November 22, 1988 |
The latest shaggy dog story from Walt Disney Pictures has a twist. It's really about a cat. "Oliver & Company," an animated feature that opened Friday, even was inspired by a twist: Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist. " This time around, the story of the waifish, orphaned Oliver is told in animal terms. Supplying the voice of Oliver the kitten is Joey Lawrence, best known as the orphan he portrayed on the TV sitcom "Gimme a Break!" Lawrence's stint with co-star Nell Carter lasted four years.
January 4, 2004 |
Many of the lavish musicals first produced in London by Cameron Mackintosh - such shows as Les Mis?rables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon - went on to become monster hits in this country. One notable exception was his 1994 revival of Oliver! Not that Britain's premier theatrical impresario didn't try to take that musical to Broadway, too. Faced with actors' union rules that would have required all the 24 children in the cast to be paid full union rates along with the 30 adult performers, Mackintosh deemed the show too expensive to export, and for years tried to work out a compromise with Actors' Equity that would reduce his costs.
March 20, 1999 |
Tomorrow, most of the civilized world will watch as one of five excellent films will be honored with the Best Picture Oscar. What I fear is that the voters will make a good pick - Shakespeare in Love - for bad reasons. Ballots were filled out in late December, after a year saturated by Monicagate, perjury charges, partisan bickering and preaching pundits. Fed up with the negativity, Oscar voters won't have the stomach to honor graphic war movies, a Holocaust comedy, or a drama with even more political intrigue than Washington dispensed with last year.
November 20, 2009 |
The Walnut Street Theatre has engineered many firsts in its 200 years, and here's the latest: For only the first time in its modern history of producing shows, which spans 27 years, the Walnut is presenting a show it has produced before. That's Oliver!, adapted from the story by Charles Dickens about the waif Oliver Twist and his life in a squalid troop of kids controlled by the crook Fagin, who sends them out to pick London's pockets. Oliver! was only the second show the newly formed Walnut production company staged in 1983 and the first musical.
July 18, 1990 |
Literature doesn't take no for an answer. Whether it's Moby-Dick imposing great truths about Life and Death through epic fiction, or Kafka's Trial suggesting eternal verities about bureaucracy, or minimalist stories faxing life's details to us in shopping lists, literature notices things and gets them right. And it requires readers to notice and accept them, too. You can't deny Emma Bovary or Raskolnikov or Oliver Twist - you salute, or nod, or turn away. Literature demands acquiescence.
June 24, 1993 |
Tena Clark's claim to fame has been urban pop music, writing for the likes of soul divas Vesta ("Congratulations"), Dionne Warwick ("Reservations for Two"), Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and fellow localite Rachelle Ferrell ("Sentimental"), Clark's personal favorite. She's also had success in film and TV series scoring and in commercials - most notably the funky, rhythm and blues jingles (some featuring Patti LaBelle) for McDonald's. As far as Broadway scoring is concerned, Tena Clark admitted she's a novice.
November 20, 2007 |
An Oliver Twisty urban fairy tale, August Rush is about an orphan, a musical prodigy who in his heart believes that his parents are still alive and that he can find them through his music. As directed by Kirsten Sheridan, coauthor of the transcendent In America , this piece of magical realism is the movie equivalent of football's Hail Mary pass. The plot is preposterous. Particularly the part about a kid who has never before played an instrument, but can pick up a guitar and play like Eric Clapton and belly up to a church organ and perform like Mozart.
November 21, 2007 |
An Oliver Twisty urban fairy tale, August Rush is about an orphan, a musical prodigy who in his heart believes that his parents are still alive and that he can find them through his music. As directed by Kirsten Sheridan, coauthor of the transcendent In America, this piece of magical realism is the movie equivalent of football's Hail Mary pass. The plot is preposterous. Particularly the part about a kid who has never before played an instrument, but can pick up a guitar and play like Eric Clapton and belly up to a church organ and perform like Mozart.
December 11, 1994 |
Newt Gingrich thinks that scrapping the welfare system and replacing it with a system of orphanages would be a fine addition to the GOP's "Contract with America. " This is an idea rich in historical precedent. In the late 19th century - an era which saw such entrepreneurial innovations as child labor - 20 percent of all poor children were in orphanages. For those who argue that this would be a return to the time of Charles Dickens, I believe that the newest technologies can be wedded to an old idea with stunning success.