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‘Happy Valley’: digging into the Penn State scandal

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In his new documentary “Happy Valley,” Amir Bar-Lev takes a remarkably even-handed look at the scandal that erupted in 2011 over charges of pedophilia connected with the football program at Penn State. Day to day reporting of this sort of case is often notoriously unreliable, as prosecutors leak all sorts of explosive charges and rumors […] [Read More]
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Rent it now – the forgotten 2005 indie ‘Heights’

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“Heights” was one of the dozens of American indies tossed into art houses in 2005, where the picture sank without a trace. Even devoted movie buffs give a blank stare when the film is mentioned. Director Chris Terrio’s debut is a sharp and well-acted portrait of Manhattan arts lifestyles. The picture was made under the auspices of Merchant […] [Read More]
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‘The Real Thing’ back on Broadway for third time

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Neither a hit nor a miss, the Roundabout revival of “The Real Thing” is a baffling, mediocre remounting of a Tom Stoppard play, about the mysteries of love, that won multiple Tony Awards in its first two Broadway productions. Mike Nichols directed the New York debut of the comedy-drama in 1984 (below) to great reviews […] [Read More]
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‘Disgraced’: a well-made post 9/11 powderkeg

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Ayad Akhtar won a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize last year for “Disgraced” which has returned to New York for a Broadway engagement at the Lyceum Theatre after it caused a sensation during a brief run at Lincoln Center in 2012. Akhtar has constructed a tight, well-made play that delves into many of the racial and cultural […] [Read More]
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‘Animals Don’t Pray’: tripping from Connecticut to Prague

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If you mixed early Bret Easton Ellis with a bit of Charles Bukowski and a dash of Hunter Thompson you might come up with “Animals Don’t Pray,” the wild debut novel from Trumbull native Michael Reinwald. A Williamsburg painter who sells his works on the streets of SoHo, Reinwald has produced a slightly mad page-turner […] [Read More]
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‘Have Faith’: searching for answers with Mary Testa

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The New York actress and singer Mary Testa makes a sensational CD debut tomorrow with “Have Faith” (Ghostlight Records), a collaboration with Michael Starobin on an eclectic collection of songs that add up to a mini-drama about finding meaning in life. Testa is well known to New York theatergoers for a wide variety of musicals […] [Read More]
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‘House of DVF’: a reality series wrapped in a mystery

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What’s a classy dame like Diane von Furstenberg doing on an E! Channel reality series? That’s the mystery underneath “House of DVF” which launched a month ago and quickly became a guilty pleasure with the fashion crowd. (New episodes air Sunday nights at 10 p.m.) With her great success as a fashion house CEO, and […] [Read More]
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‘Wicked, Wicked’: split-screen nightmare

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It takes some doing to unearth an early 1970s major studio release that yours truly has never heard of — those were probably my peak moviegoing years, when I saw nearly everything (i.e. “The Legend of Boggy Creek”) — but the invaluable Warner Archive program has just re-discovered a 1973 MGM release that never appeared […] [Read More]
Categories: General