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Antonio Banderas
'Stella!' is a backstage portrait of acting guru Stella Adler
'Stella!' is a backstage portrait of acting guru Stella Adler

The exclamatory title of Sheana Ochoa's biography of legendary acting teacher Stella Adler invokes Marlon Brando's tormented cry in "A Streetcar Named Desire." It's a fitting allusion: Brando was Adler's most famous pupil, and his endorsement of her teaching over Lee Strasberg's Method was a crucial victory in the rancorous war between these two American interpreters of Stanislavsky's revolutionary system of acting training. Adler and Strasberg's bickering began at the Group Theatre, the groundbreaking Depression-era collective that Strasberg formed with Adler's future husband, director Harold Clurman, and producer Cheryl Crawford, aimed at...

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