April 8, 2012 |
Don't Talk to the Actors marks the third time playwright Tom Dudzick visits Montgomery Theater's stage. This time, he's also in the wings, as the show's director. Following 2009's Over the Tavern- the company's all-time best-seller - and last season's Hail Mary!, both of which examined the lighter side of Catholicism, Don't Talk to the Actors is a strictly secular affair. However, if theater happens to be your religion, be aware, this backstage comedy depicts some desecration in the temple.
March 27, 2012 |
Did you hear the latest joke about New Jersey? A group of investigative journalists released a report calling it the least corruptible state in the country. How did that happen? Easy. We bribed them. All kidding aside, this is a state where in 2009, three mayors, two assemblymen, and five rabbis were among 44 charged by the FBI in a single money-laundering and bribery stin. One mayor, Peter Cammarano, was from Hoboken, where I live. Five years before his arrest, another former Hoboken mayor, Anthony Russo, pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
March 25, 2012 |
The New Republic By Lionel Shriver Harper. 373 pp. $26.99 As a prefatory note from the author makes clear, Lionel Shriver's new novel, The New Republic , is not so much a new novel as a 14-year-old novel whose publication time has come. Originally completed in 1998, it suffered from both Shriver's poor sales record (as she reports - I am not carping here) and then, perhaps more important, from being a farcical take on international terrorism.
February 29, 2012 |
THERE MIGHT not be many jokes in the Bible, but all those fortunate enough to have studied religion at Villanova University under Donald Robert "Dutch" Schultz were assured of plenty of laughs. This jovial professor was one of the most popular teachers at the university, revered for his rich sense of humor and knowledge of his subject. Dutch Schultz died of cancer Feb. 15, at age 84, in Cornville, Ariz., where he and his wife, Juanita Quigley Schultz, had been living since he retired in 1991.
February 3, 2012 |
INDIANAPOLIS - It's as prominent a facial feature as Joe Paterno's nose. The players closest to Bill O'Brien often tease him about it. They even have a nickname for his cleft chin. "Butt chin," Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer said. Tom Brady also likes to pick on O'Brien's receding hairline, according to Hoyer - not that the Patriots' offensive coordinator is the butt of every joke. He likes to give as much as he takes. It's the kind of atmosphere O'Brien has fostered with his quarterbacks, and one that stands in contrast to his public persona as a fiery, intense competitor.
January 18, 2012 |
WELL, HE didn't really look like Groucho Marx. But one of his advanced-calculus students said Marvin Knopp had a "Groucho-like" delivery. He might not have been as funny as the Marx brother either, but his rich sense of humor was known to keep his students riveted on a subject that most people would not find very amusing. Marvin Isadore Knopp, a nationally known mathematician who, as a professor in the math department of Temple University since 1976, and other schools before that, managed to make the intricacies of higher mathematics a fascinating subject, died suddenly on Christmas Eve on a family vacation in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 78. Before coming to Temple, Marvin taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and at the University of Chicago.
December 15, 2011
ONE SAYS, "Poe-tay-toe. " The other says, "Julienned tubers lightly sautéed in Irish butter, finished with finely ground sea salt. " On Sunday, Andy Reid, the worst interviewee in the history of sports, will lead his Eagles against the Jets and Rex Ryan, the funniest and cleverest jock boss ever. Where Reid recites tired mantras about improving and assigns blame to himself for everything except the Occupy movement, Ryan generally answers questions frankly; sometimes with arrogance, sometimes with self-deprecating humor.
December 11, 2011 |
The first in a series of three guest-artist exhibitions at Vox Populi Gallery has no title, but all four of its artists share a subversive sense of humor. Michael May tells the story of a mental-patient character he has invented, through a group of oil paintings depicting the character's misbegotten cures and inventions. As in mid-20th-century instructional posters, each of May's paintings is divided into several parts demonstrating the steps involved. In Extracting Spirits from Photos of Native Americans , for example, three measuring cups and bottles of denatured alcohol and mineral spirits sit on a counter; on the adjacent stove is a glass baking dish containing portraits of American Indians, with a vacuum-cleaner hose attached to its base.
December 9, 2011 |
A wide variety of DVDs - featuring everything from aliens to Smurfs - will be released this week. The Help (Grade B): A white aspiring writer's friendships with black maids in 1962 Mississippi results in a provocative book. Director Tate Taylor has managed to pull off the nearly impossible. He created a sweet, intelligent, and serious movie about racism in the Deep South of the '60s and kept the humor that made the book by Kathryn Stockett a best seller. The Smurfs (Grade B-minus)
December 4, 2011
And So It Goes Kurt Vonnegut: A Life By Charles J. Shields Henry Holt. 513 pp. $30 Reviewed by Carole Mallory And So It Goes , Charles J. Shields' riveting biography of Kurt Vonnegut, examines the late author from every side, not all of them flattering. Although it's an authorized biography, written with Vonnegut's cooperation, Shields doesn't flinch from showing some less attractive character traits that made their way into Vonnegut's fiction - for example, a cruel streak that dated to his childhood and manifested itself throughout much of his work.