• No Ordinary Time

  • This Pulitzer Prize winner, a fascinating addition to the existing Franklin Roosevelt biographies, is a page-turner, a fresh and intimate look into the private lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, one of history’s more complex and important partnerships. It combines …Read More


  • From The Host: Week Ending October 19, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 9 reviews and 5 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, October 19, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to …Read More


  • As You Like It

  • Last Saturday, I attended a Teen Takeover performance of “As You Like It” at Classic Stage Company. An earnest, willowy high schooler seated me with charming hesitation. The teen ushers brought a fresh energy into the theater that lasted through …Read More


  • The Honeymooners

  • Does 1950s black-and-white television situation comedy scale up to 2017 Broadway-bound live musical theater? Well, sorta. How you like “The Honeymooners” — in national premiere at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey — depends sharply on the expectations you …Read More

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  • Mary Jane

  • In the last week we’ve been on a roll. Once again, a full theater sat without moving for an hour and 40 minutes, while five women performed Amy Herzog’s play, “Mary Jane” flawlessly. Herzog’s writing is fabulous as she brings …Read More

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  • Tiny Beautiful Things

  • Last week, we spent 80 minutes with 350 audience members at The Public Theater. In absolute silence, we watched Nia Vardalos and three others speak the questions and answers to some of life’s major and minor issues. The audience tilted to …Read More

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  • The Divine Order

  • To the Swiss as late as 1970, the Divine Order meant the total domination of men over women in all matters: family, work, religion, law, even voting. When even Iraq and Afghanistan had women’s sufferage, Switzerland did not. For director …Read More

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  • Blade Runner 2049

  • The new movie version starring Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright is a film shot through with unconnected threads. I had trouble following the plot, but I think goes like this: Ryan Gosling is a REPLICANT whose boss the LAPD police …Read More


  • A Place to Call Home

  • In spite of having been weaned on British television series, we have become addicted to this unusual Australian TV period drama which is starting its fifth season. So far, we have seen more than 30 episodes, each ending with a …Read More

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  • A Few Days in Paris

  • I got back from a few days in Paris and here are a few things I recommend. The Hôtel d’Aubusson is a charming five-star small hotel on the Left Bank. Truly wonderful. Service impeccable. They got us tickets and reservations …Read More


  • Ratfucked

  • David Daley’s “Ratfucked” is a frightening review of how the GOP’s gerrymandering has redrawn the American political map. Gerrymandering has been around since the early 1800s when Elbridge Gerry, the governor of Massachusetts, redrew a state map, redistricting to favor …Read More

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  • From The Host: Week Ending October 12, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 10 reviews and 5 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, October 12, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to …Read More


  • A Stranger in Spain

  • H.V. Morton was described by The Times years ago as “One of the world’s great travel writers.” He has written “The stranger who wishes to approach Spain with sympathy and appreciation must do so through its history.” Following his pronouncement, …Read More

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  • Democracy in Chains

  • A few months ago, Donna suggested I read “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy MacLean, which turned out to be the best nonfiction I read all summer and a wonderful recommendation. It is an important and timely book to read especially …Read More

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  • Magpie Murders

  • If I were to suggest that you read this whodunit because it’s written by Anthony Horowitz, you’d probably say, “Never heard of him.” But if I were to tell you that the author is also the creator and writer of …Read More

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  • Last Hope Island

  • Fans of Lynne Olson books (“Citizens of London,” among others) will devour her latest, “Last Hope Island,” on how London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of seven occupied nations that were overrun by the Nazi blitzkrieg …Read More

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  • Origin

  • Like Dan Brown’s past books, “Angels & Demons” and “The De Vinci Code”, “Origin” is a fast-paced thriller that sets science against religion, and uses codes and symbols to best advantage. Halfway through, I wrote a note to my son …Read More

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  • 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene

  • An entire 90-minute documentary devoted to one scene from one movie? Sounds a bit obsessive, but we’re talking about the “shower scene” from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” It took Alfred Hitchcock 78 camera set-ups and 52 cuts for mad Mr. Bates …Read More

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  • The Battle of The Sexes

  • Those of us who remember the landmark tennis match of the #1 woman’s player against a former top men’s player (and noted hustler) will have a ball being reminded of the suspense – and the high stakes for women in …Read More

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  • Mother!

  • Darren Aronofsky’s new film, “Mother!” was nothing like I thought it would be. Sure, I was prepared by all the reports that one would “either love it or hate it” and I knew that the camera was on Jennifer Lawrence’s …Read More

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  • Sushi Ishikawa

  • Once in a while, we find a restaurant so comfortable in its own skin that we just want to return to it again and again. Such is the case with Sushi Ishikawa, 419 East 74th Street, a small and beautiful 24-seat …Read More

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  • Le Coucou

  • Steven Starr has done it again with Le Coucou, 138 Lafayette St, which is in the Howard Hotel just north of Canal Street. Their quenelles are as good as those at La Grenouille and their duck with foie gras is spectacular. The …Read More

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  • From The Host: Week Ending October 6, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, Welcome back! We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 15 reviews to share with you for the week ending Thursday, October 6, 2017.   REVIEWS THEATER Follies …Read More


  • Follies

  • Eleanor and I were fortunate enough to have booked tickets for the new National Theater production of “Follies” before it went into previews. By the time we got to London two weeks ago, it had opened to rave reviews and …Read More

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  • Prince of Broadway

  • Hubby and I almost decided not to go the day we had tickets, as the reviews were so lackluster. So glad we did, and we didn’t depart after the first act, as we figured we might. The song choices couldn’t …Read More


  • American Theatre Wing

  • Of course the Committee assembled the best and the most exciting entertainers to show us that evening what we should have remembered, what we missed and what we had in store for the new season. Entertaining that evening: Natalie Cortez …Read More


  • Summer Vacation at the Theater in New York

  • We’ve been in New York and have loved being here while most of our friends were away. With many nights spent at the theater, on and off Broadway, I took to doing short reviews on Show Score. Some of the …Read More


  • Colossal

  • This is a film starring Anne Hathaway in a hairpiece that makes her look like a Pulli. Her overly toothy dazzling grin dominates the action. The plot of “Colossal” is punctuated by four letter words and arguments between the characters. …Read More


  • Baby Driver

  • When one thinks of car chases in cinema, 1968’s “Bullitt” and 1971’s “The French Connection” unquestionably define the genre. This year’s “Baby Driver” comes very close but has its own additional distinction in the choreography of montage and music above …Read More


  • Obsession

  • This film by Visconti has been turned into a play which has been turned into a FILM. A complete “round robin” with a single set – no curtain – and an invisible audience reacting to certain laughable or detestable moments …Read More


  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night

  • Clive Gillinson is bringing his Hall to new heights as witnessed Opening Night on Wednesday, October 4th. The program, with all Bernstein and Gershwin selections had the audience rising for applause more than once! The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton …Read More


  • New York Philharmonic

  • SURPRISE! We have all loved Alan Gilbert for years at the Phil and always will. BUT this year someone new, Jaap van Zweden, has taken the helm and he is one hot number! First of all, he chose Mahler’s “Symphony …Read More


  • The Magic Flute

  • James Levine conducting. Great singers singing, in every part. Evil Queen was unreal. The Met… I go to operas in other cities. I heard “Rigoletto” in SF a month or so back. Very good, but the Duke couldn’t fill the …Read More


  • Norma

  • Peter Gelb chose to open the season with “Norma,” a riveting drama about a Druid Priestess and her forbidden lover. The audience was transfixed throughout with both the beauty of the singing and suspense of the plot, which took place …Read More


  • Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings

  • “Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings” is one of the best novels I have read in a while. It is written in beautiful English by Stephen O’Connor, and it is a story that never ceases to fascinate. It is a …Read More