Hairspray Live! Between commercials and cutaways, NBC proves they CAN stop the beat (review)

Now that we’re mired in Trump America, there’s unexpected profundity to the pop confection Hairspray Live!, the live TV version of the 2002 musical that aired Wednesday night on NBC. If Trump and his minions have their way, it’ll be the early 1960s all over again (the musical is set in 1962)—and we’ll have to fight […]

Fritz Lang’s silent movie Metropolis gets new Tom Teasley percussive score (review)

In Constellation Theatre Company’s screeningof Metropolis, Tom Teasley’s live music breathes new life into the 89-year-old classic. Every production in Constellation’s 10th season will feature live music, but this production takes that idea and runs with it. A Constellation collaborator since The Arabian Nights in their first season, Tom Teasley provides a live and partially […]

Fox’s glitzy Rocky Horror Picture Show, tame and dull

Let’s do the Time Warp again! Then again, let’s not. The much an-ti-cip-at-ed reboot of the 1975 cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, despite its abundant glitz and glitter, is rather dull.

Five film musicals to watch for – some you’ve seen onstage

I love musicals.  I prefer my musicals live and in person; however, I will take a good musical wherever I can find it regardless of setting or format. Below is a list in chronological order of five upcoming musicals (more or less) that can be found in movie theatres or on television.  I am eagerly […]

Review: Florence Foster Jenkins. Streep is marvelous, but nearly eclipsed by Simon Helberg and Hugh Grant

The story of Florence Foster Jenkins is true; it’s strange; it brings up a lot of interesting questions about the intersection of money and the arts; and it is now a movie. In fact, it is the latest star vehicle for that most renowned of contemporary movie actors, the one and only Meryl Streep. 

Simon Helberg. Odd man out in Florence Foster Jenkins? Hardly.

One should probably not use the phrase “steals the show” to describe the performance of an actor in a movie featuring Meryl Streep as the leading lady, for such a thing is almost certainly impossible. But if it were possible, Simon Helberg’s turn as Cosme McMoon in Florence Foster Jenkins would serve as the ideal […]

Don’t miss these stars on Starz: Hopkins and McKellen in The Dresser

“This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen,” speaks the Fool in King Lear. The action of The Dresser takes place over one night before, during, and after a performance of that venerated tragedy. It’s the Second World War in England. Air raid sirens announce the danger of Nazi bombardments. The British […]

HBO’s All the Way starring Bryan Cranston (review)

So — all right, you missed All the Way at Arena Stage and you are forced to your TV as a consolation prize. I’m here to tell you that as consolation prizes go, this is a pretty good one. In the HBO version of the play, to which they are giving non-subscribers free access for a […]

Movie review: The Last Five Years

Once upon a time, in 2001, there was a musical. Beloved by dozens, this teeny-tiny song cycle told the story of an ordinary, five year relationship in a highly unusual way – from the woman’s point of view, we would be traveling backwards through time, from the end to the beginning, while from the man’s, […]

Movie review: Annie

Leapin’ Lizards! “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” and “Tomorrow” have been auto-tuned to the point where the lyrics sound like they’re being sung by a toaster oven rather than by the optimistic moppet Annie.

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