Mike Nichols was a master of self-satire, a man of wealth and education and connections for whom his best targets were those of wealth, education and connections, from the vapid Californians of “The Graduate” to the military brass of “Catch-22.” Here are highlights from the long film career of Nichols, who died on Nov. 19 at age 83:
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966) — Nichols was already a top stage director when he made a spectacular film debut by adapting Edward Albee’s play about the bickering, self-loathing spouses George (a history professor) and Martha (daughter of the college president). Filmed in claustrophobic black and white, winner of five Academy Awards, it featured the world’s most glamorous couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, very unglamorous and almost unrecognizable — he in glasses and an old sweater, she in a knotty wig and dull, unflattering dresses and blouses. The film was highly profane and sexually explicit for its time, and was among the first releases that barred attendees under 18 who were unaccompanied by an adult.
Let’s start with a plea.
Edo de Waart, music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, has logged a lot of miles in the past few months. Yet the 73-year-old maestro remains remarkably vibrant and ready to take on his share of the MSO’s 2014–15 season.
Turning successful film and television programming into stage productions is the way the entertainment industry operates these days, and the classic holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t exempt from the trend. Fifty years after the original TV special first aired, a stage version of the beloved holiday tale is currently being produced at theaters across the United States, and a national touring production is crisscrossing North America.
There’s a hole in the wall in Des Moines that’s just that: a food joint called Hole in the Wall.
A small room inside a bar a few blocks from downtown, Hole in the Wall is the kind of place you could easily miss if you walked by. It’s less than a mile from my apartment, yet for months I didn’t know it existed. But it’s there, with food for both indoor patrons at the Gas Lamp bar and customers ordering outside a window. A few plastic chairs lined up against an exterior wall are about all you’ll get if you ask for a reservation.
To their many fans, the surnames Roche and Wainwright imply musical royalty. Their intertwined family tree has created two generations of accomplished folk musicians connected by blood and marriage.
Out of small seeds come great and unexpected things. In 1985, artist Rolando Estévez Jordán and poet Alfredo Zaldívar established a workshop in Matanzas, Cuba, about 70 miles west of Havana. Their first visual works were fliers promoting meetings for writers and artists interested in sharing their work and ideas. This modest initiative developed into a publishing house for handmade artists books, produced under the name Ediciones Vigía.
Talking to Kathryn Smith, general manager of the Madison Opera, it’s clear how much she loves her medium. And how challenging a medium she’s picked.
Karen Olivo’s next performance will be far from the glittering lights of Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. She’ll appear in the city she now calls home — Madison.