Category Archives: Theatre

“I didn’t think then, and I still don’t, that I was actually sick.” — Frances Farmer

“She’ll come back as fire To burn all the liars And leave a blanket of ash on the ground.” — Nirvana, “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” It’s her birthday today. When Nirvana’s album In Utero came out … Continue reading

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“I’ve been very lucky, considering what I look like and what I do.” — James Gandolfini

It’s his birthday today. 51 years old. It seems incomprehensible. Like a lot of people, he first came on my radar through the extraordinary scene in the motel room with Patricia Arquette in True Romance (“you gotta lotta heart, kid.”) … Continue reading

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“I swear my next project is going to be something really simple and focused and minimal.” — Baz Luhrmann

It’s his birthday today. “I think what I’m saying is, when you get to where I am in your journey, you just have to start to accept that there’s something inside you that you’ve been trying to get out and … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Jimmy Buffett

I met Jimmy Buffett in 2017 in the theatre lobby after a performance of Escape to Margaritaville, the Broadway musical centered around Jimmy Buffett songs, then in preview. (The script was written by Greg Garcia and my cousin Mike O’Malley!) … Continue reading

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Bing and Billie and Frank and Ella and Judy and Barbra: an interview with author Dan Callahan

I’ve interviewed Dan about almost every one of his books! It’s almost a ritual now. His latest is, so far, his most ambitious: a book about, of course, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, and Barbra … Continue reading

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“The reality is you don’t arrive, you don’t have a crone ceremony and suddenly get wisdom.” — Olympia Dukakis

“I recognize that the real pulse of life is transformation, yet I work in a world dominated by men and the things men value, where transformation is not the coinage. It’s not even the language! Winning is everything in Hollywood. … Continue reading

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On Audra McDonald

For Audra McDonald’s birthday My good friend Ted and I were once talking about Audra McDonald and her performance of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” in the live televised version of The Sound of Music, and what a powerhouse it was. You … Continue reading

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“Language most shows a man. Speak that I may see thee.” — Ben Jonson

“O rare Benn Johnson.” — Jonson’s incorrectly-spelled epitaph in Westminster Abbey It’s his birthday today. Ben Jonson did everything. Plays, poems, satires, elegies, epigrams. His talent was wide and flexible. Everything he wrote feels inevitable. However, as Michael Schmidt writes … Continue reading

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“Boredom is very important in life. It helps you feel when something is wrong.” — John Strasberg

It’s John Strasberg’s birthday today. I told this story before on here years ago, when I used to write like this on here, on occasion. Figured I’d re-post it. He is very very important to me. Back in the late … Continue reading

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Natasha Richardson Born Today: May 11, 1963

I have seen a couple of live performances I will never forget. Live performances that took me by the throat, so intense I almost felt trapped by the performance. It’s rare. It’s a different thing than watching someone really skilled … Continue reading

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