May 15, 2013 |
It's hard to imagine a better production of Philip Dawkins' lovely, bittersweet play Failure: A Love Story . Directed with great delicacy and imagination by Allison Heishman for Azuka Theatre, it is a triumph for this superb cast of young actors, some working professionally for the first time. The plot would be a straightforward one about falling in love if it were told forwardly, but since it's all flashback, and since it takes place in the 1920s, and since it's set in a clock shop, the Fail family's business, it's really about time, and how, when you're remembering, the past seems to be present, just as it does onstage.
March 24, 2013 |
Lil Wayne has posted a video thanking fans for their support while he was ill. Lil, 30, was hospitalized after having what has been described as a serious seizure last Friday. "I just want to say thank you to all y'all for all y'all prayers," Lil says. "I want all y'all to know that I'm good . . . more than good. " Lil's rep has denied a TMZ report that he fell ill due to an overdose and that his condition was so grave he received last rites. But can they top LiLo?
March 24, 2013
The Porsche Santiaga Story Atria/Emily Bestler Books. 432 pp. $26.99 By Sister Souljah Reviewed by Karen E. Quinones Miller It's here! A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story , the long-awaited sequel to Sister Souljah's 1999 debut novel, The Coldest Winter Ever , which sold more than a million copies, is finally here! And it was released with even more fanfare than the 2008 publication of Midnight: A Gangster Love Story , the prequel to The Coldest Winter Ever that centers on the Sudanese immigrant Midnight, who was introduced in Coldest Winter . It's little wonder that this sequel, like the prequel, made an early appearance on the New York Times best-sellers list, especially since fans of The Coldest Winter Ever had to wait 14 years to find out the fate of the characters in that book.
March 15, 2013 |
THE PROTAGONIST of "Lore," a powerful and haunting drama set in Germany immediately following the country's defeat in World War II, is a teenage girl. Subtly played by Saskia Rosendahl, Lore (pronounced "Laura") is just old enough to have learned to fear and hate Jews. It's a sick lesson imparted to her by her Nazi parents (Hans-Jochen Wagner and Ursina Lardi) who, as the film gets under way, are being taken into custody by Allied troops. This leaves Lore the rest of the film to begin to unlearn that lesson, and maybe to pick up a few new ones, as she and her four younger siblings, who are still relatively untainted by anti-Semitism, make their way through the Black Forest to a relative's house near Hamburg.
February 25, 2013 |
It's like watching a novel: all the intimacy, all the language, all the complexity of character, without having to turn a page. Nicholas Wright's engrossing, prize-winning play about the young van Gogh, Vincent in Brixton , is receiving a just-about-perfect production at the Walnut's Independence Studio under Kate Galvin's direction. Before he became the painter he became, Vincent van Gogh (Brian Cowden, who manages to sound Dutch and crazy and profoundly sweet all at once) lived for a short while in a London boardinghouse.
February 17, 2013 |
Frank and Dolores Ciaccio dance in the living room of the Norristown twin they have shared for 57 years. They are the picture of an old and comfortable love. "They don't do this in nursing homes," he says. "That's why I'm going to keep her here forever. " Frank knows about persevering. For decades, the 89-year-old has been better known by the nickname "Hank Cisco," Norristown's cheerleader-in-chief and honorary ambassador. About 10 years ago, Dolores, now 84, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
February 14, 2013 |
POSTELECTION pollsters with excess time on their hands sampled moviegoers to see which film they'd prefer to attend on Valentine's Day. "A Good Day to Die Hard" was the clear winner, capturing a 68 percent share, although "Safe Haven" with Josh Duhamel was the clear favorite among women. Date night may be problematic. Women might argue that "Die Hard" is not suited to Valentine's Day, men might counter that "Die Hard" started out as a holiday affair - the original was very much a Christmas movie.
February 13, 2013 |
NICHOLAS Sparks has a formula for his success. The best-selling author behind The Notebook , A Walk to Remember and Safe Haven - the most recent of Sparks' books to get the film treatment, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel - spilled his secret during a recent stop in Philly: "Here's a hint: There's going to be two people, and they're going to fall in love. It's going to be [in] North Carolina. It's going to be a small town. " Voilà! A hit. OK, so there's more to crafting a signature Sparks romantic tragedy than that.
January 14, 2013
Pop Yo La Tengo Fade (Matador ***1/2) Yo La Tengo's continued relevance 27 years into their career is remarkable. The Hoboken trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew have yet to release a bad album, and they've made a handful of great ones. Fade is one of them. With producer John McEntire of post-rock experimenters Tortoise, they've created an album that is intimate and thoughtful, urgent and fun. The band hasn't reinvented itself. No need, since Yo La Tengo's expertise in catchy, jangly rock, gentle acoustic folk-pop, and noisy feedback excursions allows endless room for triangulation.
January 10, 2013 |
Likely to be nominated for multiple Oscars on Thursday, Silver Linings Playbook offers an affectionate, true portrait of Philadelphia and the suburbs. It's arguably the best film ever made about our region. Silver Linings captures that affecting mix of grit and polish with tremendous warmth, the working-class roots and exceptional pride that are a hallmark of many neighborhoods where homes, no matter how cramped or nouveau grand, are tended like mansions. That specific sense of community extends throughout parts of the city and traverses both sides of the Delaware.