Miller’s Tale

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine January 24, 1983 Arthur Miller is slouched in the drafty rehearsal hall on the top door of the New Amsterdam Theatre, on 42nd Street. Miller is tired to his bones. He lifts his round, black-framed glasses and rubs his eyes with his...

David Mamet’s Hard Sell

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine April 9, 1984 It is three days before the Broadway opening of David Mamet’s new play, Glengarry Glen Ross, one day before the critics—“crickets,” he calls them—start to come, and there is nothing for the playwright to do but wait...

Al Pacino: Out of the Shadows

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair October 1989 “I think maybe I’ve leaned too much on the clandestine thing,” Al Pacino concedes, a bit ruefully. “It was a phase I was going through.” It’s a phase he’s not entirely out of yet, at least stylistically. Tonight, for instance,...

The Notorious Libby Holman

By Jon Bradshaw Vanity Fair March, 1985 When Libby Holman arrived in Manhattan in 1924, it was a bold and brassy town, devoted to the pleasure of pleasing itself. Prohibition—“the Great Foolishness,” as the gossip columnist Lucius Beebe called it—was in effect, but it...

Tom Stoppard, Nonstop

By Jon Bradshaw New York January 10, 1977 The Quality Inn is an inferior hostelry in the upper reaches of Regent Street. Two men entered the inn and took a booth toward the back. The taller man, a playwright, carried a large leather bag. For reasons which later...

“The Rest is Silence”

By Brad Darrach People July 24, 1989 An old man died in his sleep one day last week, and it was as if a continent had sunk into the sea. A wave of feeling rose and moved outward, and when it was gone the world seemed different and smaller than it had been before....

The Search for Lily Tomlin

By James Kaplan Us Weekly January 22, 2001 Lily Tomlin is frazzled. Normally, she lives quietly in Hollywood with her partner of three decades, Jane Wagner, and their dog Princess, a 7‑year‑old cattle dog—corgi mixed‑breed, cataloging her archive of taped...

Cher And Altman on Broadway

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine February 1, 1982 Cher had been careful to chew two of the quarter-size vitamin pills before swallowing them, she says, but they tasted so bitter that she decided to down the third one whole. It jammed, horizontally, in her windpipe,...

Shakespeare in Rewrite

By Ron Rosenbaum The New Yorker May 13, 2002 In 1997, when Harold Jenkins, the editor of the Arden “Hamlet,” a leading scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s play, went to see Kenneth Branagh’s film version of “Hamlet,” he was both excited and...

James Earl Jones At Bat

By Helen Dudar The New York Times March 22, 1987 Just before the opening night curtain rises on Fences on Thursday, a voice in the corridor will call “five minutes,” and James Earl Jones will make his way to the darkest corner of the stage. There, he will stand, rapt,...

Hot Chicago

By Bill Zehme Vanity Fair November 1984 This year Chicago delivered to Broadway the two most important new American plays of the season, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and David Rabe’s star-studded Hurlyburly. Both plays originated in...

Shelley Winters: “Wait A Minute—Where Am I?”

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1980 Shelley Winters has written the story of her life. Anyone who has followed her flourishing career on the talk show circuit will be pardoned for asking what she possibly has left to tell. The TV addict who really keeps track of...