YEAR OF THE PEARL

THE LIFE OF A NEW YORK REPORTORY COMPANY

Hapgood (coauthor, Monte Cassino, 1984, etc.) indulges his love of theater by dogging the steps of Shepard Sobel, artistic director of Manhattan's Pearl Theatre, during the company's 1991-92 season. Founded in 1984 and currently ensconced in a 72-seat theater in the way-Off-Broadway Chelsea district, the Pearl cleaves to a kind of college-theater idealism, dedicated to sustaining a small resident company of actors (paid $180 a week) and focusing on the classics (``We try to take the audience to the playwright, not the playwright to the twentieth century,'' says Sobel). So the 1991-92 season kicks off with Moliäre's Tartuffe, followed by such box- office inflammables as Euripedes' The Trojan Women and Ibsen's Ghosts—clearly, it will be no sleigh ride meeting the $380,000 budget. To make matters worse, the Pearl's chief fund-raiser dies of AIDS, and artistic problems arise during rehearsals of Tartuffe, particularly with two actors who don't get along with Sobel. The author interviews everyone connected with the show, including Sobel's wife, Joanne Camp, who plays Elmire in Tartuffe, not to mention leads in many other Pearl productions—a fact that produces considerable enmity between her and other female company members. Along the way, Hapgood is surprised to find how intelligent the actors are...and how noble, what with their meager bag lunches. As it turns out, the season yields mixed reviews from the critics (who in turn get drubbed here) and comes in slightly under budget. Only theatrical novices and wannabes will be enlightened by Hapgood's take on life as it really is for theatrical professionals. What's more, the author has stars in his eyes, so none of the significant questions are asked—above all, what purpose does the Pearl really serve? (Sixteen pages of photographs- -not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-41165-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1993

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

more