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Showing posts from January, 2017

NYCB: New Combinations

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Notes on the New Combinations evening, including the world premiere of two ballets:


Fearful Symmetries: This Peter Martins ballet is reminiscent of Robbins's Glass Pieces, though it's just one movement (with a coda). Using the John Adams composition of the same name, Fearful Symmetries, which I first saw in 2011, is athletic and buoyant. Taking its cue from the music, there is repetition—symmetry—to the steps. The ending coda is like a cool down, something suggesting that everything leading up to it was a fever dream. There are no principals, giving more corps de ballet members and soloists an opportunity to be showcased, and not just the two main couples (Claire Kretzchmar + Russell Janzen and Ashly Isaacs + Zachary Catazaro). In particular, I noticed featured soloist Harrison Ball, who made great leaps in some impressive sections. While Isaacs comes on like a seductress, Kretzchmar looks too green to make me believe she feels anything the ballet might be trying to express. A…

SAG Award Winners

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Winners for the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards announced and celebrated January 29. Herein, the full list of winners.Winners are in bold typeface and are notated with an asterisk.

Movies
Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture
Captain FantasticFencesHidden Figures*Manchester by the SeaMoonlightOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the SeaAndrew Garfield, Hacksaw RidgeRyan Gosling, La La LandViggo Mortensen, Captain FantasticDenzel Washington, Fences*Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, ArrivalEmily Blunt, The Girl on the TrainNatalie Portman, JackieEmma Stone, La La Land*Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight*Jeff Bridges, Hell or High WaterHugh Grant, Florence Foster JenkinsLucas Hedges, Manchester by the SeaDev Patel, Lion Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, Fences*Nicole Kidman…

Week in Review 1.27.17

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Casting News
Complete casting for the revival of Sunday in the Park with George has been announced. Joining stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford are their City Center costars Tony winnerRuthie Ann Miles (The King and I) and Phillip Boykin (Porgy and Bess), among others, as well as Andrew Kober (She Loves Me), Erin Davie (Side Show), Max Chernin (Bright Star), and Robert Sean Leonard (Dead Poets Society, Prodigal Son), and more. Previews begin February 11, and opening night is set for February 23. The limited engagement is scheduled to conclude April 23. Broadway World has the full casting announcement.

Ben Schwartz (House of Lies, This is Where I Leave You) and Noell Wells (SNL, Master of None) will star in the Netflix original film, Happy Anniversary. The Tracking Board has more.

Complete casting for the February 19 Crazy for You concert has been announced. Joining stars Tony Yazbeck and Laura Osnes are Mark Linn-Baker (On the Twentieth Century) and Nancy Opel (Honeymoon in Vegas

NYCB: Stravinsky x Five

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Notes on the Stravinsky x Five program, five ballets, all set to Igor Stravinsky compositions:


Scenes de Ballet: This is an early Christopher Wheeldon work. In fact, as program notes state, it was Wheeldon's second ballet for NYCB. As the title suggests, the ballet shows scenes from a ballet class, starting with young children and maturing through about-to-graduate. (All the dancers are SAB students.) Ian Falconer's scenic design sees a ballet barre running down the center of the stage, with a suggested but unseen mirror atop, just like in class. For much of the ballet, there are dancers on either side of the barre mirroring one another. This is a lovely ballet, showing the romanticism of the art form, from the little tiny dreamers to the slightly older dreamers. It's certainly nothing remarkable (like Wheeldon's breakthrough Polyphonia or After the Rain), but delightful nevertheless.


The Cage: I think this Jerome Robbins ballet is fabulous. "There occurs in certai…

89th Academy Award Nominees

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The nominees for the 89th Academy Awards have been announced. Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the February 26 ceremony. Herein, the full list of nominees.
Best Picture
ArrivalFencesHacksaw RidgeHell or High WaterHidden FiguresLa La LandLionManchester by the SeaMoonlight
Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the SeaAndrew Garfield, Hacksaw RidgeRyan Gosling, La La LandViggo Mortensen, Captain FantasticDenzel Washington, Fences
Actress in a Leading Role
Isabelle Huppert, ElleRuth Negga, LovingNatalie Portman, JackieEmma Stone, La La LandMeryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, MoonlightJeff Bridges, Hell or High WaterLucas Hedges, Manchester by the SeaDev Patel, LionMichael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Actress in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, FencesNaomie Harris, MoonlightNicole Kidman, LionOctavia Spencer, Hidden FiguresMichelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Directing
Denis Villeneuve, ArrivalMel Gibson, Hacksaw RidgeDamien Chazelle, La La Land

Week in Review 1.20.17

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Casting News
Andre Holland (Moonlight) will appear in the film, Widows, co-written by Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn, and directed by McQueen. Holland joins the previously announced Tony winners Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo. Variety has more.

Tony winnerJames Monroe Iglehart will join the Hamilton Broadway company as Lafayette/Jefferson in mid-April, succeeding Seth Stewart. Iglehart won his Tony for playing the Genie in Aladdin, and will conclude his three-year run in that show on February 19. Major Attaway will take over the Genie role beginning February 21. Theater Mania has more.

Richard Armitage (Love, Love, Love) has joined the cast of Ocean's Eight, the female-led Ocean's 11 flick. Armitage joins stars Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, and Helena Bonham Carter. Deadline has more.

Golden Globe winnerRachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Jerry O'Connell (Seminar, American Hero) have joined the starry lineup of the February 19 Crazy for You concert. Playbill

Week in Review 1.13.17

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Casting News
Academy Award winner and stage veteran Marisa Tomei, as well as Tony nominee Omar Metwally (Guards at the Taj, The Affair), Tony winnerLena Hall (Hedwigand the Angry Inch), and others, will star in Sarah Ruhl's How to Transcend a Happy Marriage. The LCT production, directed by Rebecca Taichman, begins previews February 23, with opening night set for March 20. Broadway.com has more.

Taylor Louderman (Bring It On, Gigantic) will join the Broadway company of Kinky Boots, taking on the role of Lauren. She begins performances on January 16. Broadway.com has more.

Complete casting for Joan of Arc: Into the Fire, the new musical from David Byrne and Alex Timbers, has been announced. Jo Lampert stars in the title role (in costume at right), and Terence Archie (Rocky), Mike McGowan, and others will appear in featured and ensemble roles. Broadway World has the full announcement. Previews begin February 14, with opening night scheduled for March 15. The limited engagement is, at th…

Golden Globe Winners

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Winners of the 74th Golden Globe Awards were announced and celebrated on January 8. The full list of winners is below. (Winners are notated in bold typeface and with an asterisk.)
Movies
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Hacksaw RidgeHell or High WaterLionManchester by the SeaMoonlight*Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Amy Adams, ArrivalJessica Chastain, Miss SloaneIsabelle Huppert, Elle*Ruth Negga, LovingNatalie Portman, Jackie Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea*Joel Edgerton, LovingAndrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge Viggo Mortensen, Captain FantasticDenzel Washington, Fences Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
20th Century WomenDeadpoolFlorence Foster JenkinsLa La Land*Sing Street Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, 20th Century WomenLily Collins, Rules Don't ApplyHailee Steinfeld, The Edge of SeventeenEmma Stone, La La Land*Meryl Streep, Florence Foster JenkinsB…

The Present

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I had high hopes for The Present. The Sydney Theatre Company production is a take on a lost Anton Chekhov play (Platonov) and stars the unparalleled two-time Academy Award winnerCate Blanchett (making her Broadway debut). While it was, indeed, a treat to catch Blanchett on stage, The Present is a middling play about a bunch of adults misbehaving.

At rise, several old friends and lovers are gathered for Anna's 40th birthday. Anna (Blanchett, Blue Jasmine) was married to The General; his second wife, the couple married when Anna was just 20, and The General died about 10 years prior to the present (set in the 1980s, it seems). Among the guests are Anna's step-son, Sergei (Chris Ryan), who's only about four years younger than Anna; Nikolai (Toby Schmitz), a life-long friend of Sergei's; and Mikhail (Richard Roxburgh), the boys' tutor and a perpetual flirting partner for Anna.

Given the revelers' history, there's a lot of talk of the past. There's also quit…