Archive for October, 2018


October 24, 2018

Watching Elaine May’s shattering performance on Broadway in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery as a feisty West Village widow descending into dementia threw me back in time to 1983, when I spent an entire summer on her trail as an earnest young arts reporter working on a magazine profile for Esquire. It was a plum assignment. Not too many interviews with Elaine May had ever been published. Just about the only ones I could find were the couple of riotously funny self-interviews that the New York Times Arts & Leisure section talked her into doing over the years. I quickly learned why you haven’t read many stories about her: she hates doing interviews and will do anything she can to avoid them.

The story I wrote has never appeared in public before now. I call it…

“One Moment with Miss May

MEDIA: the week in magazines

October 22, 2018
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had an unusually stimulating week reading magazines.
New York magazine’s current issue focuses on “Powerful Women Talk About Power (and Powerlessness).” I learned amazing things reading about Lena Waite, the three women who founded Black Lives Matter (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opel Tometi), Samantha Bee, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Gabrielle Hamilton, Amanda “Binky” Urban, Lilly Ledbetter, Hanya Yanagihara, Jenny Holzer, Drew Gilpin Faust, and others.
Among the New York Times’s T Magazine’s half dozen profiles of Great Artists, I became engrossed reading about Alessandro Michele and Solange, but I was even more fascinated to learn from Tom Delavan’s article “An Affair to Remember” about the important romance between Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly.
I don’t really care one way or the other about Melissa McCarthy but I now avidly look forward to anything by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who profiled McCarthy for the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Brodesser-Akner has a sassy voice that you could call original if it didn’t so closely approximate what Libby Gelman-Waxner would sound like writing feature articles about movie stars rather than movie reviews.
And the New Yorker’s Money Issue drew me into one long article after another about Sinclair News (yikes!), Rent the Runway, Google’s legal battles with former star developer Anthony Levandowski, and cryptocurrency (a subject I thought I’d had enough of until Nick Paumgarten hipped me to the name Vitalik Buterin), along with critical essays on Norwegian novelist Dag Solstad and Swedish artist/mystic Hilma af Klint.
Okay, I’m going to take a little nap now…
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