August 30, 1987 |
Anybody who saw last season's crackling TV version of Hugh Whitemore's play "Pack of Lies" knows whodunit. Teri Garr played Helen, the suspected Russian spy; Ellen Burstyn was best friend/neighbor Barbara, who reluctantly allowed her house to be used to monitor--and ultimately facilitate the arrest of--Helen and her husband, Peter. Yet knowing up front that Peter and Helen are indeed guilty doesn't spoil the story. Or so Charles Arthur would tell you.
July 22, 1994 |
The Popeil Pocket Fisherman. The Vegematic. The Chia Pet. Such absurdities flit across our television screens, rarae aves in the midnight air of the high-num bered channels. They are like quirky relatives, exacting a smile or perhaps a shrug of disbelief. I had always reserved a warm spot in my heart for these freaks of free enterprise. But never had I considered dialing the toll-free number, not once had I felt the urge to place an order. Not until I saw the Flowbee.
November 4, 1999 |
The cult favorite "The X-Files" and the summer surprise "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" return to the airwaves this weekend. Dick Van Dyke plays Dr. Sloan and an identical mobster in a two-hour "Diagnosis Murder" tonight at 8 on CBS. Chuck Woolery hosts the new Fox game show, "Greed," tonight at 8. Contestants are pitted against each other to win a potential $2 million. AMC's new series, "Cinema Secrets," Friday at 9 p.m.
December 17, 1990 |
The Scene: Premiere benefit screening and party Thursday for "Look Who's Talking Too," the sequel to last year's Kirstie Alley/John Travolta comedy from Tri-Star that also features the voices of Bruce Willis, Roseanne Barr and Damon Wayans. After the screening at the Cineplex Odeon in Century City, there was a low-key party across the mall at disco palace Twenty/20, where stars and industry types hung out for a couple of hours.
July 19, 1987 |
Bad medicine--then and now--sets the stage for Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid," opening Friday at the Grove Shakespeare Festival. "It was first performed in 1673, under the patronage of Louis XIV," explained director Frank Condon. "It's a farcical comedy, but also biting commentary on the medical profession of the time: their crude, barbarian, torturous methods. "There was a lot of surgery, bleedings, purgings. . . . Sure, there've been remarkable improvements since then.
November 23, 1992 |
Moving, personal stories of despair, frustration, love and hope were the essence of the Alzheimer's Assn. of Los Angeles's benefit dinner Thursday night at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. The event, billed as "A Night at Sardi's," featured selections from the Broadway musical "Guys and Dolls," plus celebrity presenters and honorees. Original caricatures from the famous New York restaurant decorated the ballroom.
January 1, 1988 |
No year-end wrap-up can ignore the impact of Del Shores' "Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got the Will?)." It's the Equity-Waiver success story of the year. "Daddy's Dyin' . . ." is almost a commercial affront to Waiver--the show makes money. The actors have been sharing in the profits every week since the current comedy premiered at Theatre/Theater 10 months ago. Critically, it's also among the 11 superlative productions--of 95--that I reviewed in 1987.
October 16, 1995 |
The Scene: It must have been dizzying for the throngs of celebrities and industry VIPs who descended on Mann's Chinese Theatre on Thursday night to watch art imitate life imitate art imitate life and so on. The occasion was the premiere of "Get Shorty." The movie, starring John Travolta, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, is adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel about a gangster who comes to Hollywood to collect a gambling debt and ends up trying make his own story into a movie.