Posts Tagged ‘al pacino’

In this week’s New Yorker

September 16, 2014

I haven’t even gotten to this week’s issue, but I just finished last week’s, which is remarkably loaded with good substance, notwithstanding its enigmatic untitled Saul Steinberg cover.

I was taken by virtually all the major features:

* Kelefa Sanneh’s “The Eternal Paternal,” a profile of Bill Cosby that brings up but never satisfactorily addresses accusations of sexual assault;

* Jerome Groopman’s highly technical but engrossing report on a breakthrough in leukemia treatment;

* John Lahr’s profile of Al Pacino, full of weirdly specific mundane details; and

* William Finnegan’s “Dignity,” a moving portrait of the budding labor movement among fast-food workers and an admirable demonstration of a male gringo reporter identifying with a non-English-speaking Latina McDonald’s employee.

Also surprisingly gripping: Alex Ross’s essay on the Frankfurt School of early 20th century intellectuals, centering on the combative friendship of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno and their various takes on pop culture (Adorno and Max Horkheimer, in their 1944 book Dialectic of Enlightenment, opined that the culture industry offered “the freedom to choose what is always the same”).


November 20, 2010

My review of Daniel Sullivan’s production of The Merchant of Venice has been posted on

I didn’t manage to see the show when it was first staged in Central Park last summer, in rep with Michael Greif’s version of The Winter’s Tale, but I’m glad I caught up with it on Broadway.

Lily Rabe, Al Pacino, and Byron Jennings in "The Merchant of Venice"

“It’s a deep and upsetting rendition of one of Shakespeare’s darkest comedies….Sullivan’s subtle yet pointed staging made me unusually aware of the numerous contractual agreements in the play and how each of them comes loaded with some element of whimsy, perversity or downright cruelty. The scene where Shylock gets his day of reckoning could be considered the climax of the play, followed by some light-hearted comic business. But in this production, that tense scene launches an increasingly sickening series of humiliations, and nobody gets off the hook.”

You can read the complete review online here.

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