Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
In honer of the final performance of Rent being released as a film now, I thought I would repost this.
"Life Is Yours To Miss"
-Johnathan Larson, Rent
I wanted to acknowledge the closing of the musical Rent last night. I think that it is at one of the most emotionally loaded closings we will ever see because the story of Rent goes beyond what so many audiences saw on the stage each night to another story that was almost a legendary tragedy about a musician who waited all his life to create a great musical and, on the eve of his musical finally getting produced, died suddenly. This is the story of Johnathan Larson, the man who wrote Rent who now we tragically will never see anymore from. This is why this is such a sad closing.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Getting The Girl is one of those books that when it really gets started you can't put down. Getting The Girl tells the story of a boy named Sherman Mack who is in 'love' (or more as you learn later in the book, liking) with Dini Trioli who reacts with indifference and is much more into the school's jock. But there is a dark secret of the school that Sherman slowly learns, many students are D-listed or defiled, after which they are shunned for good. Sherman notices that the jock's last girlfriend was defiled and wonders if the jock is the defiler. Then starts an investigation that features surveillance, drug dealing, cross dressing and olive dressing.
It seemingly, at the beginning of the book, has it's two romantic leads, it's best friend character and it's villain but the book isn't content with staying with formula and switches around the characters a'la A Midsummer Night's Dream. A supremely entertaining read, Getting The Girl is certainly worth getting.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
- Title Of Show and Xanadu are closing on the SAME day!!
- Some of the Title of Show songs are pretty catchy.
- Jude Law is no longer a leading actor
- Robert Downey Jr. is now.
- No-one seems to really be noticing Equus being on B'way. Too bad, its a pretty good play.
- I will never see Igor.
- I just bought the new Susan Juby book. Review soon.
- I hope Gypsy stays open (and with Patti Lupone) for a while more.
- Alan Moore dosn't approve of the Watchman Movie. Big Shock.
Note: I thought that I would write a little bit about each of the albums currently on my itunes. If you hate musicals, don't venture further.
1: How Glory Goes by Audra Mcdonald: As one of the best vocal singers of her time, McDonald is one who is always great to listen to on cast and solo albums
2: Disney Album by Barbra Cook and 3: Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust by Kerry Butler: I don't know why but I tend to enjoy hearing Broadway stars singing Disney songs.
3: The Broadway Album by Barbra Streisand: One of my favorite singers, this is one of my favorite of her albums because it has more Sondhiem songs then most of her others.
4: 1 by The Beatles: How can you have a playlist on an apple without the Beatles.
5: It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Superman! The Musical!!: Unbelievably funny.
6: Bernadette Peters GYPSY and Patti Lupone GYPSY: I always love the score of Gypsy (I also own the Angela Launsberry version.) and the Patti Lupone version is a special treat because of the added deleted songs.
7: SWEENEY TODD: The Broadway Revival (disks 1 and 2) and SWEENY TODD, THE MOVIE:One of Sondheim's greatest scores. BEST TRACKS: By The Sea, The Worst Pies in London and Kiss Me (revival recording only.)
8: Ma'Cherie by FreshlyGround: From South Africa, this album is a treat.
9: G-Sides, 10 Most Wanted and 11 Drastic Fantastic: Umm.. A friend gave me this stuff to put on the itunes.
12: Cinema Seranade, 13 NORTON RECORDINGS and 14 Life And Works of Bach: I like to have SOME orchestral stuff
15: Shine: I just have the big yellow taxi remix
16: Grateful and 17 Intervention: I am a pretty big fan of Kristen Chenoweth
18: Thoroughly Modern Millie: Sutton Foster's best performance.
19: Company: Another one of Sondhiem's best musical. BEST TRACKS: Being Alive, Another Hundred People and You Could Drive a Person Crazy.
20: Rent: See this post. best track: Take Me or Leave Me
21: Spring Awakening: One of the best new musical, it has a rock score that actually WORKS.
22 and 23: THE LADY WITH THE TORCH and LADY WITH THE TORCH..still burning: I'm a big Patti Lupone fan and she is particularly good in this album.
24: Unchained Melodies: It's a lot of fun to hear Broadway Songs played instrumentally on piano.
25: SHE AND HIM volume 1: This is one of my favorite albums.
26: Bounce: Love hearing new Sondhiem scores, can't wait to actually see it.
27: DESPERATE HOUSWIVES: explanation: I just bought the Idina Menzel track
28: TITLE OF SHOW: I've only listened to this once but it sounds pretty good.
29: Across The Universe: Great movie, great album
30: BETTE MIDLER SINGS THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY SONGBOOK: Belive it or not, she's as good a singer as she is a comedian and actress.
31: Cabaret and 32: A Chorus Line: Two Classics very well worthy of inclusion in a library of music.
33: Hairspray: A good new musical with some catchy songs and a classic performance from Harvey Fierstien as Edna.
34: On The Twentieth Century: always enjoy albums with Madeline Kahn
35: Cinderella: Vintage Julie Andrews
36: CLASSIC DISNEY: I sometimes enjoy the Disney songs
37: Dress Casual: Great Mandy Patankin album with some great songs
38: The Frogs: I saw (and loved) this on Broadway.
39-40: Putting It Together: Great to hear Julie Andrews sing Sondhiem.
41: She Loves Me: A great hidden gem
42: Sherry: Fun all star album.
43: Wicked: for better or for worse, one of the most important new musicals with two great ying-yang actors Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth.
44: The Wizard of Oz: To hear Nathan Lane as the cowardly lion is a treat.
45: Young Frankenstein: Fun but not great.
46: White Limousine: I like Spring Awakening quite a bit so I decided to check this one out
48: Into The Woods: Another good Sondhiem musical
49: The Boy From OZ!: It's fun to hear Hugh Jackman sing.
50: ANYTHING GOES (REVIVAL): As I have said before, I'm a big Patti Lupone fan!
THIS POST WILL CONTINUE TO BE UPDATED AS I ADD NEW ALBUMS TO MY ITUNES!!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Recently I attended two big concerts in Toronto - Backstreet Boys and the amazing Celine Dion. I wanted to share my experiences with you:
Part 1: Celine Dion's Closet
In the concert, Celine wore many outfits. Here they are (not in chronological order)
TO BE CONTINUED
As you might imagine, in addition to dressin' fancy, she sung a little. she sung..something. Some song from some movie...about rowing a boat..down a river...and hearts...going on.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Slumdog Millionaire is a movie that manages to be unbelievably violent but in the end heartwarming and romantic. The movie manages to be funny too. Slumdog Millionaire opens with Jamal Malik being tortured by the police because he is believed to have cheated on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Slowly through his memory we learn that he didn't cheat at all, he didn't even want to win, but rather knew all the answers to the questions because of how they related to his rough life. Now I know this all sounds hokey but somehow through beautiful and lush cinematography of the beauty and ugliness of India, the great performances of the young and unknown actors (this film contains the best child performances ever put to film), the wonderful music which is at once beautiful, mechanic and gut wrenching depending on the moment in the film and the romance of the film, the audience can not be unmoved by in the end.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Yesterday, at the screening of Coopers Camera, the audience was told that we had managed to get tickets to one of the most popular and hard to get films at the TIFF. Let me tell you quickly..it wasn't the best. But, on the bright side, it wasn't the worst either. Cooper's Camera is a funny and quirky film that is at once quite edgy...and not edgy at all. It was laugh out loud funny and did have good performances. It didn't stand out so much from the other films at TIFF but it was very good comedy in that the film just knows the limits of what it can and can't do. Ultimately it is a fun film to view..though not a great one.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
My faith in the TIFF is restored. After the disappointment last night of Gigantic it was nice to see a five, or at least 4, star movie again. Nothing but The Truth tells the story of a case that seems alike to that of Valerie Plame Wilson but takes many deviating turns, the least of which is (spoiler) the Plame Wilson character, played beautifully and eloquently by Vera Farmiga, dies, but the main character is the newspaper columnist, played well and capably by Kate Beckinsale, who reveals the CIA agent's identity. The film after that goes on with many surpirising twists and turns beyond those I have already spoiled ("Sorry"). It is film with stunning performances and is very much worth seeing.
I never expected to see a man getting savagely beaten in a romantic comedy. Last night, I saw Gigantic and was, well, surprised. Gigantic tells what appears to be a pretty normal romantic comedy story (guy meets girl, falls in love, seems like it won't work in the end, it works, the end) but adds so much extra that should have been cut from the edit that it is unbelievable. Gigantic does have some good performances though. John Goodman as Al Lolly, a very big and funny man, gives one of his best performances and Zooey Deschanel as his daughter gives a good performance. All in all though, with all the unnecessary (even according, in the post film Q&A to the director of the film) violence just falls flat but there is a good film in there with good performances, if only it could shine through and not get wrecked by a bad edit.
L' Heure d'été begins with a simple shot of a summer house that seems to drift to seem like it will fade out but it still drifts until finally we get that fadeout and see the associated presences in the house. We see Hélène (Edith Scob) the elderly owner of the house who is celebrating her seventy third birthday with her three children, Jérémie (Jérémie Renier), Frédéric (Charles Berling) and Adrienne (Juliette Binoche). Soon in the visit Hélène pulls Frédéric aside to discuss the handling of her estate of many pieces of art after she dies. Then soon after comes the next fadeout this time of Hélène. We then drift into the effects of her death and the painful selling of her estate. This is one of the most powerful and affecting films of the TIFF this year. Fadeout.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The films I am seeing at this years TIFF are now on a downward spiral. As I was deciding what rating to give this film on the People's Choice Award card they handed out, I realized the first film I saw at the TIFF (Me and Orson Welles) I gave a 5; the second film (Every Little Step) a 4; and this a 3 or even 2. Now I would like to explain why.
Picasso and Braque Go To The Movies is based on an art exhibit and feels very much like the type of films you watch in an exhibit. It is a movie that tries to cram a whole exhibit worth of films and paintings into an hour's time. The film is often too much, as you would I am sorry to say probably not look at the exhibit for an hour. The other problem with the film is, apart from Martin Scorsese who is one of the most enjoyable presences in the film, no one interviewed (those interviewed include Chuck Close and Julian Schnabel) seems to care so much about the points made in the film which are that, basically, Picasso and Braque liked to go to the movies and the technology of the film projectors inspired several of their works of cubism. All in all the film just fell flat.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
A Chorus Line is a musical about the audition process for a musical. So it is only befitting that the documentary about A Chorus Line is also about auditioning for a musical but this time that musical is A Chorus Line. In the film, instead of just Zack; the all powerful director, we have several people running the auditions including Baayork Lee who was one of the original actors of A Chorus Line and is one of the greatest characters in the film with a great catchphrase ("Eat Nails!"). In addition to the auditions, we have some flashbacks to the original production complete with the famous tapes of Michael Bennett which are sometimes striking in how close the script and songs were to these original tapes of the dancers talking. In the end this film shows that all actors, well known and unknown, still have to audition and in a way are on the line.
|Monday September 08||12:30PM||SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3|| || |
|Saturday September 13||09:00AM|| AMC|
Me and Orson Welles tells the story of a young teenager who wants to go into the theater and finally gets his chance with Orson Welles's production of Julius Ceaser but the film is about so much more than that. It is a portrait of a man who is witty and brilliant but sometimes cruel also (he cheats on his pregnant wife). It is sometimes nostalgic (references to The New Yorker, Richard Rogers and much more) and is in many ways the best film I have ever seen about the theater. Me and Orson Welles was a movie that surpassed every expectation I had. It is a film that can be furiously funny, unbelievably acted and as unbelievable an experience as actually seeing the production of Julius Ceaser would be. The film despite being set in the 1930's feels fresh and new. The cast of the film is wonderful. Zac Efron gives the type of performance that shows that yes he can act and not have his role be all about singing (although he does sing twice in the movie). Claire Danes does a great performance that feels right out of the style of the 1930's ingenue. But the best actor in the film is the one you haven't heard of. Christian McKay gives a performance that is so great, it is on par I would guess with even Welles's best work. The direction of the film by Richard Linklator is his best work on film yet. It was simply a great film. During the Q and A, the last question asked was simply "How Will You Top That?". How indeed.
Friday, September 5, 2008
As all who have read Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist know, this is the band referenced in the book and now probably the movie. It was a neat thing to see.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Spears Sends Support Gift To Politician's Pregnant Daughter
3 September 2008 7:02 AM, PDT
Teenage mum Jamie Lynn Spears has sent troubled Alaskan 17-year-old Bristol Palin a baby gift package following the scandal surrounding her pregnancy.
Spears, who revealed she was pregnant last Christmas - when she was just 16 - feels a kinship to Palin, the daughter of U.S. Republican vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, and decided to show her support by sending designer baby burpcloths.
The Palin family confirmed reports their eldest daughter Sarah was pregnant shortly after the Alaskan governor was picked as Senator John McCain's running mate in the upcoming presidential election.
A store insider explains Lynne and Jamie Lynn wanted to send a gift worth under $100 (GBP54) to Bristol, and chose a collection of Plain Mary white burp cloths with pink writing.
The note attached to the gift read, "Dear Bristol, Hang in there. xoxo, Jamie Lynn."
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
By Steve Holland
ST. PAUL (Reuters) - The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.
Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins' statement said.
"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.
The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple's privacy.
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," the statement concluded.
Senior McCain campaign officials said McCain knew of the daughter's pregnancy when he selected Palin last week as his vice presidential running mate, deciding that it did not disqualify the 44-year-old governor in any way.
In the short period since she was announced last Friday, Palin has helped to energize the Republican Party's conservative base, giving the McCain camp fresh energy going into the campaign for the November 4 election against Democrat Barack Obama.
McCain officials said the news of the daughter's pregnancy was being released to rebut what one aide called "mud-slinging and lies" circulating on liberal blog sites.
According to these rumors, Sarah Palin had faked a pregnancy and pretended to have given birth in May to her fifth child, a son named Trig who has Down syndrome. The rumor was that Trig was actually Bristol Palin's child and that Sarah Palin was the grandmother.
A senior McCain campaign official said the McCain camp was appalled that these rumors had not only been spread around liberal blog sites and partisan Democrats, but also were the subject of heightened interest from mainstream news media.
"The despicable rumors that have been spread by liberal blogs, some even with Barack Obama's name in them, is a real anchor around the Democratic ticket, pulling them down in the mud in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change,"' a senior aide said.