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October 30, 2014

HARRY THAW HATES EVERYBODY - HALF MYSTERY, HALF THRILLER









THIS IS THE STORY OF EVELYN NESBIT - WHO HAS INSPIRED MANY BOOKS, PLAYS, MOVIES AND EVEN A MUSICAL



EVELYN NESBIT - the beautiful Ragtime girl in the red velvet swing. This time it gets a vaudeville treatment. What is the reason for this re-hash? Who decided who was really responsible for this tragic event? Well - it turns out that Crazy Harry Thaw, is the one that fired the bullets. 

Seductive Evelyn Nesbit is the one who drove him to it. Her money hungry mother sold her daughter to the highest bidder. Of course, she was no saint. Then there was Stanford White who was no saint either. But after over 2 hours of hysterical histrionics you neither know or care. 

The piece starts with a pleasant musical interlude (with Piano) goes downhill from there. The extremely talented cast struggles valiantly with their over the top material. There are several put down references to the musical RAGTIME but that was a far superior piece of theatre. 

The play is full of melodrama. There are many grotesque tale-tellers about nursery tales and totally strange confections. And yes, the play was laced with dirty nonsense, dirty bits of excess plus cruelty. 

As the play (good ol' fashioned melodrama) - its gun-toting lunes and instability might drive you insane. I was on the edge. Yes, there might be sex, murder, money, and some greedy love might get you going. 

I will say this: "I have gone Mad, Mad, Mad!" Not only is it scary - the play is playground weird - laced with cruelty. Yes, there is some romance - but who gets to some romance along with dirty bits along the way. Maybe some pearls appear - but many are just waiting to be set free. 

Where's the Door? 

RATING: Three Stars: *** or Three Glasses of Champagne*** 



Stats: 17,400 followers
VIEWS: 48.032 








October 29, 2014

LESLIE UGGAMS -- A TOTAL PERFORMANCE FULL OF FANTASY AND MAGIC

Featured on Google +

MEMORIES ARE FOREVER AND EVER 
Leslie Uggums - Courtesy Photo 

Anyone who grew up listening to Leslie - enjoys musical hits as much as she  loves songs like - "The World on A String" and "Summertime." In those days there was the Four Freshmen, Henry Mancini and Bing Crosby. Also that was the time that the Beatles were still bringing breath taking music to the world. Leslie also brought glitter and glamour to the world. Musical Revolution came about then, and it is still artfully everywhere. Uggums voice is incredibly strong. It's a different kind of spectacle. And that's why she brings that great talent to the stage - even operatic from pop to jazz. Leslie's vocal layers certainly work supernatural wonders. We will never forget her is wonderful sense of breeziness 

We all can't wait for Uggums at the glorious "Fairmont". Her huge universe of sounds possesses fantastic singing power.  Who would want to miss some of the lush magical arrangements? She sure as hell lets us know all about superb music. Uggums brings shear magic to her gorgeous emerald glade  -- I'm sure that Leslie Uggams will show us how "Impressive" her vocals are. "Indeed a wonder!" I can't wait to see her again on the Fairmont Stage. 

LESLIE UGGAMS WILL APPEAR AT THE FAIRMONT VENETIAN ROOM. (Nov. 2nd - 2014)

Stats: 970 (this day)
48,105 featured columns 

October 23, 2014

GONE GIRL - CAPTIVATING AND COMPLEX

STATS: 939 (this day)


Courtesy Photo 




GONE GIRL 


AMY DISAPPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE - AND THE JOURNEY OF HIDE AND SEEK BEGINS 

Nick Dunne's husband is going wacky trying to find his wife (Amy). The Police seem to be able somehow to dodge Nick. Oh my - there are more twists and turns than Nicks foibles. Let me think - just how many women does Nick (Ben Affleck) think that he can get away by throwing many of his dates against the wall, as he pulls down his pants. 

The movie is dashing, but longer than it needs to be. The plot involves many strange events. Some of it ridiculous. But there is this: There is some horror going on in this mystery-thriller. I managed to stick with it. But Neil Patrick Harris was put to a bloody death. Many at the movie held hands over their eyes. Yep - Amy is a bitch. She'll do anything to get what she wants. 

Near the end of the movie it became just a little bit stupid. How and why it ended that way I'll never know. It was totally unbelievable - but good and bad.  Oh and by the way...GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY.

There is the possibility that the muscular and dazzling Ben Affleck might rise to the top of the twists and turns at this movie. Maybe even an Oscar

RATING: Four Stars **** or Four Glasses of Champagne****





  

October 13, 2014

DIE MOMMIE DIE! - by Charles Busch




STATS: 725 (today)





MARIE O'DONNELL (Bootsie) & ANGELA (J. Conrad Frank)
Courtesy Lois Tema 



DIE! MOMMIE DIE! 











RING OUT THE BELLS - IT'S
JUBILATION TIME....STARTING HERE AND NOW! 

This time of year is the most thoroughly delightful, tuneful and beguiling evening around town. Everyone at the play doubles over with the high quality remarkable performances. Yep - the show goes from hilarious to high drama. And believe me - there is plenty of that. 

The show at New Conservatory is the perfect parody of the 60's Hollywood thrillers that dated divas like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Speaking of that great talent Bette Davis in our minds. Wow! - they sure look very much alike. Don't ya...Katya? 

The lead lady is played by Conrad Frank A.K.A. Katya wearing a series of stunning gowns and eating up the scenery, which just eats up old Hollywood. And she has plenty to eat.  

There is the well matched Justin Liszanckie as the bi-sexual stud who services the entire family. Oh My...he wears his sexy clothes with style - and all eyes are on his provocative crotch. Of course - I never look in that direction. 

Devin O'Brien plays the sissy son who is more like a daughter. He has his big scene in drag and other big things. The multi-talented Joe Wicht plays the producer father with great relish. All in all...this is definitely a show to DIE for. 

Everything is perfect in the performances. The show is without a doubt one of the greatest stage shows that I have seen in years. The glossy direction - makes it a wild flair. Dear Katya - you're alone and you want someone else at any cost. And you will get it! 

HERE IS THE DAZZLING CAST. THE VISUAL EFFECTS IN THE PERFORMANCES ARE A SIGHT TO BEHOLD! 

Angela - J. Conrad Frank.  Edith - Ali Haas. Tony- Justin Kiszanckie. Lance - Devin S. O'Brien. Bootsie - Marie O'Donnell. And Sol - Joe Wicht. 

Die Mommie Die! By Charles Busch 
Directed by F. Allen Sawyer. (Fantastic) 

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 

RATING: SIX STARS: ****** or - you can Drink Six Glasses of Champagne******six stars (I'm sure you will!) 






October 10, 2014

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY - COMPELLING MOVIE


stats: are beyond belief 

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY 


This film is similar to many Hitchcock movies. The story is about a mature man who has a younger wife (Kirsten Durst). Her husband is up to some kind of scam - (Viggo Mortensen). Both are sexy looking. I do know this -- it's set in beautiful surroundings. 

The individuals are great looking with heavy  motives - especially the clever men that tries to kept secrets. However - the plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Their entire film is seamlessly put together - and the scenery is gorgeous - and Hypnotic. It will certainly keep you in your seat. 

"The Two Faces of January" takes place in 1961 Athens. Rydal (Oscar Issac) in fluent American, knows every Greek word. He Guides thru mediterranean locations - Athens, Crete and Istanbul. How can we not enjoy The finest cast of this year - Terrific! 

The film was based on the Patrica Highsmith novel. To me - this fantastic movie will certainly appeal to all. And why not? It's wonderful to look at. The film was directed by Hossein Amini (he also wrote the screenplay.) 

THE BEAUTY AND THE ACTING IS ON THE SCREEN -- YOU'LL LOVE IT! 

RATING: SIX ******STARS - or SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE (your choice) 

STATS: 350 (through the roof) - this day  

  

YEAST NATION - LOVE AND POWER IS PREHISTORIC






Our Stats are through the roof 

YEAST NATION 


VICTORIA THEATRE IN SAN FRANCISCO 

RAY OF LIGHT HAS DONE IT AGAIN. 


A bunch of humans has turned into non humans. They are searching for love and power, What they found is that they were playing with each other as prehistoric animals. 

It starts out in early life forms. Their story is told by a formidable figure with a staff. Lucky that I don't have one. Look at it this way - as a Miss Marple on steroids. They have discovered that there are many ways to accessorize power. And, if you like to sing then you will get at least 20 upbeat ballads about love. But, then -- some get beat up. Oh well, be prepared to be knocked out or uplifted. 

The repetition of the music may just get on your nerves more than you can stand. Maybe the Yeast smell has overwhelmed all of us. 

The sets was given High Praise for the fantastic and colorful clothing and exciting high praise for very special effects. To break the tension and intermission... 

The songs were almost pretty much the same. It was like an insane asylum with people crawling all around each other. There were wrought behaviours that convinced me that Count Dracula would like to grab my neck. But - I loved the scenery. And the dominating evening! 

Yes, performers were perfect and the and musicians were Seductive - plus commanding. Gorgeous High Voltage clothing does smell a little like "Yeast". Oh well - we need something to breeze by. That's a joke. 

HERE ARE THE WONDERFUL ACTORS 

Teresa Attridge - Joshua Beld - Jesse Cortez - Danny Cozart  Roy Eikleberry - David Glazer - Celia Jones - Mary Kalita - Juliana Lustenader - Courtney Merrell - Lizzie Moss - Heather Orth - Kevin Singer - Mischa Stephens - Vanessa Vazquez and Ted Zoldan. 

ENSEMBLE 
MELINA CAMPERO, LINDSAY STARK, AARON VANDERBEEK 

Keyboards/Conductor: Ben Prince - Eryn Allen - Geneva Harrison - Travis Kindred and Mike Smith 

STATS: 348 (this day) 









   

October 7, 2014

DO I HEAR A WALTZ? YOU'LL FIND OUT!





 STATS: Sky High: (This Day) 




Jonah Broscow & Emily Skinner
Courtesy Photo 



O.K - THE MUSICAL HAS A PRETTY GOOD PEDIGREE - 
BUT THE SHOW HAS NEVER BEEN A TOTAL SUCCESS 

However, no matter what - This 42nd Street Moon production has put on a Grand looking cast. I loved the score - but there are some empty spaces in between. Emily Skinner provides star quality. And Stephanie Rhoads makes a welcome return return that brings glamour to the landlady role. Tyler McKenna has those love interest eyes. 

Jonah Broscow has great effortless hutzpah - as the young boy. And the girls just can't keep their eyes off of him. What fun. 

Richard rodgers melodies are certainly memorable. Wish the evening would have moved on just a little faster - but Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are still clever and funny. Arthur Laurents book is bitter sweet. 

The story is mostly set in the Garden of the Pensione Fioria. The ending may not totally satisfy, but you will definitely hear a waltz. Enjoy the music and words. There is just one little glitch -- it would be nicer if there were some amps that we could hear better. Sometimes we hear it, and other times we strain. 

Well the songs are not that relevant - but on top of that, the songs are mostly forgettable. Still - the singing and acting draws us to the talent. 

HERE ARE THE TALENTED STARS: Emily Skinner* - Taylor Bartolucci, Jonah Broscow (the boy) amazes in the fifth grade at Chabot Elementary in Oakland - Nikita Burshteyn - Lucinda Hitchcock Cone* - Tyler McKenna* - David Naughton, Stephanie Rhoads* - 
Michael Rhone - And... Abby Sammons  

MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS 
LYRICS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM 
BOOK BY ARTHUR LAURENTS 
Based on the play "The Time of the cuckoo by Arthur Laurents 

Directed by Greg MacKellan
Music Director: Dave Dobrusky 
Choreographer: Brittany Danielle
Joe Mader - Managing Director 

Stage Manager: Josh Anderson 
Production Manager & Set Design:Hector Zavala

NOW SHOWING: 42nd Street Moon

STATS: 383 (this day) 



EXCELLENT: Four**** Stars: or Compelling Four Glasses of Champagne**** (Don't miss!)
Jonah Broscow & Emily Skinner
Courtesy Photo 



O.K - THE MUSICAL HAS A PRETTY GOOD PEDIGREE - 
BUT THE SHOW HAS NEVER BEEN A TOTAL SUCCESS 

However, no matter what - This 42nd Street Moon production has put on a Grand looking cast. I loved the score - but there are some empty spaces in between. Emily Skinner provides star quality. And Stephanie Rhoads makes a welcome return return that brings glamour to the landlady role. Tyler McKenna has those love interest eyes. 

Jonah Broscow has great effortless hutzpah - as the young boy. And the girls just can't keep their eyes off of him. What fun. 

Richard rodgers melodies are certainly memorable. Wish the evening would have moved on just a little faster - but Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are still clever and funny. Arthur Laurents book is bitter sweet. 

The story is mostly set in the Garden of the Pensione Fioria. The ending may not totally satisfy, but you will definitely hear a waltz. Enjoy the music and words. There is just one little glitch -- it would be nicer if there were some amps that we could hear better. Sometimes we hear it, and other times we strain. 

Well the songs are not that relevant - but on top of that, the songs are mostly forgettable. Still - the singing and acting draws us to the talent. 

HERE ARE THE TALENTED STARS: Emily Skinner* - Taylor Bartolucci, Jonah Broscow (the boy) amazes in the fifth grade at Chabot Elementary in Oakland - Nikita Burshteyn - Lucinda Hitchcock Cone* - Tyler McKenna* - David Naughton, Stephanie Rhoads* - 
Michael Rhone - And... Abby Sammons  

MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS 
LYRICS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM 
BOOK BY ARTHUR LAURENTS 
Based on the play "The Time of the cuckoo by Arthur Laurents 

Directed by Greg MacKellan
Music Director: Dave Dobrusky 
Choreographer: Brittany Danielle
Joe Mader - Managing Director 

Stage Manager: Josh Anderson 
Production Manager & Set Design:Hector Zavala

NOW SHOWING: 42nd Street Moon

EXCELLENT: Four**** Stars: or Compelling Four Glasses of Champagne**** (Don't miss)

October 1, 2014

IDEATION - AARON LOEB -plus MAGIC THEATRE

stats: 975 (this day) 


photo by Jessica Palopoli
SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE 

IDEATION 

This is the most intriguing adult marketing strategy that I have seen. If you are curious beyond chameleonic-well then, here are three experts that are desperate to please Mr. Big. But who is Mr. Big working for? A government agency? Are there motives good or evil? A religious extremist with genocide on his mind? 

Well, none of that gets answered - but the play is brilliantly acted. Well, here is what I think. It's all a multimedia pull-out-the stops. I think? I think and know that they all are corrupted by humans. 

Gripping emotional questions get real answers -and the play is brilliantly written. Near the end there will be a enormous climax as the standing ovation was gets completely overwhelmed. 

Everything is in this Twist. It's inventive irony and language that will absolutely keep you on all edges. Many twists reveal certain themes. Is anyone sane together. Nope! But, Oh - the appeal. 

They wear themselves out on a huge chalk board. They wear themselves over what they write - and wipe it away. Then they start over -- nope, that didn't work over. No one in the room seems to agree with each other. Yes, they are commanding effortless and astonishing. The youngest man just doesn't know what to do in this trust and faith moments. Who would?  

At first they are mild with everyone in the room. But the chalk is like putting makeup on and then erase it. They make great claims about what they will do -- but as time goes on the facts that just don't come together. It starts with a group that seems that they will never get beyond an emotional level. 

Sure there is great flair in the nail-biting seat. However - you will never forget this nail-biting experience. Believe me - it's an addictive thriller. Simply Brilliant!

It reaches a terrific climax that is brilliantly written and superbly acted. And wow...what a standing ovation. 

SPELLBINDING ACTORS: Ben Euphrat* as Scooter - Jason Kapoor as Sandeep - Carrie Paff* as Hannah - Mark Anderson Phillips* as Ted - L.Britt Ervin as J.D (voiceover - Greg Ayers* (understudy) Tiiu Eva Rebane* (understudy)

Set Design - Bill English 
Costume Designer - Abra Berman
Stage Manager - Maggie Koch*
Casting Director - Lauren English 

Directed by Aaron Loeb 

Lighting Design - Mark Hueske