The Corner

Finish Your Christmas Shopping with NRO

Richard Linklater’s Me & Orson Welles, just out on home video, is a witty, ingenious, perfectly cast, brilliantly designed, and astonishingly well-informed backstage rom-com about the Mercury Theatre’s legendary 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar. It didn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserved when it was released, so catch up with it now and prepare to be both charmed and enthralled. I don’t know when I’ve seen a better movie about what it feels like to put on a play.Selena Hastings’s The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham(Random House) doesn’t contain all that much fresh dirt about the author of Of Human Bondage and Cakes and Ale, but Hastings is a very good writer who had unrestricted access to previously unknown primary-source material, and the result is a smart biography that portrays its not-very-nice subject with a welcome combination of candor and sympathy.In 1952, the First Drama Quartette — Charles Boyer, Cedric Hardwicke, Agnes Moorehead, and Charles Laughton — performed the “Don Juan in Hell” scene from George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman with stupendous verve and elegance on Broadway and on tour. This celebrated performance was recorded in its entirety by Columbia Masterworks. Never previously reissued in any format, it’s now available as an mp3-only download for the unbelievable price of $1.98 (that’s from Amazon — iTunes charges twenty bucks). That’s what I call a deal.— Terry Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, is now out in paperback from Mariner Books.

Terry Teachout — Mr. Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the critic-at-large of Commentary. Satchmo at the Waldorf, his 2011 play about Louis Armstrong, has been produced off Broadway and throughout America.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More
NR Webathon

Don’t Let Michael Mann Succeed

I  enjoyed the running joke of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in the great Dickens novel Bleak House, back when I first read it. Little did I know that one day I and the magazine that I love would effectively be caught up in a version of that interminable case, courtesy of a litigious climate scientist with zero regard ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Elections

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More