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Articles by Michael Adams

Show Queens

September 1st, 2016

Two new books – a biography of one of Broadway’s brightest stars and a memoir from one of its lesser lights – bring the world of American stage and screen vividly to life.

Between the Devil and Aunt Edna

December 1st, 2011

His own life was the great tragedy he was never quite able to write. Michael Adams assesses the career of playwright Terence Rattigan.

Kindly Words and Spectacles: The Art of Barbara Pym

September 1st, 2011

Her merciless social scrutiny and crystal-perfect prose put Barbara Pym in the same league as Jane Austen — and yet she languishes on the edge of obscurity. We offer a re-appraisal — and a celebration.

Pros Take On the Cons

May 1st, 2011

A con man, an ambitious office boy, and two Mormons–it sounds like the set-up to a punch line. But is the joke on Broadway? Our theater critic examines the “why” of musicals, the limits of Harry Potter, and the perfidy of Canada.

The Tao of Steve

December 1st, 2010

For their wit and challenge, Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics have virtually come to symbolize our modern musical theater. A new collection gathers the lyrics to all those maddening, memorable songs, and adds to them with Sondheim’s own comments.

Rhyme and Rylance

November 1st, 2010

David Hirson’s ‘La Bête’ is a sophisticated comedy set in 17th century France and composed entirely of rhyming couplets – not exactly standard Broadway stuff when it premiered twenty years ago. Does the new Matthew Warchus/Mark Rylance revival fare any better today?

Who the Hell is Lili St. Cyr?

July 1st, 2009

Carl Van Doren called her “the princess who takes off her pants,” but who was Gypsy Rose Lee, really? Kindly let Michael Adams entertain you in looking at two recent biographies.

World-Famous Feelings

December 1st, 2008

For decades, Oscar Hammerstein transformed the world of musical theater, writing the lyrics for such blockbusters as Showboat, Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music. Michael Adams gives us front row seats for a tour through the master’s many moods.