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PEOPLE - October 2000

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Tuesday October 31

  • THE SHOOTING OF ANTHONY LEE: The actor that LA police shot and killed at a Halloween party Sunday (he was carrying a toy gun) was a longtime much-loved Seattle actor. "For the many in Seattle who knew and admired this charismatic man who left his mark on our theater scene, Lee must be remembered not mainly as the victim of a freak shooting, but as a riveting actor and an extraordinary human being. He deserves that." Seattle Times 10/31/00
  • PLATH IN HER OWN WORDS: The American publication of Sylvia Plath’s unabridged journals provides a more well-rounded and nuanced portrait of the famously despairing poet. "Sometimes Plath comes across as a boy-crazy Cosmo girl, Sometimes as a willful narcissist. What is perhaps most striking about these journals, however, is their depiction of Plath's embrace of ordinary life and her haunting knowledge that her psychological well-being depended upon her remaining anchored to ‘some external reality.’" New York Times 10/31/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • AIN'T THAT RICH: "By 1993, when he ended his thirteen years as the chief drama critic for the New York Times, Frank Rich had come to be known as 'the Butcher of Broadway,' but the Frank Rich that emerges in the pages of his new memoir is far more Dalmatian than Cruela De Vil." New York Magazine 10/30/00
  • THE SOUND OF REUNION: The seven "kids" from the original "Sound of Music" movie, made in 1965, reunite in Chicago. "The seven have stayed in touch--some remain very close--since their lives were forever united on celluloid in 1965. 'Today, e-mail keeps us closer than ever'." Chicago Sun-Times 10/31/00

Monday October 30

  • WHO IS SYLVIA? For all the fascination with Sylvia Plath's life after she died, in truth, "she was boring. Not stretches of emptiness punctuated by tragedy, like a made-for-TV movie, but dull in precisely the way everyday life is: full of waiting for mail, love, something to happen." Feed 10/30/00
  • THE GRAVES BUSINESS: "In the 1980s, Graves became the darling of postmodernist architecture. Then he designed a tea kettle for Alessi, with a bird on the spout, that became an icon of sophisticated home design. Today, he is a self-proclaimed 'old fogey' who designs toasters for Target - and, by the way, more buildings than ever." Minneapolis Star-Tribune 10/30/00

Sunday October 29

  • RE-EVALUATING LEONARD BERNSTEIN (AGAIN): It's been ten years "since chain-smoking, emphysema and pleural tumors ended that neck-and-neck race between Bernstein and "the odds," he's still - in a strange way - on the scene, though without his provocative politics, podium gyrations, capes and cigarette holders. So can we finally get to the truth behind the best-documented musician in Western Civilization?" Philadelphia Inquirer 10/29/00
  • POWER BROKER: "His name is Costa Pilavachi, and he is president of the Decca Music Group in London. At 49, he happens to be just about the most powerful person in the classical-music business - the man who produces not only Bartoli's albums but those of Luciano Pavarotti, Renée Fleming, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrea Bocelli and Jessye Norman." Toronto Star 10/29/00

Friday October 27

  • HARD-LIVING VIOLINIST: "Death is a recurring theme in a Ivry Gitlis interview because, well, other people just keep bringing up the subject. 'Maestro rages against dying of the light' screamed one review headline after Gitlis made his Australian debut at the 1998 Huntington Festival. Across the globe, music writers never tire of surmising whether the astonishing performance they've just witnessed might very well be the violinist's last." Sydney Morning Herald 10/27/00

Thursday October 26

  • CHAUCER STILL FASCINATES: "This week sees the 600th anniversary of the death of Geoffrey Chaucer, spy, courtier, envoy and the father of English literature and the queues outside the Canterbury Tales, a converted church which contains an audio-assisted whistlestop tour round the great man's work, themselves tell a remarkable tale. "Canterbury is more popular today than it was in Chaucer's time." London Evening Standard 10/26/00
  • WHAT IF SHE HAD SAID NO? The Australian Ballet orchestra's conductor strode onstage as the applause was dying down after Tuesday night's performance in Perth, dropped to one knee and proposed to the dancer who had just danced the lead in "Merry Widow." The Age (Melbourne) 10/26/00

Wednesday October 25

  • WOODSTOCK FOR WIZARDS: J.K. Rowling drew the largest audience ever to turn out for an author reading to hear her read from her Harry Potter series at Toronto’s SkyDome as part of the International Festival of Authors. An estimated more than 12,000 people attended. Yahoo! News (Reuters) 10/24/00
  • GIELGUD'S ESTATE: Actor John Gielgud, who died earlier this year at the age of 96, has left an estate of £1.5million, most of which will go to arts organizations. BBC 10/25/00

Tuesday October 24

  • THE REAL PAUL BOWLES? It's been a year since Paul Bowles died in Morocco. But the picture of him as the expat recluse is not very accurate. And tributes on the anniversary of his death aren't likely to get at the meat of his life. "The idea that Bowles preferred to live in isolation from the world - because he never moved back to New York - is an enabling fiction: it lets journalists and critics off the hook for not bothering to learn about Morocco or Bowles's life there." Feed 10/24/00
  • PAOLOZZI ILL: Sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, one of the most prolific and distinctive British artists of the 20th century, is in a persistent vegetative state after collapsing at his studio. It is thought unlikely that the prolific Scottish-born artist will recover." The Age (Melbourne) 10/24/00

Monday October 23

  • SONTAG TO COCENTRATE ON FICTION: At the age of 67, Susan Sontag declares a new direction. "The milk train of Sontag's imagination and intellect no longer stops at the essay form for which she is most famous. The American cultural critic plans to focus on fiction." The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 10/23/00

Sunday October 22

  • COLOR ME BECKETT: The photos of Samuel Beckett have been black and white. Now an exhibition of color pictures: "Whereas those who met Beckett invariably spoke of his piercing, pale blue eyes - 'scarily intelligent,' as Michael Colgan, the director of the Gate theatre in Dublin, described them - the published portraits of Beckett remained in black and white." Sunday Times 10/22/00
  • MERCE CUNNINGHAM has won the $250,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, given to choreographers. Chicago Tribune 10/22/00

Friday October 20

  • AN INTERVIEW WITH ARTHUR MILLER, who turned 85 this week and has just published a wide-ranging collection of his essays, "Echoes Down the Corridor." NPR 10/19/00 [Real audio file]
  • FACT OR FICTION? Unveiling a new photo book of her life's work, infamous Hitler-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (whose "Triumph of the Will," has been renowned and despised as the best propaganda film ever made) pleaded with the press to acknowledge her as an artist, and not as a Nazi. "Ninety percent of what has been written about me has been made up." Yahoo! News (Reuters) 10/19/00

Wednesday October 18

  • WHY SO WILDE ABOUT OSCAR? London's Barbican is devoting an exhibition to Oscar Wilde. But at least one critic isn't happy about it: "In fact he was a second-rate poseur and plagiarist, and his influence on the visual arts in this country was almost wholly destructive. His apologists call him a populariser, but forget to mention the devastating effect that his popularising had on the course of British art." The Telegraph (London) 10/18/00

Tuesday October 17

  • PATERNITY LEAVE: Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel has upset opera fans at Covent Garden, Salzburg and Munich opera houses by canceling his next four months of performances to be with his wife for the birth of their third child, due in January. BBC Music 10/16/00

Monday October 16

  • VINCENT CANBY DIES: Theatre and movie critic Vincent Canby dies of cancer at the age of 76. New York Times 10/16/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 

Sunday October 15

  • LIFE WITHOUT BOULEZ? Where would our musical cultural have been without Pierre Boulez? "Important works by a vast number of other composers — Elliott Carter, Gyorgy Ligeti, Harrison Birtwistle — would never have been commissioned or recorded. And there would have been no one to keep contemporary music in the public eye, especially in the public eye represented by the television camera." New York Times 10/15/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 
  • MCLUHAN GETS ANOTHER 15 MINUTES: Marshall Mcluhan was seen as a visionary in his time, but soon after he died, his pronouncements were regarded as quaint and outdated. But now he's been adopted as an icon of the new digital age. "Everyone thought that McLuhan was talking about TV, but what he was really talking about was the Internet — two decades before it appeared." The New York Times 10/14/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • RAGE AGAINST THE DUMBING DOWN: For years, British composer Harrison Birtwistle lived as a recluse on a remote French hillside. Now, at 66, he's moved back to britain, with some strong ideas about English culture. "I believe we have in this country the best musicians in the world, but we don't have the best orchestras because we don't give them the money to rehearse. It's spread too thin. So second-rate becomes good enough, and we don't know the difference any more." The Telegraph (London) 10/14/00

Friday October 13

  • WHO IS GAO XINGJIAN? Gao is considered the leading contemporary Chinese dramatist. His plays, which combine Zen philosophy and a modern worldview, have been performed all over the world, from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Australia to the Ivory Coast, the United States, France, Germany and other European countries. China Times (Taiwan) 10/13/00
    • A TRUE EXILE WRITER: Those familiar with Gao's work say he rankles the pro-democracy movement as well as China's communist government. Washington Post 10/13/00
    • WHO, AGAIN? "Xingjian is apparently the creator of Chinese oral theatre as well the author of a classic novel, 'Soul Mountain'. I have never heard of him and neither - shameful to relate - had anyone else whose opinion I canvassed in the half-hour or so following the announcement, but then neither had many westerners heard of the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz before his triumph in 1988 or Polish poet Wislawa Symborska in 1996." The Guardian (London) 10/13/00

Thursday October 12

  • OSCAR'S OBJECTIONABLE ART: Good thing Oscar Wilde discovered writing. He had fancied himself a bit of a painter. "Wilde dabbled in watercolours as a young man, and his taste in art was conventional and deplorable." So demonstrates a new art show. The Guardian 10/12/00

Wednesday October 11

  • NOTHING BUT HISTORY: Gong Li is the most recognizable and lauded actress in Chinese film today, yet she still has trouble finding satisfying roles, and when she does they are nearly always historical drama, rather than films tackling contemporary issues. "’Historical dramas are freer from government interference." Sydney Morning Herald 10/11/00

Tuesday October 10

  • WORD MACHINE: Stephen King is a writing industry. He writes 2,000 words a day and churns out a new book every three months or so. "According to Forbes magazine, he makes in excess of $50,000,000 a year (and I didn't accidentally add a few zeros)." The Age (Melbourne) 10/10/00

  • SIDNEY YATES DIES AT 91: US Congressman Yates was a champion of the arts. "In his nearly 50 years in Congress, he regularly fought off assaults on his beloved National Endowment for the Arts. Without Yates' support, government funding for theater, music, dance and visual arts might have vanished." Chicago Sun-Times 10/10/00

  • AMERICA'S MOST PROLIFIC PLAYWRIGHT? Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher is working on his eighth produced script this year. "Unless and until someone can ante up eight produced new scripts this year - and show a couple of musicals and two screenplays in the hopper - it's probably safe to dub Hatcher America's Most Prolific Playwright." St. Paul Pioneer Press 10/10/00

  • POET OR FRAUD? Andreas Karavis has become something of a literary sensation, with his work turning up in prestigious publications. But he's never granted an interview, and some wonder whether he exists. Poet David Solway, who speaks on Karavis' behalf "may well simply be the man who discovered Karavis and been responsible for promoting his work in Canada. Or, according to a growing body of conspiratorial thought among the literati, he and Karavis may be one and the same." The Globe and Mail 10/10/00

Monday October 9

  • THE CULT OF KEITH JARRETT: Keith Jarrett has returned to the concert hall after a debilitating illness. "Jarrett, fortunately, is not in that twilight zone, and there is no smell of death in what he is doing. Even so, his recent frailty has intensified his appeal to his followers, a kind of worshippers-come-nigh charisma that has gilded any shortcomings in his own performing." New Statesman 10/09/00

Sunday October 8

  • SHAKESPEARE'S JOB: A new biography claims that Shakespeare was a highly regarded actor and that he thought of himself as "doing a little writing on the side. The Independent (London) 10/08/00

  • I WRITE THE CHECKS... Alberto Vilar has become the Daddy Warbucks of the music world. In the past few seasons he has given some $150 million for projects he likes. "Mr. Vilar has not been shy about demanding displays of gratitude commensurate with such gifts. At the Met, for example, an operagoer may now sit in the Vilar Grand Tier or dine at the pricey Vilar Grand Tier Restaurant. As a result, he has become an easy target for critical barbs, particularly in Europe." New York Times 10/08/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

Friday October 6

  • NOBEL EFFORTS: Last week Czeslaw Milosz and Günter Grass traveled to Vilnius Lithuania to unveil a plaque commemorating Joseph Brodsky. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/06/00

Monday October 3

  • WHAT BECOMES AN ART DEALER? New York art dealer Larry Gagosian is "not a discoverer of artists, but rather a cultivator of those on the rise and a seducer of collectors. It is not all about the big deal, he says. It's fun to sell a big painting, it's also profitable, I won't deny that, and I spend a lot of time and energy doing that. But my relationship with the artist is probably the most rewarding, the most difficult part of my profession." The Telegraph (London) 10/03/00