July 14, 2013 |
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) , the ultra-light theatrical romp that compacts the great playwright's lifetime output in ways that make CliffsNotes look expansive, is actually tried-and-true vaudeville. It's the classic clash between high and low art - just add some manic frat-house energy, and laughs are inevitable. But that doesn't mean you automatically have a show. That's why the three-member Commonwealth Classic Theatre cast, starting a run of 11 free performances through July 27 at various regional venues, must have felt shot out of a cannon Thursday at the Morris Arboretum.
June 24, 2013
WITH THE (lackluster) primary behind us, Philadelphia politicians now look ahead to two days - Election Day on Nov. 5, and the 23rd annual Candidates Comedy Night on Wednesday, Aug. 21. (Details below.) This year's show will be small, with candidates for controller and district attorney - two Republican challengers and two Democratic incumbents. In past "off years," I have buttressed the show with Pennsylvania suburban candidates, but there are none of note this year. You know the Democratic candidates, because they are the incumbents: Controller Alan Butkovitz and D.A. Seth Williams.
June 7, 2013 |
LAST TIME we saw Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson making mischief together was "Wedding Crashers" - being, as Vaughn put it then, "young and stupid. " Wilson's response: "We're not that young. " And that was eight years ago, before Wilson entered his Brian Wilson-ish "Drillbit Taylor" period, including "Marley and Me" and a gig as the voice of Marmaduke. That would put visible miles on any man. Now the duo is back, turning their over-the-hill-gang status into a running joke in their reunion comedy "The Internship.
June 6, 2013
D EAR ABBY: I'm a single mother of two boys, 16 and 12. While my older son has been private about coming into puberty, my younger son is very open about it. I'll be honest: The subject makes me uncomfortable. Last night I walked into my 12-year-old's room and interrupted him pleasuring himself. I was shocked, and I started to laugh because I was embarrassed. I did tell him he needed to be more private about his curiosity. But I was laughing and could not stop. Where do I go from here?
May 20, 2013 |
At 86, Mel Brooks still looks like the Marx brother from another mother, his sunset years lit by kliegs. He is the subject of an American Masters special ( Mel Brooks: Make a Noise , airing Monday on PBS), recipient of an American Film Institute life achievement award (on June 6, to be shown on TNT later next month), and librettist of a proposed Broadway musical based on his 1974 movie hit Blazing Saddles . How do you measure this singular talent? Short in stature (65 inches)
April 23, 2013 |
Every lifetime should have at least one: The great teacher, the one who inspired, the one who changed your life. For decades of students in Delaware County, Robert Malkovsky - Mr. Mal, or just Mal - was such a teacher. Six-foot-four with a booming voice and a big laugh, he was a gentle giant who ignited a fire for physics in his students. He explained the incomprehensible. He would quietly foot the bills for prom dresses. He made all kids feel as though they were worth listening to. And so Mal's death - so unexpected because he appeared to have won his long battle with pancreatic cancer - was devastating news to those who knew him, as though a light had gone out for them.
March 22, 2013 |
SIX YEARS AGO, Mouphtaou Yarou remembers, there were many, many difficult phone calls home to Benin. He came here from that small West African country for high school, and for basketball, and for all of the attendant opportunities, but he wondered sometimes what he had gotten himself into. He wondered whether it was worth all of the anxiety. "I was very homesick," he said, a couple of days before the Villanova Wildcats begin another NCAA Tournament journey. Yarou, 22, is their senior big man, the oncourt leader of a team that swung wildly between disaster and elation - sometimes in the same week.
February 19, 2013 |
Think Martin McDonagh without the accents. Think Quentin Tarantino without the cars. Think, in other words, about stupid people with foul mouths, big guns, and big ideas. What you have is Jason Wells' The North Plan , a very scary and very funny political satire that just opened at Theatre Exile. The place is a jail in a tiny town in southern Missouri. In one cage is a self-justifying drunk named Tanya Shepke (Madi Distefano at her yeehah! motor-mouthed best). If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's do not mess with Tanya Shepke.
February 8, 2013 |
THEY SAY 90 percent of a movie is casting, and it's at least 99 percent of "Identity Thief. " This a flimsy road movie whose main achievement is to pair cinema's most adroit straight man with its biggest comedy wild card. Jason Bateman is the former - stoic, unflappable, with the low-key verbal dexterity that makes him a peerless counter-puncher paired with zanier co-stars in movies such as "Horrible Bosses. " Here, he shares the screen with the volatile Melissa McCarthy, a rumbling volcano of out-there energy, the X-factor in movies such as "Bridesmaids" and recently released "This is 40. " The premise, in broad strokes, plays to their strengths.
January 8, 2013 |
PASADENA, Calif. - In his forthcoming NBC comedy, Michael J. Fox will play a newscaster who had quit his job due to Parkinson's disease but returns to work in the show's first episode because a new medical regimen has helped him control many of the disease's symptoms. It mirrors the life of the former Family Ties and Spin City star, who said last year that drugs had helped minimize the physical tics of Parkinson's and had enabled him to take on more acting jobs. The yet-to-be-named sitcom is a key piece of NBC's strategy to build upon a revival that has brought the network back from many years in the ratings wilderness.