‘New Islands Archipelago’: strange & funny downtown ‘cruise’

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The latest theater piece by The Talking Band — “New Islands Archipelago” by Paul Zimet — is a very engaging mix of zany comedy about cruise ship travel and more serious performance art-style musings on disconnected families and dream logic. What starts as a fairly broad piece about the search for personal connections on board […] [Read More]
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‘Elysiana’: sex, drugs & anxiety fuel 1960s flashback novel

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You can practically smell the salt air, the booze — and the pot smoke — in Chris Knopf’s highly atmospheric noir thriller, “Elysiana” (The Permanent Press), set on the Jersey shore in the summer of 1969. Knopf who lives in Avon, Connecticut, is the author of a series of detective novels set in the Hamptons, […] [Read More]
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Russell & Megan: hard times for movie stars

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Is Russell Crowe a movie star? That’s the $15-$20 million question facing any producer who is pondering the idea of hiring the Oscar-winning New Zealand native for his or her next movie. Crowe might be a “star” in the sense of having enough talent and a large enough screen personality to carry a big mainstream […] [Read More]
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Mixing history and kitsch at the last inauguration

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HBO Video recently released an engrossing two-disc DVD set that brings together two days’ worth of the festivities that surrounded the Barack Obama presidential inauguration last year. The package starts with the controversial invocation speaker Rev. V. Gene Robinson, takes us through the seemingly endless “We Are One” Hollywood extravaganza on the steps of the Lincoln […] [Read More]
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‘Touching Home’: kids who have to raise themselves

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A powerful independent film about overcoming bad parenting — “Touching Home” — is making its way around the country and opens today at the Criterion in New Haven. The movie arrives without the advantage of a major marketing campaign — and right at the start of the summer Hollywood blockbuster season — so the film has […] [Read More]
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‘Promises to Keep’: one from the heart

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Jane Green is that rare popular novelist who has never rested on her laurels by serving up additional helpings from past bestsellers. The former journalist launched her fiction writing career in her 20s with two big hits — “Straight Talking” and “Jemima J” — both novels about young women looking for career and relationship success […] [Read More]
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‘Armida’ or: when stars miscast themselves

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Renee Fleming is an opera singer with the charisma of a movie star — and a huge international fan following — but she couldn’t keep a packed house in its seats at the final performance of the 2009-2010 season at the Metropolitan Opera Saturday night. Fleming used her clout to get the Met to stage a Rossini […] [Read More]
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Lee Child keeps the Reacher ball in the air (again)

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Don’t believe the advance reviews that have claimed the new Lee Child novel “61 Hours” (Delacorte Books) — in stores tomorrow — ends with a “cliffhanger” or, God forbid, with the end of the writer’s phenomenally successful series character Jack Reacher. A careful reading of the last few pages of the novel will reveal (subtly) […] [Read More]
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