A fresh spin on looking for love in New York City

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Melanie Angelina Maras has made a strong stage debut with her new comedy-drama, “Kiss Me on the Mouth,” which Inviolet Repertory Theatre is presenting at Center Stage through Nov. 21. Maras takes a clear-eyed look at two female friends — Christina (Aubyn Philabaum, above) and Amy (Megan Hart, below) — with very different ideas about […] [Read More]

‘Rainwater’: sad, but beautiful

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The new Sandra Brown novel, “Rainwater” (Simon and Schuster), is surprising on multiple levels. Brown is one of our finest thriller writers, and like many of her peers, she has been on a one-book-a-year schedule for some time. In August, the author delivered one of her best crime novels yet, the movie-themed, unputdownable “Smash Cut.” […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘An Education’: a star is born

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To do a good coming-of-age movie you need a very talented young performer who can convincingly mature right in front of our eyes. Carey Mulligan does that — and more — in “An Education,” the new Nick Hornby-scripted comedy-drama set in London and Paris in the early 1960s. Jenny is a smart and funny 16-year-old […] [Read More]

The classic that debuted in New Haven 50 years ago

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Did you know that the world premiere of “The Sound of Music” took place at the Shubert Theater in New Haven 50 years ago this fall? I didn’t know that either, until the new Sony Masterworks 50th anniversary CD of the original cast recording landed on my desk recently. In addition to three excellent bonus tracks, […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Familiarity breeds delight

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Two of my favorite practitioners of the traditional mystery — Carolyn Hart and Katherine Hall Page — share a publisher (William Morrow) and this year they’ve shared a publication date and theme as well. Last Tuesday marked the release of Christmas whodunits by each author, Hart’s “Merry, Merry Ghost” and Page’s “The Body in the […] [Read More]

Ashton Kutcher plays a sort-of prostitute in Los Angeles

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With the rise of Internet porn and escort services over the past decade or so, we are overdue for a remake of “American Gigolo” (1980). So, when “Spread” opened last summer with ads suggesting that Ashton Kutcher was playing a 21st Century Los Angeles gigolo — “It’s a business doing pleasure” was the poster tagline — […] [Read More]

Inside the Michael Jackson bunker

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The movie and music press appears divided on the new Michael Jackson documentary, “This Is It,” with at least one major writer blasting it as a desecration of a great artist’s memory and others viewing it as a spectacular behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a Jackson arena show. The harshest review I saw was […] [Read More]

Will ‘Fela!’ fly on Broadway?

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Although the show has more than three weeks of previews before opening on Nov. 23, the off-Broadway hit “Fela!” has Broadway folks buzzing about whether or not the Bill T. Jones dance show will succeed in its move to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. I saw the Monday night preview and thought the show’s high points […] [Read More]

Boo!

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I find it enormously pleasing that the gore-free, low-tech, $12,000 horror movie, “Paranormal Activity,” trounced the latest picture in the “Saw” franchise (“Saw VI”!) at the U.S. box-office over the weekend. Say what you will about “Paranormal Activity” — for me it wasn’t very scary or anywhere near as clever as “The Blair Witch Project” […] [Read More]

Juggling mystery and morality in World War II

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The scope and quality of contemporary crime fiction never ceases to amaze me. And the field seems to keep expanding in terms of talent and subject matter. James R. Benn has been writing one of the best historical mystery series — set during World War II — that follows a young Boston cop named Billy […] [Read More]