WASHINGTON — David Sedaris was taking questions from the audience after his reading at the Kennedy Center last month, when suddenly the evening took an alarming turn. “How’s Hugh?” someone asked, referring to Hugh Hamrick, Mr. Sedaris’s boyfriend. Hugh plays the pivotal role of in-house normal person in Mr. Sedaris’s skewed alternative universe. (“I call…

A Philip Roth Reader

The death of Philip Roth on Tuesday at the age of 85 from congestive heart failure has people around the world reflecting on his body of work. The Times’s obituary described him as a “towering novelist who explored lust, Jewish life and America.” With more than two dozen novels to his name — many of…

Can Ron Howard Save ‘Solo’?

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Sometimes Ron Howard uses swear words. Yes, most of the time, this 64-year-old filmmaker is the wholesome, good-natured guy we saw in decades’ worth of film and TV roles, the reliable director of movies like “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind” whose calm, cheerful voice narrates the…

LONDON — “What if you tried to put your nose on the floor?” Wayne McGregor asked with a smile. Jeffrey Cirio, an American Ballet Theater principal, complied. He swerved out of an upper-body undulation into a downward plunge, kicking a leg up behind him almost into a split as his face skimmed the floor. “Great,…



In the present day, Al and Earn have come to a crossroads. Al’s ready to level up in his career and Earn is little more than dead weight. “FUBU” offers the first substantial glimpse into their past, revealing that Al has a decades-old history of carrying his cousin. This week, we’re flashing back to the…

It was close to midnight, and the chef Deuki Hong was still piecing together a hot-dog cart he’d ordered online. “This is bigger than I thought,” he told Andrew Chau and Bin Chen, the owners of Boba Guys, a bicoastal chain of bubble tea shops. In the morning, the three were scheduled to present the…

A suburban family invites the neighbors to dinner. There are jokes and slights and a brief mention of the football game. Someone asks for a cake recipe. Someone else sings a song. It sounds punishingly ordinary. It is. It is also an out-and-out thrill. That long-ago dinner party fills out the first act of “Say…

Name Miyako Bellizzi Age 29 Hometown Alameda, Calif. Now Lives In a three-bedroom apartment in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Claim to Fame Ms. Bellizzi is a stylist and costume designer who worked on the film “Good Time,” transforming Robert Pattinson into Connie Nikas, who plays a con artist. She read the script, she said,…

Last year the Emmy Awards took place under the looming shadow of Donald J. Trump, nominated but not yet president, and the humor directed at him had a raw, tense, incredulous edge. On Sunday night’s Emmys broadcast on CBS — after months of presidential tweets and savage national discord, much of it played out on…

It’s a scenario ripped from the headlines: A grief-stricken family member is summoned to meet the coffin of a fallen soldier, and complications ensue. And it brought Laurence Fishburne to tears. “I wept through the movie — I was so moved by it,” he said of Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying,” opening Friday, Nov. 3….

Few opera choruses are as moving as the one a group of prisoners sings in Act I of Beethoven’s “Fidelio.” Released temporarily from their cells, the inmates almost whisper a hymnlike paean to liberty: “Oh, what a joy to breathe freely again in the open air.” The transformation from oppression to freedom is at the…