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John Lahr
John Lahr

Theatre Critic

Sponsored by the Department of Theatre and
Co-sponsored by the NYS Writers Institute

April 16, 2002
4:00 p.m. Seminar | HU 354
8:00 p.m., Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

John Lahr
, regarded by most as the stage's reigning scholar, is the author or editor of twenty-five books of essays, biographies, play anthologies, stage adaptations, screenplays, and novels, and has been the senior theatre critic and profile writer for The New Yorker since 1992.

". . .the most insightful writer on theatre today." - Arnold Aronson, New York Times Book Review

Show and Tell: New Yorker ProfilesLahr's latest book of essays, Show and Tell: New Yorker Profiles (2000), collects fifteen of his best New Yorker profiles, examining such figures such as Woody Allen, David Mamet, Arthur Miller, Frank Sinatra, and Ingmar Bergman.

Lahr's famously penetrating, witty prose has been delighting readers since he began as a drama columnist for the Village Voice back in 1969. That was also the year he broke through with what is now considered one of the best-ever show business biographies, Notes on a Cowardly Lion (1969), the story of his vaudeville comedian father, Bert Lahr.

". . .endlessly fascinating, excellent. . .A work of literature, a work of history, a subtle psychological study." - Harper's Magazine

". . .a sensitive, perceptive, moving, and memorable biography. . .both a touchingly human document and an authoritative work of theatre historiography." - Variety

Lahr's second biography, Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton, was chosen as Book of the Year by Truman Capote and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Patrick White when it first appeared in 1978. His expanded New Yorker article on Frank Sinatra has been made into a book with pictures, Frank Sinatra: The Artist and the Man, which is currently a Book of the Month Club selection. His most recently biography is Dame Edna Everage and the Rise of Western Civilization: Backstage with Barry Humphries (2000), the story of one of England's more famous comedians and comic creations.

". . .an exhilarating and highly intelligent book, full of laughs." - Michael Davie in Spectator

A two-time winner of the George Jean Nathan Award (1994 & 1969) for drama criticism, which is awarded annually by the Departments of English of Yale, Princeton, and Cornell Universities and the prize's youngest recipient. He's a three-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for writing about music and the recipient of both the Roger Machell Prize for theater writing and the Yale Writing Prize. Lahr is also an often-performed playwright and an Academy Award Nominee, for his short film, Sticky My Fingers, Fleet My Feet (1971, directed by John Hancock).

Mr. Lahr has written numerous stage adaptations which have been performed in England and the United States including: Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Manchurian Candidate, The Bluebird of Unhappiness: A Woody Allen Revue, and Diary of a Somebody, which began at the Royal National Theatre, played the West End, and later toured England. He co-created, with Elaine Strich, the current Broadway hit, Elaine Strich at Liberty.

Mr. Lahr received his B.A. from Yale and his Master's degree from Worcester College, Oxford University. He divides his time between New York and London.

Additional Books by John Lahr

Notes on a Cowardly LionCoward the PlaywrightDame Edna EverageLight FantasticPrick Up Your Ears by John Lahr

Additional Links:
Writers Online Magazine Article

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.