Pennsylvania’s Bucks County Playhouse has seen two of its world premiere productions transfer to Broadway within the past four years: Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons, starring Tyne Daly, and Misery, a play by William Goldman, based on the Stephen King novel. Will the Playhouse’s current production of the new musical Cake Off be the next to move from bucolic Bucks County to the Great White Way? Probably not.
Alice Winocour’s latest film, Disorder, arouses all the feelings one expects from thrillers—anxiety, suspense, surprise, dread—without pommeling the viewer with constant, sensory-overloading action. In fact, it’s a rather quiet and slow-paced movie as a whole (somewhat resembling Christian Petzold’s 2014 film Phoenix in that way). But like a good Hitchcock, it’s those moments of silence and stillness that can be most deafening.
Thursday, August 25
Is Trump’s favorite music now hip-hop?
Does he now think that Hillary’s tip-top?
No, it’s on immigration
And on mass deportation
That the Donald’s now doing a flip-flop.
Alison Gopnik’s latest book, The Gardener and the Carpenter, differs from most parenting books in two important ways. For one thing, Gopnik rejects the word parenting, which she associates with the conventional idea that children are molded or built rather than grown. The second is that a great number of individuals, from siblings to grandparents, contribute to the caring and loving of a child; this book honors that shared network of child-rearing, which stretches far beyond parents.
There’s a famous line about Ginger Rogers and her struggle for recognition in a male-dominated Hollywood: “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in heels.” It’s a great little phrase and you can (as Barack Obama did recently) easily sub out Rogers for any number of famous women. One such woman is Elaine May, an extraordinary screenwriter and director who, like Rogers, risked disappearing in the shadow of her male creative partner. To my mind, May was the Rogers to Mike Nichols’s Astaire.
Thursday, August 18
Robbed in Rio
The boys’ story did not make good sense,
And it gave the Brazilians offense.
The four U.S. relayers
Aren’t sportsmanlike players
(Plus, they all seem to be somewhat dense).
In the title role of director Stephen Frears’s new film, Florence Foster Jenkins, Meryl Streep is more a wonder than ever. Playing a high-society music patron who longs for the operatic limelight but who cannot sing a true note, Streep will split your sides and eardrums even as she rends you in two. Tragedy is wriggling just inside the comic cocoon of this story of a real-life New York City doyenne who, in 1944, at age 76, achieved her lifelong dream of singing at Carnegie Hall—and who brought down the house, though not quite the way she wanted to.