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Sarah Bernhardt is one of the most legendary names in the world of the theater. She was the first global superstar actress, renowned for her beauty and talent on both sides of the Atlantic. Her performances were considered iconic, once in a lifetime experiences to behold. Her fame has transcended centuries; even today, lovers of the stage know her name and have heard of her exploits.

And yet … she had a rival. A rival whose naturalistic approach to acting bore a much closer resemblance to the modern theater than any of the highly stylized work being presented by Bernhardt. A rival who might have been even better. Eleonora Duse’s name has been lost to history, unfamiliar to all but the most devoted of theater historians, but in her heyday, she stood shoulder to shoulder with Berhardt’s greatness.

Peter Rader’s “Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever” (Simon & Schuster, $26) takes a deep dive into this once-storied and largely-forgotten chapter of theater history, looking at the relationship between two women who ascended to the greatest heights of their profession, but took drastically different paths to get there.

Published in Style

There’s a compelling argument to be made – and many have made it – that comic books serve as the mythology of contemporary American culture. These brightly-colored, spandex-clad archetypes of good and evil have become ubiquitous, a pop culture pantheon that serves as a common reference point spanning generations.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:06

The life and times of the Old Perfesser

“Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character”

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 11:35

Twain's epic tour Chasing the Last Laugh'

Book tells story of Mark Twain's 1896 round-the-world tour

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 13:04

Riveting new Springsteen bio receives Boss' input

(Bruce) said, 'If you found out anything about me that you didn't put in the book because you thought it might make me uncomfortable go back and put it in.'

You feel that you can almost reach out, touch Bruce Springsteen and hear his nervous laugh within the pages of 'Bruce,' an absorbing new biography by Peter Ames Carlin, published by Simon & Schuster, Inc.  

Carlin's previous bios of Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson generally succeeded in shining light on subjects for whom new information was thought to be exhausted, and he does it again in 'Bruce.' The book retains its 'unauthorized' status despite Springsteen's unusual decision to participate.

Published in Music
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 13:45

A biography of brilliance

New book recounts the life of David Foster Wallace

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'genius' thusly:

      - A single strongly marked capacity or aptitude.
      - Extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity.
      - A person endowed with transcendent mental superiority.

The late writer David Foster Wallace was an embodiment of all of these definitions. The author of the seminal novel 'Infinite Jest' along with a wealth of beloved work both fiction and non died in September of 2008 by his own hand. He was just 46 years old.

Published in Buzz

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