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The New Yorker

The New Yorker May 30, 2016

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly print magazine with the web, mobile, tablet, social media, and signature events. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.

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in this issue

2 min.

Patrick Radden Keefe (“The Bank Robber,” p. 36), the author of “The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream,” is a staff writer. Jelani Cobb (Comment, p. 17) received the 2015 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns on race, politics, and social justice. Jack Handey (Shouts & Murmurs, p. 27) has written several humor books, including the recently self-published volume “Squeaky Poems: Rhymes About My Rat.” Reeves Wiedeman (“A Full Revolution,” p. 28) is a writer living in New York. Nicholas Schmidle (The Talk of the Town, p. 18) joined the staff of The New Yorker in 2012. R. Kikuo Johnson (Cover) is an illustrator and a cartoonist who teaches cartooning at the Rhode Island School of Design. Jane Mayer (“Sting of Myself,” p. 22),…

3 min.
the mail

THE REGULATORS Siddhartha Mukherjee’s article about twins and epigenetics misrepresents the processes by which genes are regulated and how the environment influences the genome (“Same but Different,” May 2nd). Mukherjee centers his article on the work of David Allis and Danny Reinberg, who think that “epigenetic” mechanisms play a causative, instructive role in gene regulation. But many researchers consider these mechanisms to be downstream processes, secondary to the work of proteins called transcription factors, which turn genes on or off. Ignoring the vast body of work on gene regulation from the past half century, Mukherjee gives the lay reader the impression that “epigenetics” is providing new answers to an unsolved problem in biology, when scientists already have a very good understanding of how the environment influences the genome. (And, rather than…

36 min.
goings on about town: this week

Anna Magnani overflowed with vital energy in comedy and tragedy alike, as seen in Film Society of Lincoln Center’s retrospective (through June 1). She gained international fame in Roberto Rossellini’s Second World War drama “Rome, Open City,” but her career (and his) soon changed course. Their next collaboration, “L’Amore,” from 1948, includes an adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s play “The Human Voice,” in which Magnani spends nearly a half hour on the phone. The stakes were different, but Magnani’s passion remained intact. THE THEATRE OPENINGS AND PREVIEWS An Act of God Sean Hayes stars in a return engagement of David Javerbaum’s comedy, in which the Almighty comes down to earth to clear up a few misconceptions. Joe Mantello directs. (Booth, 222 W. 45th St. 212-239-6200. Previews begin May 28.) Cirque du Soleil—Paramour The Canadian circus…

2 min.
big names

In the program booklets of the New York Philharmonic, it is the house style to leave out a composer’s first name if the person is deceased. “BRAHMS,” “SCHUMANN,” or “CRAWFORD,” for example, belong to history: a boldly upper-cased escutcheon provides all the information necessary. But many in the contemporary-music community will feel a tug of the heart when, during the new edition of the NY Phil Biennial (through June 11), the name “STUCKY” appears all alone, without the “Steven”— though it could have been just “Steve,” the appellation by which this superb composer was known to a legion of grateful and admiring colleagues. The inclusion of music by Stucky (who died in February) in the Biennial, curated this time by the Philharmonic’s music director, Alan Gilbert, along with its composer-in-residence, Esa-Pekka…

2 min.
blood relatives

No great director has built a career with as overt and obsessive a relation to a cinematic forebear as Brian De Palma has in regard to Alfred Hitchcock. The comprehensive retrospective of De Palma’s films at Metrograph, June 1-23, offers his exemplary 1973 thriller, “Sisters” (June 3). It’s largely a mashup of “Rear Window” and “Psycho,” but it starts with a wicked satire that’s entirely De Palma’s own—a hidden-camera TV game show of illicit thrills called “Peeping Toms.” On the set, one participant, Phillip Woode (Lisle Wilson), meets the model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder). They become fast friends and spend the night together at her Staten Island apartment; the next morning, a neighbor, Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt), a local journalist, looks out the window and sees Phillip being murdered in…

4 min.
goings on about town: above & beyond

Lower East Side Festival Not only can this long-standing free New York event claim true roots on the Lower East Side, as of this year it’s reached the legal drinking age. The twenty-first annual festival takes place this Memorial Day weekend, hosted by the community cultural center and playhouse Theatre for the New City. An array of local actors, musicians, dancers, aerialists, and artists celebrate their neighborhood pride: highlights include an immersive theatre experience about city violence, staged by the songwriter and playwright Ian Ellis James, formerly of “Sesame Street”; a performance by the environmentally minded composer David Avram; and an appearance by the multifaceted club performer Phoebe Legere, whose blend of Tin Pan Alley musicality and bedazzled stage antics still echo in the work of Lady Gaga and other modern…