Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Murphy's law

Nobody reads the theater section like Restricted View:

[W]hat this article doesn't discuss is the role the Times played in the whole mess. Ben Brantley, never one to review an entire production when he can write a lopsided appreciation of its star, reviewed Wonderful Town as though [Donna] Murphy's performance were the only reason to buy a ticket. It was a very valid reason, certainly; he wasn't wrong about that. But he hardly noticed that the show has two leads -- perhaps the Encores! concert was billed as a star vehicle for Murphy, but in reality the role of Eileen is just a smidge less central than that of Ruth, and Jennifer Westfeldt more than held her own. Brantley had little to say about her contribution (though he noted that she made a "charming" debut); the vast majority of his review was dedicated to worshipping at the feet of Donna. I admit, I was slightly less in love with Murphy's comedic stylings than Brantley was -- I was irritated by the way she delivered all of her dialogue out of one side of her mouth, in a style so mannered and "jokey" it made Roz Russell look like Olivia de Havilland.

2. Added to Queue: The Karate Killer (1973), which I think will give me deeper insight into the East Asian political situation:

Japanese forces have moved into Korea, threatening the neighboring nation of China. Patriotic to the core and eager to contribute to the cause that freedom fighters have espoused, young Chin pledges her life to aid the resistance efforts. Her commitment takes her deep into enemy territory, where she ventures bravely under the guise of a prostitute who will serve the Japanese army in this martial-arts actioner.

3. New activity over at the Psychic Envelopes site.

4. Very funny McSwy's piece online about choosing your password.

5. In the Times, Motoko Rich has a thorough look at newspaper book review sections and literary blogs, though it also feels like an endless conversation at this point. (Still, I enjoyed the "Wait, I know her...and him...and her!" sensation: she talks to the editor of my novel, my L.A. Times editor, and some frequent Dizzies linkees.) Also: Richard Ford slags Terre Haute!

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