Monthly Archive for June, 2014

: June, 2014

Have you seen the Nicole Kidman cult film ‘Birth’?

If I was asked to pick the most unjustly neglected film of the past decade, I would probably cite the 2004 Jonathan Glazer picture “Birth” which has remained off most people’s radar despite a strong

‘American Masters’: Philip Roth talks about his art

Don’t let the nitpicker critics put you off from watching “Philip Roth: Unmasked,” the PBS “American Masters” documentary that is available on Netflix and DVD. The carpers all zeroed in on the fact

The messy genius of Robert Altman

The best Robert Altman movies are packed with contradictory emotions and unusually large collections of wildly diverse characters bouncing off each other. Altman classics like “Nashville” (1975) –

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘22 Jump Street’: ‘meta’ comedy or a Crosby & Hope reboot?

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…”

‘How to Succeed in Business’: golden age construction

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

‘Hellion’: two motherless boys in Texas

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

R.I.P. Ruby Dee — stage barrier breaker

The career of actress Ruby Dee — who died at 91 on Wednesday — spanned all of the performing arts for more than 60 years so it is virtually impossible to characterize her work. Dee was in the original