Monthly Archives: December 2010

TOMMY STEELE: STILL SINGING, STILL DANCING ·



 

(Tara Brady’s interview appeared in the Irish Times, 12/24.)

BACKSTAGE PASS: ‘It’s the song and dance man’s King Lear’ . . . TARA BRADY meets Tommy Steele before a performance of ‘Scrooge’

THE ORCHESTRA IS due in for a warm up. Boxes of fruit are being unpacked and transferred on to faux Victorian market stalls. The cast is button-coated with the occasional tiny crutch at the ready.

It’s all go as the veritable army of folks behind Scrooge – the Grand Canal Theatre revival of the West End hit production – counts down to curtain call. In the hullabaloo, Tommy Steele, a pro of the old school, is taking his time lining up the child cast for a publicity shot. A patient tutor in the art and craft of jazz hands, he keeps them laughing, shows each of them their move; then shows it again, and again.

via www.irishtimes.com

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FRANZ SCHUBERT, RICK BURKHARDT, ALEC DUFFY, DAVE MALLOY: ‘THREE PIANOS’ (REVIEW) ·



 

(Michael Feingold’s article appeared in the Village Voice, 12/22.)

They sing, in German or in the kind of bar-by-bar literal translation opera coaches use; they sing solo, duet, three-part harmony, or batting phrases back and forth like vaudevillians. Some numbers are trashed, some handled reverentially, some analyzed, and a few skipped altogether. Around its midpoint, the evening semi-morphs from a raffish contemporary Schubertiad into a half-spoof version of the real thing, with the trio zipping in and out of the roles of a dead-earnest Schubert and all the pals who gathered around him at the piano. The life Schubert infused into his songs is the show's substance; the human value of song is its theme. Yet its approach is clownish, informal, disaffected—the opposite of self-involved Romantic pomposity. And Schubert survives unscathed, mainly because, instead of trying, condescendingly, to make classical music fun, Three Pianos makes fun classical music.

via www.villagevoice.com

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‘THE WINTER’S TALE’ IN LONDON (REVIEW) ·



 

(Michael Billington’s article appeared 12/19 in the Guardian.)

"A sad tale's best for winter," says the boy Mamilius; and, possibly because of the season of the year, I became unusually aware of the fairytale elements in Shakespeare's play while watching David Farr's impressive Stratford transfer. We are ushered into a world of cruel kings, wronged children and miraculously reunited families that seems to anticipate the Brothers Grimm.

via www.guardian.co.uk

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ACTOR INJURED IN ‘SPIDER-MAN’ ·

(Dave Itzkoff’s and Hamilton Boardman’s article ran 12/20 in The New York Times.)

7:42 a.m. | Updated

An actor performing in the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” was injured during a performance Monday night, according to the police and several witnesses.

Theatergoers who attended Monday’s performance of “Spider-Man,” a $65 million musical featuring complicated aerial stunts, said they saw a performer playing the title hero fall about 8 to 10 feet into a pit during the closing minutes of the show, and that some equipment fell into the audience when this occurred. A video of the performance showed a line holding the performer apparently snap.

via artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com

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WILLY RUSSELL: ‘SHIRLEY VALENTINE’ ON BBC RADIO 4 (LISTEN UNTIL SAT., 12/25—LINKS BELOW) ·

SHIRLEY VALENTINE

Written by acclaimed writer Willy Russell.

Shirley Valentine is a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who reveals her innermost thoughts and fears in a manner that is both insouciant and poignant. Once an incorrigible anti-establishment rebel, Shirley now chafes under the plodding insensitivity of her husband, Joe and the stultifying pace of her suburban routine. Her life enters a new and exciting phase when, after her best friend, Jane, wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece, Shirley is given the opportunity to travel to faraway places without her husband; she begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light.

Starring Meera Syal, after a much lauded run at the Menier Chocolate Factory the play transferred to The Trafalgar studio to continued success. Finishing in theatre on October 30th Meera walked straight into the studio to record the one woman play for Radio 4. Based on the original Menier Theatre production directed by Glen Walford.

Producer: Clive Brill
A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

(Connect with the following links or paste them into your browser)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgxs

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wmxw3#synopsis

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1927: ‘THE ANIMALS AND CHILDREN TOOK TO THE STREETS’ (U.K. REVIEW) ·



 

(Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 12/17.)

Think Alexander Rodchenko meets Tim Burton, Charles Dickens meets Fritz Lang, and the early 20th-century silent movie meets the 21st-century graphic novel, and you have something of the flavour of this jaw-droppingly clever and gloriously subversive parable of social mobility, revolution and its suppression. Taking place here and there, now and then, the company – 1927 – uses the live performance and animation techniques that it employed to such brilliant effect in the twisted vignettes of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea to develop a more sustained narrative about life east of the city where the bankers make big bucks.

via www.guardian.co.uk

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