Broadway dark, but show goes on at Long Wharf

on
With public transportation in and out of New York City still down — and no subway service as well –  most Broadway and off-Broadway shows are dark tonight, but I got word from press rep Steve Scarpa this morning that Long Wharf Theatre’s performance of “Satchmo at the Waldorf” scheduled for this evening will go on as […] [Read More]

Perfect for Halloween: the still-frightening ‘The Innocents’

on
A bunch of new horror pictures have opened over the past two weekends to satisfy that Halloween urge for something ghoulish. There’s a new “Paranormal Activity” in theaters – number four! — which opened in the number one slot last weekend (although it didn’t gross as much as the first three pictures) For real scares, however, it’s hard to […] [Read More]

Rent it now: Annette Bening in ‘Mother and Child’

on
Annette Bening got a lot of well-deserved attention 2010 for her work in “The Kids Are Alright” — including an Oscar nomination — but few have seen the other superb performance she gave that year, as an emotionally closed-off middle-aged Los Angeles nurse in Rodrigo Garcia’s “Mother and Child.” Karen gave up a daughter to adoption […] [Read More]

‘The Editor’s Eye’: a strong argument for the (physical) book

on
As long as publishing houses like Abrams put out stunning volumes like “Vogue: The Editor’s Eye” there is no need to worry about the future of the physical book. An art object that also serves an educational function, the book takes us behind the scenes at Vogue to show us the work that goes into […] [Read More]

Rent it now: Christian Bale’s 2007 ‘flop’ ‘Rescue Dawn’

on
Christian Bale won the best supporting actor Oscar in 2011 for his fine performance in “The Fighter” but he is even better in a little-seen 2007 film “Rescue Dawn.” The original ad campaign — and even the title — made the movie appear to be a gung-ho Vietnam prisoner-of-war camp drama in the tradition of […] [Read More]

Should Liam Neeson be playing Jack Reacher?

on
When I was at the annual international celebration of crime writing in Cleveland earlier this month — the Bouchercon — everyone seemed to be buzzing about the upcoming Tom Cruise picture based on one of Lee Child’s terrific novels about the adventures of ex-military cop Jack Reacher. Few writers or fans that I talked with […] [Read More]

‘The Rest of the Story’: Arthur Laurents on his own

on
The recently published Arthur Laurents memoir “The Rest of the Story” (Applause Books) fills us in on the decade after the 2000 publication of the playwright and director’s excellent autobiography “Original Story By.” Laurents — who died last year at the age of 93 — was always controversial within the theater community for his sometimes […] [Read More]

‘Mountainfilm’: A taste of Telluride in Fairfield

on
Fresh from a weekend run at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in Manhattan, the Mountainfilm festival from Telluride, Colorado, will be making a national tour stop in Fairfield tonight at 7 p.m. Founded in 1979, Mountainfilm celebrates documentaries and filmmakers devoted to nature and contemporary social issues. The event is held over a few […] [Read More]

‘Charlie Victor Romeo’: nerve-jangling, plane crash docu-theater

on
The fact that great theater can be built from fairly simple subject matter and performance style — rather than elaborate traditional stagecraft — is demonstrated with tremedous force in “Charlie Victor Romeo,” a “play” made up almost entirely of the black box transcripts of commercial jet disasters. The creation of Bob Berger, Patrick Daniels and […] [Read More]

‘The Big Shakedown’: Bette Davis before stardom

on
It was fun to see the 1934 Warner Bros. release “The Big Shakedown” for the first time last week, thanks to Warner Archive’s DVD on demand division. The movie is far from a classic, but it gives us a glimpse of the Hollywood studio machine almost 80 years ago and a good look at Bette […] [Read More]