This Hot News comes somewhat late, with summer just behind us, and leaves starting to change color.
This and That…
Joan is Back!
That’s Joan Hamburg, of course. Yes, she’s back and can be heard on WABC 770 in New York every Saturday from 1-3 PM.
Joan is a favorite of many who have eaten at restaurants she’s recommended, seen Broadway shows she’s enjoyed, and much more. If you want to know where to find the best and most reasonable anything from bridal gowns to party venues, Joan is the go-to gal. I’m delighted to be listening to her.
STALKING THE BOGEYMAN – This is theater not to be missed. If you are a fan of Public Radio’s “This American Life” you may know about this very special episode that Markus Potter adapted and directed as a play. Potter said: “When I first heard David Holthouse’s story I was so stunned that I had to pull my car over to avoid veering into oncoming traffic.” I won’t spoil it but will say it’s right out of Shakespeare. It’s the true story of a plan to kill a man to right a wrong and prevent further wrongs.
From one extreme to another, and only a couple of nights apart, we finally saw THE BOOK OF MORMON possibly the most popular musical on Broadway right now. The theater was packed and the audience applauded and laughed and had a great time. Was it fun? Sure. Sort of. Because of modern theater amplification, I couldn’t actually hear most of what was sung or spoken.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME.
A friend who goes to theater frequently saw this play in previews. She said “You have to see it.” That was enough for us and we managed to get mezzanine seats for opening night. I knew nothing about the play that had been performed in London and directed by Marianne Elliot who won a Tony for “War Horse.”
This story of an autistic boy’s coming-of-age is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Based on a best selling novel by Mark Haddon, which I did not read, it is riveting, both for the play itself and the productiona that is pure genius.
The audience was filled with first night friends but also people like us who just like to go to plays. Ben Brantley’s review in the New York Times says, “…be prepared to have all your emotional and sensory buttons pushed, including a few you may have not known existed.”
I leave you with the words of that friend….”You have to see it.”
I’ve been in the publishing business for a long time but with the publication of Avery Corman’s memoir, MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD REMEMBERED I’ve had an experience new to me.
Avery is widely known as the author of popular novels such as OH, GOD! KRAMER vs KRAMER, THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD, and others. His fiction is so good, so authentic that people sometimes get confused.
After reading THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD, a woman wrote to him and said, “I knew all the boys in the neighborhood, but I don’t remember you.” “I didn’t live in the neighborhood,” he told her. “It’s fiction. We make it up.”
Well, now for his first non-fiction book, Barricade is the publisher of MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD REMEMBERED, Avery’s memoir of growing up in The Bronx of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Bronx of his childhood, during World War II was a life very different from today. The apartment buildings were home to a mixture of mainly Jews, Irish Catholics and Italian Americans. These first and second generation Americans went largely to public schools and had as teachers, men and women who weren’t able to get jobs in commerce because of ethnic and class prejudice. These smart people made excellent teachers and the youngsters who were lucky to have them were ready to move up in life. The Bronx of those years was home to many who later became boldfaced names like: Garry Marshall, Ralph Lauren, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Klein, Eydie Gorme… and, of course, Avery Corman….
The “new to me” experience is the amount of mail and email Avery has received from those who have read and enjoyed the memoir and the earnestness of their responses. They range from old friends out of contact for many years to those who grew up in similar neighborhoods and who share their own experiences.
Me — I’m from Brooklyn, but I get it too.
Until next time,