Just over two months ago Richard Cragun, an astounding actor-dancer of great charisma and grace, sadly passed away. He was 67 years old.
Richard Cragun, one of the most important dancers of the 20th century has died at 67. His legendary partnership with Marcia Haydée, the ground-breaking work at Stuttgart Ballet with John Cranko, and his beauty and virile strength as a dancer, will earn him a permenant place in dance history.
Yesterday, August 6, he suffered a seizure triggered by a lung infection, and died in Rio de Janeiro soon after being admitted to hospital. His ex-partner in life and in dance, Marcia Haydée, said,
Richard was one of the best dancers in the world. Even after our separation, we were the best of friends; I could call him anytime.
He was born in California in 1944. He studied tap-dance and ballet but also attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada, and he continued to draw all his life. … [continue reading]
The San Francisco Chronicle’s critic Robert Hurwitt discusses “fairness” in theatre reviews:
For me, being fair to the artists means taking into account what they’re trying to achieve, but being fair to the reader (and the art) means being completely honest about my reaction to and evaluation of (not always the same thing) the show I’m reviewing.
It’s not uncommon for me to review productions that operate from an underlying assumption with which I disagree, be it anti-Semitic (“The Merchant of Venice”), sexist (“The Taming of the Shrew”) or politically fatuous (“Evita”). There have even been a couple that were out-and-out propaganda pageants designed to spread the message of a cult guru. Sometimes taking issue with the politics of a show can be the point (and fun) of writing a review, and, I hope, of reading it.… [continue reading]
Tracey Ullman is returning to the London stage for the first time in 20 years to star in Stephen Poliakoff’s new play at the Almeida Theatre. My City, in which Ullman stars as a former school headmistress, is the playwright’s first work for 12 years.
“I am thrilled to have been offered this role by Stephen Poliakoff whom I have always admired,” Ullman, 51, said. She last appeared on the London stage in the original production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too at the Royal Court in 1992. More recently she appeared in New York opposite Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman in The Taming of the Shrew.
My City tells of a man who becomes reacquainted with his old primary school headmistress after finding her lying on a park bench. … [continue reading]
A London-born beauty who never lost her clipped, clean way of speaking, Ms. Taylor possessed vivid features known to three generations of filmgoers: Raven hair, dark eyebrows, ivory skin, a near-perfect figure and, most remarkably, violet eyes that were among the most commented-on physical attributes in Hollywood history. Her great beauty arguably both aided and hampered her career as an actress — winning her roles that her modest acting skills were sometimes not quite up to, and distracting audiences and critics when she did turn in excellent performances. — Playbill
But her defining role, one that lasted long past her moviemaking days, was “Elizabeth Taylor,” ever marrying and divorcing, in and out of hospitals, gaining and losing weight, standing by Michael Jackson, Rock Hudson and other troubled friends, acquiring a jewelry collection that seemed to rival Tiffany’s.… [continue reading]