Magazine September 13, 2021, Issue

Give My Regrets to Broadway

Madonna with co-stars Ron Silver (l.) and Joe Mantegna during opening night curtain call for David Mamet’s play ‘Speed-The-Plow’ on Broadway in New York City, May 3, 1988. (Mark Peterson/Reuters)

For 50 years I’ve paid my rent by getting people into the theater. There are several strategies for doing so, but from the first I’ve relied on the most effective I know: Be good.

If the play is provocative, interesting, funny, sad, or diverting, it is possible that the people will come. It helps to have a notable cast, and it helps to have, if not the actual endorsement of a friendly, the inattention of a hostile press. But, finally, my party-turn was “being good.”

It was not an infallible technique, and frequently the audience and I differed in defining “good.” I did,

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Afghanistan is a debacle and, more than most acts of the U.S. government, it is the responsibility of one man — Joseph Robinette Biden.

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