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I beg your pardon

Posted by Christopher Muther November 12, 2010 12:53 PM

This was simply too good to ignore. At Wednesday night's Country Music Awards, the red carpet was filled with luminaries such as Nicole Kidman and Carrie Underwood, but the most stylish granny on the carpet was the stunning Lynn Anderson and her 63-year-old decolletage. Those young'uns had nothing on Anderson, who is best known for her 1971 hit "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden." It's sad that today's country music stars are more fond of Valentino than gingham, but Anderson showed them all how it's done in a dress that was part cougar-on-the-prowl, part rhinestone cowgirl. But Anderson has been a country fashion icon for decades. Let's time travel back 40 years to check out Miss Anderson in action. Country stars of today, it's time to revive full hair and canary yellow maxi dresses with feather accents. Please?

The Dartmouth-CBS connection ....

Posted by Alex Beam September 16, 2010 10:17 AM


Wow. New Hampshire's Squam Lake, famous as "Golden Pond" of Hepburn-Fonda movie fame, and also known as a quiet retreat where the super-rich ban noisy power boats and invite outsiders to mind their own gosh-darned business. Prominent Squamsters have included former Boston University prexy John Silber, and Tootsie Roll magnate Mel Gordon, who built a house partly shaped like a Tootsie Roll.

Comes now this spectacular mansion originally built by Boston's Schrafft family, of candy fortune and fame. Of course you are familiar with the Schrafft Building in Charlestown:


The Squam home passed from the Schraffts to longtime CBS chairman William Paley, who married a Boston gal, Barbara "Babe" Cushing, and then into the hands of Dartmouth College, which used it as a conference center. Landvest has the 25 acre property under agreement for $9 mil, but if you are willing to offer more, I bet they'll take your call.

Louisa Bertman & "American Idiot"

Posted by Alex Beam April 29, 2010 02:48 PM

Bertman.jpgI've always enjoyed local artist/illustrator Louisa Bertman's pieces, and she has created an interesting new work -- at left -- for the Broadway musical "American Idiot," created from the famous Green Day album. (Not from the famous Charlie Pierce book with a remarkably similar name.)

Bertman explains this artwork: "This is a signed and numbered limited edition print (30" x 30" pen. ink. watercolor, new media canvas on wood panel) commissioned by Producer Larry Kaye. It was created for American Idiot's Director Michael Mayer, Music Orchestrator/Supervisor Tom Kitt, Choreographer Stephen Hoggett, Producers Ira Pittleman, & Tom Hulce, as well as Tré Cool, Mike Dirnst, & Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day for their private collection in congratulations for American Idiot's opening night on Broadway.

Bertman neithers hypes nor hides the fact that her father is architect and sculptor Richard Bertman, a founder of CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares, which has designed some of Boston's most, um, noticeable facades, e.g., the "R2D2 bulding" on Huntington Avenue. Her Dad is a marvelously creative sculptor -- father and daughter have exhibited together -- and, some might argue, is a more talented artist than architect.

And he has a good sense of humor.

Russian art's fairy grandmothers

Posted by Alex Beam April 27, 2010 09:40 PM


A curiosity of Russia's magnificent art storehouses, such as the Tretyakov Gallery, or the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, is that the world's greatest masterpieces are surveiled not by museums guards, but by .... grandmothers. Yes, the same babushky who chide you for wearing inappropriate clothing on cold days, or frown at Western European tourists in short short and tank tops, stand vigil everywhere in Russian art world. They are an integral part of the Russian art scene, "forming a kind of latter-day addition to artistic landscape," according to the Clark Gallery in Lincoln.

The gallery is currently exhibiting photographer Andy Freeberg's show, "The Guardians," featuring the art, and the art keepers, of modern Russia. The show runs until May 8. Please consult the website for more details.

Political cartoonists for .... peace?

Posted by Alex Beam April 14, 2010 07:59 AM


Katia Stephens

Three accomplished international political cartoonists, Jean Plantu, Khalil Abu Arafeh and Uri Fink, are making the rounds in Boston, promoting the relatively new organization Cartooning for Peace. There are temporary exhibitions of their work at Northeastern University, and at the French Library in the Back Bay.

There is a certain irony for political cartoonists -- the last journalists in the world who still delight in offending readers' sensibilties -- to be lobbying for "a better understanding and mutual respect between populations of different belief or culture, with cartoon [sic] as universal as universal language media." But there you have it.

CFP is the brainchild of Le Monde's Plantu, pictured above, who has rallied about 80 top-drawer cartoonists to the CFP banner. Plantu, a virtuoso freehand artist, is a major celebrity in France, where his work appears on Page One of the country's most influential newspaper. Arafeh is a Palestinian who lives in East Jerusalem and draws for Al Quds. Fink is a gifted Israeli parodist and graphic novelist. American members include Mike Luckovich, Jim Morin, Pat Oliphant and Jeff Danziger.

Bonfire of the style book, at Brown University

Posted by Alex Beam April 6, 2010 02:26 PM

University of Edinburgh linguist Geoffrey Pullum is taking his eccentric campaign against the revered (by some) "Elements of Style" manual to Brown University next week. "I have decided that my campaign against [William] Strunk and [E.B.] White's toxic little compendium of unfollowable dumb advice, bungled grammar claims, and outright mendacity must be taken directly to America's colleges, starting with the great universities of the East Coast," Pullum writes on the blog Language Log. He'll be at the Metcalf Chemistry Building Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday.

Something to look forward to -- but I didn't dare end that sentence with a preposition.

Mink Stole to be feted at Boston Underground Film Fest

Posted by Mark Shanahan March 26, 2010 06:04 PM


                                                      Mink Stole in "Stuck!"

The first time she met him in Provincetown in the early '60s, Mink Stole had no inkling John Waters would become such a celebrated director. Nor did the 63-year-old actress have any idea she'd become his muse, appearing in more than a dozen of his films, from "Mondo Trasho" to "Hairspray" to "Fruitcake." For her work in those movies and many others, Stole will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award tonight from the Boston Underground Film Festival. "It makes me feel ancient, like they think I'm done, and I'm not," she told us. "It's not an Oscar, but it's still a very very nice honor." Stole's latest film, which screens tonight at the Kendall Square Cinema, is called "Stuck!" Stole costars with Karen Black and former Go-Go Jane Wiedlin, and plays the longest-serving female prisoner on death row. "It's a drama, but some people are calling it campy," Stole said with a sigh. "People always call me a campy actress, but I think that's just because I worked with drag queens."

"Mad Men" pay a visit to Barbie's dream house

Posted by Christopher Muther March 10, 2010 02:21 PM


This could be the most exciting thing I've seen since the photos from Lady Gaga's next video. Mattel and AMC are joining forces for a line of "Mad Men" dolls. Season three of the drama comes out on DVD March 23, and the DVD set comes with "exclusive sketches" of the dolls. These mini Mads arrive on store shelves in July. Designed by former "Project Runway" contestant Robert Best, the dolls -- which include Don and Betty Draper, Roger Sterling, and Joan Holloway -- will sell for $74.95 each. Makes a perfect gift. And yes, that is a hint, thank you.




Answer the phone, it's Lady Gaga calling!

Posted by Christopher Muther March 10, 2010 01:46 PM

The last time I was this excited for the premiere of a 10 minute music video, I was wearing parachute pants, rocking a full mullet, and MTV was showing music instead of Snooki. Tomorrow night at 11:30, the epic "Telephone" with Lady Gaga and Beyonce debuts on E! It's 10 minutes of drama, pop music, and crazy telephone fashion. Gaga has been leaking photos on her Web site just to fan the flames of excitement. Someone better call the fire department, because I'm nearly burning up in anticipation. (One question: Can we get long distance on that coiffure?) Here are a few pictures, with more in the extended entry for those of you who are gaga over the Lady.



The pig stays in the picture

Posted by Christopher Muther March 3, 2010 01:18 PM

We're hearing good things about the forth-coming "The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made" (we're sold on the working title alone). The Jason Segel-penned film will reportedly find Kermit living in squalor, Miss Piggy off in Europe living an arty and Lady Gaga-esque lifestyle, and an evil oil baron intent on destroying the Muppet's historic theater and home. Nothing sells a movie like drama, Gaga, and some singing chickens and rats. We've been wanting to see Piggy's poker face in high fashion for quite some time. Perhaps this is all retribution for Gaga's infamous Kermit skin coat? Either way, after seeing the Muppets performing again, we're more than ready for a full comeback.

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"Media Remix" is where couch potatoes meet pop culture criticism. What does Honey Boo Boo say about class issues in America ? Is The Real Housewives anti-feminist? Does Lady Gaga empower gay fans, or patronize them? And where'd I put the remote control? If you love knowing about the latest in movies, TV, music and social media - and analyzing the politics of The Apprentice - grab a seat with "Media Remix."

About this blog

Culture Desk is a blog that serves to highlight both local and national stories of interest in the worlds of art, music, movies, TV, theater and more. Most items are written by writers and editors from The Boston Globe arts and culture staff.

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