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Watch a selection of trailers for our film and television critic's choice:

Spider-Man Broadway musical looks like turn off

There was no resting on laurels for the cast and crew of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark yesterday after a first preview performance on Sunday night of the most expensive and elaborate musical ever attempted on Broadway brought tales of actors dangling above and audience twiddling thumbs below.

Author seeks to stop Broadway show

Fela!, the award-winning Broadway musical about the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, which opened in London this week, could face closure after the author of a book about the Nigerian superstar sued the producers. He claims that they stole his work and thought an offer of $4,000 (£2,500) was all he deserved for copying portions of his book into the play's script.

Is Broadway crazy to take on Almodóvar?

A new stage version of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown could be a musical too far, says Sarah Hughes

No tenant? What about the homeless?

TV's Phil Spencer says charity scheme can fill the void for hard-up landlords. Julian Knight reports

The Country Girl, Apollo Theatre, London

"I'm getting baggy under the eyes," exclaims the old actor on the comeback trail in Clifford Odets's wonderful backstage drama. But as that actor is played by baggy-eyed Martin Shaw, the remark is as superfluous as Edith Evans's complaint in Hay Fever years ago that someone was speaking to her as if she were 80 (which she more or less was).

Tom Hedley: 'On stage, Flashdance in your face and completely alive'

When I wrote Flashdance, in 1982, it was a hard sell; musicals were considered poison at the box office and Hollywood studio executives were put off by the notion that what I had written would in any way be thought of or described as a musical. The first director I approached was the great Bob Fosse. He was very drawn to it but, after giving me copious notes, he finally shrugged and said: "Look, the fact is, this is simply not a movie. What you have written is a stage musical and I would be willing to consider working on it for Broadway. But even then there is a central flaw in your concept – you seem to have all the choreography done as single dancers direct to the camera. You must have ensemble choreography for the stage."

Love Poems, By Carol Ann Duffy

This life-enhancing harvest of 34 poems reveals Duffy as a poet who covers the stormy waterfront of desire, devotion and despair. From early collections such as Mean Time to a preview of the forthcoming The Bees, the Poet Laureate runs passion's gamut from wild infatuation through absence and infidelity, break-ups, grief and solitude. .

The Human Comedy, Young Vic, London

The Young Vic has an admirable tradition of kicking off its year with a production that pulls in the local community to play alongside professionals in the role of chorus – and the venue has had some of its most signal recent successes in this department. It now launches its 40th anniversary season in joyous fashion with the belated British premiere of The Human Comedy. A flawed, affecting show by Hair composer, Galt MacDermot, this piece flopped on Broadway in 1984, but it fits the bill here to an almost parodic degree in its celebration of the healing power of community and the unifying nature of song.

Anne Frank: The Life, The Book, The Afterlife, By Francine Prose

Can there be anything new to say about Anne Frank? No, and there is nothing really new here. On the other hand, the Anne Frank industry is so huge that there's a lot the ordinary reader doesn't know. This is truer in the US than here: only a quarter of American high school students can identify Hitler, Francine Prose says, whereas more British students can identify Hitler than Oliver Cromwell, to judge from recent reports. But the wider story of the Frank family and their helpers is less well known, and the first part of this book is fascinating.

Police officers hurt in Northern Ireland riots

Three police officers were shot in a night of rioting in Northern Ireland.

John Forsythe: Actor who played Blake Carrington in 'Dynasty' and the elusive Charlie in 'Charlie's Angels'

It is ironic that an actor who so distinguished himself in films and on Broadway before winning fame as Blake Carrington on television in Dynasty should perhaps still be best remembered for a role in which viewers never even saw him, that of the elusive Charlie in Charlie's Angels, whose disembodied voice on a phone line gave his girl detectives their new assignment each week.

How does 'Hair' still bring in the bread, man?

In 1968, the squares thought it 'perverted', and to the kids it was phony.

Nocturnes, By Kazuo Ishiguro

With their gently melancholy wit and bittersweet harmonies, Ishiguro's five "stories of music and nightfall" feel much like the Broadway standards that inspire them.

Tom Sutcliffe: TV is about a lot more than moving images

There was a lot of excitement about the third dimension at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – with numerous manufacturers unveiling various kinds of 3D television sets and 3D computer displays. But when you looked more closely at the froth and hype and exuberance, almost all of it appeared to stem from people who had a strong vested interest in leaving us dissatisfied with boring old D, never mind how many pixels it could boast or the dizzying height of its definition.

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us