After accepting a buyout at the Daily News in 2008, Kissel continued to write the Sunday Cultural Tourist column. In November he was informed that the website was undergoing a major redesign and that The Cultural Tourist would not be part of it. "Through a happy set of coincidences," he told Playbill.com, "I asked to be part of Huffington Post and was accepted."
Kissel, 68, began reviewing theatre for Women's Wear Daily in 1974. He moved to the News in 1986.
Kissel has been chairman of both the New York Film Critics Circle and the New York Drama Critics Circle. In 1994, he served on the drama jury for the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the books "The Abominable Showman," an unauthorized biography of producer David Merrick; "Stella Adler on the Art of Acting," based on the technique lectures of Stella Adler; "New York Theatre Walks: Seven Historical Tours from Times Square to Greenwich Village and Beyond"; and an update to Lehman Engel's 1971 "Words With Music."
As an actor he can be heard on the just-released "Noel Coward: His Voice in Verse" and the studio recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Allegro." He played Woody Allen's manager in the 1980 "Stardust Memories."
Kissel was born in Milwaukee and studied comparative literature at Columbia and journalism at Northwestern before writing for newspapers and magazines.