Playwright Wendy Wasserstein Dies By MICHAEL KUCHWARA
The Associated Press
Monday, January 30, 2006; 12:00 PM
NEW YORK -- Playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who celebrated women confronting feminism, careers, love and motherhood in such works as "The Heidi Chronicles" and "The Sisters Rosensweig," died Monday. She was 55.
So, some of you know that Dr. Hottie's day job involves linguistics (computational linguistics, if you're curious), but that his undergraduate work was in theater and French. Which means that occasionally I get an e-mail with links like this morning's:
Peter Ladefoged, 80; Documented Endangered Languages (Los Angeles Times)
By Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Peter Ladefoged, a leading linguist phonetician who traveled the world to document the distinct sounds of endangered languages and pioneered ways to collect and study data, has died. He was 80.
Ladefoged ... pioneered the use of state-of-the-art equipment in the field. His first portable phonetics lab, which included a tape recorder and various scientific instruments, weighed 100 pounds and required a porter but enabled him to do more than listen: He could take quantitative measurements, such as gauging how much air escaped from the nose or throat when a sound was made.
In an earlier trip to India, he recorded the Toda language, which is spoken by fewer than 1,000 people, as he documented its six trills produced by the tip of the tongue. In the Kalahari Desert, he studied the click sound native to Africa. In America, an Indian tribe whose members knew their language was vanishing refused to cooperate because they didn't want to reveal their culture to outsiders.
Soon after moving to Los Angeles from Scotland to become an assistant professor at UCLA in 1962, Ladefoged had a brief career in Hollywood as the chief linguistic consultant on the 1964 film "My Fair Lady."
Director George Cukor wanted him to teach the film's star, Rex Harrison — who would win an Oscar for the role of Professor Henry Higgins — to behave like a phonetician.
"My immediate answer was, 'I don't have a singing butler and three maids who sing, but I will tell you what I can as an assistant professor,' " Ladefoged told The Times in 2004.
The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show...
ZIMBABWE: Govt takes radio station board members to court
[In] the ongoing case of the independent news production company, Voice of the People (VOP), whose entire board of trustees were arrested and charged with broadcasting without a licence ... [a]ccording to Arnold Tsunga, human rights lawyer and also a member of the VOP board, "the saddest thing was that they had arrested four of my private staff and held them for four days - they were held as ransom until I showed up at the police station".
So I'd be remiss if I didn't to point out that right now, the Paper of Record is doing a pretty good job of covering what's out there. The chief critic put in his two cents this month not just on the big stuff at the Folger and Studio and the Kennedy Center and Signature, but also the little stuff at Studio Secondstage and the wee tiny minuscule adventurous stuff at Forum. He also managed a nice profile or two.
Meanwhile the backup forces got to pretty much everything else, including at least three shows I can think of (Lift, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Good Body) that Tboy and his colleagues haven't covered--and aren't likely to get to.
So while I can't imagine that we've heard the last of the complaints about the Post's priorities, I do think it's worth noting that sometimes, at least, the evidence on the ground argues against the overriding impression DC theaterfolk seem to have on the topic.
So, a new experiment: First-draft, possibly fragmented thoughts about shows, posted shortly after I see them. Don't know whether this is much of an idea at all, given that it's in the process of writing that many of my ideas about shows emerge. Nonetheless ...
Trying works, maybe, because it doesn't try too hard. It's got these nice little threads of awareness--literary, political, sociological--but mostly it's just a warm, unprepossessing, pleasantly human story about two people trying to figure each other out. Karron Graves (she was the lead in Arena's Intimations for Saxophone) spends a lot of time listening and biting her tongue, and she does both with impressive craft. And James Whitmore's a kick, full of piss and vinegar and patrician bristle. His consonants are amazing. It's possible that I like this as much as I do because (as a colleague mentioned on the way out) none of us quite knew what to expect; on the other hand, both Dr. H and I were impressed by the performers' technique, and by the play's easygoing feel.
I think I'll leave comments off on these, at least until I've finished the full review.
One of the guys who performs (sometimes) with Dr. H's dance company also turns out to be into popping, and he's pretty good. Tboy stumbled across this today, though, and he's watched it like three times now. The guy in the red is amaaaaazing.