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]
Categories: General

Joseph Wiseman, R.I.P.

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The fantastic stage and screen actor Joseph Wiseman would no doubt have been tickled by the headlines on his obituaries yesterday — he died in Manhattan Monday at the age of 91 — all of which referenced his role as the first James Bond movie villain, Dr. No. Wiseman made his stage debut in 1939 […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The greatest ghost story of them all?

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I’m pleased to report that the Fairfield Library is relaunching the monthly “Fringe & Foreign” film festival tomorrow night at 7 p.m. with a free screening of “The Innocents,” the great 1961 film version of the Henry James novella, “The Turn of the Screw.” I co-hosted the monthly gathering last year with my pal, Drew […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Avenue Q’ goes full circle

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What started six years ago as a quirky little off-Broadway show about the angst of 20somethings in New York City has proven to be a remarkably durable musical. “Avenue Q” is a one-of-a-kind piece that survived a move uptown to Broadway where it scored one of the greatest upsets in modern Broadway history by beating “Wicked” […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘The Power of Two’: out of the shadow

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For the past few days, I’ve been listening to an advance pressing of a wonderful CD that will be released by Harbinger Records on Nov. 3 — “The Power of Two” featuring rising Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson (above) and cabaret favorite Michael Feinstein. The recording (which will be available online the same day the CD […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Poirot’: the pleasures of old-fashioned craftsmanship

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I can’t think of a much better match of actor and character than David Suchet in the role of Agatha Christie’s master sleuth Hercule Poirot. Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov played the role well on the big screen, but Suchet has had the chance to go much deeper into the character in the course of […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Cheri’: the surface of things

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The most recent film by British director Stephen (“The Queen”) Frears — “Cheri” — died quickly on the limited release circuit in early summer, and it seems doubtful the DVD set for release Tuesday will do much better. It’s a beautiful film with interesting performances by Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend, but I don’t think […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The secret of the first weekend success of ‘Couples Retreat’

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Did you wonder how the dreary Vince Vaughn comedy “Couples Retreat” managed to land in the number one slot last weekend with a $35.3 million gross? Granted there wasn’t much new competition at the multiplexes, but the movie did considerably better than the top film of the previous weekend (the well-reviewed “Zombieland” which grossed less […] [Read More]
Categories: General