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Sting's musical The Last Ship hit Broadway this fall, so it's no surprise the rocker-turned-composer sat down for an interview with one of the hottest theater critics around - a kindergartner from Arlington, Virginia named Iain Armitage. Armitage began reviewing plays at the age of six, after his mother took him to see Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan perform in Waiting for Godot. Some 6-year-olds might consider sitting through a two-hour play a punishment, but Iain was mesmerized. He loved the show so much his mother encouraged him to post his thoughts to YouTube - and his videos have been going viral ever since. »
- Michael Miller
To this day, Bill Irwin isn't quite sure why Christopher Nolan asked him to voice the helper-bot Tars in his latest epic, Interstellar. We can make an educated guess: Irwin is a veteran stage and film actor specializing in vaudeville — he's been dubbed “the Clown Prince” — whose appearances range from Waiting for Godot to The Good Wife to Subway Stories and Sesame Street. If any character actor could conquer the mechanical demands of the mostly practical Tars (yes, they really built that shape-shifting monolith), a nimble thespian with a degree from Ringling Bros. Clown College would be a logical choice. Vulture spoke with Irwin about the demands of bringing Tars to life, his intensive work with Interstellar's special-effects and stunt teams, and finding a sardonic voice to fit Tars's programmed personality.Christopher Nolan opted to build a functional Tars instead of creating the robot with CGI. What was he »
- Matt Patches
Joy Silver died at home in Scarborough, N.Y. on October 24, 2014, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 89.
Under the stage name Joy Saunders, she made her Broadway debut in the controversial and short-lived “A Pin to See the Peepshow” with Roger Moore, and appeared Off Broadway, in film, TV, and radio. Along with Tom Poston and Jason Robards, Joy was a founding member of the Greenwich Mews Theatre, a pioneer experiment in nontraditional casting. She was directed by Lloyd Richards and Morton da Costa.
She took a break from acting to raise her family.
Later television appearances included seven episodes of “Kate and Allie” and a role as a member of the cooking class on “Working It Out” with Jane Curtin and Stephen Collins. Staged readings included “Sisters of Sisters” by Cynthia L. Cooper, and a workshop production of “Waiting for Godot” under the direction of her son, »
- Carmel Dagan
Just a couple of weeks after the sad death of Richard "Jaws" Kiel, the James Bond pantheon has lost another of its iconic villains. Geoffrey Holder, who played Baron Samedi to unsettling effect in 1973's Live And Let Die, has passed away from complications stemming from pneumonia. He was 84.There was much more to Holder than voodoo henchmen. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, he began his career as a dancer aged just 7, and by the time he was 22 was teaching at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance in New York. Four years later he won a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work as a painter, whilst still finding time to work as a principal dancer with New York's Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He made his Broadway debut in 1954 in the musical House Of Flowers (co-written by Truman Capote), and co-starred in an all-black Waiting For Godot in 1957.His first »
Geoffrey Holder, a dancer, choreographer, an actor (famously in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die”) and a two-time Tony winner for “The Wiz” who was famous for his deep voice and hearty, enthusiastic laugh, died of complications from pneumonia on October 5 in New York. He was 84.
Despite his wide range of artistic achievements, Holder probably reached his widest audience in his role as pitchman for 7Up in commercials of the 1970s and 1980s, in which he pushed the virtues of the “un-cola.”
Holder’s film career began with 1962’s “All Night Long,” a version of “Othello” adapted to the London jazz scene.
In “Doctor Dolittle,” he played the leader of the natives on Sea-Star Island — experiencing racism while on the shoot.
- Carmel Dagan
If there's one thing season two of Masters of Sex taught us, it's that you can drop Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in a room with a script — any script — and get unique, compelling results. Seriously, wouldn't it be great if instead of the exploits of Masters and Johnson, next season just gave us Caplan and Sheen in various other roles — performing Waiting for Godot, say, or just footage of them reading Facts of Life scripts to one another? They're just that good. And it's the quality of those performances and their chemistry that’s kept an otherwise wobbly season of Masters of Sex afloat.The finale touches (oh, God, no pun intended) on what would become one of Masters and Johnson's core therapies: sensate focusing, or the idea of building intimacy or breaking down sexual barriers by touching — first other parts of the body, and then breasts and genitals, »
- Lauren Hoffman
The Anthology Film Archives in New York will present three classic Laurel and Hardy films from the 1930s on the big screen this weekend, Saturday, September 27. Here is the description of the program:
“Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are the movies’ greatest comic duo, the quintessential dumb and dumber odd-couple. Though critically overshadowed by Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd, they were enormously popular, and proved a major influence on Abbott & Costello, Lucille Ball & Vivian Vance, and Jackie Gleason & Art Carney, not to mention Samuel Beckett (they were an inspiration for Waiting For Godot), Roman Polanski (who paid homage to them in his existentialist short films Fat And Lean and Two Men And A Wardrobe), and Ken Jacobs (whose Ontic Antics deconstructs one of their films).” –David Mulkins
County Hospital (1932, 20 min, 16mm, b&w. Directed by James Parrott.)
Tit For Tat (1935, 20 min, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Exclusive: Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG award nominee Sir Patrick Stewart has made it so with ICM Partners. The agency has signed the Star Trek and X-Men thesp as he prepares to return to TV in Starz’s 2015 series Blunt Talk, which he’ll star in and produce with American Dad‘s Seth Macfarlane and Jonathan Ames. The acclaimed stage and screen star, whose theater kudos include Olivier Award and Drama Desk award wins, is best known for playing the Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek franchise. He also reprised his other iconic role of Professor Charles Xavier in this summer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
Stewart, 74, starred earlier this year as an aging Juilliard dance professor in the Tribeca dramedy Match, which writer-director Stephen Belber adapted from his Broadway play. ICM Partners sold it to IFC in June. Stewart next appears in Mitch Davis’s »
- Jen Yamato
If you’ve ever seen Waiting for Godot, maybe you’ve been mystified by Lucky’s gibberish tirade halfway through Act One, an eight-minute speech that begins “Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua” and gets weirder from there. And if you’ve spent any time in a synagogue, maybe you’ve also been mystified by the droning chants of a self-dramatizing cantor, speak-singing in a language you don't understand. Now you can be mystified by both together — and perhaps understand each a little better as well — as the New Yiddish Rep revives its world-premiere production of the authorized Yiddish translation of Beckett’s 1953 classic. We've provided a little video sample here.Vartn af Godo (leave off the last t for tsuris) is not as unlikely a mash-up as it may at first seem. »
- Jesse Green
Hopefully, you've had a few minutes to play around with our Fall Entertainment Generator. But if you're looking for straight and simple lists of things to look out for by medium, we'll be breaking them out separately. Here's a look at fall theater. September 9/4 Red Eye of Love Dicapo Opera Theatre Arnold Weinstein’s musical is based on his 1961 play about idealism in Depression New York, with sets by Robert “love” Indiana. The Money Shot Lucille Lortel Theater Neil Labute sets his sights on desperate Hollywood players. This can’t end well. With Callie Thorne and Frederick Weller. Waiting for Godot (Vartn af Godot) Barrow Street Theatre Beckett in Yiddish! The Wayside Motor Inn Signature Theatre A.R. Gurney’s Signature residency begins with this funny, poignant look at the fragility of the American Dream. 9/5 Bastards of Strindberg Lion Theatre Four new short plays inspired by Strindberg’s Miss Julie via »
- Vulture Editors
San Francisco – He blazed bright as lightning at his peak, but also had struggles with addiction and depression. The cosmic and comic Robin Williams died on August 11th, apparently of suicide due to asphyxia, according to authorities, although complete details are still pending. The Academy Award winner was 63 years old.
Williams was known for his whiplash speed as a stand up comic, often shifting several times and doing different characters in minutes. His improvisation was legendary, on stage, TV and film, and he portrayed a wide range of characters both comic and dramatic. He began his career on television in the mid-1970s, and soon found superstardom in that medium as Mork, a space alien living with a earthbound girl in “Mork & Mindy.” He made a natural transition to films, and continued to thrive on the stand-up stage – with several one man shows – and was a prime mover for the charity “Comic Relief, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
82nd Annual Academy Awards/March 7, 2010 ©AMPAS
A huge talent is gone. Actor Robin Williams died Monday from an apparent suicide. He was 63.
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,” said Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider. “On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions,”
Mara Buxbaum, his press representative, said, “He had been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss.”
- Movie Geeks
Calvary. The place of the skull, wound through Latin into English from the ancient Aramaic name Golgotha. This is the place, outside the walls of Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified. It’s not exactly a light title for a movie, but writer/director John Michael McDonagh isn’t interested in levity. He opens with a quote from St. Augustine: “Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.” Referring to the two men crucified next to Christ, it’s an ominous declaration of ambiguity. This film does not aim to end on a note of simple closure. That said, this is not a sober and humorless cry of despair from the heart of Catholicism. That St. Augustine quote has cropped up once before in the work of an iconoclastic Irishman, Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot, in its god-killing irreverence, evokes the two thieves as an example of the »
- Daniel Walber
Written by Pat Rushin
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: a low-level cog in a comically large bureaucratic environment in a grotesque-looking “future” dystopia struggles in the face of obsolescence and oblivion. The character in question is fundamentally good, but incredibly weedy, their resolve and spirit having been ground to stumps by the world around them. People come in and out of the protagonist’s surroundings either to goad them into just rolling with the Orwellian punches, or to pull them out of a tight spot in a bizarre or humorous way. The ‘hero’ also creates elaborate fantasies and ideas to inhabit as a coping mechanism. If this sounds familiar, that’s because these broad plot points describe Terry Gilliam’s towering 1985 bad-vibes masterpiece Brazil. It also more or less describes his latest, The Zero Theorem, »
- Derek Godin
The recent passing of Rik Mayall led to legions of fans hitting up Netflix and Youtube to relive the late comedian’s greatest moments. And while the ground-breaking 80s alternative comedy opus The Young Ones and his turn as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder seemed to be the most quoted on social media, it felt like Bottom, the grisly, profane flatshare comedy Mayall and long time collaborator Ade Edmondson made in the early 90s, was left out of the conversation. Which is a shame, because it might just be their masterpiece.
It’s kind of easy to see how Bottom got forgotten. The Young Ones was capital-i Important, not only in terms of breaking alternative comedy into the mainstream, but also as being as much a time capsule of the »
Ian McKellen has generally played it serious in the X-Men and Lord of the Rings franchises, but now the five-time Emmy nominee is laughing it upon the small-screen in Gary Janetti’s bitingly funny British import, Vicious (debuting June 29 on PBS) about septuagenarian gay partners Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi). The 75-year-old actor spoke to EW about the series.
Entertainment Weekly: You and Derek Jacobi have known each other for as long as Freddie and Stuart have, though not romantically–
Ian McKellen: Alas!
Did you have to work on your chemistry?
Over the years, Derek and I have »
- Lanford Beard
‘Battle’s the great redeemer. A fiery crucible in which the only true heroes are forged’
As Tom Cruise finds out in Doug Liman’s excellent blockbuster, it’s a lot easier to discover your inner warrior - and prove right the above maxim from Bill Paxton’s Sgt Farrell– when you get to have several cracks at the battle itself.
Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s ‘light novel’ All You Need Is Kill (a better title, really), Edge of Tomorrow takes what might seem a glib ‘Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers’ elevator pitch and produces a tremendously enjoyable action adventure. Liman’s helped by a charismatic and nuanced leading turn from Cruise, a kickass Emily Blunt and a script from Jez and John-Henry Butterworth that’s as amusing as it is ingenious.
Cruise plays Major William Cage, a military PR man who’s hoodwinked into participating in a death-or-glory offensive »
While the reviews for Gareth Edwards's Godzilla have been largely positive, there was one major aspect that the critics tended to fixate upon: namely, the fact that the titular lizard was practically a supporting character in his own film. While some enjoyed the way Edwards built suspense for the final payoff, many found the monster's absence, as Vulture's David Edelstein put it, "a little stingy." Others were even less generous, with The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern writing that the film "threaten[ed] to be a lizardly variant of Waiting for Godot." The other notable topic of critical consternation was Bryan Cranston's hairpiece, which elicited responses ranging from "goofy" to "preposterous" to simply "unbearable." Clearly people are not ready to see Walter White without his shiny cue-ball. Here's what the critics had to say:About that wig: “First, there's Bryan Cranston, in full obsessive mode and a fright wig, slowly sussing out a secret. »
- Anna Silman
Paris-based sales house Other Angle is on board to produce its first movie, “The Beggars,” a Morocco-set tale taking place in the 1940s, starring Mohamed Fellag (“Monsieur Lazhar”) and Daniel Cohen (“All That Glitters”) as Jewish and Muslim homeless men whose fight over a $100 bill sparks a conflict between the two communities.
Other Angle is producing “The Beggars” on a tight $2.8 million-range budget.
“We want it to be »
- Elsa Keslassy
Did you miss "X-Men" stars Ian McKellen ("The Lord of the Rings") and Patrick Stewart ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") on Broadway in "Waiting for Godot" and "No Man's Land"? (The two distinguished Brit thespians were among the Hollywood stars who did not land Tony nominations.) Athena is releasing on May 5 the DVD documentary "Theatreland" (May 13), which goes behind the scenes of the 2009 London production of "Waiting for Godot." And Acorn TV (available via Roku), which streams in North America a selection of prime British TV, will start airing the doc on May 5th. Broadcast on UK public television in October 2010, "Theatreland" is a candid behind-the-scenes look-- filmed over six months-- at the hit 2009 West End production of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," starring McKellen and Stewart, which ran for 172 sold-out performances, as well as the »
- Anne Thompson
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