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05.06.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
From the "music I love immediately and intensely" file: the self-titled debut from Polly Scattergood, the latest successor to those Kate Bush comparisons that are suddenly in vogue thanks to St. Vincent and Bat For Lashes. Scattergood's debut also invites comparisons to a whole host of other moody songwriters, touching on Lily Allen's spunky pop, Lykke Li's electronic brain twisters and Joanna New...
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Not-so-classic remake

Imagine the shock: Mary is having her nails done at Saks when her babbling manicurist bumbles into a monologue on infidelity involving Crystal, the girl at the store's perfume counter, and a respected Wall Street investment broker. Before the conversation is over, Mary realizes that the broker isn't just some name from the business pages of the Times. He's Steve, her husband of 13 years.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Classical Preview

   By 1809, (1770-1827) had become somewhat restive with the piano concerto form, tiring of its common use as a mere display piece for the soloist to show off his virtuoso skills. Thus for his next such work, he wrote no cadenza (in fact, he expressly forbade one), and instead thoroughly integrated the solo piano part into the fabric of the orchestra. Dubbed the Emperor Concerto by its admirers for its majestic sweep and broad themes, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, has retained its regal position within its genre for the past 200 years. More than...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Classical Review

In an era of young classical titans, whose performances had a wider resonance in a world that was still listening, William Kapell was a rising star. The American pianist’s ascent was cut short by a plane crash in 1953. He was only 31. The last recordings he made have been located and collected on reDiscovered (released by Sony BMG), a two-disc set culled largely from radio broadcasts during Australian tours in the summer and fall of his final year. I say “largely” because the producers of this set weren’t content to leave history alone. A missing section from a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was “patched” with a recording Kapell made five . . .
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brideshead is back

Evelyn Waugh’s meditation on faith and its absence, and the varieties of love and desire, found a new audience in the 1980s through a British television production of Brideshead Revisited. Readers of Waugh’s novel and fans of the 11-part miniseries alike will find some of their favorite bits missing from the new film adaptation. British director Julian Jarrold should be commended, however, for intelligently condensing an emotionally rich story spanning two decades into a two-hour movie. Some of my favorite lines were edited, it’s true, but the main themes and memorable scenes for the most part remain.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Theater Review

There’s a new kid on our theater block. Lake Geneva Theatre Company premiered with Noel Coward’s Private Lives on July 4, offering its own celebratory bang. Bright, sophisticated comedies from the 1920s and ‘30s—such as Coward’s exemplary romps—took a nosedive into oblivion post-World War Two. “Realistic” replaced “Artificial” comedies. Using the memorable performances of Tallulah Bankhead and Donald Cook in Coward’s classic as a yardstick, the theater company measures up exceedingly well—which translates: “They mostly don’t make out like they’re doing Neil Simon.”
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Robert Downey’s superhero

If you’re anything like me, you know of Iron Man from the Black Sabbath song, not the Vietnam-era comic book that inspired it. But out in the hinterlands of fandom, Iron Man remained a popular Marvel superhero, even if Hollywood never lifted him from pulp pages to the big screen. It wasn’t for lack of interest. The one-man panzer division moved from studio to studio, attracting and repelling actors and directors. After more than 10 years in development, Iron Man has finally arrived, with Robert Downey Jr. in the title role and director Jon Favreau (Elf) behind the viewfinder.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Architecture Review

Hollyhock House, a residence in Los Angeles that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for oil-rich heiress Aline Barnsdall in 1919, is not among the architect’s most celebrated works. Indeed, it belongs to what has been considered by some historians as a less illustrious, almost anomalistic period of his career. However, within the last decade or so, there has been a resurgence of interest in the building, culminating in an exhibit by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs that includes the Hollyhock House drawings in its possession as well as photographs by Edmund Teske, a friend of both Barnsdall and Wright. Through June 15, some of these drawings and photographs can be seen at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008

Theater Review

It is 1963. The Civil Rights Movement is in full swing. The Watsons are living in frigid Flint, Mich., hoping to make a better life in the north while escaping the economic and racial strife plaguing African-Americans in the South. Based on Reginald A. Jackson’s adaptation . . .
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007

The Other Side of the Mirror: Live At The Newport Folk Festival,

The folk-blues revival was a lively movement of rediscovery. It ran circa the early-1960s through Bob Dylan's death-knell summer of '65 performance captured on this DVD.

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