Geoffrey Owens, who had a recurring role on The Cosby Show in the ’80s and ’90s, was photographed last month bagging groceries, a between-gigs job he took to make ends meet; the pictures ended up on Fox News and The Daily Mail Online. Owens actually got an outpouring of support (Fox and the Mail got the shaming) — and then producers, reminded of his existence, started offering him jobs. He tells Sopan Deb what’s happened since and what else he’s been doing (like teaching Shakespearean acting).
When stars’ comings and goings began to be documented on a minute-by-minute basis, those changes triggered celebrity reticence. On its own, that wouldn’t signal the death knell of celebrity journalism as it’s been practiced for decades. But the pressure being applied to celebrity journalism from the top might pale in comparison to the threat surging from below, where a new generation of celebrities — YouTube stars, SoundCloud rappers, and various other earnest young people — share extensively on social media on their own terms, moving quickly and decisively (and messily) with no need for the patience and pushback they might encounter in an interview setting.
“Over the course of a career that spanned more than 50 years, Venturi mounted a sustained counterattack on the high seriousness of modernism, praising the vernacular, the commercial, and even the avowedly ordinary in writings and buildings that he often produced in collaboration with his wife, Denise Scott Brown.” Famously, he responded to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s pronouncement “Less is more” with the quip, “Less is a bore.”
Yes, he disavowed the “postmodern’ label, but nevertheless, here are seven signature examples of his style, from the house he created for his mother (the design that started it all), through his fire station in the modern architecture mecca of Columbus, Indiana and his museum buildings in London, Seattle, Houston, and San Diego to his “Queen Anne” chair.
“Brătescu’s work has for years been a powerful influence on artists in the Romanian contemporary art scene, but it wasn’t until the past few years that she achieved fame outside Eastern Europe … [Her] output took the form of films, collages, photographs, installations, travel journals, drawings, and more over the course of her seven-decade career. Her primary interests included the body and the relationship between art and life, and her work often tackled these themes with a dry sense of humor.”
Mr. Mitchell, who described himself as the Jackie Robinson of the ballet world, was hired by choreographer George Balanchine in 1955 to perform with the New York City Ballet and won over audiences and critics with his technical brilliance and charisma. Still, in an era when segregation was just beginning to crumble, his ascent to the upper echelon of dance met with many obstacles, from instructors who encouraged him to abandon ballet and take up other dance genres to shocked theatergoers who wrote letters expressing outrage about Mr. Mitchell being paired onstage with a white woman.
“DiChiera was small of stature and surprisingly soft-spoken for a man who came to have such an enormous impact on Detroit’s cultural landscape. Indeed, the word people used most often to describe him was ‘kind,’ followed quickly by more grandiose words like ‘visionary,’ ‘groundbreaker’ and ‘risk-taker.’ He was all that and more.”
“It is difficult to overstate the many ways in which Michelson contributed to both the film and the art worlds. She was among the first to teach at New York University’s Cinema Studies department, which was among the first of its kind in the United States. And, with Rosalind Krauss, in 1976, she cofounded the journal October, which spurred on a widespread interest in critical theory — in particular the writings of French post-structuralists like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida — within the New York art world of the 1970s and ’80s.”
“A master psychologist, keen strategist and possessor of an enviable deadpan and a string of handy aliases, Mr. Abel had an almost unrivaled ability to divine exactly what a harried news media wanted to hear and then give it to them, irresistibly gift-wrapped. … He was, the news media conceded with a kind of irritated admiration, an American original in the mold of P. T. Barnum, a role model whom Mr. Abel reverently acknowledged.”
In a report published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behavior, researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois identify four personality types: reserved, role models, average and self-centered. The new approach was nothing like the basis for widely used personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs, which spits out a personality type with acronyms like INTJ, for introversion-intuition-thinking-judgment, or ESFP (that’s extrovert-sensing-feeling-perceiving).
“Bothered by what he felt were the many historical inaccuracies and superstitious fantasies found in the classical epics [of the pingshu storytelling artform], Mr. Shan, who had studied history, soon began performing his own interpretations based on his meticulous historical research,” for which he became celebrated. In the years after the Cultural Revolution, he brought pingshu to the radio waves, where hundreds of millions listened.
When Paul Taylor danced, everyone said it was impossible to look anywhere else. Even after he’d stopped dancing, at rehearsal, sitting on the sidelines in his studio, he’d demonstrate a gesture, simply stretching one impossibly long, graceful, quietly powerful arm upward, and guests would stop looking at the dancers and focus on the choreographer.
The comedian and actor, whose turn with Tiffany Haddish in the 2018 Oscars was one of the beset moments of the night, can even imitate SNL (and now Amazon) co-worker Fred Armisen imitating her. Part of her skill comes from a tragic – and highly public – childhood.
Strauss, who grew up and lived much of her life in Kansas City, was an independent Broadway producer who won a Tony for the Irish play “Da,” which ran for nearly two years. Then, “with the encouragement of the late Joseph Papp, founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival, Strauss returned to Kansas City to found a festival.” She built the 26-year-old fest from the ground up.
Blomberg was a curator at the Denver Art Museum who dramatically changed the way Native art was treated at the museum and elsewhere. “She emphasized that pieces often thought of as anthropological artifacts were in fact artworks; she also pushed to expand the collection with work by contemporary artists and set up residencies for them.”
In 1962, he bought out a brother-in-law who had a record store, renaming it Sabin’s Discount Records. The store, at Ninth and U streets NW, was in the heart of Washington’s thriving jazz district, within walking distance of two theaters and six jazz clubs. The shop carried one of the country’s largest collections of jazz recordings, and musicians often stopped by to shop and chat.
Fan Bingbing has made dozens of movies in China, played roles in Hollywood’s X-Men and Iron Man franchises, appeared in ads all over the glove, and has 62 million followers on Weibo (China’s Twitter). It has now been more than three months since she’s been seen in public. Her name has disappeared from posters for her next film (whose release date was pushed back), and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences just released of 100 celebrities ranked by “social responsibility” on which Fan was dead last. Rumors are flying, and reporter Steven Lee Myers looks at what might be behind them.
“Mazzie’s broad career went from screwball comedy — in Kiss Me, Kate and Monty Python’s Spamalot on Broadway and the West End — to riveting, dysfunctional moms in Next to Normal and Carrie. She earned other Broadway roles in Man of La Mancha, Bullets Over Broadway, Enron and Into the Woods.” She was nominated for a Tony Award three times, for Kiss Me, Kate, Ragtime, and Passion.
Pyotr Verzilov, who has collaborated extensively with the Russian feminist punk collective for years (one member is his partner, another his ex) and took part in the group’s protest at the World Cup final, started to feel ill after a court hearing on Tuesday; within a few hours, he became unable to see, then to speak, then to walk.
The accusations have caught the caught the attention of law enforcement authorities. The F.B.I. sent an agent to Vinalhaven in May to review the accusations surrounding Mr. Indiana. The Maine Attorney General’s office has said it is monitoring the probate proceedings because Mr. Indiana’s will left the assets of his estate to a charitable organization, a nonprofit corporation known as the Star of Hope Foundation.
When first profiled in The Seattle Times in 2014, he told about when he was 7 or 8 years old and went to the downtown Seattle shop of his father, also a typewriter repairman. The son helped by changing ribbons and cleaning machines. And so Mr. Montgomery ended up repairing the machines in Bushy Park in London. That was right where Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was stationed as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force…
“The responsibility of feeling like I am the great black female hope for women of color has been a real professional challenge. Being that role model and picking up that baton when you’re struggling in your own life has been difficult.” This ties in with what she regrets about The Help (which she found a wonderful experience personally): “I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard. I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom.”
“As a prolific social critic covering topics from AIDS to American interventionism, Susan Sontag seemed almost fated to run afoul of the Bureau. Although her association with the ‘New Left’ of the 1960s first put her on the FBI’s radar, it was her writing in opposition to the Vietnam war that earned her her own investigation and the personal attention of no less than Director J. Edgar Hoover.”
“My Life With John Steinbeck recalls a troubled marriage that spanned 1943 to 1948, a period in which he would write classics including Cannery Row and The Pearl. During their marriage, Conger Steinbeck described a husband who was emotionally distant and demanding. ‘Like so many writers, he had several lives, and in each he was spoilt, and in each he felt he was king,’ she wrote. ‘From the time John awoke to the time he went to bed, I had to be his slave.'”
He founded the Italian chamber orchestra, which he conducted right up to this month, in 1959. Together they toured to more than 90 countries and made more than 350 recordings, largely of 18th- and 19th-century Italian repertoire, much of which had never been recorded before.
“Claxton’s drive to make dance happen took her globe-trotting beyond her adopted country, Scotland, to Australia [her birthplace], New Zealand, the USA, Japan, Taiwan, India, Spain and the Netherlands. Her passion for prising dance out of conventional spaces, revealing it to the ‘accidental audience’ saw her company perform in zoos, parks, museums and galleries.” Her final triumph, titled POP Up Duets, was created in 2016 for the galleries of the National Museum of Scotland and has since toured internationally, with a huge success this summer at Jacob’s Pillow.
“As theater professor Cheryl Black explains, she became a household name for her naturalistic on-stage portrayals of historic women, like Queen Victoria and Mary Queen of Scots. ‘She was very, very human and really did seem to have that ability to tap into the soul of a character. She was ahead of her time in her simplicity.'” (podcast)
“John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have been awarded Emmys for their TV production of Jesus Christ Superstar, earning them EGOT status – meaning they have each won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. EGOT winners are an exclusive club: including the trio, only 15 people have ever managed to achieve the four wins, including Audrey Hepburn, [Whoopi Goldberg,] Mel Brooks and John Gielgud.”
Petlin “strove to preserve history in a style that was neither realistic nor abstract. Rather than depict brutal events graphically, he reimagined them with subtlety and surrealism.”
Capobianco was with the opera from 1983 to 2000. In that time, he “brought the company from an operating budget of $900,000 to $5 million, added an endowment of $6 million and founded the training program for young singers now known as the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists Program. He saw the move from Heinz Hall to the more spacious stage accommodations of Benedum Center. He introduced the use of supertitles by the company, and created the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, to replace the awkward scheduling required by the previous use of the Pittsburgh Symphony.”