sun 19/08/2018

America

Disenchantment, Netflix review - Matt Groening show has promise after poor start

It’s an event that only comes around once a generation: a new Matt Groening TV series. The Simpsons is rightly regarded as one of the greatest shows ever made. It changed the face of American television, and 10 years later was followed Futurama, a...

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Homos, or Everyone in America, Finborough Theatre review - a complex pattern of glee and profundity

I’m still not entirely sure what the full associations of the title of New York playwright Jordan Seavey’s new play – its second element, at least: the first speaks for itself – may be, but with writing this accomplished any such uncertainties fall...

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Prom 31, Barnatan, Minnesota Orchestra, Vänskä - American classics take centre-stage

Prom 31 featured an American orchestra playing an all-American programme – until the final encore dived thrillingly into a completely different musical tradition. But one of the principal features of American music – its joyous risk-taking – was...

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Vanessa, Glyndebourne review - blowsy histrionics and a great finale

"Sounds like an opera by Handel," said a friend when I told him that I was going to see Vanessa at Glyndebourne. Possible – the name first appeared in print as "invented" by Jonathan Swift in 1723 – had Handel not stuck to mythological and Biblical...

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CD: Iggy Azalea - Survive the Summer

In basic creative terms of the ingredients that make it up, this is not a bad record. Hip hop production is in extraordinary period right now, and the six tracks on this EP have the best production that money can buy: woozy, narcotic, digitally...

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CD: Dee Snider - For the Love of Metal

In recent years there’s been an explosion in feminised self-empowerment anthems, perhaps best epitomised by Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (This is my fight song/Take back my life song/Prove I'm alright song). For those in need of a masculine...

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Spamilton, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fun if overstuffed

If it's possible to have somewhat too much of a good thing, that would seem to be the case with the British premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory of Spamilton. The latest in the indefatigable catalogue of New York songwriter-satirist Gerard...

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DVD: That Summer

The meanderings and bickerings of an extraordinary mother and daughter as they roam or lounge around a semi-derelict house and overgrown garden on Long Island have become a cult since the 1975 release of Albert and David Maysles' documentary Grey...

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theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival - Italians, Ukrainians and an American promote peace

Everything is political in the world's current turbulent freefall. The aim of Riccardo Muti's "Roads of Friendship" series, taking the young players of his Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra to cities from Sarajevo in 1997 to Moscow in 2000 and Tehran...

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Who Is America?, Channel 4 review - sudden return of Sacha Baron Cohen

Cunningly kept under wraps until the last moment, Sacha Baron Coen’s new show is a timely reminder of his gift for trampling the boundaries of good taste and decorum. But despite a certain amount of hyped-up pre-uproar, it doesn’t represent any...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 1, Perianes, Calidore String Quartet review - mysteries and revelations

Light-filled Cadogan Hall is hosting the most fascinatingly programmed concerts in a Proms season not otherwise conspicuous for its adventurousness. There's also an honourable pledge to premiere at least one new work by a female composer in each...

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First Reformed - faith fights the eco-apocalypse

Father Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) calls himself one of God’s lonely men. The term given to Paul Schrader’s anti-heroes since Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle is usefully explained by the priest: his loneliness is a divine attribute letting him sympathise...

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