To start the new year, I can’t think of anything better than to immerse yourself in Lincoln Center Theatre’s production of the Clifford Odets classic, “Golden Boy”. Burnished to a fine sheen by master director Bartlett Sher, this 75 year old play is a heartbreaker, featuring some of the best character actors in town, including the brilliant Tony Shalhoub and the superb Danny Burstein. It may be a play about boxing, but it will strike deep in your heart and leave you intoxicated with what great theater is about.

Do not miss Laurie Metcalf on Broadway in the psychological detective thriller, “The Other Place”. It is a career-high performance by Metcalf, and a welcome return to the stage by Daniel Stern. And the play holds you until the final image, when there are audible gasps in the audience.

For films, I would seriously recommend the wonderful “Silver Linings Playbook” featuring a surprisingly wonderful performance from Bradley Cooper.

I would also urge you to see David Chase’s first film, “Not Fade Away”. After giving us “The Sopranos”, an ode to 60’s rock and roll featuring one terrific soundtrack and a fine ensemble cast. A movie about the 60’s that looks like a 60’s movie.

And two beautiful novels to start your year. “The Art Of Racing In The Rain” by Garth Stein, which will touch any pet owner deeply and then kick your butt on the last page, and “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore”, an imaginative tale of one very advanced chimp. Both great reads.

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