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The Hucksters

by Shawn Stone October 8, 2015


  There’s a moment in Electric Boogaloo, the riotous documentary about Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, legendary schlockmeisters of Cannon Films, when filmmaker Mark Hartley zooms in on a copy of a 1980s Variety film preview. ...


Cartoon Cartel

by Shawn Stone October 8, 2015


The promos for this film looked pretty good, promising a gritty look at the drug-fueled carnage on both sides of the Mexican border. Sicario is indeed gritty, violent and bloody, but it’s not exactly insightful ...


Family Business

by James Yeara October 8, 2015


  The Lion in Winter is James Goldman’s 1966 play on the unseemly machinations and mayhem of a thoroughly modern Henry II (the first of the Plantagenet rulers, father of Richard the Lion-Hearted, and all-around champion ...

0 comments Oldcastle Theatre Company

Murder Most Wonderful

by B.A. Nilsson October 1, 2015


  As a dizzying set of intrigues continues to build through act two, we’re taken to the apartment of Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey), who’s been briskly murdering his way to a dukedom. He is amorously closeted ...

0 comments Proctors

Neighborhood Evil

by Shawn Stone September 24, 2015

  Thanks to the gruesome skill of convicted gang boss James “Whitey” Bulger, Boston is the new “it” location in gangster films. First there was The Departed, a remake of a Hong Kong crime drama that ...


Almost Feminist

by Shawn Stone September 24, 2015


  There’s hardly a greater contrast in one Hollywood studio’s house style than Warner Bros. before and after 1935. In the first part of the decade, the films are largely sharp and fast, rarely clocking in ...


The Jerk in the Mirror

by Shawn Stone September 10, 2015


  Steve Jobs was almost universally beloved. He was also, in many ways, a horrible person. When he died, there was an outpouring of grief from all over the world as people stood and wept outside ...


See Hear

by Jeff Nania September 10, 2015


  Sept. 2nd was the launch of EMPAC’s new On Screen/Sound series, which explores pioneering uses of images and soundtracks on film. The evening began with a series of four short films: Mosaic, Synchromy, Video Tape ...

0 comments EMPAC

Sweet Liberty

by James Yeara September 10, 2015


  Two sheets of deep green satin fabric drape from floor to ceiling upstage center and up left. The stage floor is black, the three circular wood oval stands are black, and the one wood cube ...

0 comments Bridge Street Theatre

It Had To Be You

by Shawn Stone September 3, 2015


  Loosely based on a 1950s French crime novel, Christian Petzold’s Phoenix uses postwar Berlin as the setting for a story of—note the title—self-discovery and regeneration. What makes this avoid the “risen from the ashes” cliché ...


The Stars Aligned

by James Yeara August 28, 2015


  Summertime is a season of rare celestial occurrences: conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, Perseid meteor shower, blue moons, super moons. But few things are as rare, and never to be repeated, as what is happening ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Framed in Truth

by James Yeara August 28, 2015

  The moment American interloper Ira Aldridge (the deservedly much-lauded John Douglas Thompson) first meets the much-lauded Victorian actress Ellen Tree (Kelley Curran, star of Shakespeare & Company’s The Comedy of Errors here showing a range ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

A Supposedly Fun Tour

by John Rodat August 27, 2015


  I loved David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and consumed it in a near-nonstop multi-day bout. When the novel was released in 1996, I was 28 years old and, more or less, still in college. I ...


American Story

by Shawn Stone August 20, 2015


  When N.W.A.’s album Straight Outta Compton was selling millions of copies in the late 1980s as a genuine critical and pop-culture phenomenon, one of the least likely long-term prospects would have been the group becoming ...


Poor Relations

by Shawn Stone August 20, 2015


  Superheroes are the dominant movie form, and there is one aspect of this genre that has proven particularly irksome: the origin story. Sony swaps out the actor playing Spider-man and what happens? They go back ...


Friendly Maneuvers

by Ralph Hammann August 20, 2015


  At the season’s end, the WTF is certainly pulling out the heavy artillery and scoring direct hits. The titular intervention is intriguingly complex in this American premiere, which boasts dialogue that is refreshingly literate and naturalistic. ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

The One-Act Life

by James Yeara August 20, 2015

  Kaliyuga Arts presents theater that you won’t see on any other stage in the region. A worthy inheritor of StageWorks/Hudson’s mantle of ballsiest theater in the region, the latest production on the Bridge Street Theatre’s ...

1 comment Bridge Street Theatre

How I Botched That Story

by Ralph Hammann August 20, 2015


  In program notes for the London premiere of His Girl Friday, John Guare correctly called The Front Page, his source material, “the secret great American play.” As a tribute to its greatness, he has written ...

0 comments Barrington Stage Company

Cato in Utica

by B.A. Nilsson August 20, 2015


  “Et in Arcadia ego” is inscribed on one of the trompe l’oeil stones forming the backdrop to Cato’s encampment in north Africa. “I am in Paradise,” the phrase suggests, and it’s an inscription often found ...

0 comments Glimmerglass Festival

Broad Intimacy

by James Yeara August 13, 2015


  Saratoga Shakespeare Company chose an excellent locale, the intimate and versatile black box theater at Skidmore College, and play, Donald Marguiles’ popular 2007 fantasy Shipwrecked!, for their first indoor summer production. The black box created ...

0 comments Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater

Super Failure

by David King August 13, 2015


  Director Josh Trank shouldn’t take all the blame for the cinematic atrocity that is Fantastic Four. No, we all should. Spend the hour and 40 or so minutes actually watching the movie and it quickly ...


Adventures in Mexico

by B.A. Nilsson August 13, 2015


  You can count on the Bard Music Festival for textural extremes. Last Saturday’s programs ran a gamut from a charming sonata for guitar and harpsichord by Manual Ponce to the outsized, relentless Piano Concerto by ...

0 comments Bard College Richard B. Fisher Center

Seeing Double: The Anaglyphs of Eric Egas

by Shawn Stone August 13, 2015


  Eric Egas works with anaglyphs, three-dimensional stereoscopic images that “trick the eye into seeing depth” with red-blue 3D glasses. A few minutes before a recent press preview of his new exhibition at the Albany Institute ...

0 comments Albany Institute of History & Art

Cape of Beauty

by B.A. Nilsson August 6, 2015


  Nature is shameless about offering its beauty, leaving it up to us to interpret the aesthetics. It’s easy to take it for granted—to stop looking and to see very little. Joe Schuyler never stopped looking, ...

1 comment

Deep Feelings

by Ralph Hammann August 6, 2015


  Williamstown Theatre Festival has a winner in this world premiere. Everything about Unknown Soldier works wonderfully and generously fulfills the contract that theater should make with its audience. It won’t remain unknown outside of Williamstown ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage