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.
July 26, 2013 |
FOUR AUTUMNS ago, two sports writers were weaving through a sea of people in a crowded South Philly sports complex. At the same time the Phillies were hosting the Yankees in the 2009 World Series at Citizens Bank Park, one of the world's most popular rock bands, Pearl Jam, was playing for 4 straight nights across the street at the Wachovia Spectrum. "I was staying out by the airport and Paul [Hagen] said he'd give me a ride out there . . . but it was a hike to get to the car," said longtime Toronto Sun sports writer Bob Elliott.
July 26, 2013 |
The image of the writer funneling the muse's whisperings onto paper has tickled the imagination for decades. Books about the creation of books and biopics about great poets are a cultural mainstay. So it's no surprise a TV show would be devised about the creative goings-on at some of today's most lauded series. Hosted by Jim Rash - the Academy Award-winning cowriter of The Descendants - Sundance Channel's The Writers' Room , which premieres Monday, takes us to the heart of the creative process behind six current shows, including HBO's Game of Thrones , Showtime's Dexter , and FX's American Horror Story . The season premiere features a roundtable discussion with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, series star Bryan Cranston, and more than a half a dozen of the show's writers.
July 18, 2013 |
YOU WOULDN'T THINK that a writer of children's books would be inclined to write about "the worst kids in the whole history of the world. " Or about a girl whose brother measures worms. But these and other off-the-wall characters and stories made Barbara J. Robinson one of the most prolific and best-selling children's writers in the country. In fact, the story about the worst kids in the world and the way they celebrated Christmas, entitled The Best Christmas Pageant Ever , has sold more than 3.3 million copies and was adapted by her for the stage and television.
July 17, 2013 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - Edward Snowden has highly sensitive documents on how the National Security Agency is structured and operates that could harm the U.S. government, but has insisted that they not be made public, a journalist close to the NSA leaker said. Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with the Guardian newspaper who first reported on the intelligence leaks, told the Associated Press that disclosure of the information in the documents "would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it. " He said the "literally thousands of documents" taken by Snowden constitute "basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built.