Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ben Who?

Laura Linney and Ben Daniels in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

One of the most delicious things about the Roundabout Theatre's revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses is the performance of British actor Ben Daniels, who's making his maiden Broadway voyage in the role of Valmont, the seducer who gets seduced, a role originated in London and on Broadway by Alan Rickman.

When I interviewed him after an early rehearsal , he displayed a genial sense of humor about his anonymity. And when he got up to open the door of our interview room after thinking he'd heard a knock and no one was there, he quipped, "The ghost of Alan Rickman."

Friday, May 23, 2008

"We've Missed You Diane"

It's always nice to know that you're missed. Yesterday I received an e-mail with the above as a suject line, but it came not from an old school chum or former co-worker, it was from Apparently the last movie tickets I bought from them were for The Stepford Wives, and they miss my business. I'm not sure if I'm more disturbed that Fandango is keeping such close tabs on my ticket-buying or that I actually pre-purchased tickets to that horrible Nicole Kidman/Matthew Broderick remake.

Speaking of remakes, I'm watching a 1955 musical version of My Sister Eileen on TCM, but it's not Wonderful Town, and the songs definitely aren't by Bernstein, Comden and Green. It stars Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett and someone named "Robert" Fosse before he shortened his name. Thankfully, according to the TCM website , they decided not to use the alternate title -- "The Gay Girls."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Song of Norway

The Norwegian Independence Day Parade from my window.

It's not exactly the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, but last Sunday I discovered that my (relatively) new apartment has a bird's eye view of the Norwegian Independence Day Parade. Which meant lots of bagpipe music pervaded through my walls in the early afternoon.

Here are some much better photos for those who care.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Season of Wooing

Swag at my mailbox.

One of the fun things about this time of year is all the packages from theater press offices that clutter up my mailbox. (The two above, from Young Frankenstein and Gypsy, arrived the same day.) The occasion, of course, is voting for the Drama Desk Awards, which I will do in two days.

Of course none of these trinkets are going to sway the way I vote. In fact, without getting into specifics, I can say that most of the shows I'll be voting for have sent me absolutely zero in the way of CDs, souvenir programs, scripts, etc. It's it funny how like dating this is? The guys who know they're hot are fully aware that they can win your affection through wit and sex appeal alone, while the ones who aren't quite so sure of themselves have to try a little harder.

But what can I say? At heart I'm a girl who loves to get gifts, whether it's a Xanadu book, the script to Gypsy with Arthur Laurents' handwritten changes, a Young Frankenstein souvenir program or video footage from A Catered Affair and Next to Normal, and it's been awhile since I've had this many suitors eager for my attention.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jetting Off to Broadway

The Boeing-Boeing display at Flight 001.

Oh-so-trendy Smith Street in Brooklyn isn't where I'd expect to find a stores cross-promoting a Broadway show. So imagine my surprise when I came upon this interesting bit of marketing for Boeing-Boeing, complete with T-shirts and mugs, in the window of pricey travel store Flight 001.

Targeting a Broadway show about a philandering airline pilot with three girlfriends to people who do a lot of traveling? Perhaps my soon-to-be-former congressional representative Vito Fossella will be interested.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Eyes Sore

Martin Sola and Terumi Matthews in All Eyes and Ears.

One of the more interesting aspects about Rogelio Martinez's All Eyes and Ears, set in 1961 Cuba, is the way the Castro government seemingly empowered women as equals while at the same time dumping the lion's share of the family workload on them. I wished I'd enjoyed this INTAR production more.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Castle of Redemption

Angel Ramos, Vilma Ortiz Donovan, Kenneth Harrigan and Casimiro Torres in The Castle.

Although I had a mixed reaction to The Castle, it's still one of the best things I've seen at New World Stages in some time. The creators of the tedious My First Time, which shares a theater with The Castle could learn a thing or two about effective documentary theater from director David Rothenberg.