Author: J. Ronald Trost


It’s Ben Mendelsohn’s show, no doubt about that. Don’t know Mr. Mendelsohn? Watch the 13 episodes of this family saga of the wealthy Florida Keys Rayburn family and you will observe a masterful performance by this consummate actor previously unknown …Read More

Fly By Night & Violet

    Within a few days my wife and I, along with our friends (and frequent VDP contributors, the Morgans) attended two similarly constructed modern musicals, “Violet” (on Broadway) and “Fly By Night” (off Broadway). “Fly By Night” is a …Read More

The Black-Eyed Blonde (A Philip Marlowe Novel)

“It was one of those Tuesday afternoons in summer [1950s] when you wonder if the earth has stopped revolving.” And so begins the adventure in Benjamin Black’s (aka John Banville pretending to be Raymond Chandler) in the first of a …Read More

Rocky, The Musical

Ben Brantley, to paraphrase your colleague Charles Isherwood when reviewing Tom Stoppard’s “Utopia” in the NYTimes on February 4, 2007, sometimes you are “A Bore. There I Said It”. In Brantley’s March 13th review of “Rocky, The Musical,” he dampened …Read More

New York Theater Circa 2013: A 75-year Musical Odyssey Requiring Eclectic Tastes

What a year for music in the New York Theater! From Lady Day to Carole King to Burt Bacharach, we have witnessed a journey through seven decades of music brought to a new level of excitement by first-rate talent, both …Read More


This magnificent film, to be seen only on a big-screen movie theater, is, on the surface a story about Formula 1 automobile racing and a 1970s intense rivalry between Austrian Nicki Lauda and the playboy Englishman James Hunt. The story …Read More

The Sydney Opera House: Art In The Computer Age

The Sydney Opera House, completed in 1973, although famous for its roof of “shells,” or colloquially, “sails”, has never before looked like this. The Light Show, using computer imagery, creates a animated tapestry in vivid ever-changing patterns and colors that …Read More

The Tooth Tattoo

Ever hesitant to discuss a book with the Dinner Party, I nevertheless decided to break with tradition and tell you a little bit, and only a little bit, about Peter Lovesey’s latest British police procedural.  Harry, a musician from the Stacati …Read More

Solving the Manhattan FM Reception Problem

So, here I am, a transplanted Californian in love with New York City — except for the FM reception. WBGO, WNYC and particularly WQXR are my constant companions. But, and it’s a big but, because we live near the 59th …Read More

Searching for Sugarman

An incredible true story of Rodriguez. If you’re like me, you’ll be saying to yourself, Who in the hell is Rodriquez? Well, if you order “Searching for Sugar Man” from Netflix or wherever, you probably will be in for one …Read More