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1,081 Segments




Magic for People Who Hate Magic

Penn Jillette is half of the duo Penn & Teller, who bring a new, irreverent spin to magic shows. Well-versed in the traditions of the art, they aim to break old, familiar rules and conventions -- sometimes to the point of angering other magicians


Resolving Speech and Class Differences

Linguist Geoff Nunberg reviews the current Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, which stars Peter O'Toole, who, says Nunberg, turns the play from a fairy tale into a farce.


Black Artists and Black Narratives

Critic-at-large Laurie Stone reviews a new play and movie about the African American experience, both written by African American artists. She says the works should be celebrated for their refusal to pander to white audiences.


Something to Offend Everyone

Television critic David Bianculli reviews the new A&E miniseries The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, which he says surprises at every turn with its tales of sex and betrayal.


Kubrick's New Film a Successful Failure

Film critic Stephen Schiff says that Full Metal Jacket, about Marines training for and serving in the Vietnam War, is bleak and stylized, but suffers from a lack of developed characters -- a Kubrick trademark better deployed in 2001 and Dr. Strangelove.


Before Burlesque was Risqué

Ralph Allen says that burlesque theater started off at the turn of the century as a comedy revue; it wasn't until the 1930s that the tradition took on its more erotic elements. Allen cowrote the play Sugar Babies, which has been produced worldwide.


A Sitcom, Plain and Simple

Critic Ken Tucker says that the movie adaptation of the celebrated play Crimes of the Heart, now shrunk down for home consumption, is no better--and sometimes worse--than many popular television shows.


In Praise of the Migrant Worker

Luis Valdez grew up in a migrant worker family; he later wrote plays about Mexican Americans and worked as a labor activist in the 1960s. His new movie, La Bamba, opens soon.


A Playwright from the Black Middle Class

Obie Award-winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy has a new, unconventional memoir called People Who Led to My Plays. She explores the experience of growing up as an African American in suburban Ohio, her drive to excel artistically and academically, and the people who influenced her throughout her life.


The Many Voices of Eric Bogosian

The playwright and performance artist came from the New York fringe scene--which he believes is too afraid to really push cultural boundaries. His play Talk Radio is being made into a film.


The Skill and Danger of Twirling

Broadway actress Sophie Hayden worked in New York as an accomplished baton twirler before making it onto the stage. She put her skills to use in a recent production of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors--where she twirled a machete.


Looking Forward to the Fall TV Season

Television critic David Bianculli reports back from a press tour in Los Angeles, where he was able to preview the shows debuting in the next few months. He shares his thoughts on the upcoming season.


Composer and Songwriter Cy Coleman

Coleman was a child piano prodigy who has written for Broadway, television and pop artists. Despite his popular success, he says that, in order to keep working, he still has to audition for directors and producers.


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