The Suburbanization Of The Broadway Experience

“Now is as good a time as any to trot out the familiar lament — I mean observation — that Times Square, and the Broadway theater that is for good and ill geographically and thus atmospherically linked to it, has become a big old Big Apple-themed theme park that happens to be in New York.” And as Broadway’s neighborhood has changed, so has Broadway theatregoing.

RIP Tower – But Is The Digital Revolution Better?

“Anything that can be squeezed down to ones and zeros and moved around at the speed of electrons doesn’t have to be stacked in plastic cases, shoved into bins and splayed over aisles under fluorescent lights anymore. All of it’s going online. And isn’t that better? Doesn’t the digital universe give anyone with a computer and a credit card wider and speedier access to more music than any Tower could ever stock?”

Why Conservative Architecture In Liberal Boston?

As Boston’s new Institute of Contemporary Art building was unveiled to the public, “What people were saying was that they couldn’t believe a building so audacious, so venturesome, could be built in — of all places — Boston. They were asking whether the ICA marked a watershed in the history of local architectural taste. Boston has been widely known, for a generation or more, as a conservative town architecturally, despite its liberal politics. To understand why, you have to know some history.” Robert Campbell explains.

Adapting Maugham, Again And Again

“If there were a prize for authors who have had the most movies made from their work, W. Somerset Maugham would be at or near the top of the list. Jeffrey Meyers, Maugham’s latest biographer, counts 48 Maugham-based movies, and that’s not including made-for-TV movies or foreign films, in which case the total runs into the hundreds. Maugham himself felt, grudgingly, that he was better known for the film adaptations of his books than for the books themselves.”

When Spam Turns On The Literary Charm

“E-mail has long been blamed for reducing the quality of our communication to fragments filled with abbreviations and bad punctuation. But this year, in-boxes around the world took a turn toward the literary, thanks to a new breed of spam that pumps out passages from classics like ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘The Three Musketeers.’ “

Has BBC Scotland Abandoned Substance?

“BBC Scotland has been accused by an influential culture watchdog of dumbing down, with too much football, listener phone-ins and poor presenters high on the list of complaints about its £180m a year output. In an unprecedented move which is certain to embarrass corporation bosses, members of the Saltire Society are to debate the state of the national broadcaster this week.” The society “was established in the 1930s to safeguard Scotland’s arts, literature, music, history and environment.”

Missing From A&R: Female Execs

“Women buy roughly half of all CDs sold, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, and most radio formats target women as their primary audience. Yet, according to the A&R Registry, a directory of professionals in the field, no woman runs the mainstream music A&R department at any major record label. Over the last decade, only two women have helmed A&R pop departments at major labels. The department is the heartbeat of any record company; these talent scouts discover and develop the acts that people hear on the radio and whose CDs they buy.”