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…

LISBON — Not long ago, Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, was a backwater of Europe. Its historical center was dotted with decrepit and semi-abandoned buildings. Some downtown squares were the domain of prostitutes and drug dealers. The city served as a display case for the devastation of Europe’s debt crisis. Then, in 2011, the country embarked upon…

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 — On this wet and windy Monday, deep in the underbelly of Soho House, the British Fashion Council unveiled the nominees for the 2017 Fashion Awards — but the grand reveal was something of an anticlimax. You could blame it on the turmoil of Brexit, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. More probable,…

5 Comedy Shows to Catch in NYC This Weekend

Our guide to stand-up, improv and variety shows happening this weekend and in the week ahead. ‘EVERYTHING IS FALLING APART’ at QED Astoria (Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.). The name of this event divulges its underlying premise, which is that once a month its host, Molly McGaughey, interviews a guest over a game of Jenga, wherein…

The New York accent of Noah Baumbach’s new film, which he wrote and directed, is a particular and familiar one. The resonances begin with its title. “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” takes a literary angle that indirectly suggests The New Yorker, J. D. Salinger and, to some extent, Woody Allen. Mr. Baumbach sticks with…

I have been alcohol free for six months after years of overuse. I feel great but still struggle. I was never a sloppy drunk and may have been too successful in hiding how much I drank from family and friends. The problem: People keep asking, “When are you going to start drinking again?” A co-worker…

The Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci (1929-2006) wrote all sorts of things during her long career: novels, polemics, war dispatches, truth-dealing celebrity profiles. But her Christiane Amanpour meets Joan Didion reputation rests on her confrontational interviews, mostly with political figures, which were repackaged in best-selling books in the 1970s and 80s. Fallaci’s questions could resemble rectal…

The Louvre has withdrawn a large installation by a Dutch art and design collective for being sexually explicit — right on the heels of the Guggenheim’s decision to pull three controversial artworks from its upcoming China show. The piece — “Domestikator” by the collective Atelier Van Lieshout, whose outline depicts copulation — was to go…

The documentary “The Opera House” celebrates the history of the Metropolitan Opera — in particular, the construction of the organization’s current Lincoln Center home, which had its 50th anniversary in 2016. Given that Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, is one of the producers, and that the movie is opening at the Film…