August 16, 1986
One of the first lessons we are taught by our parents, teachers and other persons of authority is that we must obey the law. Later in life we are taught that the basic philosophy of our nation is that it is based upon laws, not on the whims or the political designs of elected leaders. If the President of the United States doesn't accept this philosophy, how can we expect youth to obey the law? As Al Smith, governor of New York about 60 years ago, said: "Let's look at the record.
September 15, 1988 |
You need more than just ability to make a name for yourself in the NFL these days. You also need a gimmick. You need a weird haircut or a strange pet or a belly the size of the Hindenburg. You need a paternity suit or a drug suspension or a book on The New York Times best-seller list. Other than being a devout Christian and a devoted family man, Charles Mann doesn't have a gimmick. To make matters worse, he lines up just three doors down from an outspoken fellow by the name of Dexter Manley, who held the all- time NFL record for gimmicks until Brian Bosworth came along and broke it. So, it is not terribly surprising that, despite notching 34 1/2 quarterback sacks over the last three seasons, it has taken the world a while to finally get around to noticing the Washington Redskins' other defensive end. Mann stomped into our conciousness last January in the Redskins' dramatic 21-17 playoff victory over the Chicago Bears.
May 16, 2003 |
In this Eminem-saturated climate, the white emcee is hardly the scorned figure he once was. As hip-hop becomes an increasingly portable culture, racial baggage has never been less of an issue; where you are is becoming more important than how you got there. That only makes more quizzical the shamelessly geeky, Ivy League-educated stylings of MC Paul Barman. Discovered by visionary producer Prince Paul in 1999, the Brown graduate has let his background shape his music, rather than let an affinity for hip-hop dictate his identity.
April 13, 1995 |
Some productions sound better in the conception than they succeed in the execution, although why this should be is not always clear. Consider, for instance, Travels With My Aunt, in which four actors take 23 roles in Graham Greene's 1969 comic novel about an eccentric old woman and her staid, prim nephew. Giles Havergal's adaptation, a hit in London, opened last night at the Minetta Lane with Jim Dale and Brian Murray heading the busy little cast. You may remember Travels With My Aunt from the 1972 George Cukor film starring Maggie Smith and Alec McCowen.
February 25, 1998 |
Dael Orlandersmith is a force of nature, a gold-braided typhoon tossing scraps of memory and emotion around like matchsticks. She's a ghetto griot, a spellbinding shaman conjuring up people so fully formed that their struggles with a harsh, fatally seductive world seem nothing less than the stuff of epic. And she's a poetic sybarite, a black, female Walt Whitman drunk with the power of words to pummel like fists or caress like swaths of silk. She is all this and a good deal more in The Gimmick, her one-woman show on view through Sunday on the capacious stage of the McCarter Theatre, which becomes McCarter's "second stage" when outfitted with a small playing area fronting rows of seats.
October 29, 1993 |
Let us be mercifully brief about this. Steven Berkoff's Kvetch, which the Vox Theatre Company is presenting through Nov. 7 at the Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 3, is a gimmick-driven comedy of a particularly nasty and repellent hue. The fact that it has actually found admirers in both this country and England is a sad commentary on a theater virtually bereft of genuine satire. Kvetch has to do with Frank, a woebegone, middle-aged fabric salesman; Donna, his sex-starved wife; Hal, one of Frank's co-workers; George, an overbearing customer, and Donna's nameless mother, whose belching and flatulence inspire much of the play's putative humor.
May 4, 1989 |
Coming soon to the mailboxes of 300,000 Democrats in New Jersey is a package of advertisements that portray U.S. Rep. James J. Florio as "a packaged" Democratic candidate for governor. The campaign gimmick, which will be accompanied by radio and television ads in the New York and Philadelphia markets, was unveiled yesterday by Assemblyman Alan J. Karcher of Middlesex County, Florio's chief opponent in the June 6 primary. Karcher's ads, attacking Florio as a candidate beholden to New Jersey's 21 Democratic county chairmen, and special-interest groups such as the insurance industry and the gun lobby, feature a bright yellow cereal box with an unflattering characterization of the eight-term congressman from Camden County.
April 18, 2015 |
I admit, I was quite horrified - like, shaken to my very core - by Unfriended , a horror pic with a new gimmick that likely will spawn an entire subgenre of more substandard rubbish. Unfriended unfolds entirely on a computer screen, the story and dialogue taking place among characters engaged in multiple acts of multiple-partner Skyping, Facebooking, and Googling. Possibly the single most uncinematic device ever used in a film, the gimmick must have made the studio suits jump with joy. Talk about low overhead!
May 1, 2008
HOW DO YOU spell relief? It isn't "Federal Gas Tax Holiday," no matter what presidential candidates John McCain or Hillary Clinton say. In the first place, this gimmick - removing the 18.4 cents a gallon federal excise tax for the summer - simply isn't going to happen. There's less than a month until Memorial Day, not enough time for Congress to act. Even if it did, imagine the administrative nightmare of turning off $10 billion in gas tax collections for three months and then turning them back on. Except, of course, some politicians would call reinstating it a tax increase.
April 6, 2001 |
Dael Orlandersmith was raised in East Harlem. Although she says her impressive one-woman show The Gimmick, which is set in that neighborhood, is fictional, she concedes that some of it is derived from her own experiences. A part that is, one suspects, is the lead character's discovery as a young teenager of the power and beauty of language and the realization that she wants to be a writer. The Gimmick - which is being presented at the Wilma Theater as the concluding show in the Wilma 2 series - does, indeed, demonstrate that coming from the same environment, Orlandersmith herself certainly developed into an extraordinary writer.