard being bare, this is it--a "Who's the Boss?" spinoff that imitates "The Facts of Life." Why don't they ever clone the good ones? "Living Dolls" was created by Ross Brown (a former writer and supervising producer on "The Facts of Life") and will regularly air at 8:30 p.m. Saturdays.
September 24, 1991 |
On occasion, a motion picture-for-TV production company jumps on a true-life story with the alacrity of a news crew. It seems like only yesterday that a 23-year-old New Hampshire high-school teacher made headlines for manipulating her student lover into killing her husband. Tonight, CBS' "Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story" (at 9 p.m. on Channels 2 and 8) re-creates the seduction, lust and subsequent murder trial that resulted in a verdict six months ago to the day.
March 9, 1986 |
"Is your department fair or is it sexist?" one of my favorite editors asked me the other day. "Fair," I replied. "Then why do you use the term actress ?" "Why shouldn't we? It does the job. Actress. A lady who acts. Uh, a woman who acts." "A female actor." "Right." "You don't see the condescension in that?" "No." "If you were a woman, you would." Talk about condescension. But after a similar conversation at home, I am willing to concede that we may have an issue here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 1995 |
Local residents' reaction was mixed Wednesday night to a proposal by Sherman Oaks Fashion Square to replace The Broadway store with Bloomingdale's. At the meeting, community activists and aides to City Councilman Michael Feuer learned from mall representatives of their plans to expand The Broadway store by 42,000 square feet to accommodate Bloomingdale's.
June 1, 1995 |
The Old Globe Theatre's shimmeringly lovely production of "Dancing at Lughnasa" offers a timely reminder of the quiet desperation of women in more limited times. The genteel poverty of the five hard-working Mundy sisters in 1936 Ballypeg, Ireland, is bluntly captured by Ralph Funicello's set--a poor, worn kitchen without walls, surrounded by the wilds of the fields outside. It suggests their absolute vulnerability to the vicissitudes of the outside world.
January 31, 1986 |
If power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, why is Sidney Lumet's "Power" (selected theaters) the sexless diatribe that it is, all high-tech visuals and no emotional grounding? Its sole juiciness comes from Gene Hackman as a raffish Southern media consultant, well-cured in bourbon and branch water. The outlandish daring of his performance is almost rave-up enough to recommend the movie. Almost.
January 12, 1996 |
With "Three Tall Women," a play first produced in Vienna in 1991, Edward Albee strides into the mature stage of an erratic career. And how better to show off accumulated wisdom and style than by focusing on the two big Ms--Mortality and Mother. It seems fair to speculate that Albee, now 67, has reached a point at which he can begin to understand the adoptive mother from whom he was estranged for most of his adult life.
April 13, 2001 |
Crossing from one gender to another is such a dramatic journey that it's surprising there haven't been more plays on the subject. Jane Anderson's "Looking for Normal," getting its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, manages the task of covering one such journey with a light touch, yet without making fun of the protagonist or anyone else. It also offers a compassionate and convincing case that human ties can transcend gender.
March 24, 1999 |
When Joe Orton saw Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" in 1967, he acknowledged in his diary that Stoppard's riff on "Hamlet" contained "a wonderful idea . . . how I wish I'd stumbled upon it." Orton imagined richly ironic possibilities, with Shakespeare's graduate students yakking away while the world goes to hell. Four months later, the most notorious English dramatist of the '60s was murdered by longtime companion Kenneth Halliwell.