Arts: the week in review THE PLAY THE UNEXPECTED MAN

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The Independent Culture
OVERVIEW In Yasmina Reza's latest production, a middle-aged man and woman sitting opposite each other on a train journey project their fantasies about life and love on to each other.

CRITICAL VIEW David Lister decided that "the concept may be full of potential but the dialogue does not engage as much as one would hope". "MIchael Gambon and Eileen Atkin's recital does not need any improvement," wrote the Daily Mail: it was a "feast of acting" although one tends to ask at the end, "Was that really it?" "A subtle portrait of a lonely marriage," said the Daily Telegraph, who found it a "witty and obviously more experimental piece" than Art. ON VIEW At the Duchess Theatre, London WC2, booking to 8 Aug (0171-494 5075), 75 minutes OUR VIEW Living up to the commercial success of Art was never going to be easy. Reza's latest production is a slight but beguiling concept. THE GIG

HANSON OVERVIEW The first live appearance in Britain.

of the teenage pop sensations from Oklahoma - three brothers aged between 12 and 17.

CRITICAL VIEW Ryan Gilbey found the hysteria "rather terrifying" but added "it's refreshing to find a pop group who have their sights set on something more than just getting their faces on pillow cases." The Times recalled the early days of the Jackson Five in this "exuberantly infectious slice of rock'n'roll", but added that "all their songs are unremarkable, with the exception of `MMMBop'." The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail agreed. "It sounded fresh and vibrant"; when they played it, "the boys were at their best." ON VIEW There are no plans in the near future for a tour. What with school and everything OUR VIEW The female fans screamed louder than Hanson could play. But is there anything more to them than the catchy funk of "MMMBop"? THE FILM

CITY OF ANGELS OVERVIEW Nicolas Cage - an angel becoming human - and Meg Ryan - a surgeon - philosophise about love, destiny and afterlives while falling in love in a remake of Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.

CRITICAL VIEW "Cage seems caged," wrote Ryan Gilbey and found that Meg Ryan's curls were "fixed in place, and her expression of bemused wonderment seems lacquered too." The Times thought it "a sumptuous oddity" but praised its "taste, intelligence and maturity". The Financial Times bemoaned that "there are no iconic tall monuments [for Cage] to surmise upon". "A lush weepy... that uses up forests of Kleenex," proclaimed The New Statesman. ON VIEW On general release, cert 12, 114 mins OUR VIEW A lowbrow revamp of the 1988 Wenders original which eventually succumbs to a dizzy rush of melodrama.

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