Stalin, Movie Director

“Stalin loved movies, but he was much more than a movie-buff. The new Communist Party archives in Moscow, and the recently opened personal papers of Stalin, reveal that he fancied himself a super-movie-producer/director/screenwriter as well as supreme censor, suggesting titles, ideas and stories, working on scripts and song lyrics, lecturing directors, coaching actors, ordering re-shoots and cuts and, finally, passing the movies for showing.”

4,500 Arts Professionals In One Place

“Tuesday through Sunday, Pittsburgh will host what is arguably the largest gathering of non-profit arts executives ever, anywhere. In an unprecedented show of unity, OPERA America, Dance/USA, Chorus America and The American Symphony Orchestra League will hold their annual conventions simultaneously in Pittsburgh. Nine other arts organizations will hold off-year gatherings at Downtown hotels, including the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and American Composers Forum.”

Broadway’s Mixed Year

What kind of season was it on Broadway? Mixed. “It’s been a tough season, with so many flops and shows that are struggling. The stuff just hasn’t been compelling. The new plays, in particular, haven’t done well, and I think it just has to do with their quality. I don’t think it’s a case of resistance to serious drama from the audience. Give them an established drama like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and they come.”

How Boston Invented The World

Boston has a long tradition of innovation, and some of America’s great inventions have been born there. “There’s a continuous thread, stretching across centuries, of powerful new ideas developed and commercialized in Boston. But that thread is always vibrating, at least faintly, with worry: Will there ever come another idea as big as the last? What new industry will create jobs sufficient to replace those lost as older industries fade? And how does the environment for company-creation here compare with other parts of the country, particularly Silicon Valley?”