Griff Rhys Jones says his comedy partnership with the late Mel Smith was "not exactly a marriage made in heaven".
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Friday 18 December 2009
Thursday 12 November 2009
Bryn Terfel arrived in the capital armed with countless sneers and as many ways to make mischief. His latest album Bad Boys – a comprehensive gallery of operatic rogues and villains – was now a tour, and there was a big, glossy, souvenir programme to prove it. But at least this latest participant in the South Bank's "International Voices" series offered value for money – the big Welshman doesn’t short-change us, not even when he's in the guise of that prize quack Dr Dulcamara whose lotions and potions are cheap for a reason.
Tuesday 22 September 2009
Described by Woody Allen as "the best comedy writer I ever knew", Larry Gelbart was a skilled humorist who had hits in the theatre, cinema and on television. He received both a Tony Award and an Emmy, and his Broadway show libretti included the boisterous and bawdy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), the first Broadway show to have both words and music by Stephen Sondheim, based on the plays of Plautus, and the deliciously witty pastiche of film noir, City of Angels (1989). On screen, he won Oscar nominations for his scripting of the George Burns vehicle, Oh, God! (1977) and the hilarious gender-swapping tale Tootsie (1982).
Wednesday 16 September 2009
Friday 14 August 2009
Remember the kind of films Cameron Crowe used to make, and the kind John Cusack used to star in?
Tuesday 30 June 2009
It is quite astonishing to look back and see what made the Broadway stage in the 1940s. It was a time of great daring and innovation when the boundaries between musical comedy and opera were less defined than they've ever been. Kurt Weill's final show for Broadway Lost in the Stars – his musical adaptation with Maxwell Anderson of Alan Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country – would be lucky to make off-Broadway today. And yet there it was – a deeply compassionate drama of division and reconciliation in apartheid South Africa playing the capriciously named "Great White Way" in an attempt to prick America's own racist conscience. And it took a Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany to do it.
Thursday 25 June 2009
It is quite astonishing to look back and see what made the Broadway stage in the 1940s.
Sunday 24 May 2009
For those of a certain age, John Collier was simply "the window to watch", as the TV commercials for the menswear store proclaimed. The other John Collier is the English writer, born in 1901, who became famous for his wonderful short stories. Setting out to be a poet, Collier was disappointed with the result and instead produced a strange novel, His Monkey Wife, a satire about an explorer who marries a chimpanzee. Two more novels followed, now both forgotten, but around them formed a body of uniquely sardonic short stories, often written for The New Yorker magazine. They were collected in many volumes, one of which, Fancies and Goodnights, was reprinted in 2003.
Thursday 21 May 2009
For those less sad than I, the title is a pun on the Sondheim song "Finishing the Hat" from "Sunday in the Park with George - a song, a show, about the art of making art.
Sunday 19 April 2009
Somewhat fitting that after Maureen Lipman's character, Madame Armfeldt, dies peacefully at the end of the opening night of Trevor Nunn's West End production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music, guests should be transported to the 18th-century crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields to kick off the after-party.
Sunday 15 March 2009
The grandé dame of postmodern torch songs is reunited here with US producer Hal Wilner and surrounded by choice players, from guitarists Marc Ribot and Barry Reynolds to Cat Power, Nick Cave and Keith Richards.
Wednesday 25 February 2009
Awaking Beauty, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough; Great Expectations, Library Theatre, Manchester
Wednesday 31 December 2008
A Little Night Music, Menier Chocolate Factory, London<br>The Family Reunion, Donmar Warehouse, London<br>In a Dark Dark House, Almeida, London
Sunday 07 December 2008
Thursday 04 December 2008
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s 1973 waltz musical is based on Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night and as Trevor Nunn has already directed Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage on the stage this year, he’s in the mood for a piece the composer described as whipped cream with knives. His intimate revival comes out of the mirrored mists of a country house estate where memories are rife and the moon smiles three times: for the young, the foolish and the old.
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