“...examines the complex relationship between the practical and the passionate self, the realist and the dreamer, and the importance of those moments in life that make you feel 'airborne.'”
"...examines the complex relationship between the practical and the passionate self, the realist and the dreamer, and the importance of those moments in life that make you feel 'airborne.'"
‘The good news is, you’re all in the show.’ These words, uttered by famed theatrical director Hal Prince, changed Abigail Pogrebin’s life. At the tender age of 16, along with a then 21-year old Jason Alexander, she was cast in the Stephen Sondheim production, Merrily We Roll Along—notable as the only flop in the legendary composer’s otherwise beloved repertoire, which includes the award-winning musicals Into the Woods, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The theories as to why this particular project didn’t roll merrily along are addressed in Pogrebin’s introspective Kindle Single, but more than that, it examines the complex relationship between the practical and the passionate self, the realist and the dreamer, and the importance of those moments in life that make you feel “airborne.” Forgive me for the pun, but this Single is a true ‘Showstopper.’
- Reviews & Praise
http://amzn.to/iw6Zs8 I wrote about my experience in the original cast of the ill-fated (but now much-beloved) Sondheim musical, "Merrily We Roll Along" on Broadway. It was a remarkable adventure getting chosen, rehearsing, and then watching things unravel as fast as they did. It also gave me perspective on how life promises and disappoints. Kindle Singles are a wonderful new Amazon addition -- inexpensive and digestible. Authors so far include Christopher Hitchens, Jon Krakauer, Susan Orlean, Jodi Picoult, and Mark Bittman. I hope you'll download "Showstopper" -- you don't need to own a Kindle. Just Google "Kindle for Mac" or "Kindle for PC." And let me know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dwight Garner calls Styron's "Reading My Father" an "ardent, sophisticated and entirely winning memoir." Buy it if you haven't and get one of the few remaining tickets for my conversation with her at the Manhattan JCC next Wednesday April 27: www.jccmanhattan.org
This is a wonderfully candid piece about Hunt discovering her twin pregnancy. I love how unsentimental it is; she's the kind of writer whose language surprises. Read it if you have a second.
(And I'm slapping myself on the wrist for how rarely I blog and how this is the first post in so long. I'm blog-challenged, but I'm working on it. Not that anyone needs my opinions.)
I hope you'll let me know what you think of this: http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/56589/immersion/
Lick Your Babies
When I pause to think, it’s enough to make me question almost everything I do…
Am I spending too much time with the girls? Am I spending enough individual time with the girls?
Am I encouraging the girls to develop into individuals, separate and apart from their twinship? Could this encouragement drive a wedge between them?
Am I creating enough structure in their environment so they feel safe and secure? Or have I introduced too much structure so as not to encourage their creativity?
In teaching the girls to respect authority, am I hindering the development of an independent spirit?
I am reading “One and the Same”, a book on twinship by Abigail Pogrebin. She cites one study about epigenetic differences in identical twins – changes in genetics brought about by environmental influences such as chemicals or food.
The 2004 rat study illustrated that “affection, or the lack of it, may also have an impact.” “…rats who were not licked and groomed by their mother as often as their siblings went on to exhibit more stress.” “The offspring of the high-licking moms exhibited better response to fear.”
This is one by which I can confidently check “yes”, as I am positively certain that I “lick” my babies enough. They get more hugs and kisses and belly rubs and toe tickles than they know what to do with…
…and I guess I’m just hoping that makes up for any other psychological scars I may unknowingly be inflicting.
This piece in Sunday's New York Times' T Magazine is a moving excerpt from Allen Shawn's new book, Twin. Shawn is not only brother to actor Wallace Shawn and son of the legendary New Yorker editor, William Shawn, but a beautiful writer who wrote forcefully about his battle with agoraphobia in "Wish I Could Be There." I quoted it in the first pages of my book, One and the Same: “I wouldn’t be myself without her.”
Shawn's twin was sent away when they were very young, and as we in the twins world understand so well, he never felt quite whole again. .
I had a great time talking to a room full of good-looking Moms in a Chicago suburb last Wednesday evening. (I mention that they're good-looking because I found it honestly surprising that so many of them look to be so fit and bright-eyed when they're in the grip of twin-todlerhood.)
At least a couple of triplet moms asked me during the Q&A about whether their third wheel -- the one in the triplet set who isn't part of the identical twin set -- would fare in the intimacy run-off. I didn't want to paint a bleak picture because I know situations vary in each family, but I did recount my interview with a grown triplet who never got over the exclusion she felt from her fellow triplets: "The Twins." Despite the fact that she shared their triplet identity, theirs was the dominant intimacy. I will never forget how indelible her hurt was, and I came away realizing that, even in the uniqueness of triplets, there is still a hierarchy of closeness which can sting. My advice to the Glenview moms was, as it always is, to make sure that each twin spends separate time with the third sibling -- triplet or not. Bonds don't get cemented without time and experiences, shared apart.
I just ran across this heart-wrenching story of two 54-year-old identical twins in the U.K. -- both clearly strong spirits, positive-thinking, and very close --. who were diagnosed with breast cancer two months apart, but discovered only one will survive the disease. The other is terminal. They were due to walk down the runway for a charity fashion show, but only Judith was strong enough to make it; her sister, Heather, was hospitalized. It confirms what so many researchers explained to me: if one identical twin gets cancer, the other has a greater likelihood of having it, too, but no guarantee. It frightens me, certainly, to see that any illness Robin or I end up facing will be a harbinger for the other's fate. And it also makes me ruminate again about whether there's some cosmic equalizing for twins in the universe, so that one doesn't have to experience anything solo. so that we continue to empathize most acutely and be always in tune.