February 7, 2003 |
On "I Bow Down and Pray to Every Woman I See" - one of several character-driven vignettes on Chuck Prophet's No Other Love (New West) - the narrator confesses to lusting after a series of quirky women, such as Darby "the fashion paranoid. " While Prophet admits there is some truth to the song's tales, he's not sharing specifics. "It's pretty obvious that I worship at the altar of Randy Newman," he said from his home in San Francisco. Like Newman, Prophet crafts character sketches that often balance irony and sympathy.
November 8, 1990 |
When a two-character play opens with the two characters not getting along very well, the theatergoer can be pretty sure that it will have one of two endings: The characters will come together as friends or lovers, or one of them will die. In Stories About the Old Days, his play at Freedom Theater, Bill Harris for a while holds open the second alternative, but his confusing references to a voodoo curse, ghostly visions and despondency over a...
June 6, 2011
The "Mayor of Girard Avenue" is just one of many vibrant characters to roam through the corridors of power at City Hall. Here are three others: Ronald DeMarco pretended to be a newsman who covered City Hall and sports teams, according to a 1995 Daily News article. He would carry a microphone, a video camera, a Nikon camera and a "tattered cassette tape recorder. " He was not exactly popular. He reportedly took pictures of female reporters while at news conferences and stalked a radio reporter.
September 20, 1993 |
Unless you're blind and deaf, you can't have missed the promos for Dave's World - on TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines. "I can't believe it," says Dave Barry. "We actually have a president who knows all the words to 'Louie Louie.' " It's the kind of comment that would make a great start for one of Barry's syndicated humor columns, the ones that have been bringing grins to Americans for years and have won him a Pulitzer Prize. And in Dave's World, it does lead to this observation about the post-war generation, also worthy of a newspaper column, though arguable on many levels: "Someone has to be the grown-ups, and now it's our turn, which is a pretty horrifying thought.
November 27, 1999 |
You really wonder how weird the guy's going to be. It's a nice surprise then - actually, more of a relief - when Philip Seymour Hoffman shows up happy, full of good humor and apparently well-adjusted. A rising sensation in the indie film world for the past several years, the sandy-haired, 32-year-old actor made memorable appearances as insidious or deeply damaged characters in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Hard Eight" and "Boogie Nights," the Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski" and, most alarmingly, Todd Solondz's controversial "Happiness," in which his alienated young loner could barely muster a face-to-face conversation but was a real raconteur when making obscene phone calls.
October 8, 1993 |
What is it about the people in Donald Margulies' Sight Unseen, the season's first production by the Philadelphia Theatre Company, that makes them start talking a blue streak with no prompting whatever? Consider, for instance, Nick, the rawboned British archaeologist in whose spartan farmhouse much of the play is set. He's described right off as "painfully shy," but just leave him alone for 15 seconds with Jonathan Waxman, the famous New York painter, and he's nattering on about the obscene prices and aesthetic nullity of modern art. ("Picasso!"
March 28, 1987 |
Although Noel Coward is not famous for his short stories, a package of five of them has been converted into winning television entertainment on Masterpiece Theater, beginning this weekend. Coward (1899-1973) is best remembered for his plays, notably Private Lives and Blithe Spirit, and as the creator of a set of spoiled, snobbish and neurotic characters who personified a slice of the British upper crust in the 1920s and '30s. Often he even sounded somewhat like them himself, as when he said, "Summing myself up, I would say that I have a talent to amuse, that I write a very good dialogue, and that I have a strong and noble character as well.
September 18, 1989 |
Ally Sheedy, star of "Heart of Dixie," has been bad-mouthing the movie because, she says, it's about racism yet it contains no black characters with any depth. Well don't look now, Ally, but there aren't any characters of any depth in "Heart of Dixie. " Everybody in this movie, set at a university in Alabama circa 1957, is a two-dimensional cliche. They include: A young black-clad beatnik (Phoebe Cates) who talks unceasingly of moving to Greenwich Village. A young southern belle (Virginia Madsen)
February 18, 2005 |
WHEN Keanu Reeves' "Constantine" hits theaters today, ticketbuyers will be treated to a hero who, onscreen, is trying to find a way to get into heaven. Offscreen, Warner Brothers is hoping he finds a way to end an eight-year box-office drought for characters based on DC Comics characters. Ever since Joel Schumacher's "Batman and Robin" turned off hardcore and mainstream fans of the Dark Knight with extreme campiness and an emphasis on big names instead of story, DC - the owner of the most recognizable heroes in the world - has watched one promising project after another (the revival of Batman and Superman, the launch of Wonder Woman)
March 6, 1996 |
Natalia is the central character in Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country, and in the Simply Classic Theatre Company production the performance of the role is indicative of what is both successful and unsatisfying about the production. Jessica Hendra's intelligent portrayal shows the many sides of this bored, restless wife of a wealthy 19th-century Russian landlord. From scene to scene, the audience sees Natalia as flirt, Natalia as commanding lady of the manor, Natalia as calculating manipulator and, finally, Natalia smitten by love.