'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
In most theaters, the sight of someone pulling out a cellphone and texting during a performance is very much frowned upon. In the world of Christopher Durang, the guy texting is actually onstage interrupting a play he's watching.
When the British government gave Salman Rushdie its protection following the Iranian fatwa calling for his murder, it required him to adopt a pseudonym. Ever the literary gent, Mr. Rushdie took the first names of his two favorite writers, Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov. His protection officers called him Joe.
British theater director Peter Hall has apologized for disrupting the performance of a "Downton Abbey" star during the opening night of a West End stage show.
No Doubt has pulled its new cowboys-and-Indians-themed music video and are apologizing to American Indians and others offended by the clip.
Michael Henry Heim, an internationally known translator who created highly praised English versions of such masterpieces as "Death in Venice" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," has died. He was 69.
He's not much known in this country, but across the Atlantic, Dannie Abse is a recognized and highly regarded poet, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and honored by Queen Elizabeth with the prestigious CBE. This decoration, just below knight in rank, is often an indication that a knighthood awaits down the road. Since Dr. Abse will turn 90 next year, let us hope that Her Majesty does not wait too long before bestowing this title.
Nicol Williamson, the British actor best known for his role as the wizard Merlin in the 1981 film "Excalibur," has died of esophageal cancer, his son said Wednesday. He was 75.
Director Rod Lurie's Americanized remake is a surprisingly respectful adaptation, with many scenes and lines of dialogue remaining virtually unchanged. But the tweaks he's made don't make the remake any better — quite the opposite.
"'I fear the death of Tolstoy,' Anton Chekhov once observed.
Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, will be together again on stage next year in another off-Broadway play by Anton Chekhov.