Showing posts from February, 2014

Week in Review 2.28.14

Oscar Prep
The Oscars will be presented this Sunday night! (The ceremony begins at 8pm EST and airs on ABC.) In preparation, the Academy has announced the full list of presenters. In addition to those announced last week, some of the starry presenters are: Amy Adams; Penelope Cruz; Viola Davis; Robert De Niro; Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Michael B. Jordan; Anna Kendrick; Bill Murray; Kim Novak; Sidney Poitier; and Charlize Theron. Read the press release for the full list, and visit the Oscars Presenters gallery to find out who their heroes are. (Remember that "heroes" is the theme this year. Whatever.)

Rolling Stone posted a list of the 12 people most likely to join the EGOT club. (EGOT = Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Only 11 people are in the club right now (including Mel Brooks, Marvin Hamlisch and Rita Moreno), and on Sunday night, Bobby Lopez could join them. (He won Tonys for Avenue Q; Tonys and a Grammy for The Book of Mormon; and an Emmy (daytime) for The Wonder Pets.) He'…

Week in Review 2.21.14

(Scroll down to find out if Leonardo DiCaprio is coming to Broadway!)
Award Season Update
BAFTA Awards—The last of the major awards shows before the Oscars, the BAFTA Awards were presented last weekend. (BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.) Adding another trophy to its mantle, 12 Years a Slave took home the Best Film honor, as did its star, Chiwetel Ejiofor. In a surprise win, Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) beat 12 Years' Lupita Nyong'o for Best Supporting Actress. The Hollywood Reporter's awards guru, Scott Feinberg, has some insight into what Lawrence's win means for her Oscar hopes. The magazine also has the full list of winners, as well as red carpet pics. (As always, Nyong'o stunned in Dior and Leonardo DiCaprio looked perfect in his tuxedo.)

Academy Awards—Final voting is underway for the Oscars, which are less than two weeks away. (Oscar night is Sunday, March 2.) The Hollywood Reporter's Feinberg brings us another Feinberg Foreca…

The Bridges of Madison County

This story was meant to be a musical. I have not seen the film adaptation of Robert James Waller’s novel, but I did recently read the source material. It’s a light read and while the love story at its center is compelling, it didn’t move me. But music is better than words. All the complicated feelings—the lingering, the excitement, the romance, the resignation—really come alive in song.

The happenings take place over four days in Winterset, Iowa, where Francesca (Kelli O’Hara), an Italian who married a US soldier during the war and moved with him to Madison County, lives with her husband, Bud (Hunter Foster), and their two children, Michael (Derek Klena) and Carolyn (Caitlin Kinnunen). It’s a small, provincial town, one that affords Francesca a rather small, provincial life. Enter photographer Robert Kincaid (Steven Pasquale), who is in town to photograph all the covered bridges in Madison County. Shortly after Bud and the kids leave town for a week at the state fair, Robert drives u…

Week in Review 2.14.14

Award Season Updates
Oscars—The Academy Awards will soon be upon us, and on Monday the nominees (most of them, though not all) gathered for the annual nominees luncheon. This is the festive event at which nominees take their "class photo" (see above). The Oscars blog covered the event in real time, sharing tons of great photos with fans. (I've been updating my Oscars Pinterest board throughout the season.) The Hollywood Reporter also covered the event (obviously), taking readers inside the soiree, including a glimpse of the Oscar nominee sweatshirt, as well a photo gallery of the red carpet and pics from its own fiesta later that night. Seriously. In addition to taking the class photo, Oscar nominees filled out the "in their own words" questionnaires; check out part one, which includes responses from Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), and part two, which includes responses from Jared Leto (Da…

Dinner with Friends

Is it ever so simple as just having dinner with friends? No way, according to Donald Margulies’s terrific and Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Dinner with Friends, being given a great New York revival by Roundabout Theatre Company.

The play moves around in time but centers on dinners (and other meals) among two couples: Gabe and Karen (Jeremy Shamos and Marin Hinkle) and Beth and Tom (Heather Burns and Darren Pettie). Gabe and Tom have been friends since college; Gabe and Karen have been married for about 13 years; Beth and Tom have been married for 12 years. We meet them all throughout act one, as both connections and rifts are revealed. Kicking off act two is a flashback to the summer when Beth and Tom met, having been set up by Gabe and Karen (this scene is the only time all four are on stage together, and it’s vital to fully understanding the characters and the dynamics between all four). We then jump back to the present and continue to see how many people are actually in one relation…

No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot

Update: This production of No Man's Land, starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, is set to play London's Wyndham Theatre from 8 September through 17 December 2016. Visit to book your tickets.

Twelfth Night and Richard III are not the only repertory productions on the boards right now. Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart lead rep productions of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, both directed by Sean Mathias. (Tony winners Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley round out each play's four-person company.)

Though I was more familiar with Godot, I saw No Man’s Land first and stayed for the first of several post-show discussions with the cast and director. It helped. My experience with No Man’s Land mirrored my high school experience with Catcher in the Rye: I didn’t love reading it but I quite enjoyed discussing it. So too with this Pinter play.

On an elementary level, No Man’s Land is about a man, Hirst (Stewart), who has d…

City Ballet: Vespro, Spectral Evidence and Acheron

It’s been too long since I’ve seen the New York City Ballet (the fall season ended in October), so it was particularly nice to dive back in with a New Combinations program on Saturday afternoon.

First on the bill was Vespro, a Mauro Bigonzetti ballet set to a Bruno Moretti score that was commissioned by NYCB for this ballet. I found Vespro to be incredibly fascinating. It was like a Pinter play—it means whatever it means to you. I feel like I would interpret this differently depending upon my mood. I was in a good mood on Saturday, so this is the Vespro I saw.

Vespro starts with a single dancer (Andrew Veyette) on stage. He marks time and seems to be exploring the space, testing the boundaries. An ensemble makes its way out (throughout, they help to transition from section to section), as do two couples: Maria Kowroski + Tyler Angle and Ashley Bouder + Gonzalo Garcia.

The dichotomy of the two couples is stunning. They do some of the same choreography but differently and to different acc…