Who is this Anita Gates you speak of?

A.G.’s journalistic triumphs over 25 years at The New York Times include drinking with Bea Arthur (at a Trump hotel), Wendy Wasserstein (at an Italian restaurant) and Peter O’Toole (in his trailer on a mini-series set near Dublin). It is sheer coincidence that these people are now dead.

At The New York Times, she has been Arts & Leisure television editor and co-film editor, a theater reviewer on WQXR Radio, a film columnist for the Times TV Book and an editor in the Culture, Book Review, Travel, National, Foreign and Metro sections. Her first theater review for The Times appeared in 1997, assessing “Mrs. Cage,” a one-act about a housewife suspected of shooting her favorite supermarket box boy. The review was mixed.

Outside The Times, A.G. has been the author of four nonfiction books; a longtime writer for travel magazines, women's magazines and travel guidebooks; a lecturer at universities and for women’s groups; and a moderator for theater, book, film and television panels at the 92nd Street Y and the Paley Center for Media.

If she were a character on “Mad Men,” she’d be Peggy.

American Interference With Russia (Our Favorite New York Times Articles)


‘SO ENTITLED, SO OBSESSED WITH THEIR OWN UNHAPPINESS’ They’re just like millennials! A scene from Halley Feiffer’s “Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow,” an adaptation of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.”

A YEAR OR TWO ago, I was sitting at a New York restaurant with SS, one of my frequent press-nights guests. The subject of Anton Chekhov came up. And I decided to try to be clever and sum up a brilliant dead Russian playwright’s work in one sentence. “In a Chekhov play,” I said, “everybody sits around in a big house in the country and complains about how much better their lives would be if they could move to Moscow.” Or if they had been able to move to Moscow years ago.


MOSCOW KITSCH Trip Cullman, who directed “Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow,” with Halley Feiffer, who wrote it.

So I had to laugh when I saw that Halley Feiffer’s newest play, an adaptation of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” was titled “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow.”

Alexis Soloski wrote an Arts & Leisure feature in the July 21 edition of The New York Times composed of an interview with both Feiffer, whose play opened at MCC last month, and Aaron Posner, the playwright of “Life Sucks” (inspired by “Uncle Vanya”), which returned to Theater Row this year.

HF: “They were so entitled, so obsessed with their own unhappiness, so unwilling to take any actions to overcome said unhappiness, so cruel, judgmental and petty at the same so capable of love, compassion and growth.”

Posner said he didn’t find Chekhov’s world — most of his best-known works were written between 1896 and 1904 — distant at all.

LIFE SUCKS curtain call acorn.jpg

VANYA & SONIA & BABS & PICKLES The cast of Posner’s “Life Sucks,” including Austin Pendleton, in center, with arms folded Trump-style.

AP: “That’s why I find it so funny when people say my plays are totally ‘Chekhovian.,’ when that is not what I am trying to do. They really just mean ‘human,’ I think.”

MOSCOW posner thumbs nose.jpg

AUTHOR, AUTHOR Aaron Posner, who has also written contemporary adaptations of “The Seagull” and “Three Sisters.”

Posner, who made one of the characters in his version of “Vanya” lesbian (she’s now named Pickles), mentioned one of his favorite Chekhov quotations. He repeated it as “Any fool can stand a crisis; it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.”

Feiffer identified. “I’m so good in a crisis,” she said, but “buying a weekly MetroCard still baffles me.”

The article is headlined “Chekhovian, Yet Modern” in The Times’s print edition.

'Moulin Rouge!' Arrives at the Hirschfeld, With Bells On

'The Secret Life of Bees' at the Atlantic: Lynn Nottage Who?