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By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | June 30, 2006
Like the crossword puzzles it celebrates, the documentary Wordplay is a small triumph of infusing personality into formula. Director Patrick Creadon and producer Christine O'Malley mold their film around a handful of puzzle-solvers anticipating the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Conn. But even if you think you never want to see another fact-based or fictional feature that builds to an election, an academic test or a sports championship, Wordplay holds you with its craftiness, its playfulness and, best of all, the bounteous bonhomie of its puzzle-makers and crossword addicts.
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By Wesley Case | June 7, 2011
An overlooked song from an overlooked album finally gets a video. “Home Sweet Home,” the Lloyd Banks/Pusha-T collaboration from Banks’ H.F.M. 2 , goes down a gritty alley of bleak black-and-white shots of New York City. The video doesn’t show us anything we haven’t seen (Blunt ashes! A dice game! NYPD!), but “Home Sweet Home” is, above all else, a display of chilling rap bars. Banks, a gifted wordsmith in love with internal rhyme schemes, and an invigorated Pusha-T create a contrast of styles.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | September 27, 2002
The interlocking love stories in director Ernst Lubitsch's 1934 Trouble in Paradise, the latest entry in the Charles Theatre's Saturday revival series, soar on gossamer wings, thanks to the dashing, delicate wordplay of screenwriter Samson Raphaelson. In the film's first dialogue scene, Herbert Marshall asks a hotel waiter, "If Casanova suddenly ... turned out to be Romeo ... having supper with Juliet - who might become Cleopatra ... how would you start?" In what Raphaelson's script characterizes as "a professional and prosaic tone," the waiter replies, "I would start with cocktails."
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | July 12, 2009
They look at "Baltimore" and see "labor it me." The National Puzzlers' League, the world's oldest and best-known group of wordplay experts, held its annual convention this weekend at the Tremont Grand on Charles Street. Led by puzzle-celeb Will Shortz, who edits The New York Times' crossword and hosts a weekly segment on National Public Radio, about 160 attendees binged on palindromes, anagrams, poetry and other word games. Witty handles replace full names. Shortz, a member since 1972, is "WILLz" - wordplay itself ("short" z)
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | August 30, 2001
The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard's witty drama about love, infidelity and playwriting, opens tomorrow at the Olney Theatre Center. A 1984 Tony Award winner for best new play and a 2000 winner for best revival, The Real Thing displays some of the British writer's slickest wordplay. Richard Pilcher, a faculty member at the Baltimore School for the Arts, has the lead role, portraying a fictitious playwright. The cast also includes Valerie Leonard, James Matthew Ryan and Kate Hampton. Direction is by Cheryl Faraone.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | July 12, 2009
They look at "Baltimore" and see "labor it me." The National Puzzlers' League, the world's oldest and best-known group of wordplay experts, held its annual convention this weekend at the Tremont Grand on Charles Street. Led by puzzle-celeb Will Shortz, who edits The New York Times' crossword and hosts a weekly segment on National Public Radio, about 160 attendees binged on palindromes, anagrams, poetry and other word games. Witty handles replace full names. Shortz, a member since 1972, is "WILLz" - wordplay itself ("short" z)
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | November 30, 2006
The two have every right to be angry, maybe even a little paranoid. Gene "Malice" Thornton and Terrence "Pusha T" Thornton, collectively known as the rapping brother duo Clipse, showed much promise on their 2002 debut, Lord Willin'. The album went gold, spurred by the hit "Grindin'." But their momentum was killed when label politics - a corporate merger and nasty legal disputes - held up the release of a follow-up. Four years have zipped by with no album. Aside from a pair of underground mix tapes, We Got It 4 Cheap, Vols.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | January 18, 1996
"All in the Timing," a collection of a half-dozen short comic sketches by David Ives, will receive its Baltimore premiere beginning tomorrow at Fell's Point Corner Theatre. Timothy Crawford directs this off-Broadway hit, which uses wit and wordplay to examine modern life. The cast features Rodney Atkins, Brenda Crooks, Tom Lodge and Heather Osborne.Show times at Fell's Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 25. Tickets are $10 and $11. Call (410)
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | November 28, 1996
If the show is half as good as its title, "The Prozac in Pandora's Box" should be something to see. Written by Laura Amlie, a student in Towson State University's graduate theater program, this pharmaceutically titled multimedia work opens a three-week run at the Theatre Project on Wednesday.Billed as "a raucous roller coaster ride . . . from ancient mythology to modern folklore, childbirth to Chernobyl and the French Revolution to the Baltimore streets," the original work uses wordplay, movement, masks, puppetry and music to examine "creative survival."
FEATURES
By ROB KASPER | July 15, 2006
Recently on a glorious summer afternoon, my wife and I were driving through the Maryland countryside. We had floated across the Wicomico River on the quaint three-car Whitehaven Ferry. Verdant fields flanked the scenic two-lane stretch of country road we eased along. Magnificent trees swayed in the wind. A large hawk, perhaps an osprey, soared above us. In the midst of this pastoral splendor, my wife turned to me, gave me a long, meaningful look and said, "I need a four-letter river in Italy."
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | November 30, 2006
The two have every right to be angry, maybe even a little paranoid. Gene "Malice" Thornton and Terrence "Pusha T" Thornton, collectively known as the rapping brother duo Clipse, showed much promise on their 2002 debut, Lord Willin'. The album went gold, spurred by the hit "Grindin'." But their momentum was killed when label politics - a corporate merger and nasty legal disputes - held up the release of a follow-up. Four years have zipped by with no album. Aside from a pair of underground mix tapes, We Got It 4 Cheap, Vols.
FEATURES
By ROB KASPER | July 15, 2006
Recently on a glorious summer afternoon, my wife and I were driving through the Maryland countryside. We had floated across the Wicomico River on the quaint three-car Whitehaven Ferry. Verdant fields flanked the scenic two-lane stretch of country road we eased along. Magnificent trees swayed in the wind. A large hawk, perhaps an osprey, soared above us. In the midst of this pastoral splendor, my wife turned to me, gave me a long, meaningful look and said, "I need a four-letter river in Italy."
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | June 30, 2006
Like the crossword puzzles it celebrates, the documentary Wordplay is a small triumph of infusing personality into formula. Director Patrick Creadon and producer Christine O'Malley mold their film around a handful of puzzle-solvers anticipating the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Conn. But even if you think you never want to see another fact-based or fictional feature that builds to an election, an academic test or a sports championship, Wordplay holds you with its craftiness, its playfulness and, best of all, the bounteous bonhomie of its puzzle-makers and crossword addicts.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 27, 2005
HOUSTON - Deep in the heart of a very red state, Houston Grand Opera has just wrapped up a production with so much sexual innuendo and anti-war sentiment that it might have warranted a look by the Justice Department. But even today's most rabid, neo-Legion of Decency types would probably have found themselves savoring Mark Adamo's new opera, Lysistrata, freely adapted from the ancient satire by Aristophanes about Athenian and Spartan women using the ultimate weapon to stop continual wars between their men. This clever, assured work marks two milestones.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Shelden and Michael Shelden,Special to the Sun | December 26, 2004
Seven Types of Ambiguity By Elliot Perlman. Riverhead Books. 672 pages. $27.95. Seventy-five years ago a brilliant young poet and critic was ignominiously dismissed from his fellowship at Cambridge University after college porters found him hiding contraceptives in his rooms and entertaining a woman there "at a late hour." Undaunted, William Empson continued his studies independently and a year later published a groundbreaking analysis of poetic language. Better known for its wonderful title than its content, Seven Types of Ambiguity celebrates the kind of strange uncertainty that delights poets and disturbs society -- especially college society of 1929-1930.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Alec MacGillis and Alec MacGillis,Sun Staff | April 4, 2004
The Book of Ten Nights and a Night, by John Barth. Houghton Mifflin. 304 pages, $24. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, countless writers have confronted the question of how, if at all, to address those world-shaking events in their fiction. But leave it to John Barth to complicate matters -- by fretting about reconciling the attacks with his pre-9 / 11 writing. As Barth's narrative stand-in explains at the outset of this curious potpourri, the author had been planning, before the attacks, to gather in one book 11 previously uncollected short stories, most from the late 1990s.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Alec MacGillis and Alec MacGillis,Sun Staff | April 4, 2004
The Book of Ten Nights and a Night, by John Barth. Houghton Mifflin. 304 pages, $24. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, countless writers have confronted the question of how, if at all, to address those world-shaking events in their fiction. But leave it to John Barth to complicate matters -- by fretting about reconciling the attacks with his pre-9 / 11 writing. As Barth's narrative stand-in explains at the outset of this curious potpourri, the author had been planning, before the attacks, to gather in one book 11 previously uncollected short stories, most from the late 1990s.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre | December 11, 1994
James Thurber's life displays the full range of contradictions commonly associated with the careers of prominent American writers.He was a sophisticate from the provinces, a lad from Columbus, Ohio, who developed into one of the formative voices of the New Yorker during its glory days. His achievements were mainly those of youth, followed by a painfully dry and embittered age. His great abilities -- a prodigious memory and an unmatched ear for language -- were counterbalanced by a disabling wound -- the childhood accident that left him blind at midlife.
NEWS
By Clarence Page | March 28, 2003
NEW YORK - Along with death and destruction, every war brings us new euphemisms to make death sound less deadly. The purpose of this doublespeak is to dumb us down and numb us down, making the other side's deeds sound more ugly and evil, while our side's actions are made to seem more pristine. The first Persian Gulf war popularized the term "collateral damage," a banal euphemism for the unintended killing of innocent bystanders. Many of us later were appalled, although we should not have been all that surprised, when gulf war vet Timothy McVeigh used the term to describe the children who died at a day care center in the federal office building he blew up in Oklahoma City.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | September 27, 2002
The interlocking love stories in director Ernst Lubitsch's 1934 Trouble in Paradise, the latest entry in the Charles Theatre's Saturday revival series, soar on gossamer wings, thanks to the dashing, delicate wordplay of screenwriter Samson Raphaelson. In the film's first dialogue scene, Herbert Marshall asks a hotel waiter, "If Casanova suddenly ... turned out to be Romeo ... having supper with Juliet - who might become Cleopatra ... how would you start?" In what Raphaelson's script characterizes as "a professional and prosaic tone," the waiter replies, "I would start with cocktails."
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