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PEOPLE - May 2001

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Wednesday May 30

THE ART OF BEING MISHA: Mikhail Baryshnikov has "sustained injuries, primarily to his knee, that render ballet's huge, abandoned jumps and turns impossible for him. But rather than slink off and rest on his substantial laurels, the artist who was perhaps the premier danseur of his generation has made a virtue of necessity. He's forged a new career as a dancer, producer, and promoter of the seminal experimental work created by American postmodern pioneers in the '60s and '70s, and of the pieces they're making now." Village Voice 05/30/01

Tuesday May 29

PERLMAN FALLS: Violinist Itzhak Perlman falls onstage on his way to performing the Barber Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra. "He landed hard. Face-down on the stage between his podium and the conductor's, his arms still in the crutches, the upturned soles of his shoes facing the audience. The applause stopped as if it'd been guillotined. And the sound—that's what I'll remember years from now—1,500 people in a choral gasp, then pin-drop silence." Minnesota Public Radio 05/23/01

Monday May 28

MY NEW ARTISTIC LIFE: Michael Stone was "one of the most notorious terrorists in Northern Ireland." But since getting out of jail he says he's become an artist. His supporters are threatening to demonstrate against a Belfast gallery if it won't show Stone's work. Sunday Times (UK) 05/27/01

HARRY'S WORLD: Harry Partch has always been one of those composers whom philosophers adore and musicians fear. First of all, he insists that there are 43 distinct pitches in a single octave (rather than the standard 12.) Furthemore, he finds traditional instruments sadly lacking in the sound quality his works demand, and so he invents new ones. Constantly. Los Angeles Times 05/28/01

Friday May 25

WHAT AILS YOU: "Anyone now catching up on medical literature from the past few years can't help being struck by the vast amount of attention devoted to intriguing cases from long ago. Investigations by modern doctors have suggested that Catherine the Great suffered from syphilis, that Kant suffered from Alzheimer's, and that Brahms suffered from sleep apnea; that Van Gogh and Saint Teresa of Avila were afflicted with temporal-lobe epilepsy; that Chopin was felled by emphysema or cystic fibrosis; and that Mozart was done in by streptococcus, not by Salieri. The Atlantic 05/01

BERGMAN WILL DIRECT IBSEN FOR THE STAGE: Film legend Ingmar Bergman is preparing to direct his own version of Ibsen's Ghosts at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. The production will have a brief run in New York next year. Bergman, whose last film was more than 20 years ago, insists he'll never direct for the screen again. CBC 05/25/01

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CASTLE? Jeremy Irons' is pink. Well, more like peach. Up close, its sort of terracotta. Whatever it is, his Irish neighbors don't like it. BBC 05/24/01

Thursday May 24

DYLAN AT 60. THINGS HAVEN'T CHANGED MUCH: "His seeming discomfort with the world and his place in it help keep him a fascinating figure. Dylan has remained an embattled presence whose every move has been dissected and debated. Dylan has shown no inclination toward mellowness." Boston Herald 05/24/01

Wednesday May 23

PERSONA NON GRATA: Betty Oliphant, the Canadian dance legend who helped to found the National Ballet School and the National Ballet of Canada, has been virtually banned from both of the institutions she brought to prominence. "Oliphant is the vivid personification of the Dylan Thomas poem advising us not to go gentle into that good night. Time has not withered her formidable mind. Neither has it softened her acid tongue." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 05/23/01

Monday May 21

SIR PETER PLAYWRIGHT: Playwright Peter Shaffer is knighted by the Queen. "A unique figure among modern dramatists, for three decades he produced a series of successful plays which tackled huge themes, making him the playwright who makes mainstream audiences think about the big ideas of their times." The Times (UK) 05/21/01

JEROME ROBBINS, MEANY? A new 600-page biography of choreographer Jerome Robbins says he was difficult to work with and frequently screamed at dancers. So... what about the work and what it means? The New Yorker 05/21/01

Wednesday May 16

SHAKESPEARE'S PICTURE: A painting that purports to be a portrait of William Shakespeare has surfaced. "The painting appears to be authentic. Radiocarbon dating reveals it to be 340 years old, give or take 50 years. It shows a ruddy-haired, hazel-eyed young man sporting a short beard, sideburns, a hint of a mustache, and a bilateral receding hairline of fluffy sprouts." National Review 05/15/01

Tuesday May 15

JASON MILLER, 62: Actor and playwright Jason Miller has died of a heart attack. In 1973, Miller was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Father Damien Karras in The Exorcist. The same year he won both a Pulitzer and a Tony for his play That Championship Season. Philadelphia Inquirer 05/15/01

Monday May 14

NARAYAN DEAD AT 94: "R. K. Narayan, the literary chronicler of small-town life in South India and one of the first Indians writing in English to achieve international acclaim, died yesterday in Madras, India. He was 94." The New York Times 05/14/01 (one-time registration required for access)

MARCEAU SPEAKS: Marcel Marceaux has been named a United Nations ambassador for the aged. "I make the visible invisible and the invisible visible. People think that when we are silent, you have nothing to say. But you can make people laugh and cry through the tragedy and the comedy of life." New York Times Magazine 05/13/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Sunday May 13

PERRY COMO DIES: "Perry Como, the crooning baritone barber famous for his relaxed vocals, cardigan sweaters and television Christmas specials, died yesterday after a lengthy illness. He was 87." Akron Beacon Journal (AP) 05/13/01

A TRULY HOOPY FROOD PASSES ON: Douglas Adams, author of the sci-fi cult classic book trilogy "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" has died of a heart attack at age 49. There is no word on who inherits his towel. Nando Times (AP) 05/12/01

  • AND A FRIEND REMEMBERS HIM: "To his friends Douglas Adams will be remembered as a giant of a man with a kindness to match. But to his fans I think he will be seen as someone who brought wit into science fiction. With the greatest respect to Gene Roddenberry and others, that had not been done before." The Observer (London) 05/13/01

Wednesday May 9

CONDUCTOR OF THE YEAR: Pierre Boulez has been named "conductor of the year" at the annual Royal Philharmonic Society awards in London. BBC 05/09/01

A CARFUL OF FLOWERS WILL DO THAT FOR YOU: Ismail Merchant is the salesman half of the Merchant-Ivory team, which has made such movies as Room With A View and Remains of the Day. As a boy, he once went to a movie with an actress: "We arrived at the theater surrounded by people. And they were throwing marigolds on us. And we were submerged in flowers - actually submerged. I said, 'My God, if you're making a movie, you're submerged in flowers!'" He's been hooked ever since. Nando Times 05/08/01

Tuesday May 8

CALLAS, THE TEEN YEARS: Given her turbulent childhood and neurotic upbringing, it's a wonder Maria Callas ever had a career, let alone one that lasted as long as it did. A new 670-page biography traces the Diva from age 14 to 22. The Times (UK) 05/08/01

ARNE SUCKSDORFF, 84: Swedish documentary filmmaker Arne Sucksdorff died at his home in Stockholm. He was the first Swede to win an Oscar, which he earned with his 1949 short film Rhythms of a City. Nando Times (AP) 05/07/01

Sunday May 6

THE POET AND THE PEAT: Seamus Heaney could be a character in any one of a dozen stock Irish working-class plays. A son of the land, called to highbrow undertakings by an artistic power he cannot explain, Heaney is best known these days for winning the Pulitzer Prize last year for his new translation of Beowulf. But his own poetry has been called the most profound stuff being written in the English language today. Dallas Morning News 05/06/01

CROSSING THE LINE? Celebrated novelist Gore Vidal has never shied away from expressing his political views, whether they are wrapped up in one of his fictional narratives or not. But now, Vidal prepares to tangle with the status quo as never before: he has announced plans to attend the execution of terrorist Timothy McVeigh, and to do so as a sympathizer, declaring, "The boy has a sense of justice." Nando Times (AP) 05/05/01

Friday May 4

THE CONDUCTOR WITH TWO FACES: In Boston, Keith Lockhart is conductor of the Boston Pops and known for his relaxed, informal style. In Salt Lake City, Lockhart is music director of the Utah Symphony, and a much more serious pillar of the community. The skiing is better in Utah. Boston Herald 05/04/01

Thursday May 3

IT'S TAX TIME: Pavarotti thought he'd settled his tax difficulties with the Italian government last year. But no - this week he goes to trial. "The biggest-earning opera virtuoso in history is accused of dodging £13 million between 1989-95." He could face three years in jail. The Guardian (UK) 05/02/01

THE MARKETING OF CHARLOTTE CHURCH: The teen singing sensation is making a tour of America, and everything's been calculated for maximum hype. Who cares if the classical world is turned off by the marketing, say her managers. "One reason she's controversial is that she's not really classical. I call it `popera'." Chicago Tribune 05/03/01