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Review: Angry wit infuses ‘Hellman v McCarthy’

March 27, 2014 • Entertainment


This image released by Abingdon Theatre Company are Roberta Maxwell and Dick Cavett in a scene from “Hellman v. McCarthy,” currently performing off-Broadway in New York. (AP Photo/Abingdon Theatre Co.; Kim T. Sharp)

NEW YORK (AP) — Ask a leading question and hope for a juicy answer. That timeless tactic worked well for erudite TV talk show host Dick Cavett, especially when he sparked the famous American literary feud in which successful playwright Lillian Hellman sued fellow writer Mary McCarthy for calling her a liar.

McCarthy’s instantly famous assertion about Hellman was uttered casually after a bit of hopeful prodding by Cavett on a January 1980 airing of his PBS show. Calling Hellman a dishonest writer, McCarthy further embellished Login to read more

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