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3 items from 2015

Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

4 November 2015 3:35 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten. »

- Andre Soares

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Theater Review: At Encores!, Lady, Be Good!

5 February 2015 1:28 PM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Sometimes — and I mean this in a good way — the Encores! series at City Center seems like the musical equivalent of A Night at the Museum, making the dinosaurs dance. That’s certainly the case with its delightful 22nd-season opener, Lady, Be Good!, the 1924 comedy that featured George and Ira Gershwin’s debut score on Broadway. (Working alone or as a team, the brothers had contributed individual songs to shows since 1918.) True, the bones of Lady, Be Good! are so creaky, they must be held up with strings, but the mounting, and the superb restoration where needed, let you see something fascinating that would hardly be visible otherwise: how the American musical grew into itself.Were it not for that, it’s hard to argue that a relic like Lady, Be Good! would be worth the enormous effort Encores! put into it, including a nearly complete new orchestration and the »

- Jesse Green

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7 Chances to Get Cast

30 January 2015 1:46 PM, PST | | See recent Backstage news »

From short films and theater to TV shows and cruise line opportunities, Backstage has the casting notices you’re looking for! Here are seven you might’ve missed over the last week. “Emigracion”A short film is seeking submissions out of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County, Calif. to tell the story of Andy, a Mexican-American teen who wants to migrate back to Mexico to escape his overbearing mother. Meals and travel expenses will be covered with the possibility of working on the feature length version of “Emigración.” “Words By Ira Gershwin”This play based on the prolific lyricist Ira Gershwin is casting the lead and two singers. “It is important to him that the audience understand the substance and craft that led to the creation of the Great American Songbook,” say the production’s producers. Auditions are Feb. 14 in Burbank, Calif. and rehearsals begin March 16. This is an Equity production. »

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