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‘Westworld’ Season 2 Premiere Review: ‘Journey Into Night’ Draws Us Back Into the Compelling Mysteries With a Bloodbath

‘Westworld’ Season 2 Premiere Review: ‘Journey Into Night’ Draws Us Back Into the Compelling Mysteries With a Bloodbath
[Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for “Westworld” Season 2, Episode 1, “Journey Into Night.”]

Programming Update

A good “Westworld” theory today can easily be a big “Westworld” spoiler tomorrow, as fans of the show know. But while critics were provided with the first five episodes of the season by HBO, these weekly reviews will not be influenced by future knowledge of what’s to come, because they’re being written by someone who hasn’t seen beyond each week’s episode.

We’re all on the same page, friend. Saddle up for a hell of a ride.

Diagnostic Report

Season 2 opens with the mirror of the opening of Season 1 — Bernard telling Dolores about his dream, as opposed to the other way around. Timeline-wise, this scene is a bit nebulous (much like the similar Arnold/Bernard and Dolores scenes were in Season 1), but does continue the show’s ongoing engagement with the nature of reality, in the context of
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Bww Review: The Sting at Paper Mill Playhouse-An Exhilarating World Premiere Musical

Paper Mill Playhouse is now presenting 'The Sting,' an exhilarating world premiere musical. Directed by John Rando with choreography by Warren Carlyle and musical direction by Fred Lassen, the show is Broadway bound and it's easy to see why. This wonderfully staged production has a great plot, a fabulous variety of musical numbers, and features a stellar cast.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

‘The Sting’ Theater Review: Harry Connick Jr Aims to Go From Ragtime to Riches

‘The Sting’ Theater Review: Harry Connick Jr Aims to Go From Ragtime to Riches
It’s not hard to see why someone imagined a stage musical could be made out of “The Sting,” the 1973 Oscar Best Picture winner starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Depression-era con artists who pull off the ultimate heist. After all, George Roy Hill’s artfully constructed film leaned heavily on Scott Joplin’s ragtime tunes — providing fodder for many a ’70s-era student-piano recital rendition of “The Entertainer” and “Rose Leaf Rag.”

There’s much to admire in the new stage musical version of “The Sting,” which opened Sunday for a pre-Broadway run at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey — starting with the tap-tastic choreography of Tony winner Warren Carlyle, whose ensemble work is truly showstopping here.

The production has found an emerging star in J. Harrison Ghee as Booker, the green hothead con artist that Redford played on screen, even elevating a racial subplot of the film (Redford’s Booker was called a “n-word-lover” for helping a black man on the street) into a front-and-center element of the story. Ghee has a spry energy that suits his impetuous character, and a golden voice to match.

Also Read: 'Three Tall Women' Broadway Review: Glenda Jackson Charges Into the Night

Ghee almost manages to upstage the show’s above-the-marquee star, Harry Connick Jr., as Booker’s older, wiser con-artist mentor, first played by Newman in the film. Here, his wizard-like character, Gondorff, is introduced as a “piano monkey in a whorehouse” who spends more time tickling the ivories as he does palming cards or picking pockets.

Connick is a wiz at the piano, of course, riffing on Mark Hollman’s deliberately Joplin-esque score on stage, and he also proves to be surprisingly nimble on his feet during dance numbers like the Act 2 curtain-raiser “This Ain’t No Song and Dance.” (He’s also credited with additional music and lyrics.)

The difficulty is that not all of the movie’s virtues have been successfully integrated into the new medium. Hollman (“Urinetown”) serves up mostly jazz-lite pastiche, and the lyrics by longtime collaborator Greg Kotis seldom do much more than advance the plot or bide time till the next dance break.

Also Read: 'Rocktopia' Broadway Review: Beethoven's Not the Only One Rolling Over in This Musical Mashup

Photo: Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

As to the plot: Some of the best lines in Bob Martin’s book are lifted directly from David S. Ward’s original screenplay, and the very structure of musical theater allows us to linger over some of the less felicitous elements of the story.

Take for instance, the women, who were always more like accessories in the original film and again feel like missed opportunities to flesh out parallel romantic subplots. Connick’s brothel-owning buddy and on-again-off-again lover (Kate Shindle) is given a number or two of her own — but not much real agency, or even a duet with Connick’s Gondorff.

The same goes for Janet Dacal’s waitress Loretta, who gets a first-act duet and a second-act torch song but still feels more like an afterthought. When she agrees to invite Hooker into her apartment late in the second act, you can almost feel director John Rando handing notes to Carlyle to find a dance ballet sequence to fill in the gaps in the storytelling.

Also Read: 'Empire Records' to Become Broadway-Bound Musical - Just in Time for Rex Manning Day

Martin’s script has the unfortunate habit of protracting unimportant elements of the story — the overlong show could easily lose 20 minutes, including a drawn-out scene in a Western Union office — while passing up chances to explore other aspects of the story that the film gave short shrift.

There’s a moment when Hooker is on the spot, cornered by the feds who want him to turn on his partner in crime. But he hastily and uncharacteristically agrees, without a moment of reflection, or a song to explore the upsides, downsides or consequences of his apparent act of betrayal.

Despite these flaws, “The Sting” still has the power to enchant with its deliberate artifice and syncopated charm. There’s good reason why the film has forever been associated with “The Entertainer.”

Read original story ‘The Sting’ Theater Review: Harry Connick Jr Aims to Go From Ragtime to Riches At TheWrap
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Theatre Review: "The Sting" Starring Harry Connick Jr At The Papermill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

I've become somewhat jaded and downright cynical when it comes to the tidal wave of musical stage productions based on popular, non-musical motion pictures. So it was with a sense of wariness that I approached the world premiere engagement of "The Sting" at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. After all, the classic, Oscar-winning 1973 film doesn't need musical production numbers to "improve it". There was already a great deal of interest in the production prior to the relatively last-minute announcement last month that the production would star Harry Connick, Jr. That sent already healthy tickets sales into overdrive and you'd be hard-pressed to find seats for the engagement, which runs through April 29. It doesn't take long to set aside one's suspicions that this might be a lightweight rip-off of a great film. As with all Papermill shows, this one first impresses with its creative and often ingenious
See full article at CinemaRetro »

The Sting Begins Performances Tonight at Paper Mill

Tonight Paper Mill Playhousekicks off the world premiere production of the new musical The Sting, based on the 1973 film, and with book by Bob Martin, music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann amp Greg Kotis with Harry Connick, Jr. In addition, the score will contain music by Scott Joplin including The Entertainer. John Rando is set to direct with choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by Fred Lassen.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Cops & Ladies: Sharon Gless Remembers the Original 'Cagney & Lacey' (Exclusive)

Excitement is building over the pilot for cop series reboot Cagney & Lacey, which is set to star Grey Anatomy’s Sarah Drew as Christine Cagney and Blindspot’s Michelle Hurd as Mary Beth Lacey, a pair of New York City police detectives who couldn’t be more different. One of the people feeling that excitement is actress Sharon Gless, who played Cagney against Tyne Daly’s Lacey in the original series from the 1980s. “First of all, imitation is the highest form of flattery, so it’s quite flattering if they want to do it again," Sharon says in this exclusive chat from her Florida home. "It’s certainly time. I haven’t seen any of what they’re doing, but my feeling is that if you do Cagney & Lacey in this day and age, you could make it much darker than we were allowed to in the ‘80s.
See full article at Closer Weekly »

Who’s your favorite Best Director Oscar winner of 1980s: Oliver Stone x 2, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford … ? [Poll]

Who’s your favorite Best Director Oscar winner of 1980s: Oliver Stone x 2, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford … ? [Poll]
The 1980s at the Oscars were full of matches between Best Picture and Best Director. Of the 10 Best Director winners, eight of their films won Best Picture, including Robert Redford, Richard Attenborough, James L. Brooks, Milos Forman, Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Bernardo Bertolucci and Barry Levinson. The only instances of a Picture/Director split were in 1981 when Warren Beatty won for “Reds” and 1989 when Stone won his second directing Oscar for “Born on the Fourth of July.”

So who is your favorite Best Director winner of the ’80s? Look back on each of their wins and be sure to vote in our poll below.

Robert Redford, “Ordinary People” (1980) — Redford’s directorial debut proved he had the chops, winning for the harrowing domestic drama “Ordinary People.” Redford’s other Oscar nominations were for “The Sting” (1973) in Best Actor and both Best Picture and Best Director for “Quiz Show” (1994).

SEEDirector Ava DuVernay
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Condor’ Review: ‘Three Days of the Condor’ Takes Flight on TV in a Smartly Expanded Adaptation

‘Condor’ Review: ‘Three Days of the Condor’ Takes Flight on TV in a Smartly Expanded Adaptation
A movie based on a book. A TV show based on the movie. “Six Days of the Condor” to “Three Days of the Condor” to just this: “Condor,” the new Audience Network spy series that’s lost five days while expanding to 10 hours. Amid all these changes, something has to go wrong, right?

It’s not just that Sydney Pollack’s 1975 classic feels untouchable (and relatively timeless, despite the fact that part of Robert Redford’s job is reading newspapers); it’s that the series directly lifting from the film comes from a somewhat unproven pedigree and will play on a network only accessible to satellite subscribers.

Well, after the first two episodes, the latter point isn’t a warning so much as a shame. Jason Smilovic (“Lucky Number Slevin”) and Todd Katzberg’s “Condor” isn’t a “drop everything and subscribe to DirecTV” kind of show, but it is
See full article at Indiewire »

Director Rob Cohen Would Like To Return To ‘Fast And Furious’ Franchise

Rob Cohen‘s nearly 40 years in Hollywood have been filled with ups and downs. He started off as a script reader for Universal, with his big break discovering the screenplay to eventual 1973 Best Picture winner “The Sting.” However, it wasn’t until he set his sights on directing that Cohen fully immersed himself into the Hollywood conversation. He would go on and make 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” which starred relative unknowns Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘Morning Joe’ Misses When Oscars Honored ‘Movies Americans Actually Saw’

‘Morning Joe’ Misses When Oscars Honored ‘Movies Americans Actually Saw’
Morning Joe” wasn’t too interested in Sunday night’s 90th Academy Award ceremony. On Monday, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski laughed off 2017’s best films, and said they missed when the Oscars honored the movies that most Americans actually cared about. “Remember you would watch the Academy Awards and it would be all movies Americans actually saw,” said Scarborough. “People would actually say, ‘oh I saw four of those.'” Also Read: 'Morning Joe' Snaps at Congressman Over Gun Control: 'Get Rid of the Assault Weapons!' (Video) The MSNBC host cited “The Godfather” and “The Sting” as previous examples. “There’s just not that middle ground...
See full article at The Wrap »

Hans Linkin' Andersen

• The Undefeated an amazing longread about the careers of several non-household name black actors from 1990s television series

• Coming Soon Ansel Elgort in talks to play fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen in an original screen musical composed by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked). The huge success of La La Land and Greatest Showman is already taking effect which is nice because we were worried it wouldn't.

• /Film Kristen Wiig in talks to play the villain Cheetah in Wonder Woman 2. Looooove this idea

• Mnpp Armie Hammer getting his chest waxed. Nooooo

• The Guardian Casting for Quentin Tarantino's Charles Manson movie has begun. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are officially returning to the director's filmography. Margot Robbie might be joining them.

• Coming Soon Have any of you read the Witchers series of fantasy books? It's being adapted to Netflix series with several characters confirmed

NPR profiles the three awesome Octogenarians up for Oscar this year: James Ivory,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Oscars Flashback: All Hell Broke Loose When 'Exorcist' Was Snubbed in 1974

Oscars Flashback: All Hell Broke Loose When 'Exorcist' Was Snubbed in 1974
Oscar history is replete with sore losers: Eddie Murphy immediately exiting the theater in 2007 after losing for supporting actor in Dreamgirls. Bette Davis coldly watching Joan Crawford in 1963 accept on Anne Bancroft’s behalf. The close-up on Sylvester Stallone’s shattered face after not getting the supporting actor statuette in 2016 for Creed. Unhappy winners, however, are a much shorter list.

Topping it is the Exorcist writer William Peter Blatty. In 1974, the William Friedkin-directed film had received 10 nominations but won only sound mixing and adapted screenplay. (The Sting also had 10 noms but won seven, including best picture...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Kate Shindle, Janet Dacal, and More Will Join Harry Connick, Jr in Paper Mill's The Sting

Paper Mill Playhouse Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director, recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, has announced today the cast and creative team of the world premiere production of the new musical The Sting, based on the 1973 film, and with book by Bob Martin, music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann amp Greg Kotis with Harry Connick, Jr.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Harry Connick Jr To Star In ‘The Sting’ Musical Eyeing Broadway

Harry Connick Jr has been set to star in The Sting, a new musical in the works that will have its world premiere next month at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, with the producers eyeing a Broadway transfer. The musical, based on the 1973 Oscar-winning Universal film, is set for a limited run March 29-April 29. Connick will play Henry Gondorff, portrayed by Paul Newman in the feature film, which was set in 1930s Chicago and centers on a pair of con men — small-town…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Harry Connick Jr To Star In ‘The Sting’ Musical Eyeing Broadway

Harry Connick Jr To Star In ‘The Sting’ Musical Eyeing Broadway
Harry Connick Jr has been set to star in The Sting, a new musical in the works that will have its world premiere next month at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, with the producers eyeing a Broadway transfer. The musical, based on the 1973 Oscar-winning Universal film, is set for a limited run March 29-April 29. Connick will play Henry Gondorff, portrayed by Paul Newman in the feature film, which was set in 1930s Chicago and centers on a pair of con men — small-town…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

2018 Oscars: Does Best Picture champ have to win an acting award first?

2018 Oscars: Does Best Picture champ have to win an acting award first?
The Shape of Water” numbers three acting bids among its leading 13 Academy Awards nominations for lead Sally Hawkins and supporting players Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer. According to our exclusive Oscar odds none of them is predicted to win on March 4. Should that scenario play out, does that mean that their film won’t win Best Picture?

Not so fast.

While 53 of the 89 Best Picture champs to date include an Oscar-winning performance, 36 of them (40%) did not win any acting awards. And among those three dozen winners are four of the eight films — “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “Argo” (2012), “Birdman” (2015) and “Spotlight” (2016) — decided by preferential ballot under the newly expanded slate of Best Picture nominees.

Surprisingly, an even dozen of the Best Picture winners did not even reap any acting nominations. That is welcome news for “Arrival,” which does not number an acting bid among its eight nominations. However, four of those films
See full article at Gold Derby »

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Channels Tom Hanks in Big By Playing a Giant Piano with His Feet!

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Channels Tom Hanks in Big By Playing a Giant Piano with His Feet!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just added another skill to his already impressive resume: playing the piano — with his feet!

The wrestler-turned-actor, 45, fulfilled his childhood dream of learning to play a song with the musical instrument… but with a twist.

“As a kid I had this dream of playing my favorite ragtime song, ‘The Entertainer’ from Marvin Hamlisch on piano. But I truly sucked at piano. Until I started using my feet,” he captioned the Instagram video shared Sunday afternoon.

The tune, written by jazz musician Scott Joplin, was popularly adapted by Hamlisch for the film classic The Sting in 1973.

“And
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

A look back at female firsts at the Oscars: Barbra Streisand, Kathryn Bigelow, Emma Thompson …

A look back at female firsts at the Oscars: Barbra Streisand, Kathryn Bigelow, Emma Thompson …
It certainly seems to be the year of the woman at the Academy Awards. Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination for “Lady Bird.” For the first time in the academy’s 90-year history, a woman, AFI Conservancy alum Rachel Morrison, has been nominated for Best Cinematography for “Mudbound.” And the drama’s director Dee Rees made history as the first black woman to receive a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film’s star Mary J. Blige not only received a supporting actress nomination, but she is also nominated for Best Original Song for “Mighty River” from the film, alongside co-writers Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.

But it’s been baby steps for women behind the camera in terms of Oscar nominations, let alone wins.

Here is a look at some of the trailblazers:

See 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards
See full article at Gold Derby »

ADG Awards 2018: ‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Coco,’ ‘Logan’ Take Production Design

ADG Awards 2018: ‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Coco,’ ‘Logan’ Take Production Design
As expected, “Blade Runner 2049” and “The Shape of Water” were the big production design winners for fantasy and period at the 22nd Art Directors Guild Awards on Saturday at Hollywood and Highland. “Logan” was the surprising contemporary winner (production designed by Francois Audouy), but Pixar’s “Coco” made history as the Adg’s first animation honoree (earned by production designer Harley Jessup).

Production designers Dennis Gassner and Paul Austerberry will square off for the Oscar. Gassner, the favorite, created a harsh and brutalistic dystopia for Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner” sequel, while Austerberry’s brought noir and water motifs to Guillermo del Toro’s period fantasy-romance.

For TV, “Game of Thrones,” (period or fantasy), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (contemporary), “Black Mirror” (limited series), “Glow” (half-hour series), and “Will & Grace” (multi-camera series) were the big winners.

Adg honors went to Lucasfilm president and “Star Wars” franchise producer Kathleen Kennedy
See full article at Indiewire »

‘American Animals’: A Real Life Heist Steals From Tired Clichés [Sundance Review]

The most any one of us will ever know about pulling off a heist in real-life would be relegated to the movies we’ve seen. Classics such as “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “The Sting,” “The Killing,” “Heat,” and “Reservoir Dogs” have cemented an image, moments, of how it could be done, but suffice to say, those are just movies.

Continue reading ‘American Animals’: A Real Life Heist Steals From Tired Clichés [Sundance Review] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »
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