sun 30/04/2017

America

Doctor Atomic, BBCSO, Adams, Barbican

Bomb-dropping is the new black again in Trump's dysfunctional America. Awareness of that contributed to the crackling cloud of dynamic dread hanging over last night's concert staging of John Adams's opera-oratorio - my description, not his - about...

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CD: John Mellencamp - Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

The 23rd studio album from the artist formerly known as John Cougar was originally destined to be a religious album, but the songs he and Carlene Carter wrote turned out to be not quite so God-fearing as all that, though there’s certainly a...

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Brian Johnson's A Life on the Road review – ripping yarns of rock'n'roll

The simplest ideas are often the best. Here’s one – take AC/DC’s Tyneside-born vocalist Brian Johnson and get him to chew the fat with a list of fellow rock’n’roll veterans. Later in the series he gets to meet Sting, Nick Mason and Lars Ulrich, but...

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The Good Fight review - 'flawless writing and acting'

If Robert King and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife, took the Joss Whedon line on sequels – “They are inevitably awful” – then we would not have The Good Fight (More4) gracing our screens. But, thankfully, this sequel (actually, more a spin-...

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CD: Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child

He’s in his ninth decade, but with no signs of slowing down on stage or in studio, and the good news is that, while God's Problem Child may be no essential release, it remains hugely enjoyable – and that’s mainly down to the lucky seven new...

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CD: Bonnie Prince Billy - Best Troubadour

Best Troubadour is Bonnie Prince Billy's musical tribute to his "forever hero", country singer Merle Haggard. Haggard was best known for his song "Okie from Muskogee", a wry homage to small-town Southern values. Students of country...

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DVD: Martin Scorsese - Two Early Films

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More was Ellen Burstyn’s baby. Determined to use her clout after The Exorcist to make a film from a woman’s viewpoint, she offered Robert Getchell’s script to a director who confessed he knew nothing about women. “But,”...

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Unforgettable review - forgettable film

Within seconds – literally seconds – of Unforgettable it becomes apparent that this is the kind of film that in the late Eighties and Nineties used to be referred to as “straight to video”, a label that covered a plethora of trashy, sexist, by-the-...

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Whisper House, The Other Palace review - 'a delicately calibrated human story struggling to be heard'

It used to be said that the devil had all the best music. But the devil seems to have lost his touch in this ghost-story rock musical from Duncan Sheik, composer of the stage version of American Psycho and the award-laden Spring Awakening. If the...

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Homeland review - 'worryingly prescient'

It was a long time coming, but Homeland’s sixth series at last awoke from its early-season slumbers to put on a late surge over the closing episodes. For a while, it had seemed that the story was barely advancing at all, as the screen was self-...

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Pink Martini, Brighton Dome

"An Evening with Pink Martini" consists of two sets by the Portland, Oregon group/mini-orchestra. Of these, the first takes the prize, but only by a very short lead. During it the nine-piece, led by Thomas Lauderdale at the piano, seem to relax and...

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Carousel, London Coliseum review - 'Katherine Jenkins is game, Boe out-acted by wig'

“Then I’ll kiss her so she’ll know.” At the sound of his ringing voice, the girls part to reveal him standing there, a hapless monument of rumpled charm. The audience relaxes in pleasure as an easeful actor joyfully shows what you can do with a...

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