Miller’s Tale

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine January 24, 1983 Arthur Miller is slouched in the drafty rehearsal hall on the top door of the New Amsterdam Theatre, on 42nd Street. Miller is tired to his bones. He lifts his round, black-framed glasses and rubs his eyes with his...

The Doobie Brothers—From the Top  

By John Eskow Playboy August, 1980 Looking ill at ease in their tuxedos, The Doobie Brothers strode onstage at this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony to receive a thunderous ovation and four of the little golden gramophones that signify overwhelming success in the record...

Ron Rosenbaum Champions “Pale Fire”

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic May 25, 2021 At the end of the last century there were plenty of “Best of the Century” lists and one that was most entertaining was Ron Rosenbaum’s 1999 column for The New York Observer in which he argued that Pale Fire by Vladimir...

David Mamet’s Hard Sell

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine April 9, 1984 It is three days before the Broadway opening of David Mamet’s new play, Glengarry Glen Ross, one day before the critics—“crickets,” he calls them—start to come, and there is nothing for the playwright to do but wait...

Al Pacino: Out of the Shadows

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair October 1989 “I think maybe I’ve leaned too much on the clandestine thing,” Al Pacino concedes, a bit ruefully. “It was a phase I was going through.” It’s a phase he’s not entirely out of yet, at least stylistically. Tonight, for instance,...

Shoplift Lit: You Are What You Steal

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Observer September 29, 1999 So I’m in this car with Dennis Hopper and Sean Penn, two generations of Hollywood Bad Boys. Hopper’s driving, Penn’s in the back. This is maybe a dozen years ago when Sean was still with Madonna, and Hopper had...

The Notorious Libby Holman

By Jon Bradshaw Vanity Fair March, 1985 When Libby Holman arrived in Manhattan in 1924, it was a bold and brassy town, devoted to the pleasure of pleasing itself. Prohibition—“the Great Foolishness,” as the gossip columnist Lucius Beebe called it—was in effect, but it...

Tom Stoppard, Nonstop

By Jon Bradshaw New York January 10, 1977 The Quality Inn is an inferior hostelry in the upper reaches of Regent Street. Two men entered the inn and took a booth toward the back. The taller man, a playwright, carried a large leather bag. For reasons which later...

Death of a Playmate

By Teresa Carpenter The Village Voice November 5, 1980 It is shortly past four in the afternoon and Hugh Hefner glides wordlessly into the library of his Playboy Mansion West. He is wearing pajamas and looking somber in green silk. The incongruous spectacle of a...

Seeing Catch-22 Twice

By Ron Rosenbaum Slate August 2, 2011 Now, my father wasn’t a big reader and rarely wrote letters, much less to authors. But when I went through a phase in high school of constantly carrying Catch-22 around and quoting from it and writing things like, “There was only...

The Last of the Iron-Assed Loners

By Brad Darrach Penthouse September, 1972 Robert Mitchum slipped into his slate-gray shades and glared warily at Yale University. “A cat like me in a place like this,” he muttered, “could get busted for mopery with intent to gawk.” As he scowled back at the scowling...