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How Good is David Mamet, Anyway? : Writings on Theater--and Why It Matters - John Heilpern

How Good is David Mamet, Anyway?

Writings on Theater--and Why It Matters

Hardcover

Published: 2nd December 1999
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What makes an actor great? Why is English theater better than American-or is it? How good is David Mamet, anyway?
John Heilpern, theater critic for "The New York Observer," has spent a career watching the plays and the players, the geniuses and the also-rans, the great and the not so great on both sides of the Atlantic, and writes about them with lightness and passion.
"How Good is David Mamet, Anyway?" is the best of John Heilpern's theater writings. The players are many: Vanessa Redgrave and Ralph Fiennes, Helen Mirren and George C. Wolfe, Fiona Shaw and Savion Glover, Karen Finley and David Mamet, and dozens of others. There's also an important essay on the differences between the British and American theater scenes, profiles of such legends as Noel Coward, Alec Guinness, and Michael Bennett, engaging pieces on such figures as Peter Brook and Robert Brustein, review-essays on dozens of great, good, and awful plays, as well as contrary opinions on some of our most widely admired playwrights. There are comic turns, too: "The Year of the Penis" and "The Art of Falling Asleep at the Theatre." Serious or witty, John Heilpern's criticism persuades us that theater matters, after all.
For anyone who loves the stage and its timeless mystery and fun, "How Good is David Mamet, Anyway?" is a chocolate box of a book.

"A new collection of [John Heilpern's] essays and reviews showcases the wit, intelligence, compassion, and range of one of theatre's premier critics. Whether he's being a fly-on-the-wall during an amusing luncheon with Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John Gielgud or praising or damning the acting of Ralph Fiennes and Diana Rigg, Heilpern's prose always suggests a man who is passionately in love with the theatre... In a brilliant opening essay, Heilpern analyzes the differences between American and British theatre and each country's actors... This is a book you can read in small doses if you like-most of the reviews and essays are relatively short-but more likely you'll have a hard time putting it down." -"Dramatics "Lively... It's a nicely varied collection of the theater criticism and essays that the British-bred, New York-based writer has contributed to publications such as Vanity Fair and the New York Observer. The pieces--marked by a seemingly effortless, unpretentious and entertaining style that is full of passion, wit and erudition--range from a comparison of the British and American theater tradition, and profiles of Noel Coward, Alec Guinness and Michael Bennett, to reviews of the work of Samuel Beckett, Tony Kushner and Tennessee Williams, and of Kevin Spacey in "The Iceman Cometh" and Brian Dennehy in "Death of a Salesman.." -"Chicago Sun Times "When you come right down to it, reading Heilpern is as much fun as a trip to New York--and that's really saying something." -"Jewish Exponent ..."an absolutely marvelous, seriously hilarious compilation of his [Heilpern's] old reviews, along with his essays on the theater and why it matters...a sensational book fortheater lovers everywhere." -"Time Out New York, December 2, 1999 "Those eager to take a breezy backward glance at the British and American theater of the past 30 years or so might happily page through John Heilpern's lively book...Marked by a seemingly effortless, unpretentious and entertaining style that is full of passion, wit and erudition." -"Chicago Sun-Times, December 5, 1999

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Empire of the Stagep. 1
Lunch with Gielgud and Richardsonp. 25
Noel Coward at Seventyp. 34
Tranquil in Connecticut with Arthur Millerp. 40
England's Great Clownp. 44
His Name Escapes Himp. 48
In Memoriam Michael Bennettp. 53
Peter Brook, Barbra Streisand, and Mep. 58
Angels in America Parts 1 and 2p. 63
Janet McTeer-Up-the-Stagep. 69
Hurry Up Please It's Timep. 72
The Great Gambonp. 75
Mr. Brantley's Torsosp. 80
The Ralph Fiennes Hamletp. 83
We Like It a Lotp. 87
The Mayfair Medeap. 91
Who Was the Jew Shakespeare Knew?p. 94
Anything Goes with the Professorp. 98
Art Is Good for Youp. 101
A Helluva Musicalp. 105
It's Big! It's Safe! It's Full of Generic Symbolism!p. 109
Whatever Happened to Class?p. 112
Farewell, Carouselp. 115
My Blood Brother and Mep. 118
Sleeping at the Theaterp. 122
The Killing of Wonderful Tennesseep. 125
How to Murder Your Motherp. 128
Brave New Worldp. 131
Safe Pedophiliap. 134
The Sad Tale of Jack the Catp. 137
Brilliant Bluesp. 141
Holocaust Denialp. 145
The Amazing Vanessa Redgravep. 149
The Still Subversive Joe Ortonp. 152
Theater Thingie of the Yearp. 156
Slumming with Sam Shepardp. 160
No Tony for Juliep. 164
What Is the Sound of One Hand Acting?p. 167
Country Mattersp. 171
Oscar Wilde's Brilliant Lunaticsp. 175
A-Plotz for David Ivesp. 178
No. 1 Dance Hall Chicken Inna New York Cityp. 181
Lost in Suburbiap. 184
Voltaire-Shmoltairep. 187
The Asterisk Problem: Sho**ing and Fuckingp. 190
Et In Arcadia Egop. 194
The America Playp. 198
How America Was Lostp. 201
These Gentle Artistsp. 204
The Jerry Stiller Three Sistersp. 207
Needles and Opiump. 211
The Three Ages of Womanp. 214
The God of Liesp. 217
Mametspeakp. 220
How Good is David Mamet, Anyway?p. 225
Beckettscapep. 229
Robert Brustein's Unfortunate Dance Lessonp. 233
Everything Is Beautifulp. 237
Pimp Fop Flopp. 241
Hakuna Matata!p. 243
Don't Shoot the Composerp. 247
A Great Electrap. 251
Nicole Kidman, Live Naked Movie Starp. 254
Judi! Judi! Judi!p. 260
Harv the Marvp. 264
Amazing Gracep. 268
The Anglophile New York Timesp. 271
Iceman Comethp. 275
Act of Lovep. 279
Arthur Miller Comes Homep. 282
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415925471
ISBN-10: 0415925479
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 2nd December 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.82  x 2.85
Weight (kg): 0.63
Edition Number: 1