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Showing posts from February, 2016

88th Academy Award Winners

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The winners of the 88th Academy Awards have been announced. Herein, the full list of winners. (Winners are notated with an asterisk and bold typeface.)
Best Picture
The Big ShortBridge of SpiesBrooklynMad Max: Fury RoadThe Martian The RevenantRoomSpotlight* Yes! What a fabulous choice! This is everything a Best Picture should be: well-crafted, substantive, fantastic cast, and with something to say about our society. Excellent.  
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston, TrumboMatt Damon, The MartianLeonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant*Michael Fassbender, Steve JobsEddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl Y'all, I love Leo. It was all but a foregone conclusion that he was (FINALLY) going to win, and so the smart, thoughtful, passionate actor took the opportunity to craft a speech ahead of time. He not only spoke nicely about the professional achievement, but wove his work as an actor seamlessly into his work as an activist. Perfect speech for the best actor of his generation.
Best Actress in a Le…

Week in Review 2.26.16

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Wyatt Cenac: Furry Dumb Fighter
Wyatt Cenac, comedian and one-time Daily Show correspondent, just released a new comedy album, Furry Dumb Fighter. (His last one, Brooklyn, was nominated for a Grammy.) While promoting the new album, he stopped by Conan (part one, part two) and HuffPost Live to talk about comedy, diversity on his upcoming TBS show, People of Earth (which also stars Noises Off's Tracee Chimo), and his Grammy-going experience. He also chatted with Vulture about those topics, as well as his memorable WTF Podcast appearance. Visit iTunes to purchase your copy of Furry Dumb Fighter.

Casting News
Broadway—Casting for Nerds, A Musical Dot-Comedy has been announced. Tony nomineeRory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon, Little Miss Sunshine) and Bryan Fenkart (Nobody Loves You, These Paper Bullets) will star as titular nerds Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, respectively. They'll be joined by Lindsay Mendez (Godspell, Significant Other), Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones, Fly by Night) a…

Dot

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Dot is a memory play, but not in the typical sense. No, there's no nostalgia or wistful longing for a simpler time. Instead, playwright (and actor, though not in this) Colman Domingo has written (what must be a deeply personal) play about memory.

The titular Dot (Marjorie Johnson, so good) is the family matriarch but she is in the early- to mid-stages of Alzheimer's and dementia. Her eldest daughter, Shelly (Sharon Washington, terrific), bears the brunt of the caretaking responsibilities, and she is at her wits end. At rise, it's a few days before Christmas. Shelly's childhood friend, Jackie (Finnerty Steeves), has unexpectedly come back to town (that would be Philadelphia). In high school, Jackie carried a torch for the now-out Donnie (Stephen Conrad Moore), Shelly's brother, who is married to Adam (Colin Hanlon) and lives out of town. Shelly and Donnie's younger sister, Averie (Libya V. Pugh) lives in Shelly's basement, but doesn't do much in the way …

City Ballet: Ash; This Bitter Earth; The Infernal Machine; Jeux; and Paz de la Jolla

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New York City Ballet's winter season is almost over, but Saturday afternoon I got to see five ballets during the 21st Century Choreographers program, bringing my season to a close on a high note.


First were three shorter ballets. Peter Martins'sAsh got things going. Or, more accurately, the music did. Ash is set to an eponymous composition by Michael Torke, and was Martins's fourth ballet set to Torke's music. I found the music—especially the percussion section—to be more interesting and engaging than the choreography and dancing. Unfortunately, the ensemble (Sara Adams; Spartak Hoxha; Laine Habony; Sebastian Villarini-Velez; Ashley Hod; Devin Alberda; Unity Phelan; and Cameron Dieck) looked a little sloppy in the chaotic choreography. This is unusual for the venerable Company.

Soloists Ashley Laracey and Zachary Catazaro were the featured dancers. They were good together, but they couldn't do much to make this ballet interesting. As I've noted before, I like w…

Week in Review 2.19.16

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Award Season Updates
As many predicted, Hamiltonwon the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. (Lin-Manuel Miranda posted the photo at right of a celebratory cake.) Playbill has details about that award, and you can visit grammy.com for the full list of this year's winners, including the Oscar-winning song, "Glory." Before Hamilton won, though, the cast performed the opening number. Entertainment Weekly takes you behind the scenes of the performance.

BAFTA Awards were handed out last week. The Revenant took home the top honor, and its star, Leonardo DiCaprio, director, Alejandro G. Inarritu, cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, and sound design team were also winners. Three-time Tony Award winnerMark Rylance won for Best Supporting Actor (Bridge of Spies), and Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer won the Best Original Screenplay award for Spotlight. Visit bafta.org for the full list of winners.

Additional Oscars presenters have been announced, including Sacha Baron Bohen and Jo…