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Showing posts from February, 2010

Media Morsels 2.26.10

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“St. Jimmy’s Coming Down Across the (Shubert) Alley Way…”
The box office at the St. James theatre, home to American Idiot is now open. This means that you can go to the box office to purchase your ticket and save $7-10 on service fees. Tickets for opening night are still unavailable to the public, but I’m going to keep trying! In the meantime, make your way over to the St. James on 44th Street, right in between Sardi’s & The Helen Hayes Theatre and John’s Pizzeria, and get ready to rock out on Broadway! Visit Americanidiotonbroadway.com for all the details.

In other American Idiot news, Green Day will receive the Character Approved Award. What is that, you ask? It’s a made up award with a really good mission statement. USA Network, which airs habit-forming fun fluff such as Royal Pains and White Collar, trades on the brand “characters welcome,” indicative of the many characters populating the network’s shows. The Character Approved Award “is a celebration of the real characters maki…

Leo, Leaps and Love

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Leo
Shutter Island, the psychological thriller that marks the fourth collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, opened on Friday, February 19. In a rare move for me, I saw the movie in the theatre on opening day. When I arrived, I remembered why I don’t normally go to a new movie on opening day, and as I sat and waited for the movie to begin, I remembered why I don’t go to movies in the theatre, opening day or otherwise, very often. After washing up and buying my popcorn, I approached the entrance to the auditorium only to find there was already a line to get in – 35 minutes before the movie was set to start. Fortunately, I ended up getting the seat I would have normally chosen, but that’s not always a guarantee. Lesson learned: When Alice in Wonderland opens, wait at least until its second weekend to go see that fantastical world in 3-D. Then, while waiting in my choice seat for the movie, I had the pleasure of listening to a woman behind me complain about everything…

Media Morsels 2.19.10

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Vicky Cristina Dracula?
The New York Post reported that Oscar winner Javier Bardem, who was handsome and mightily seductive in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, might make his Broadway debut in a proposed revival of Dracula. Who knows if this will actually happen, seeing as there is another producing group aiming to bring the play off-Broadway with F. Murray Abraham as Van Helsing and an unknown actor as the blood sucker. (I’d also like to take a moment here to note that I’d love to see Jason Segel flesh out and fully stage his fledgling and sympathetic Dracula musical, A Taste for Love, puppets and all. Watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall. You’ll agree.) All I know is I certainly wouldn’t mind watching Bardem hulk around on stage for a couple of hours. (Also, I recently watched, for the first time, No Country for Old Men, which featured Bardem in his Oscar winning role. It was a chilling and curt movie, with quiet performances from the great cast but I think There Will Be Blood was …

A Behanding in Spokane

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You know there’s a movie star on the boards when there’s a crowd at the stage door of a new play in its second night of previews on a Tuesday night. Such was the case when I saw A Behanding in Spokane, a new play by prolific playwright Martin McDonagh. Behanding is McDonagh's first play set in America and stars film and stage vets Christopher Walken (the biggest attraction for the casual theatregoer), Sam Rockwell (a favorite of mine from Safe Men), Anthony Mackie (very good in The Bacchae in the park this past summer) and Zoe Kazan (the impressive young actress who briefly shared the screen with Leo in Revolutionary Road.) All of these accomplished actors have extensive theatre credits so there’s no carpetbagging, and all are very good in Behanding.

The plot revolves around Walken’s character, who is missing his left hand. He has dedicated his life to finding his severed limb, lost many years ago in Spokane, and at rise finds himself in a seedy hotel, waiting for two kids, Mackie …

Clybourne Park

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“Some ghosts are never gone.” That’s a lyric from Next to Normal but it’s also the main theme in the excellent new play currently enjoying its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons, Clybourne Park. Clybourne Park takes place over two acts, the first set in 1959 and the second in 2009, both in the same home in Chicago. In his thought provoking, witty and entertaining new play, playwright Bruce Norris explores timeless racial tensions and social mores in both funny and heartfelt ways without ever losing a sense of reality or needlessly crossing into preaching territory. I also like the way, particularly in the first act, the details are revealed naturally throughout the act, so we don’t know everyone’s full story from the start. I like this construction because it’s real. The play begins and we’re coming into these people’s lives “in progress.” To include some sort of expository dialogue at the beginning is ultimately insulting to the audience, as it lacks verisimilitude and also assum…

Swan Lake

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Swan Lake is a classic ballet and my taste tends to trend toward the modern so when I arrived at the State Theatre on Saturday night to see City Ballet’s production of Peter Martin’s Swan Lake, I had somewhat low expectations. After the performance, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the beauty and skill on display on the stage.

The first surprise came when the curtain rose to reveal revelers in bright oranges and greens - not at all the colors I thought I’d see. The dancing, though, left a little something to be desired. It seemed like something was out of sync among the dancers - they were not in unison and the dancing actually looked a little sloppy. This was not a sign of things to come, though. The Jester, danced by corps member Troy Schumacher, was energetic and entertaining, though he didn’t have the same kind of air in his jumps as Jonathan Stafford (or Benjamin Millepied, who I’d be wowed by later.) Before going any further, I should probably explain the story o…

Media Morsels 2.12.10

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Next to Normal Tour to Hit San Diego
According to subscription notices San Diego’s Balboa theatre is sending out, Next to Normal will make a stop at the naval base city in January 2011. Also making stops in San Diego will be Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story and Hair. All this is according to Broadway/San Diego and not official announcements from any of the show’s producers. So, keep checking those advertisements from Broward Center or whatever your local touring house is to keep up to date on what’s heading your way.

SNL – Kind of Funny
Despite being hosted by douche cougar extraordinaire Ashton Kutcher, this past Saturday’s SNL was pretty decent. There were two musical performances by Them Crocked Vultures, a super group made up of Josh Homme (from Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (the front man of my favorite, Foo Fighters) and the legendary John Paul Jones. Their two performances meant less time for bad sketches. Also, Weekend Update seemed longer than usual, and with the de…