535 posts categorized "THEATRE"
First clip of Lindsay Lohan on stage in Speed-the-Plow.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a private, for-donors-only performance by Linda Lavin at Baruch College last night, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the George and Mildred Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and the 10th anniversary of the Baruch Performing Arts Center.
Lavin performed with accompaniment by Billy Stritch and her top-notch band (including her painter/actor/jazz drummer of a hubby, Steve Bakunas, of whom she said, “I married the drummer. Cool!”).
Lavin is leggy and lovely at a hard-t0-believe 77, and was having (1) a ball, (2) a great hair day and (3) a better leg day than most will have in a lifetime; it's incredible to think that she is actually slightly older than Elaine Stritch (February 2, 1925—July 17, 2014) was when the latter dame first performed her legendary Elaine Stritch at Liberty show in 2001. Lavin is so youthful that unless you're an IMDb addict like me, the impact of her cabaret act has little in common with Stritch's—there's no “I'm Still Here” vibe because Lavin looks like she's mid-way through a career, not defiantly placing an exclamation point at the end of it. Just absolutely ageless, in good voice and effortlessly able to engage an audience of bigshots with her girlish banter and wry, nostalgic peeks back at her career.
And yes, she fully embraces Alice (1976—1985).
Above, check out the delicious Sondheim number Lavin sang in 1966...she recreated it last night and it's still a hoot.
I won't go into great detail about the song selection (which was pleasingly heavy on the bossa nova) since this was a one-off, but if you're interested in hearing Lavin sing a loving rendition of her Alice theme song and charming versions of songs she first sang upwards of 50 years ago when she (and Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield and many other greats) was playing in, as she recalls, every venue with “Downstairs” in the title, be on the look-out for a 2015 show at 54 Below. You'd be a damn fool to miss this.
Lavin made a brief appearance at a post-show champagne toast. I was able to congratulate her and to ask if she would honor my friend and I with a photo. Have you got a camera? she shot back, ready to get 'er done. Lovely, classy lady.
After the jump, listen to Lavin tackle that Alice theme in 2013...
Wicked Gay Blog's most commented posts EVER.
President Obama: Gay marriage is a constitutional right.
The Death of Klinghoffer is the new Corpus Christi.
Fashion icon Oscar de la Renta dies @ 82.
Shonda Rhimes exiles anti-gay tweeter from Shondaland.
Mariah proves she only looks like shit, but sounds great!
WHAT THE SHELL?: Could turtle-like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lose???
Would you f*ck this Chili's cook?
Seth Rogen still fighting mad over Freaks & Geeks cancelation.
Robert Downey Jr.'s dick should have a Learning Annex class.
Jessica Lange & some other heifers cover Elle's Women in Hollywood ish.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. the GOP's voter-ID scam.
Tbe rebirth of the word “Maverick” as it relates to Madonna (and more).
Wyoming gay-marriage ban = unconstitutional.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman's quaratine-pooh-poohing might end her NBC career.
Lance Bass & Michael Turchin have set a wedding date.
The Comeback's comeback continues, unabated.
Neil Patrick Harris crosses hosting the Oscars off his bucket list.
Will Michael C. Hall slay as “Hedwig”?
Wicked Gay Blog ups the WOOF! factor considerably.
Sweetest dog video ever.
Dan Osborne accepts nude dare!
Shirtless doctors calendar.
FOX's Dr. Keith Ablow says Obama wants Americans to die from Ebola. Full-stop.
But FOX's Shep Smith attacks Ebola hysteria.
Tom Daley accepts Attitude's “Man of the Year” award.
Trans-beating hoods shown in surveillance footage. Help put them away!
Gay actor Ezra Miller to play “The Flash” on the big screen through 2020.
Tippi Hedren & Melanie Griffith had a pet lion in the '70s.
Snoop's heartfelt apology to “biiiiiych” Iggy Azalea. (Biiiiiych accepted it!)
Eleanor & Hillary rocked, but Michelle is easily the coolest 1st Lady.
Promo images courtesy of JD Urban, live images by Matthew Rettenmund for BoyCulture.com
BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ***1/2 out of ****
I still wasn't being allowed to see R-rated movies in 1984 when Prince's Purple Rain came out, making him seem like Jehovah's gift to the multiplex, and I was probably a bit protective of my diva Madonna due to Prince's chart-busting achievements with its legendary soundtrack. But as an American Top 40 freak, I was acutely aware of the many hits the record launched...it was like Minneapolis spooged all over Billboard.
Flash forward 30 (!) years, and I'm seated in 42West (514 West 42 St., NYC), watching Dearly Beloved, an anniversary tribute to the album (and the film), directed by Jacob Langfelder and starring Robin de Jesús (as Prince—I don't honor the whole Artist Formerly Known As thing) and Lena Hall (as Apollonia), and with featured performances by E. Clayton Cornelius, Kiyan Taghaboni and Ariel Bellvalaire.
The show was a straight-up revue, but certainly wasn't karaoke. De Jesús suggested Prince without copying him exactly, sounding perfectly confident in every number, with the possible exception of “When Doves Cry”, with its odd, nasal vocal, which proved a little too offbeat for him to nail.
Hall, looking the opposite of her male Hedwig and the Angry Inch character in her bustier and Katy Perry via Bettie Page glamour makeup, soared in her numbers, making even the delightfully sugary “Sex Shooter” sound like a whole different animal coming from such powerful pipes.
The audience was mesmerized by the whole thing, especially de Jesús's libidinous writhing—it will be hard to see him in his In the Heights mold after witnessing this transformation.
The show felt like a try-out for a more elaborate, sung-through musical based on the already very musical movie; if that's the case, I think everyone involved proved it's an idea worth exploring.
After the jump, check out the original “Sex Shooter”...
BOY CULTURE REVIEW: *** out of ****
It's not every day that I'm invited to the U.S. stage debut of a Pedro Almodovar superstar, so how could I refuse when offered the chance to see Traveling Lady, a multi-media presentation by Colombian visual artist/director Jessica Mitrani and Spanish film icon Rossy de Palma? Answer: I couldn't, and I didn't.
After initially bobbling the invite for me plus-one (sorry, Nathaniel!), I showed up fresh from a full day at New York Comic Con and a quick visit with Don Bachardy to find a long line outside FIAF Florence Gould Hall (55. E. 59th). A passer-by seemed nonplused when I told her we were waiting for a show. “A theatrical performance???” she sputtered. It was as if she knew what was in store for us; we didn't, however, so I went in thinking we were seeing a play while my companion Jason though it would be a movie. We were both kinda right.
A part of FIAF's Crossing the Line 2014 series, Traveling Lady turned out to be a singular experience. I wish I had seen it both nights it played to get a firmer grasp on it, but I did divine its staunchly feminist roots, using as a jumping-off point the 19th-Century travels of journalist Nellie Bly. The show made use of a booming female voice-over, outstandingly dazzling projections, a somewhat goofy, talking, 8-foot dress with no body in it (voiced with an insinuating authority by Joan Juliet Buck), original music and all-too-brief appearances by de Palma in the flesh, lip-synching to her pre-recorded recitations.
De Palma plays more than Bly; it quickly becomes obvious she is embodying various female archetypes. In so doing, she only had to appear briefly, allowing her unique visage to do all the talking. She merely had to stand there in order to give the show a twisted depth. Her presence is so arresting it was shocking later to meet her and see that she herself isn't 8 feet tall.
The show lagged when it became too esoteric for its own good, but I felt was saved from being a parody of NYC performance art excess thanks to its tongue-in-cheek humor. While it's true enough that some of its odder visuals would have baffled the real Bly (who once feigned insanity in order to explore the depravity of early insane asylums), I felt the show's broad send-up of branding and marketing were spot-on and LOL hilarious. I was also very taken with the show's tangential embrace of passages from the writings of Gertrude Stein (Ida: A Novel), which gave perfect voice to some of Mitrani's visuals.
All in all, Mitrani and de Palma's collaboration seemed a match made in heaven.
Afterward, we were invited to a champagne toast, at which de Palma was mobbed and a child was given a birthday cake. When I met her and congratulated her on the show, de Palma rasped in her wonderful way, “Wasn't it great???” and enthusiastically posed for photos.
Iva Withers, perhaps Broadway's greatest understudy, has died at the age of 97. Her credits are incredible.