Why tall = small, and other conundrums

By: Bob Levey

Sometimes, dear friends, we are plunged into modern-day situations that are so absurd, so illogical, so incomprehensible, so inexplicable, that all we can do is throw up our hands. So it went with me one recent morning at my neighborhood Starbucks. I had agreed to meet a friend there to give her some career advice. I was early. She wasn’t there yet. So I decided to buy a cup of... READ MORE

Putting presidents in historical perspective

By: Dinah Rokach

This month, we celebrate Presidents’ Day. Reading about our nation’s chief executives never becomes old. Historians (both professional and amateur) as well as politicians and reporters sift through the archives, interpret documents, and find lesser known materials to expose to a wider audience. Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, by Gordon S. Wood, 512 pages, Penguin... READ MORE

Laurie Metcalf gets her first Oscar shot

By: Lindsey Bahr

Laurie Metcalf has won three Emmys and a Tony Award in her nearly 40-year year career, but the veteran stage and screen actress still feels uncomfortable in front of a camera. “Even after all those years on ‘Roseanne,’ I have a real fear of cameras. They make me inhibited,” Metcalf, 62, said on a recent afternoon in Los Angeles. “I think ‘Why don’t I know where to put my ... READ MORE

Mural artist makes the city his canvas

By: Glenda C. Booth

When he sees a nondescript wall or side of a building, “Sir” James Thornhill sees art. To him, it’s like a blank canvas waiting for artistic reinvention. Thornhill literally “paints the town,” with colorful murals that honor heroes and heroines — especially local notables associated with the historic district of Jackson Ward, a section of Richmond known as the “Birthplace... READ MORE

Hamlet in the age of Twitter and Snapchat

By: Michael Toscano

To be or not to be. Is that really the question a twitchy millennial — a man-child with little self-awareness and a slippery grasp on reality — might be asking himself in the midst of existential angst? Apparently not, if Michael Kahn’s uneven wreck of Hamlet, onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre Company through March 4, is to be believed. And that’s why we see the Danish prince ... READ MORE

Silk painter shares her skill with others

By: Rebekah Alcalde

Living in Egypt as a child during WWII, Diane Tuckman recalls, “they were shooting Jewish girls in the street...My family and I escaped [in 1949] and went to France.” Though less harrowing, even in France “it was a very difficult time after the war, with ration tickets and very little housing.” But eventually, Paris became home and much more to Tuckman. For it was there that she... READ MORE