Friday, May 6, 2011

The Big Screen in the Sky

Yesterday we bid adieu to one of the great play and film scribes of the 20th Century. Arthur Laurents began writing for Broadway in 1945, quickly transitioning to Hollywood with 1948's Hitchcock classic, Rope. Laurents successfully straddled both coasts by parlaying his landmark stage successes West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962) to the screen as well as writing cinematic gems like Summeritme (1955), Anastasia (1956) and The Way We Were (1973). Known for being blunt about his sexuality and his opinions about how Hollywood mangled his stage successes, Laurents was passionately outspoken about his work and was even the target of the Great Communist Hunt of the 1940's for his work with civil rights causes. Today we hope that Heaven is a-buzz with the argument, "Which is better? West Side Story the musical or the movie?"

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