Monthly Archives: September 2012



(Ben Brantley's article appeared in The New York Times, 9/8.)

Pssst. Hey, buddy. Yeah, you with the double-breasted pinstripes and the clueless expression. You in the market for the ultimate cheat sheet on Broadway musicals? You know, something that’ll let you join the conversation and sound supersmart when your girlfriend (oh, sorry, dude, boyfriend) starts talking about these silly singing shows that put you to sleep?

Then have I got a deal for you. It’s called “Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!,” and it opened on Thursday night at the 47th Street Theater. For just $79 and 100 minutes of your time this little satire gives you everything you need to be witty, withering and informed about long, expensive musicals that would cost you thousands of dollars to see, not to mention all those precious hours that you could be spending with the Giants.


(O’Toole’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 8/25.)

CULTURE SHOCK: There are glimmers of Ireland in Shakespeare’s work, but even after all these years, theatre makers don’t quite know how to handle them

WATCHING THE Globe’s very entertaining production of As You Like It at the Kilkenny Arts Festival last week, I was struck again by the weird ways in which Ireland worms its way into Shakespeare’s imagination. The play is largely set in a fantasy world, the Forest of Arden, where there is no war or tyranny and the ruling duke is a benign child of nature.

It is the last place you would expect references to Ireland, the main source of contemporary turmoil and darkness. Yet there it is – not the place or the people but, in this great celebration of nature, in the animals. One of the references is straightforward enough. Rosalind, driven astray by a cacophony of declarations of love, cries out “Pray you, no more of this: ’tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon.” The train of thought is clear – Ireland is a wild place; wolves are the standard image of barbarous wilderness, so Irish wolves are doubly wild.



(Tim Mak’s and Juana Summers’s article appeared in Politico, 9/3.)

The right rallied on Labor Day to celebrate “National Empty Chair Day,” a show of solidarity with Clint Eastwood after his rambling address to an invisible President Barack Obama at the Republican National Convention last week.

The action picked up steam on Twitter, where the hashtag #emptychairday began trending on Monday morning as users tweeted pictures of empty chairs in various poses.

HAL DAVID, REST IN PEACE (1921-2012) ·



(From BBC News.)

US songwriter Hal David, who wrote dozens of hits with collaborator Burt Bacharach, has died at the age of 91.

His family said he died in Los Angeles from complications from a stroke.

He and Bacharach wrote a string of hits for Dionne Warwick, including Walk On By and I Say a Little Prayer, but also wrote for other performers, such as Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield.