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British actor plays Mrs Lovett alongside Bryn Terfel for just five performances at the Avery Fisher Hall
Emma Thompson has made her New York stage debut to critical acclaim but it will be over in a flash – there will be only five performances of her playing London's worst piemaker .
She plays Mrs Lovett and when she began the run on Wednesday she was following in some impressive footsteps. Angela Lansbury won a Tony after originating the role in 1979 and the character has been played in the West End by Sheila Hancock, Julia McKenzie and in 2012, Imelda Staunton.
So how did she do? Writing for the Guardian, Kayla Epstein said Thompson "not only held her own against more experienced vocalists, »
- Mark Brown
New York – Emma Thompson making her New York stage debut as amoral London pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett is the major draw, and she doesn't disappoint. But the real strength of this five-performance concert staging of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is hearing Stephen Sondheim's magnificent score played by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert. If director Lonny Price's concept lacks coherence and the ensemble could be more unified, leaving room for improvement before the show is filmed for future PBS broadcast this weekend, the exhilarating moments trump the weaknesses. The big question,
- David Rooney
The 2012 indie drama Beasts of the Southern Wild brought acclaim for both writer-director Benh Zeitlin and star Quvenzhané Wallis, with many interested to see what the young actress would do next. With her next appearance being a supporting turn in 12 Years a Slave, fans were intrigued to learn of her casting as the lead in a remake of the musical Annie. Will Gluck takes the directorial reins this time, along with working on the script with Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna. Joining Wallis onscreen will be Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, and Bobby Cannavale. The first trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
(Source: Shadow and Act)
- Deepayan Sengupta
Jennifer Garner flashed a pretty smile when she left her hotel in NYC on Wednesday. The actress jetted off to the Big Apple following her appearance at Sunday night's Oscars to serve as a presenter and support her Dallas Buyers Club costars, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, who both won big acting awards. Keep reading to see Jen, plus Emma Thompson acting in Sweeney Todd, Rihanna's chic time in Paris, and more great star snaps! View Slideshow › »
- Maria Mercedes Lara
Slavery has been depicted on the big screen in countless films (most recently in Best Picture winner "12 Years a Slave"), but rarely is the topic of human trafficking depicted in a contemporary setting. The independent feature film "Sold," directed by Jeffrey D. Brown, executive produced by Emma Thompson, and starring Gillian Anderson, David Arquette, and Seema Biswas, will shed new light on the topic when the film opens the 12th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles."Sold," an adaptation of the National Book Award-nominated novel by Patricia McCormick and based on true accounts, details a young girl's harrowing attempt at escaping her life in a brothel in India. "Because of 'Sold's' marvelous script and courageous and brilliant cast,” said Emma Thompson, “it is a story that we can All watch – so that we may understand the processes of slavery in modern India and feel able to act »
- Ziyad Saadi
This mostly pitch-perfect musical from the New York Philharmonic shows why it's time to put proper orchestras behind shows again
Staging musicals as concerts is a tricky business but the New York Philharmonic's production of Sweeney Todd, starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel, is an energetic theatrical performance that manages to hit the right notes.
Making her New York stage debut as Mrs Lovett (a role originated by Angela Lansbury), Thompson runs off with the show. Her Mrs Lovett is shrewd, conniving and utterly in control of the operation until the final moments. Her voice is silky one moment, brassy the next; it helps that the role is perfect for an imperfect voice.
Thompson's partner in crime, however, could have asked her for a few acting tips. Terfel's intimidating bass-baritone is perfect for Sweeney Todd, and his 6ft 4in frame conveys menace, but Terfel's Sweeney comes across as a monster not a brute. »
- Kayla Epstein
Is there anything Emma Thompson cannot do? The British actress, snubbed for an Oscar nomination this year for her turn as Mary Poppins writer P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, proves herself a felonious triple threat as the cannibalistic cook Mrs. Lovett in a five-night-only concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which opened Wednesday night at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC’s Lincoln Center. (If you’re unable to snag a ticket to one of the remaining performances, fret not: PBS is filming the production for broadcast later this year.)
Thompson sings surprisingly well, she quips, she does pratfalls, »
- Thom Geier
After becoming the third youngest actress to receive an Oscar Nomination for her debut in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhané Wallis followed that role with a part in this year's Academy Award–winning 12 Years a Slave. Now, the young actress is ready to tackle a classic role in the upcoming remake of Annie.
The movie's first trailer reveals that it's still a hard knock life for Wallis' Annie, who escapes from the orphanage of Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) to live with the rich Daddy Warbucks — this time re-imagined as a politician named Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx). However, unlike the previous 1982 adaptation, this Annie is armed with modern updates on the 1977 musical's classic songs as well as new tracks written by Jay-z, who also served as one of the movie's producers.
- Ryan Gowland
The big-budget remake of beloved musical "Annie" is nothing if not ambitious.
Developed by Jay-z, who memorably sampled "Annie" for his huge hit "Hard Knock Life," and Will Smith, who originally designed the project as a vehicle for his daughter, Willow, this new version of "Annie" will feature a largely African American cast and be set in present day New York Quvenzhane Wallis, fresh from her Oscar nomination for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," is the new Annie and Jamie Foxx plays a character based on the Daddy Warbucks part from the original. And based on the just-released first teaser for the Christmas release, it's going to sleekly modernize the material while keeping all of those classic "Annie" elements that make it such a beloved musical.
We get to see a little bit of everything in the teaser -- the scope and complexity of the musical numbers, which have an agreeable crayon-colored look, »
- Drew Taylor
Sold directed by Jeffrey D. Brown will open the 12th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Iffla). The film is executive produced by Emma Thompson, and stars Gillian Anderson, David Arquette, Seema Biswas, Parambrata Chatterjee, Priyanka Bose, Sushmita Mukherjee and Tillotama Shome, among others.
Sold tells the story of a Nepali girl Lakshmi who was sold into a brothel in Kolkata. It is an adaptation of the Us National Book Award-nominated novel by Patricia McCormick, based on true accounts. The book has been translated into 32 languages.
Director Jeffery D. Brown and select cast will be in attendance at the opening night gala. Brown won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 1986 for Molly’s Pilgrim.
In addition, Jasmine Jaisinghani was appointed as Iffla’s first-ever Artistic Director by Christina Marouda, Iffla’s Founder and Chair of the Board.
Jasmine Jaisinghani comes to Iffla from AFI »
The movie centers on the topic of child trafficking in India as viewed through one girl's journey; it has executively been produced by Emma Thompson, Deadline reported.
The festival will run from 8- 13 April at the ArcLight Hollywood. (Ani) »
- Lohit Reddy
Cameron Diaz also features as the cruel orphanage owner Miss Hannigan.
Annie will be released on December 19 in the Us and February 6, 2015 in the UK. »
The wait for the first clip of the upcoming “Annie” movie musical remake is over.
A thirty-second teaser trailer and preliminary movie poster were released Wednesday, providing a glimpse of young actress Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role, Jamie Foxx as Benjamin “Daddy Warbucks” Sacks and Cameron Diaz playing the villainous Miss Hannigan.
The new trailer features brief snippets of Wallis singing well-known “Annie” tunes including “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life.”
“Annie” is set to bow in theaters Dec. 19.
- Andrea Seikaly
“Because of ‘Sold’s’ marvelous script and courageous and brilliant cast, it is a story that we can all watch – so that we may understand the processes of slavery in modern India and feel able to act without feeling the kind of rage and hopelessness that gets in the way of doing anything,” Thompson said.
The opening night gala reception will be at Nirvana-Bombay Palace in Beverly Hills.
Jasmine Jaisanghani has been tapped as artistic director for the 12th edition of the sprocket opera, which will announce its full lineup later this month. “We’re thrilled »
- Shalini Dore
A film fest quickly gaining attention in fest-packed Los Angeles is the Indian Film Fest of La. With last year's high profile screenings of Gangs of Wasseypur, Midnight Children, and Eega, Iffla positioned itself as the best way to catch the latest high profile films from the subcontinent. This year's fest is scheduled for April 8-13 and the organizers have just announced the opening night film as Emma Thompson-produced child trafficking drama Sold. The film is directed by Jeffrey D. Brown and stars Gillian Anderson, David Arquette, and Seema Biswas. Perhaps not the Indian hit that Wasseypur was, but an interesting choice none the less. Here is more on the film: Through one extraordinary girl's journey, Sold illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, a crime...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
After a breakthrough performance in the Best Picture nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild, young actress Quvenzhané Wallis is getting musical in this contemporary adaptation of the classic musical Annie. With a story that puts the adorable orphan in the care of Will Stacks, just in time to help his New York mayoral campaign, everything about this updated, urban on the material feels too phony, and so do Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. Wallis is cute as Annie, and she's certainly grown up a bit since her indie debut, but this film doesn't look like anything special, and the singing sounds way too artificially poppy. Watch? Here's the first trailer for Will Gluck's remake of Annie, originally from Yahoo: Annie is directed by Will Gluck (Easy A) who also wrote the screenplay with Alice Brosh McKenna (We Bought a Zoo, The Devil Wears Prada) and Emma Thompson. Putting a »
- Ethan Anderton
Iffla founder and chair of the board Christina Marouda made the announcements. Jaisinghani arrives from AFI Fest, where she served as the cultural and industry relations director and headed guest services.
“Because of Sold’s marvelous script and courageous and brilliant cast it is a story that we can all watch, so that we may understand the processes of slavery in modern India and feel able to act without feeling the kind of rage and hopelessness that gets in the way of doing anything,” said Thompson (pictured in conversation during the awards season.)
Commenting on the Jaisinghani hire, Marouda said: “We »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Sky Arts HD is getting ready for its annual Playhouse Presents series which returns to the channel this May. The showcase is devoted to one-off comedies and dramas with talent lined up this year to include Matthew Perry, Billie Piper, Ben Wishaw, Mark Strong, Jo Brand, Simon Callow, Cara Delevingne, Lindsay Duncan, Kevin Eldon, Jane Horrocks, Daniel Mays, Sylvia Syms, Ashley Walters, Jason Watkins and Richard Wilson. Previous editions have had such names as Jon Hamm, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Thompson, Idris Elba and David Tennant. This year also involves the writing talents of Oscar-winner Peter Straughan, among others. Perry, who’s prepping his Odd Couple pilot at CBS, will make his UK TV comedy debut with The Dog Thrower, the story of a man who finds fame, then infamy, when he starts throwing his dog. It’s produced by Runaway Fridge. Among the other offerings, Piper and Whishaw will star in Foxtrot from Sprout Pictures, »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
The Academy Awards were unusually light on photobombs this year. Maybe because they're supposed to be a "classy" event. Maybe because Emma Thompson wasn't there (ugh we wish Emma Thompson had been there). Maybe because Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed U2 early on in the evening and you can't top that so why bother? Anyway, here is every photobomb from the Oscars: Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed U2: Jared Leto photobombed Ireland Baldwin and Kevin Spacey: Jennifer Lawrence photobombed these lucky people: Anne Hathaway photobombed Jessica Biel: (Who knew Anne had it in her?) And Lupita Nyong'o's brother, Peter, kinda photobombed »
Here we are again after the Golden Globes, Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset. Related: Oscars: Pete Hammond’s Absolute Final Predictions That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
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