Theater in the English speaking world is not doing well. Our dramas are suffused with hock-Freudian placidity and overwhelmingly proud of their lack of any desire to look beyond the scope of a single family or relationship between individuals. Our comedies are not funny and rarely comical in their lack of humour, while our fantasies (musical or otherwise) are limited to a slightly more functional update of the world as it stands, unsurprising given how many of them function as adaptations of Disney films that functioned, even when originally released, as soporifics. If you are looking for visions of a future world better than this one, stay as far as you can from the theaters of Broadway or the West End.
I have been counting down the days to the opening of A Star is Born, teased by the alluring trailer which so well paints the image of an enticing music-meets-love story. With the trailer flashing scenes of the talented dreamboat Bradley Cooper, fashioned like the dingy, drunken country star I always found secretly charming, and the iconic Lady Gaga flawlessly belting the earworm ‘Shallow’, I knew that this was going to be the movie to look out for. I hyped myself up for a love story full of song and fun; when I hit the theater the weekend A Star Is Born opened, I had no idea that I was headed for a nearly perfect storytelling of love, passion, sacrifice, and disease.
Last Sunday evening at New York Theater Workshop, Heidi Schreck, playwright of What the Constitution Means to Me, walked on stage and the house lights dimmed imperceptibly. The confirmation hearing of, now, Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court had taken place only one day prior. But Schreck doesn’t make us forget the outside; in fact, she keeps that door open and thanks us for being there during this time. This play only grows when the context of our reality bleeds into the room, it feeds on the here and now, unflinching from one of the more dire truths we find ourselves facing: the US Constitution is in need of attention and we must decide if we are to stand by it, or to cast it aside.
Crazy Rich Asians is this summer’s movie bravado, it has the green light to end the stereotypes of Asian Americans allowing full range performances, and it has now been proven that Asian actors of color in an American produced film can turn a profit. See how Justin Lin has created a multi-cultural movie template (not just Asian) actors with great success. Our fav figure Awkwafina, a NYC educated sassy upbeat Streetwise Rich gal in the movie that adds a funky great comedic point that helps relieve the tension of the filthy rich but is pretty stinkin’ rich herself as the film unravels into many musical scenes full of nostalgia and dreamy costumes for lavish hedonistic Asians to drool over, but as we covet the lifestyles of the rich we blame the media for underrepresenting us all at the same time…how ironic we just aim to be wannabes= super successful =rich.
Hate conversation and racial slurs were a small part of the tactics Colorado-based undercover detective Ron Stallworth used to infiltrate the Klu Klux Klan in the 1970’s. The true story of the African American cop is the inspiration for the comedic and shocking Spike Lee directed film Blackkklansman.
The new critically acclaimed film is one of Spike Lee’s best, contending with his 1990’s blockbuster movies (Malcolm X, Jungle Fever), pushing the limits on social issues including racism, community and police brutality.
Throwing weapons and breaking glass are just a few of the things Shaun Russell does to rescue her children in the action thriller Breaking In. Gabrielle Union who plays Shaun takes on money seeking intruders using her wit and household weapons. Union, known for romantic comedy movies and the hit BET show, Being Mary Jane, takes on a new role requiring her to transition her drama techniques into physical warfare to defeat the burglars taking over her house.
Comic book and Sci-Fi lovers get to see Marvel Comics characters unite to save the universe in the epic action movie, Avengers: Infinity War. The nail biting thriller will keep movie goers on the edge of their seats while watching amazing fight scenes and battleground action on the big screen.
There are scenes that speak to Sen. Kennedy’s inadequacies from being the brother of a former President and a popular politician. Sen. Kennedy also had a strained relationship with his father.
The reenactment of the car being pulled the car out of the river and the reaction of the diver and the town sheriff show the shock of the town and how political power and selfishness can collide with society.
For many theatergoers this season’s revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Pareoistrika, now playing in repertory in a limited engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre, can seem like a veritable theatrical marathon. The two shows, which run for a total of 7.5 hours and can be seen in either one full day or split between two, takes about as much time as it does to fly to Europe or binge-watch an entire mini-series.
The National Ballet of Canadian performance of John Neumeier’s Nijinsky opened last Tuesday April 3 for its short run at the S.F. Opera House, through Sunday April 8, at 2:00, and it’s not to be missed. While I love ballet, I don’t go that often. Yet I followed my intuition and bought balcony tickets for the premiere and I have never been so grateful for my 6th sense as I stood with the crowd calling bravo as the curtains billowed and the dancers made their final bows.
The Death of Stalin, the tremendous new film directed by Armando Iannucci and based on the comic book of the same title by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, begins in Moscow with a performance of a Mozart piano concerto, performed superbly by the pianist Maria Veniaminovna Yudina (Olga Kurylenko), conducted by Spartak Sokolov (Justin Edwards) and transmitted through the radio by two highly competent sound engineers (Paddy Considine and Tom Brooke).
That was a nice time to come. In the mid-70s it was quiet and it was very cheap to live. And there was no hype. But I found it very depressing. Then later everything started moving.I think cheap apartments are an essential element in the creation of a counterculture.I think so And landlordism is an enemy of art. It's an enemy of civilization, really.
It is a thrill to watch writer/director Melanie Maria Goodreaux in her element, shining in a theater, flitting about a stage, cackling, making her universe. In Enough VO5 for the Universe you get to see her giant, hilarious brain in action.
There hasn’t been a group of friends this stylish and likable since the “Sex in the City” movies. Movie watchers get to see and experience the partying, laughs and see behind the curtain as a group of four friends get ready for a few nights on the town away from home and responsibilities.
The Cambridge Companion to Sam Shepard opens with a transcribed interview between Matthew Roudané, the collection's editor, and Shepard himself. The dialogue, like its subject, waxes and wanes across a hundred subjects, painting a picture of a man drenched in American myth.
If you've never heard of Kuso an independent film by rapper turned movie maker Flying Lotus, you're not alone. The movie is a niche film that has become a gross fascination for independent film lovers and free spirit creatives
If, judging by the trailers, the summer’s great female assassin film will not be Atomic Blonde, but Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess, I know from having just seen it that so far the summer’s great action film isDerek Kwok’s Wu Kong with its repeated tagline, “My name will be remembered a million years, Sun Wu Kong.”
Great theater requires high stakes conflict. In Oslo, J.T. Rodger’s tour-de-force, cross-cultural opus now playing at Lincoln Center Theater, there is no shortage of conflict. In a play largely made up of talks between the state of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, this is to be expected.
What does a revolution look like in 2017? In our cable news-facilitated present moment in which the unified voting patterns of white Americans are portrayed as a silent revolution of sorts, it’s almost hard to imagine a time when groups like The Black Panthers were even able to be revolutionary in their willingness to exercise their second amendment right to bear arms.
Present meets the past in Max Vernon’s time-traveling new musical The View Upstairs, which opened last month at the Lynn Redgrave theater. The musical is set in the eponymous UpStairs Lounge, a seventies gay bar and safe haven for the LGBT community located in New Orleans’ French Quarter.