sun 25/10/2020

Chicago

Rasheeda Speaking, Trafalgar Studios review - unsettling comedy, thorny racism

Conflict and comedy can be unpredictable bedfellows, and Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s 2014 play occasionally risks overstretching itself in its attempts to reconcile the two – although its immediate context, the world of office politics,...

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The Good Fight, Series 2, More4 review - the longer they do it, the better it gets

The mystery remains of why they keep tucking away The Good Fight on More4, as they did with its illustrious predecessor The Good Wife. No disrespect to 4’s ancillary channel – now seemingly the designated last resting place of Grand Designs – but it...

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John Mahoney: 'I wanted to be like everybody else'

In 11 seasons of Frasier, John Mahoney played Marty Crane, a cussed blue-collar ex-cop who couldn’t quite understand how his loins came to produce two prissily cultured psychiatrists. His ally in straight-talking was his physiotherapist Daphne,...

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Glengarry Glen Ross, Playhouse Theatre review - Christian Slater is gently charismatic

American classics dominate the straight plays in London’s West End. Whenever a producer wants to revive a straight drama, they will inevitably look first at the back catalogue of Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller or, in this case, David Mamet....

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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui review - 'Lenny Henry covers Trump's greatest hits'

It’s a bigly Trump-fest over at the Donmar, with adaptor Bruce Norris determined to make Brecht great again – or at least pointedly contemporary. Despite a legal disclaimer in the knowing prologue, the current tangerine regime looms large, replacing...

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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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DVD/Blu-ray: Pioneers of African-American Cinema

The parallel universe of what was known as “race” cinema gets five packed DVDs here. Instead of cringing with sympathy at small, racistly conceived black roles in a classic Hollywood era which coincided with an American Apartheid, these are indie...

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CD: Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

Despites odd dives into atonal sound-colour, Ryley Walker’s third album shares much with the catalogue of Island Records circa 1971 and the more edgy Elektra singer-songwriter albums from around 1969. Not that it sounds dated. The daisy-fresh Golden...

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CD: Hieroglyphic Being - The Disco's of Imhotep

Sia, Mo, Adele, Lukas Graham and Coldplay. Those are artist names that speak of a general desire to make their owners accessible to the mainstream. Hieroglyphic Being is not that kind of name and the music he makes is equally abstruse. He’s called...

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The Good Wife, Series 7 Finale, More4

It's amazing that they've managed to sustain The Good Wife over seven series and 156 episodes which have, by and large, maintained a standard of writing and acting which can stand toe to toe with anything else on TV. Apparently it's now being dubbed...

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theartsdesk at the Chicago Jazz Festival

The Chicago Jazz Festival is a freebie extravaganza, held over the Labor Day holiday weekend, its massive crowds welcomed by the looming chromium jelly bean that is sculptor Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. Onward into Millennium Park, right on the shore...

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The Sting, Wilton's Music Hall

One of the oldest and most striking venues in London lends itself to immersive theatrical experiences. A few years ago the Victorian interior of Wilton’s Music Hall was infused with pre-show activity to recreate the 1920s of The Great Gatsby. Now a...

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