The New York Times

By Lisa Liebmann

CAUGHT IN THE ACT: New York Actors Face to Face. By Don Shewey. Photographs by Susan Shacter. (New American Library)

Everything about this collection – 54 interviews with and photo portraits of actors, seasoned and green, famous and not – is frontal. Susan Shacter’s head shots are simultaneously arty and artless, with the image-creating responsibilities mostly left to the all-male interview subjects. The book’s design is plain Deco-industrial and it has a rogues’ gallery of theatrically serious souls ranging from Barnard Hughes and Philip Bosco to Spalding Gray, Zeljko Ivanek and Wallace Shawn. I really liked ”Caught in the Act.” Any high-flown pretenses were left to the professional pretenders in question. A few of the more interesting things revealed in ”Caught in the Act” include the large number of actors who had religious callings or churchly backgrounds as children, and, promisingly, the expanding presence that local experimental theater companies are projecting into the national arena. Mr. Shewey began his career as an actor and Ms. Shacter is a portrait and fashion photographer. Together they have provided us with an empathetic and satisfying peek into the profession.