Category Archives: Uncategorized
Just a quick note of apology for my disappearance, and the lack of blog entries here for a bit.
The pop culture party will re-commence this afternoon. Thanks for understanding.
Just a short update today, folks. DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL is in the hands of our dedicated staff of editors as we write this, and is only awaiting a final revision before it hits the electronic stands. How the West was Weird awaits only a final bit of art to get it moving towards the printers. It looks like our final two releases of 2009 will be out in time for Christmas!
Next up, we’ve got a new review of an old film by Derrick Ferguson, as he looks at THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP in the newest installment of the Movie Review Notebook, so get over there and give that a look.
And remember that we’ve got the first chapters of a number of our releases available for you to look at on-site, so be sure to stop by when you’ve got time to give them a read!
And just as a reminder… our message board is up and running, so feel free to stop in and say hi or start a discussion on any of our fine titles!
Finally, if you’ve got the time, spread the word about PWP to your friends!
Ira Levin, Author of Hit Mystery Play Deathtrap, Dies at 78
By Robert Simonson
13 Nov 2007
Ira Levin, whose five-character mystery thriller Deathtrap was one of the biggest hits in Broadway history and the last major example of its once-bountiful genre, died Nov. 12 of a fatal heart attack in his Manhattan apartment. He was 78.
Mr. Levin, who also penned the 1950s military comedy No Time for Sergeants and the novel “Rosemary’s Baby,” split his considerable energies between the theatre and the writing of novels. His popular works of pulp fiction included “The Stepford Wives,” “A Kiss Before Dying,” “The Boys From Brazil” and “Sliver.” They were frequently converted into films that were, more often than not, camp masterpieces. “Rosemary’s Baby” was an exception. Under the direction of Roman Polanski, the story of an unsuspecting young woman (Mia Farrow) who gives birth to the spawn of Satan was rendered into a 1968 film of hypnotic, creeping dread, well in keeping with the political and cultural paranoia of the time.
Stephen King described Mr. Levin as “the Swiss watchmaker of suspense novels, he makes what the rest of us do look like cheap watchmakers in drugstores.”
In the theatre, nothing topped Mr. Levin’s triumph with Deathtrap. The five-character drama about Sydney Bruhl, a playwright with writer’s block, his wife, his talented student, his lawyer and the psychic next door opened on Feb. 26, 1978, and ran for 1,793 performances. Marian Seldes, who played the wife, Myra, became famous for staying with the show during its entire run, not missing a single performance.
Mr. Levin based the role of Sydney partly upon himself, according to the book “It’s a Hit!” Following his success with No Time for Sergeants, which starred Andy Griffith and ran for two years, he found it tough coming up with a follow-up. The comedy Critic’s Choice had a modest run in 1960, but the thrillers Dr. Cook’s Garden (1967) and Veronica’s Room (1975) flopped, as did Interlock from 1958, General Seeger from 1962 and the musical Drat! The Cat! from 1965.
Deathtrap was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play in 1978. The play was made into a 1982 film starring Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon and the late Christopher Reeve. The film caused a sensation at the time due to a kiss shared by Caine and Reeve.
Ira Levin was born in New York City on Aug. 27, 1929. His father was in the toy business. He finished second in a screenplay writing competition held by NBC while a senior in college at New York University, where he transferred after two years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1953 he was drafted into the Army, where he wrote and produced training films.
His novel “A Kiss Before Dying” won the Edgar Allen Poe Award in 1953. Following that success, he adapted Mac Hyman’s comic novel about a naive country boy in the peacetime military, No Time for Sergeants into a stage play. The play made a star out of Andy Griffith.
Mr. Levin wrote one more play after Deathtrap. A comedy called Break a Leg, it opened April 29, 1979. It closed the same day. Deathtrap, playing nearby, would run three more years.
The main event is finally here. Many acts aren’t deviating at all from their semi-final performances. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Spain is stronger live than from their video, and I loved the girl drummers. Finland rocked the house, definitely one of the more powerful performances. The short skirt helped Macedonia a lot in my opinion.
I noticed that Slovenia was not hitting the high notes, possibly afraid to blow out the sound system? And what is that thing on her hand? What is this, Logan’s Run? Georgia just keeps getting better every time I hear it. Sweden had great sets and colors, didn’t help make the song better though.
With Lithuania, I have to take the Paula Abdul tact and say, “Nice shirt,” ‘cause it really was, but of course that’s the only nice thing I could say. The silhouettes were a nice touch though. Greece may have had a wardrobe malfunction of some kind, unless they meant to have the back-up singers on leashes – if so, I liked it, but still, wtf?
France tried to make up with color and absurdity what they lacked in talent. Unfortunately the absurdity market was cornered by the Ukraine, who were still scary, this time in silver. Bulgaria was amazing as ever.
Russia, one of my favorites along with Georgia, brought the sex on, with lapless lap dances and schoolgirl uniforms. Armenia used a toilet paper tree as a prop. UK also used props, but they didn’t help. Next year, just get Morrissey, okay?
Santa visited a while to give the signal for the voting to begin. Curious. Does Santa live in Finland? After the voting wound up, Apocalyptica performed. This is a band well known for playing the music of Metallica on four cellos. Quite good, really, but they were accompanied by a weird Cirque de Soleil from hell which was quite distracting.
Then came the country by country point system results. As per usual, neighboring countries voted for their ‘friends.’ For instance, the only points UK and Ireland got were from each other. Serbia pulled ahead of the pack early on, with Ukraine and Russia trailing behind, for an easy victory.
Congratulations, Serbia and Marija Serifovic. And again, I hope Duran Duran doesn’t sue. I think Serbia needs to get started on plans for hosting Eurovision next year right away… do they even have a stadium?