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Reading the Arts

Author: Brian Kellow (page 4 of 6)

No Short Cuts: An Interview with Soprano Joyce El-Khoury

BK: You’re singing such a full-tilt schedule of interesting, demanding work. You just finished Hérodiade at Washington Concert Opera, and you’re about to do Traviata at Covent Garden and then later at the Glyndebourne Festival. It feels as if this is a genuine time of arrival for you. JE-K: What feels fantastic is just that […]


Arrangement in Gray and Black

Kenneth Lonergan’s films are concerned with the complicated situations that are forced on ordinary people, and how they must slog their way through them as best they can. Blessedly, Lonergan’s movies avoid the formulaic storytelling traps that cast a homogeneous fog over so many American films. HIs best work was done in his directorial debut […]


Daredevil Drama

Director Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Black Book) initially sought to make his new movie, Elle, in the U.S. “Luckily, he did not succeed,” the film’s star, Isabelle Huppert told the press—and I could not agree with her more. Elle was made in France, and I can’t imagine that it could have emerged as the complex, consistently […]


It Only Takes a Moment

So many people I know have been suffering from battle fatigue in the wake of the Presidential election; I’m quite worried about several of them, who appear to be bordering on despondency. Last weekend, I did something uncharacteristic of me: I got in a pissing match with several Trump supporters via Facebook. It would have […]


In Ireland, a Midday Musicale

During the past week, I was in Ireland, attending Wexford Festival Opera. Wexford is a vibrant, welcoming town of around 20,000, located on Ireland’s southeast coast. Lots of Americans never get to that part of the country, sidetracked by the more dramatic scenery of the West—but they’re missing a great cultural destination. (For more on […]


Baroness Plowright

Wexford Festival Opera, a fine international showcase for emerging young artists, has a special guest star in its midst this season: Rosalind Plowright, who is playing the icy, forbidding Baroness in Wexford’s critically praised production of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa. (In the Times of London, Anna Picard gave the show five stars.) Plowright’s long and illustrious […]


Rotten Apple

Rossini’s final opera, Guillaume Tell, premiered in 1829, has not been performed at the Metropolitan Opera since 1931. With so many in the Met audience anticipating a chance to experience this French grand opera again, it’s a shame that they have been handed a production (seen October 25) as bewildering as the one directed by […]


Hitched: An Interview with Biographer Patrick McGilligan

I have long admired many of Patrick McGilligan’s biographies of filmmakers, particularly his brilliant Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast (1997), which I read repeatedly, yellow hi-liter in hand, while I was researching my own book, The Bennetts: An Acting Family. So I am a bit embarrassed to say that I have come so […]


Last Dance at the Savoy

Last Dance at the Savoy is a thoroughly gripping book written by my friend Kathryn Leigh Scott. “What’s it about?” is a question people so often ask when they find out you’ve finished a new book. In this case, that question is slightly difficult to answer, because this book is “about” so much. It details […]


Linda Purl

In the 1970s, when I spent a good share of my time planted in front of the television set, Linda Purl was a frequent guest-starring presence on popular series such as Medical Center and The Waltons. She also acted in a number of highly praised TV-movies. I remember the striking intelligence she brought to many […]

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