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On the road with ‘Joy Ride’ & ‘Race with the Devil’

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I made a fun double-feature out of two of my favorite guilty pleasure movies a while ago — B-movies (with a bit of pizzazz) about the dangers of cross-country travel. “Race with the Devil” is a very lively 1975 drive-in hit about two urban couples (Peter Fonda & Lara Parker and Warren Oates & Loretta […] [Read More]
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marryme2

‘Marry Me a Little’: songs cut from Stephen Sondheim classics

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During his peak years, Stephen Sondheim was bursting with so many musical ideas that more than a few terrific songs wound up being dropped from landmark shows such as “Company” and “Follies.” The composer/lyricist also wrote a complete score for a show called “Saturday Night” that was meant to be produced as his Broadway debut in […] [Read More]
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ada1

Bad Movies We Love: Susan Hayward & Dean Martin in ‘Ada’

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Never what you would call a subtle actress, Susan Hayward had an energy and charisma that served her well for more than 30 years on screen. Hayward always seemed to be aware of the goofiness just under the surface of some of her most serious dramas — she’d give the most over-heated lines a campy […] [Read More]
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rockhard1

‘Rock Hard!’: new venue for naughty Broadway benefit

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I don’t think there is a more entertaining annual benefit in New York than “Broadway Bares” which is presented every June as one of the major fundraisers of the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Now in its 24th edition, the show has gotten more polished and more spectacular each year, showcasing more than 200 Broadway […] [Read More]
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allday

#FridayReads ‘All Day and a Night’ by Alafair Burke

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It’s tough to get too nostalgic about previous “golden eras” in the history of crime fiction when we are in the middle of a such a terrific time to be a fan of mysteries and thrillers. I would put the current line-up of genre stars, from Michael Connelly to Lee Child and Ruth Rendell to […] [Read More]
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‘22 Jump Street’: ‘meta’ comedy or a Crosby & Hope reboot?

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A few weeks ago, one of those nostalgia TV channels aired “The Road to Hong Kong,” the last in a highly successful series of comedies that paired Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. By 1962, the “Road to…” stars were no longer major box office draws, and the made-up-on-the-spot zaniness of the 1940s hits seemed tapped […] [Read More]
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succeed

‘How to Succeed in Business’: golden age construction

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If you’re anywhere near Philadelphia between now and July 13, the Walnut Street Theatre production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” will add a lot of fun to your trip. The non-profit theater company installed in the historic 1809 venue has excelled in recent seasons with large-scale revivals of classic musicals and […] [Read More]
Categories: General
hellion

‘Hellion’: two motherless boys in Texas

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Nothing is trickier than getting a good performance from a child for a film or a TV show. If you use professional child actors, the results can be horribly artificial (see almost any network sitcom that features children in major roles). In movies, European filmmakers have almost always been more adept than Hollywood in this […] [Read More]
Categories: General