April 27, 1997 |
It's just a 27-minute trip from Jan Krawitz's sheltered '50s childhood in Wyncote to the brutal attack she suffered in an Odessa, Texas, motel in the '80s. There, while shooting a documentary, Krawitz experienced the event that would have a shattering impact on her life - and could easily have inspired a feature film. Instead, she created "In Harm's Way," a remarkably fused transition from serenity to savagery that reminds us that, just as a great story can surpass the reach of a novel, a well-crafted short can register more effectively than a full-length movie.
August 20, 2006 |
Oh, that Martin Short - he's such a kidder. First, he pops up on Broadway in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. It's his one-man show. It has a cast of six people. Then he makes his grand entrance. Twice. (Feels so good, why limit it to once?) Then, with the sort of actor's declamation that is heartfelt only on Broadway, his life story begins to unfold - no, unravel - before us, and I can feel my inner voice screaming: No! Not another celebration of My Wonderful and Selfless Artistic Life!
June 16, 1994
Attention teachers! Want to strike one final blow for language arts - the art of language? - before the school year ends? Then have your students write a one-page essay that argues for (or against) handing out condoms in school. We're running a contest of sorts, trying to determine whether the U.S. Office of Education's grim report on the status of persuasive writing is on target. (The federal office says, among other things, that only one high school senior in six can write a passable essay that argues a point.
October 29, 2008
There is no outdoor party more hearty than one deferred by the caprices of Mother Nature and the stupidity of Father Baseball. Thought they had you, did they? Because the back end of Charlie Manuel's bullpen will only need nine Tampa Bay Rays outs to short-circuit the inhibition meter, the biggest block party in Philly history should erupt just after Brad Lidge nails down the 27th out of one of the weirdest Game 5s in World Series history. Certainly the longest. I'm giving short shrift to the weather for Game 5, The Conclusion.
January 3, 2007 |
Cira Centre filled, the new Comcast building glints. Downtown shows greater strength than the suburbs. Buy if they don't own, hold if they do - We've never been a slave to anything. The market gone home, buyers on the sidelines wait to see what happens. What's it like up there - is it safe (white) safe (clean) safe (middle-class)? Is it my home? My small parcel, my lot, my folly, my filet of a nameless neighborhood. If you're not one of the large land projects, you're off the radar.
November 28, 1993
Last week was Education Secretary Richard W. Riley's turn to carry the Clinton administration's banner in the low-intensity war that's brewing over TV violence. And frankly, we found his pitch wonderfully appealing. But there was a wishful - perhaps, wistful - quality about it. What Mr. Riley told a pre-Thanksgiving audience at the Hine Junior High School near Capitol Hill was that parents ought to slow down the pace of their lives, turn off the tube, and, among other things, read (or just talk)
February 16, 1990
We're not expecting the fate of Philadelphia's growing Hispanic community to be changed very dramatically by a series of bias hearings the city's Human Relations Commission has called for April and May. The gritty "Golden Block" that defines the commercial heart of the Hispanic community isn't suddenly going to sparkle. Long-held prejudices aren't going to vanish overnight. But if some long-held grievances get aired, if some strongly felt perceptions get tested, the hearings may point the way to fairer treatment - or at least force explanations for inaction.
January 8, 1987 |
The one-person show, a fixture of the contemporary stage, usually takes as its subject someone famous enough that the theatergoer has some knowledge of the person and, the producers of the show expect, a desire to learn more. Harry Truman, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Lyndon Johnson, Clarence Darrow and William Faulkner all have had the honor of an actor impersonating them and reflecting on their lives in words that, the audience is led to believe, they would speak, were they able to be on the stage themselves.
August 23, 1996 |
In 1994, the Congressional Quarterly Researcher published an article rehashing the familiar, and by now pretty thoroughly discredited, argument that American schools "shortchange" girls. "Boys tend to receive more attention, and in many cases more positive feedback," the author asserted. "Teachers are far more likely to solicit responses from boys. " This wasn't the writing of some liberal Democrat, but that of Bob Dole's answer to the gender gap, Susan Molinari, the New York congresswoman who was the GOP convention's keynote speaker.
September 27, 1991 |
The 1950s, a decade alternately maligned and recalled with affection for pretty much the same reason - as an era of complacency, order and relative serenity emblemized by an avuncular and phlegmatic president - is gradually coming into its own and assuming a drastically altered image. It's very evident now that the '50s were a bridge leading from the post-war euphoria to the excesses of the '60s. It was the decade of the stalemated Korean War, the desegregation decision, the rise and fall of McCarthyism, the terroristic attack on Congress, the Mad Bomber threat in New York and the Soviet Sputnik.