“The little lady from Krakow,” as Life magazine described Helena Rubinstein in 1941, lived large. No shrinking violet, the “world’s greatest beauty specialist” swathed herself...

When MelTormé died in 1999, the obituaries were respectful but not effusive. The New York Times, whose front-page obituary of Frank Sinatra described him as...

To the Editor: Bravo to Terry Teachout for pointing out the dominant, if depressing, current trend in Broadway musicals [“The Broadway Musical Crisis,” July/August]. I would...

The name Budd Schulberg is likely to evoke only faint recognition. Yet the film On the Waterfront, which he wrote, remains a legendary classic, and...

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief LifeBy Peter AckroydNan A. Talese, 304 pages There is a lot to be said for short biographies. Plutarch tabulated the achievements and...

Ten new musicals opened on Broadway in the 2013–14 season. Four of them—Aladdin, Big Fish, Bullets Over Broadway, and Rocky—were directly adapted from familiar American...

Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture TradeBy Rachel CohenYale University Press, 328 pages Among the rich and powerful, it is common knowledge that if you...

Few friendships have been more intimate—or less likely—than that of Paddy Chayefsky, who wrote Marty and Network, and Bob Fosse, the director and choreographer of...

What kind of artist was Norman Rockwell? Not until his later years does anyone seem to have asked that question other than in passing. It...

The history of the Broadway musical in the 20th century is also a not-so-secret history of the parallel project of Jewish assimilation in America. Nearly...

By the time Leonard Bernstein died in 1990, he was unquestionably America’s best-known classical musician. Yet his achievements were viewed with persistent skepticism by critics...

After Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker ranks as the most influential jazz musician of the 20th century. He was also a hard-drinking heroin addict whose habits...