Doo-Wop Music Doc 'Street Light Harmonies' to Feature Brian Wilson, Lance Bass

Doo-Wop Music Doc 'Street Light Harmonies' to Feature Brian Wilson, Lance Bass
Street Light Harmonies will focus on music and influential musicians that defined doo-wop.

The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Nsync's Lance Bass, and The Flamingos' Terry Johnson will participate in the doc that is being directed by Brent Wilson.

The doc will be a combination of restored archival footage and present-day interviews with musicians and music producers, including La La Brooks (The Crystals), Eddie Rich (The Swallows), Leon Hughes (The Coasters), Scherrie Payne (The Supremes), Florence Larue (Fifth Dimension) and Ron Dante (The Archies)

“Street Light Harmonies is an inspiring reminder that music is far bigger than any one hit...
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Katherine Parkinson: 'I'm scared of the brutality of Hollywood'

The Humans and It Crowd actor is about to star in a play about the world of humourless comedy fans. Good job she has experience in that field …

It’s break time at a rehearsal space in south London and Katherine Parkinson keeps looking at the paper bag containing her very healthy lunch with a mixture of hunger and disappointment, a look familiar to any ravenous person who has ever opened the fridge to find only a piece of furred cheese. “One of the actors is on a regime,” she says, an eyebrow just perceptibly raised. “It’s intimidating me.” She takes a gulp of green juice, then says, mainly to herself: “That’s disgusting.”

She is two weeks into rehearsals for Dead Funny, the comedy written and directed by Terry Johnson (it was first on in 1994). Parkinson plays Ellie, unhappily married but craving a baby. Her husband, Richard, is
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Theatre Review: The Libertine (West End)

The Libertine review: Dominic Cooper commands in this solid re-staging of Stephen Jeffreys’ modern classic.

The Libertine review by Paul Heath, September 2016.

Jasper Britton and Dominic Cooper in The Libertine. Photo: Alastair Muir

Dominic Cooper headlines the latest interpretation of British playwright Stephen JeffreysThe Libertine, the story of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a notorious rake and libertine poet in the court of King Charles II of England.

Cooper addresses the audience with the commanding line ‘You will not like me.’, in the play’s opening moment, a statement referring his deplorable hellraiser rather than this lavish revival of perhaps one of the modern day’s greatest theatrical works. We liked ‘him’, and ‘it’ a lot.

Dominic Cooper in The Libertine. Photo: Alastair Muir

‘The gentlemen will be envious and the women will be repelled.’

Jeffreys’ delicious, hedonistic and rather explicit story charts Wilmot’s journey from royal
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Mrs. Henderson Presents to transfer to the West End

Following a sell-out season at the Theatre Royal Bath this summer, Mrs Henderson Presents will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday 9 February 2016..

Mrs Henderson Presents will star Tracie Bennett as Laura Henderson, Ian Bartholomew as Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams as Maureen who all reprise the roles they played in Bath. Full casting will be announced shortly.

Based on the film Mrs Henderson Presents – original screenplay by Martin Sherman, the musical has a book and is directed by the multi-award winning Terry Johnson. Lyrics are by the Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winning Don Black with music by Oscar nominated George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain, who both collaborated on the original film. It is choreographed by Andrew Wright, has set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Paul Wills and lighting design by Ben Ormerod. Wig, hair and make-up design is by Richard Mawbey, orchestrations are by
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The Duck House: MPs' expenses satire set for West End splash

Ben Miller to star in new London comedy set during Gordon Brown's time in office, by Mock the Week's Dan Patterson

From Peter Viggers' duck house to Richard Timney's adult entertainment, parliamentary expenses are to become the subject of a new West End satire starring the comedian Ben Miller.

Acclaimed playwright Terry Johnson will direct The Duck House, a comedy set during Gordon Brown's tenure as prime minister. It has been written by Mock the Week producer Dan Patterson and Have I Got News for You writer Colin Swash. The production will begin performances at London's Vaudeville theatre at the end of November, following a five-week national tour.

Miller will play backbench Labour MP Robert Houston, who in the face of the impending election, attempts to cross the floor to the Conservative party just as he becomes embroiled in the expenses scandal. Miller said: "They say that comedy equals tragedy plus time,
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Hitchcock – review

The latest attempt to bring Alfred Hitchcock's life to the screen paints the Master as a crafty hoodwinker triumphing over drab studio execs

F Scott Fitzgerald claimed that, back in 1920, he'd tried to persuade Dw Griffith that the film industry was a wonderful subject for the cinema. Griffith laughed at the idea, but not for the first time Fitzgerald was proved right. He went on to write a series of stories and a great unfinished novel on Hollywood, and since the silent era there has been no end to the making of movies about movie-making. Particular interest has recently been shown in Alfred Hitchcock, one of only two movie directors whose faces are immediately recognisable to popular audiences the world over. The other, of course, is Hitchcock's fellow working-class Londoner, Charlie Chaplin.

Last summer, Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo was voted the greatest film of all time in Sight
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Hitchcock Blonde – review

Hull Truck theatre

Why did Alfred Hitchcock prefer blondes? "Because they make the best victims," he said. They also make for a lot of biopics, as witnessed by recent screen portrayals featuring Sienna Miller and Scarlett Johansson. But playwright Terry Johnson got there 10 years earlier with this dark, distinctly Hitchcockian study of the peroxide muse.

It opens in a modern media-studies department where Alex, a jaded, middle-aged lecturer, shares the recent discovery of some fragments of old film stock with his bright (and blonde) young student Nicola. He suggests they repair to his Greek villa to investigate. Rather unwisely, she agrees. We then cut to the late 1950s, in which Hitch himself is shown interviewing an unnamed blonde actor while demolishing a dover sole with the same efficiency with which Norman Bates dismembered Marion Crane.

The parallels between the two timeframes are obvious: the anonymous blonde is terrorised by a
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What to see: Lyn Gardner's theatre tips

A Fake Moon rises over Bristol at the Ibt festival, Philip Pullman's I Was a Rat! scurries into Birmingham, and James McAvoy tackles the Scottish play in London


The big opening this week is Roger McGough's new version of Molière's The Misanthrope at Liverpool Playhouse, which should be fun. Theatre meets music gigs in 154 Collective's Dancing With the Orange Dog, which is at Stockton Arts Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hairspray is out on tour again and is at the Lowry in Salford. In Manchester, meanwhile, Queer Contact celebrates the best in Lgbt art and culture this weekend. The moving first-world-war drama, The Accrington Pals, continues at the Exchange. David Copperfield begins at the Oldham Coliseum tonight. This looks intriguing: at Haphazard at Z-arts on Saturday is Word of Warning's day of live art for all ages. The Edinburgh hit, Unmythable – all the Greek myths in 70 minutes
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Mary Tamm obituary

Actor best known as the glamorous Time Lady Romana in Doctor Who

The actor Mary Tamm, who has died of cancer aged 62, enjoyed two stints on popular television, first as the glamorous Time Lady Romana in Doctor Who (1978-79), and then in the more down-to-earth environs of Brookside Close in Channel 4's soap opera, where she was Penny Crosbie, the upper-class resident who enjoyed a dalliance with the neighbourhood "bad boy" Barry Grant (1993-95).

Tamm was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Her Russian mother was a former opera singer and her father an Estonian landowner who worked in a woollen mill upon arriving in Britain in 1945. Tamm started acting at primary school and then at Bradford girls' grammar school, before being accepted by Rada in London in 1969, where her classmates included her immediate predecessor as a Doctor Who companion, Louise Jameson.

Upon graduation, Tamm spent 1971 at the Birmingham repertory theatre,
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Flowers for the Dead

End of the Rainbow Belasco Theatre, NY

Dedicated fans of the great, late Judy Garland are likely to a feel a thrill at seeing their ill-fated idol briefly brought back to life in End of the Rainbow. Tracie Bennett blossoms as the Judy who is unknowingly living the last months of her life while Michael Cumpsty makes for a sympathetic complement to her floating flourish, but they are the only two flowers to hold their color in this otherwise wilting arrangement.

Bennett enters the stage as the undisputed Judy Garland, unconcerned with hitting the marks of an impersonation but rather focused on evading the jaws of addiction and self-destruction that will eventually consume her. She moves naturally, breathing Judy's breath, moving Judy's body, bouncing with the compulsive energy of a performer that finds it near impossible to allow herself to be "off."

What Ms. Bennett accomplishes is far
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End of the Rainbow: Theater Review

New York -- In a full-throttle performance that holds nothing back, Tracie Bennett channels an off-the-rails Judy Garland near the completion of her downward spiral, giving End of the Rainbow a fiercely dynamic center. But there’s a gulf between the vehicle and the vulnerable human being that the actress rarely traverses in this bio-drama with songs, thanks to writing by Peter Quilter that hits every obvious note except the pathos, and to Terry Johnson’s unrelentingly emphatic direction. Transferring to Broadway after a well-received London run, the production no doubt counts on accessing the Garland worship that

read more
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Samantha Spiro: 'I was never an ingenue'

Samantha Spiro got a breakthrough award at 42, and is about to take on the biggest role of her career. She tells Brian Logan why it was worth the wait

Forty-three is not an age at which female actors usually hit their stride. Forty is meant to mark the moment when the good roles start to dry up. So by rights, Samantha Spiro shouldn't be playing the title role of Filumena at the Almeida theatre, nor Kate in The Taming of the Shrew at the Globe this summer. She had no business leading the cast of the Royal Court's revival of Chicken Soup with Barley last year. And as for winning best breakthrough artist at the British comedy awards when she was 42 (for her role in Simon Amstell's sitcom Grandma's House) – well, that's just showing off.

With that last accolade, Spiro became the first performer to triumph at both the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

John Malkovich directs Dangerous Liaisons on stage

Almost 25 years after he played the Vicomte de Valmont in Stephen Frears's film, Malkovich directs a French-language version of Christopher Hampton's play in Paris

In 1988, John Malkovich donned a periwig to play the predatory Vicomte de Valmont in Stephen Frears's film Dangerous Liaisons. Almost 25 years later, the actor has stepped into the director's shoes with a French language version of the original play in Paris.

Malkovich's production of Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses – itself an adaptation of a novel by Choderlos de Laclos – retains traces of period costume, but gives the play several modern twists, with the characters' letter-writing replaced by texts and tweets. "We're doing a kind of mix between the 18th century and now," Malkovich told Agence France-Presse.

Rehearsals began in November, before the production opened at the Théàtre de l'Atelier in the Latin Quarter of the French capital in January, where it is booking until 30 June.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Criterion Files #566: Nicolas Roeg Deconstructs Stardom in ‘Insignificance’

The 1980s proved to be an interesting and difficult time for auteurs of the 1960s and 1970s. Directors like Copolla, Scorsese, De Palma, Altman, etc. offered works that were far from their classics of the previous decade, but many of these films have aged well and proven to be compelling entries within the respective ouvres of these directors precisely because they aren’t part of their canon. While British director Nicolas Roeg did not play a central part in New Hollywood in the same way as the directors I listed, his 1970s work was certainly part and parcel of this brief countercultural revolution in narrative storytelling. I see Roeg as something of a British equivalent to Hal Ashby: someone who made brilliant entry after brilliant entry throughout a single decade, only to fade out of the spotlight once the 1980s began. But unlike the late Ashby, Roeg has continued making films during these years, and
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Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Releases ‘Insignificance,’ ‘The Makioka Sisters’

Chicago – The Criterion Collection is one of the greatest gifts to pure cinema buffs ever perpetuated. Founded in 1984, their mission is to sell “important classic and contemporary films,” and they do just that with there latest Blu-ray releases, Nicolas Roeg’s “Insignificance” and Kon Ichikawa’s “The Makioka Sisters.”

It is an interesting pair of films indeed, made within two years of each other. Ichikawa was near the end of a long and fruitful career, the Sisters film represented a late career comeback. Roeg was on his sixth film with his outsider status intact, Insignificance has the happenstance of catching a couple of movie stars near their influential end (Tony Curtis, Will Sampson), and a couple near the beginning (Gary Busey, Theresa Russell).

Insignificance” (1985)

As brilliant a metaphor as ever been made about American celebrity obsession, Insignificance capped an amazing period for director Nicolas Roeg that began with “Walkabout” (1971). Framed
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Insignificance DVD Review

Director: Nicolas Roeg Writer: Terry Johnson Cinematographer: Peter Hannan Stars: Theresa Russell, Michael Emil, Tony Curtis, Gary Busey Studio/Running Time: Criterion, 108 min. What happens when Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einsten, Joseph McCarthy and Joe Dimaggio meet in the same hotel room? While this sounds like the setup to a bad a joke, it’s also the premise of Nicolas Roeg’s Insignificance, adapted from a play of the same name by Terry Johnson. Although none of the characters are named, the film plays on our obvious perception of who these people are and what they should be doing, such that its...
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Criterion Releases Nic Roeg's Significant Insignificance

Criterion Releases Nic Roeg's Significant Insignificance
The new Criterion DVD of Insignificance prompts Simon Abrams to ruminate on director Nic Roeg: Essayist and film critic Chuck Stephens aptly calls British director Nicolas Roeg a “Cine-Cubist” in his new essay on Insignificance for the Criterion Collection, which just released Roeg’s hard-to-find 1985 film adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play. As a filmmaker, Roeg is fascinated by his characters’ relationship with themselves, art and the world. Don't look for fundamental truth in his movies. Instead you will find overwhelming moods of isolation and the growing certainty that as the world changes, nobody knows or cares. In Bad Timing, Art Garfunkel’s dispassionate voyeur obsessively recounts his affair with Theresa Russell through a series of fractured flashbacks. In Don’t Look Now, Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie’s ...
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DVD: DVD: Insignificance

Since his making his directorial debut with 1970’s Performance, a freewheeling patchwork of gangsterism and rock ’n’ roll starring Mick Jagger and co-directed by Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg has earned a reputation for editing his films into a fine hash. Modern classics like Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell To Earth have a radical, hiccupping rhythm that often defies conventional chronology in favor of fragments and associations. Based on Terry Johnson’s play, Roeg’s 1985 chamber piece Insignificance seemed likely to pen him in, given its stagebound story about four iconic figures—Marilyn Monroe, Albert ...
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Fassbinder, De Sica, Roeg and More DVDs


Rainer Werner Fassbinder's newly restored Despair (1978) "was one of the hottest tickets in the Classics sidebar" in Cannes this year, notes Dennis Lim in his Los Angeles Times review of the new DVD out from Olive Films, which has also issued Fassbinder's I Only Want You to Love Me (1976). "The relative obscurity of Despair is surprising given its pedigree. It's based on a Vladimir Nabokov novel, adapted by Tom Stoppard, and starring the English actor Dirk Bogarde. Nabokov's story of a Russian émigré, written in the 30s, takes place in Prague. Fassbinder changed the setting to early-30s Berlin, teetering on the abyss of the Third Reich…. Despair is perhaps the most explicit elaboration of one of Fassbinder's recurring themes: the alienation of someone who not only 'stands outside himself,' as Hermann [Bogarde] puts it, but also wants to escape himself and indeed flee the trap of identity altogether.
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DVD Playhouse--June 2011

DVD Playhouse June 2011


Allen Gardner

Kiss Me Deadly (Criterion) Robert Aldrich’s 1955 reinvention of the film noir detective story is one of cinema’s great genre mash-ups: part hardboiled noir; part cold war paranoid thriller; and part science- fiction. Ralph Meeker plays Mickey Spillane’s fascist detective Mike Hammer as a narcissistic simian thug, a sadist who would rather smash a suspect’s fingers than make love to the bevvy of beautiful dames that cross his path. In fact, the only time you see a smile cross Meeker’s sneering mug is when he’s doling out pain, with a vengeance. When a terrified young woman (Cloris Leachman, film debut) literally crossed Hammer’s path one night, and later turns up dead, he vows to get to the bottom of her brutal demise. One of the most influential films ever made, and perhaps the most-cited film by the architects
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »
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