sun 29/05/2022

America

Legally Blonde, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a joyous Gen-Z musical makeover

The 2001 Reese Witherspoon-starring film Legally Blonde, upon which Heather Hach, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s peppy Broadway musical is based, was something of a Trojan horse: a bubblegum-pink comedy with a feminist spine.Now Lucy Moss, co-...

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Grease, Dominion Theatre review - a super night out, great songs well sung and spectacular dancing

Barry Gibb was at the considerable peak of his era-defining songwriting powers when he provided the song that played over the opening titles of the iconic 1978 film, so it's a wise decision by director, Nikolai Foster, to go straight into "Grease is...

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The Breach, Hampstead Theatre review - profoundly uncomfortable work that burns like ice

Jude is the kind of girl that no-one would want to mess with – she can dance like a demon to Eric Clapton, skewer an ego in seconds and hit an apple from thirty feet with a knife. Yet in a play that’s so uncompromising it could give Neil LaBute a...

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Ozark, Series 4 Part 2, Netflix review - crumbling consciences and a last stand

As the final slew of episodes in the last series of Ozark begins, Marty and Wendy Byrde, ever more the Macbeths of Osage Beach, are “in blood stepp’d in so far” that we don’t much care about their fate. Sympathy has long shifted to trailer girl Ruth...

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Album: Mavis Staples and Levon Helm - Carry Me Home

There is so much gospel out there that it’s not easy to stand out above the crowd. Mavis Staples, with a distinctive voice that has delivered a gritty contralto for many decades, never stops. This new release, a set of songs that were recorded in...

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The Staircase, NOW review - addictive dramatisation of real-life murder investigation

The real-life case of Michael Peterson and the death of his wife Kathleen in 2001 has generated a steady stream of TV documentaries, though this new series from HBO Max (showing on NOW) is the first time anybody has actually dramatised the story....

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Everything Everywhere All at Once review - brace yourself

Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of those films that are guaranteed to make an audience feel their age. Unless you’re steeped in the multiverse genre (The Matrix films, the Marvel canon, etc.) and are comfortable with...

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Oklahoma!, Young Vic review - a stunning, stripped-down version of the classic musical

No surreys, fringes or corny chap-slapping: the Rodgers and Hammerstein revival that has arrived at the Young Vic from New York, trailing a Tony award, is no ordinary makeover. Daniel Fish, its director, has spent the best part of 15 years stripping...

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Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness – not strange, not mad

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is at its most radical and corporate here; maybe decadent is the word. We start with surgeon turned sorcerer Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) threatened then slaughtered in a cosmic chase sequence. It’s just a...

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Kožená, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Berlin to Broadway, and back

As Walter Huston croaked in 1938, it’s a long, long while from May to December. And Kurt Weill – who wrote his evergreen “September Song” for Huston in that year – spanned several musical epochs within not so many years as he travelled from the...

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First Person: playwright Naomi Wallace on finally hearing her work performed in English

The Breach is a coming of age story and an age-in-the-making story. The play takes place in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1990s, switching back and forth between teenagers in Louisville and their older selves 15 years later. The promise of the...

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Bonnie & Clyde, Arts Theatre review - great songs, but plot fires too many blanks

One of the more irritating memes (it’s a competitive field, I know) is the “Name a more iconic couple” appearing over a photo of Posh and Becks, or Harry and Megan, or Leo and whoever. I’ve always been tempted to close the discussion down with a...

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