Useful for hosts looking for party lines, but no match for Ethan Mordden’s All That Glittered: The Golden Age of Drama on...




The fabulous invalid (Broadway) is also, apparently, the horny invalid.

The curtain is barely up on this history of the Great White Way when Hadleigh (Celebrity Diss and Tell, 2005, etc.) notes that actor-director-choreographer Bob Fosse was sexually insatiable. Hadleigh puts a sexual spin on the adage that you can’t tell the players without a scorecard by homing in on who slept with whom and who was/is bi-, gay or straight. As to how Topic A shaped what happens onstage, Hadleigh suggests homophobia shaded the plays and reputation of Tennessee Williams and helped destroy playwright William Inge. But Hadleigh terms his history “selective…and non-chronological,” its aim to entertain. So his history soon heads to diverting topics such as dueling divas Mary Martin and Carol Channing and the history of Gypsy, punctuated by frequent blasts from Ethel Merman. But even the most devoted theater buffs will wonder if Lucille Ball’s Broadway flop Wildcat deserves an entire chapter, especially since much of what turns up has already turned up elsewhere. Sources of specific stories remain unclear. Many anecdotes come from books Hadleigh cites in an extensive bibliography and, apparently, from the showbiz scribe’s own interviews. Some reported events sound suspiciously like stunts devised by desperate press agents. One such tale finds Tommy Tune coming up from the audience to dance with Josephine Baker onstage at the Palace Theater. (Tune claims the moment effectively ended his imminent film career.) Hadleigh builds entire chapters on just quotes, scattering them one after the other like ticket stubs in the West Forties. Many of these quips have been making the rounds of parties for years. The final two chapter titles, “Rumors” and “Broadway Babble On,” sum up the effort.

Useful for hosts looking for party lines, but no match for Ethan Mordden’s All That Glittered: The Golden Age of Drama on Broadway, 1919-1959 (2007).

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8230-8830-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2007

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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