January 10, 2013 |
The romance. The intrigue. The big, beautiful country house. We can analyze the recipe for success of Downton Abbey - the British television import whose Season 3 made its anticipated debut on PBS Sunday - until our cups of tea go cold. But one element that can't be overlooked, especially for those of a culinary bent, is the food. Rather than letting it serve as mere eye candy, creator and writer Julian Fellowes has worked crepes, puddings, roast chicken, and other edibles into some of the series' most memorable plots.
September 4, 2012 |
THE FALLOUT from Michigan's loss to No. 2 Alabama continued, when the school announced sophomore cornerback Blake Countess would miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Countess, who had 44 tackles last season and was considered the top cornerback for the No. 8 Wolverines, was injured in the first quarter of the 41-14 loss on Saturday while running down the field on punt coverage. Countess is eligible for a medical redshirt, which would make him a redshirt sophomore next season.
January 11, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - Denise Darcel, the French-born actress known for vampy roles in such films as "Vera Cruz" and "Thunder in the Pines," has died. She was 87. Darcel's son Craig said Monday that she died Dec. 23 at a Los Angeles hospital from complications from an emergency surgery to repair a ruptured aneurysm. After coming to the U.S. in 1947, Darcel starred opposite several leading men in a string of films in the '50s, including "Battleground" with Van Johnson, "Tarzan and the Slave Girl" with Lex Barker, "Westward the Women" with Robert Taylor and "Young Man with Ideas" with Glenn Ford.
February 5, 2010 |
Set exactly a century ago, The Last Station is a droll tragicomedy starring those battling Tolstoys, whose family is unhappy in its own way. Christopher Plummer, self-effacing as the peasant-loving Lev, and Helen Mirren, self-aggrandizing as Countess Sofya Tolstoy, are playful, poignant . . . and magnificent. Both were cited with richly deserved Oscar nominations this week. If enough Academy viewers saw their work they surely would win their respective categories. Michael Hoffman's adaptation of the Jay Parini novel is a most affecting look at the twilight of a marriage and how its parties adapt to the dawn of a new era. It is also a nonpartisan glimpse of what so often is a Great Man's last marital battle: Who gets to play the role of his widow?
March 6, 2007 |
In the spirited rendition of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at People's Light & Theatre in Malvern, bing-bang timing heightens the chaos. The comedy, built on confusion and deception, has a mean-spirited soul, but the players clearly grasp its affable heart. They wring the romp for all it's worth. Abigail Adams, People's Light artistic director, has her actors conspire as they hide beneath a piano, or sally downstage for the best comic effect, or lounge cockily like no-goods on a street corner.
November 1, 2002 |
How can a cast of six play 24 characters, many of whom occupy the stage at the same time? Director William Roudebush's solution to this conundrum is a liberal, imaginative use of masks and puppets, and a versatile group of able, physically adept actors. His production of The Madwoman of Chaillot at Mum Puppettheatre proves that a potent combination of theatrical tools can turn Jean Giraudoux's sharply observant comedy, infrequently presented because of its cast requirements, into a piece that is both highly entertaining and theatrically impressive.
December 25, 2001 |
Shucks! And I had thought that the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette was all skin and scandal, bijoux and bon-bons, intrigue and inebriation. According to the historical drama The Affair of the Necklace, 'twas a commercial endorsement gone bad that brought down the monarchy and brought on the French Revolution. Angling for the queen's imprimatur, a pair of jewelers approach a social-climbing countess, Jeanne de la Motte-Valois (Hilary Swank), to be their intermediary.
April 12, 2001 |
Things were much simpler when royalty could spend its time lying around palaces and castles munching pheasant, ordering servants to polish the silver, and popping in on the occasional garden party or fox hunt. Alas, no longer. Today, it isn't easy being even a princess, much less a king or queen. Just ask the former Sophie Rhys-Jones, the commoner who became the Countess of Wessex two years ago when she married Prince Edward, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II. Sophie, 36, was co-owner of a London public-relations firm before she married Edward, 37, in 1999.
September 21, 1999 |
QUOTE "Being a diva is a job like any other. When you go home, it's like leaving it at the office. " - Sophia Loren, who turned 65 yesterday, in Italy's La Repubblica newspaper Sophie Rhys-Jones, Britain's newest royal, is already in trouble with her in-laws. Sophie, dubbed the Countess of Wessex after her June wedding to Prince Edward, has reportedly irked Queen Elizabeth by continuing to work in the public relations firm she founded two years ago. London's Times says the queen is worried Sophie's promotional activities will create a conflict of interest with her role as a member of the royal family.
September 8, 1999 |
TCHAIKOVSKY'S "THE QUEEN OF SPADES" from the Metropolitan Opera. 8 tonight, Channel 12. Though you probably can't hum anything from "The Queen of Spades," Tchaikovsky's gorgeous, melancholy music and compelling characters will pull most viewers into its fantastic, troubled world. It's also unlikely that you'll ever see a finer performance of the opera, since three of Russia's greatest stars - tenor Dmitri Hvorostovsky, mezzo Olga Borodina and soprano Galina Gorchakova - and its most famed conductor, Valery Gergiev, are on hand.