November 13, 2013 |
Twenty years is a long time to try to get a movie made. Especially when everybody around you - even the people who think it's a great idea - are telling you it's never going to happen. That was the dilemma that Craig Borten, the screenwriter of Dallas Buyers Club , faced, as a parade of actors would commit, and directors and producers sign on, and then the deals would fall apart. "I lost all hope a lot ," says Borten, a Philadelphia native, reflecting on the long and winding road he's been on. But it's a road that ends in triumph: Dallas Buyers Club - the true story of Ron Woodroof, Texas rodeo hanger-on, freelance electrician, gay-bashing party animal, drug abuser, and improbable trailblazer in AIDS treatment - began its theatrical rollout last week.
November 12, 2013 |
TORONTO - It was early in the morning on Aug. 9, 1988 - usually a quiet time in the hockey world. Not so for Jay Greenberg, then the Daily News ' Flyers beat writer. Greenberg was one of the few sports writers in the world to sniff out "The Trade," which sent the greatest hockey player ever from Edmonton to Los Angeles. In fact, with the help of sources, Greenberg nearly nailed the exact specifications of the deal in that day's paper, hours before it was even consummated.
November 6, 2013 |
LOOK OUT , Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick : There's another Philly-area teacher-turned-author making waves in Hollywood. John Dixon 's novel, Phoenix Island , will be the basis of the upcoming CBS thriller "Intelligence," starrin g Josh Holloway ("Lost") and Marg Helgenberger ("CSI"). The show will premiere in February. What's more is that the catalyst of Phoenix Island , which doesn't hit bookshelves until January, is based on a state current event: the kids-for-cash scandal in which two Luzerne County judges took kickbacks for sending kids to privately run juvenile detention camps.
October 10, 2013 |
Gloria Hayes Kremer, 89, of Jenkintown, a writer for children and adults, died of a heart attack Thursday, Oct. 3, at Abington Memorial Hospital. Gloria Fanette Lorch grew up in Tioga and later moved to Jenkintown. She graduated from Gratz High School and spent a year at Temple University before withdrawing due to her father's death. Mrs. Kremer's career initially centered on youngsters. She composed a musical adaptation of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" that was performed in 1963 at the Academy of Music and staged in 2003 at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley.
October 6, 2013 |
For Kathy Spreen, Lyme disease is a family affair. The trouble for her West Chester family started with her husband, who complained of fatigue and shoulder pain. Diagnosed with Lyme, he was treated with antibiotics and cured. About a year later, suffering with fatigue and joint pain, Spreen was treated twice for Lyme, which led to arthroscopic surgery and an eventual knee replacement. But when her 20-year old son Chris was rushed to the emergency room with a fever near 106 degrees and lapsing in and out of consciousness, she felt helpless.
September 27, 2013
THE FIRST staff meeting of what would eventually become "Saturday Night Live" was, in and of itself, a momentous occasion in show business annals. But that summer-of-1975 gathering in the office of "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels was a red-letter day in the life of comedy writer Alan Zweibel for reasons that transcend the 38-year-old comedy-variety show's pop culture importance. For that was the day he met the late, great Gilda Radner . It is that fateful occasion and its aftermath that are at the heart of the 1812 Productions presentation of Zweibel's "Bunny Bunny - Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy," which runs through Oct. 27 at Independence Studio on 3, at the Walnut Street Theatre.
September 22, 2013 |
I enjoy travel literature for many reasons: At its best, it educates and entertains, and it also has occasionally influenced my travel choices. One of the 20th century's most celebrated practitioners was Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, who, after many years traveling in Greece, chose Kardamyli, in the southern Peloponnesus, as his Greek home. I had learned about Kardamyli from Fermor's book Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese. His home became a mecca for friends and fellow authors who visited him to enjoy good conversation, food, and the area's physical beauty.
September 20, 2013 |
* THE GOLDBERGS. 9 p.m. Tuesday, 6ABC. SOME 20 years after a play he wrote in high school inspired by his grandfather's battle with Alzheimer's was a winner in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights competition, Adam F. Goldberg's back to writing about his family. For a much bigger audience. When "The Goldbergs" premieres Tuesday, it won't just be the culmination of a complicated 2 1/2-year process that included a move from Fox to ABC. Goldberg's slightly twisted take on "The Wonder Years," set in the Jenkintown of his 1980s boyhood, has been in the making since the 37-year-old writer first picked up a video camera at age 5 and pointed it at his family.
September 17, 2013
HE MAY be unassuming and bookish, but Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood is a rock star. His 2008 article about a black White House employee who served under eight U.S. presidents inspired the hit movie "The Butler," starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. I'm in awe of Haygood because of what he has accomplished: By telling the story of Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler at the White House under eight administrations for three decades, Haygood pays homage to all the nameless people in service industries who for decades toiled in obscurity, often enduring the worst kind of racial indignities, while making things happen in the halls of power.
September 9, 2013 |
BOILING SPRINGS, Pa. - Long before her words would inspire millions of children to experience the outdoors, a young Jean Craighead was poking around her backyard at her family's summer home, alongside the crystalline waters of the Yellow Breeches Creek. Spending more time outside their sprawling Victorian house than in, she and her brothers embraced nature in all its forms: studying plants and insects, befriending raccoons and mice, and training hawks and owls. From her small green desk in her bedroom overlooking the creek, Jean scribbled notes and sketched pictures, sometimes slipping out her window and down the heavy cable holding the rooftop lightning rod. Those childhood memories from the 1920s and '30s would become the germs of story ideas that launched her writing career under her married name, Jean Craighead George, that lasted half a century and produced 100 books steeped in nature, including the award-winning titles Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain . Today the house in Cumberland County is vacant and suffering from decades of neglect.