About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Awful News

    By Kyle | August 7, 2012

    Mark O’Donnell, who wrote the book for “Hairspray” and other shows, has died suddenly in his Upper West Side building. Mark was a top-flight comedy writer who nevertheless, pre-Hairspray, used to tell me he was “destitute” and was glad to write brief (and hilarious) book reviews for me when I was an editor at People magazine. I was glad when he struck it rich but it’s stunning to learn he’s gone so soon. He was a sweet and kind man. I stopped by his Riverside Drive apartment once to drop off a book I needed him to review on deadline — and this picture looks like the building as I recall it. Meaning he didn’t move to a fancy place even after writing one of the biggest Broadway hits of his era.

    Topics: Comedy, New York City | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Awful News”

    1. KS Says:
      August 7th, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Sad. Marvin Hamlisch too.

    2. Don Reed Says:
      April 9th, 2013 at 12:40 am

      Headline, this morning, from the site featuring Mr. O’D’s obit:

      ‘”Bronx Bribery Bust Leaves the Fate of Two State Assembly Seats Uncertain.”

      No uncertainty exists. The seats will be relocated to Prison Cells 459A & B in Dannemora, N.Y., where all future business will be conducted, without further interruption.

      I mean, if you buy things, shouldn’t you get to keep them?