Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guess who's interesting as a wire hanger without a glamourous gown?

Charles Busch's  latest play, The Tribute Artist has had mostly mixed reviews.  While  it's always fun to see him in wig and gowns the plot  is too convoluted and   as  my friend and colleague Michael Sommers of the New Jersey Newsroom said, he's  not written himself  an ideal main character.  He  trumped this opinion with  an apt simile.  

Curiously, the title figure is rather a dim bulb: Jimmy only comes alive when he depicts vintage movie dames. Otherwise the poor guy is as interesting as a wire hanger without its glamorous gown.
 For  Curtainup's  take on the play:  www.curtainup.com/tributeartist.html

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

To comma or not to comma, that is the question

Will We Use Commas in the Future?

By Matthew J.X. Malady

In his amusing article "Will We Use Commas in the Future? Maybe"  Matthew J. X. Malady explores the question . about the comma as an endangered species, ( http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2014/01). 

 Mallady used this food metaphor  to  explain the dilemma. . .

In some ways commas are like ketchup and mustard. We’re glad those things exist. They surely make our french fries and hamburgers taste better. But we’d all survive without them. Some assert that the same is true of commas.
The article  includes  Linguist and Columbia University professor John McWhorter suggestion   that we “could take [the commas out of] a great deal of modern American texts and you would probably suffer so little loss of clarity that there could even be a case made for not using commas at all.”

As for me,  I'm all for the comma but would add my own metaphoric take. . . adding a comma to a sentence is like stopping to catch your breath. But to avoid comma excess,  use the comma  when you need to take a deep breath,  take a pass if all you need is a  quick pause.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Guess who' s describing who as "built like an office safe

 I'm looking forward to seeing the Keen Company's  revival of  Paddy Chayefsky's  Middle of  the Night.  Still,   Maureen Dowd's  NYTimes Op Ed  (Still Mad as Hell, Feb. 8, 2014, I  can't  help wishing they'd  opted  Chayefsky  by  doing is   terrific and more scarily timely than ever  <i>Network</i> .

 Of course, any  production with  Chayefsky-line  is  worth seeing and  makes anyone old enough to remember yearn for  the wonderful  stuff  seen on the home screen during the golden era of TV plays.

Collins  piece  described   the   late writer, who died of cancer in 1981  as   bedraggled and “built like an office safe.”

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Christopher Plummer-- shy as a hand grenade

The 84-year-old Christopher Plummer  wrote an autobiographical  solo show  for himself in which he   offers himself up as a humble vassal to the likes of Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, and Rudyard Kipling who gave comfort during his painful boyhood, buffeted by his parents' divorce.

Soon, Wilde and others became the vessels by which he transformed himself into a jaded gentleman about as "shy as a hand grenade." 

To read  our LA critic's  review, click the link below