Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Light in the Piazza

Gabriel over at Modern Fabulousity already raved about this musical, which is easily the best of the season. I don't have much to add to his review other than that he's right about how gorgeous the whole thing is. It's spellbinding to look at -every color choice in costuming is perfection and the lighting -holy mother of god, the lighting - would be moving in and of itself, even if you were to remove the evocative musical score (please don't). The lighting in this show ought to win five Tonys...just to make up for the fact that stuff like Wicked (a fun show) gets nominated for lighting even though its aesthetic choices are questionable at best: 'Let's's a ballad with a green character. Let's use color filters with designs just to mix it up!'. But I don't mean to get distracted with last season's memories. It's just that modern musicals tend to err on the side of busy / gaudy / over produced and with stuff like Brooklynstinking up the theater these days, you just got to have the elegance and beauty of something like Light in the Piazza to restore your faith in musical theater.

I wasn't crazy about the plot or even a couple of performances but the music was strong enough to make me forget that I was annoyed with the central character of Clara more often than not. And toward the end, even as I tired of the narrative hijinx, I found the whole thing inexplicably moving. Go see it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

god's gift

47 years ago today the heavens opened up and American cinema's coolest modern blonde icon was delivered unto Dick and Donna Pfeiffer in Santa Ana California. If you have yet to understand the rapture of Pfandom, may I suggest a triple bill of Scarface to see her acting breakthrough, The Fabulous Baker Boys to see her place in the cinematic pantheon cemented, and White Oleander to see the most recent proof of her mastery of the craft. (Additional good options if you've already seen those recently include: Dangerous Liasions, Married to the Mob, Love Field, Witches of Eastwick, Frankie & Johnny, Batman Returns, What Lies Beneath or even The Story of Us ...if you skip past the scenes where Bruce Willis and Michelle are trying to pretend that they're in their mid 20s in gauzy flashbacks)

For those with more severe time restraints or for those who have already been converted and would like to celebrate the day somehow ~ may I suggest the following:

THIS is the coolest Michelle Pfeiffer site on the web. Courtesy of the gorgeous and very smart Noelle (who I go way back w/ on the web so I'm biased... but it's a great site)
THIS one is also great, from cutie Morrissey.
THIS is mine -and there you can bone up on your Pfeiffer trivia or even read about the time when I gazed upon the actual woman as opposed to a celluloid projection of her gorgeousness. This occurred at the New York premiere of The Story of Us at the Ziegfeld theater...and it's one of my favorite moments of my New York life. Duh!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Cinema Portraits 2005

I got this calendar for Christmas called "Cinema Portraits 2005." Though it's hardly a secret, April reveals again that that Cary Grant was quite the looker. Now, I do not have a drill to hang up the calendar where I want it in a very cement wall. So right now Cary is just hanging loose on the kitchen counter. But he be fine with that. He's swellegant just sitting at the bar. He doesn't need to be properly hung to inspire worshipful glances.

By the time I put this calendar up the covergirl is going to be the lovely Audrey Hepburn. Any rational human being will tell you that Ms. Hepburn couldn't take a bad photo if she tried. Any rational human being who hasn'tseen this calendar that is. In Audrey's "May" pose she does looks pretty but the kitsch overwhelms. In the photo she appears to be rising naked out of miniature sandy ruins --picture an Attack of the 50 Foot Woman poster with less salacious emphasis on bosom. She is positioned between two phallic pillars with Greco-Roman statuery atop. Trust me when I say that that's not as hot as it sounds.

one after another

"just one psychological drama after another" -erasure drama

I've had too much --too much-- recently. I need a beach trip. Some time off. Or better yet a great new film + time off to obsess on it + a new job offer for a job that doesn't start until after the fabulously relaxing time off. Emotionally this doesn't feel like too much to ask for but, rationally and realistically speaking, I will just try to continue breathing.

sorry for the personal drama! --you may now return to movie discussion.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Actress -Ex Factor

In my listing on favorite actresses, I said about the following (listed below) that we had "broken up. The passion had dwindled..." My therapist feels I should work through these relationships --Analyze what went wrong so that I can move on and form new attachments. He warns me "Scarlett and Evan Rachel shouldn't have to share you with Winona and Helena! If you're not careful you'll lose them too!"

ANGELA BASSETT My heart still jumps when I see her in magazines or at awards shows but is there any mainstream Actress working that Hollywood seems to understand less? Why aren't they casting her? How do you go from charismatic and financially successful leading work in What's Love Got To Do With It, Waiting to Exhale, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back in the space of only a few years straight to the land of thankless supporting stock roles? How does this happen? I still can't figure it.

HELENA BONHAM-CARTER I blame Kenneth Branagh and Tim Burton. Oddly enough Merchant and Ivory, who probably didn't look at her with lust in their hearts, had far more respect for her great beauty. They never put her in hideous burn makeup or ape latex, now did they?

JULIETTE LEWIS If I ran the world, singularity would be much more crucial to an actors longevity and fame. Juliette Lewis is incomparable. Even if you hate her you'll have to agree. But what happened to the matching memorable roles? The background minor girlfriend / unfaithful wife role isn't really suited for someone whose gifts are this unique.

WINONA RYDER Remember those t-shirts that got popular for a split second "Free Winona!" She even modelled one on the cover of a magazine. The only person keeping Noni locked up now is Noni herself.

EMMA THOMPSON It was a good run but couldn't it have lasted longer? I know that for some fans TV movies are just as good as features for a fix of their favorite actors. Not true for me. I'm televisionally challenged...I'm sorry but I need that big screen for proper worship of my false idols.

Monday, April 25, 2005

He falls in love with covers of slick magazines. With serious actresses. On the screen.

Sometimes when you love an actor, your adoration is easily justified. Nobody asks why. Perhaps they're in love too. Who is going to quibble with loving Ingrid Bergman for example? Yet, sometimes you have some 'splaining to do. Identification or lust or personal connection to actors is sometimes mystifying to those who aren't similarly fan-struck.

I meant to post this list (linked above through the title --which is a lyric sample from Christine Lavin's insightful folk song "Attainable Love") of my favorite silver screen goddesses ages ago. It's finally up. Who do you love? Which names are eyebrow raisers?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Loving Judy Holliday

I watched Bells Are Ringing (the 1960 film) last night with a few friends. I had seen it on Broadway in a revival with Faith Prince a few years back but didn't remember a lot about it other than that Faith Prince was great fun in the lead role. I remember reading in an interview that Judy Holliday was a favorite of hers. Now, at the time I had seen Judy Holliday's Oscar winning role in Born Yesterday but otherwise I knew nothing about her. I didn't really become a fan until this year with viewings of It Should Happen to You and this film last night. Now, I'm hooked ~I'm crazy with fan love. I want more! She's just such an original. So funny. So versatile. So "Judy Holliday!". Modern Broadway stars like Faith Prince and Donna Murphy are obviously borrowing from her in recent well received musical-comedy roles. And, as my best friend remarked last night, it seems like Doris Day owes her a lot, too. (Now, as a reader reminds Day was famous concurrently with Holliday. But the latter wasn't around to compete with for plentiful 60s comedy roles...and it's easy to imagine Judy Holliday having gone a similar career route. Or maybe she would have stuck with purer musicals. There were lots of those to star in the 60s as well)

As for Bells are Ringing, It's so dated --"answering service? -what's that?"--that it's almost an essential time capsule the same way thatPillow Talk's "party line" business is head-scratching but important to know about for communication history! The musical score is uneven but there are a few super songs like "The Party's Over" and the very famous "Just in Time". And Judy Holliday! Again...*Swoon* Awesome. The best thing I can say as a musical theater lover about her performance in this semi-forgotten Vincent Minelli picture is that I kept imagining while watching it that had I seen her onstage it might have been one of those theatrical experiences that was impossible for me to shake. (If you're wondering what those are it's stuff like seeingAngels in America -the whole thing. Elaine Stritch At Liberty. The final moments of Metamorphosis Tonya Pinkins's "Lot's Wife" number from Caroline or Change etc...) It has a sort of stage grandeur. Her showstopping finale "I'm Going Back" doesn't really work as a classic galvanizing film moment but I can certainly imagine that onstage it was classic and would have deservedly brought down the house.

Now that I've been a New Yorker for some years older films like this that are set in Manhattan are more and more fascinating to me. So many films are set in NYC that, even if they're filmed on a soundstage, they still make up a really great history of NYC as it is imagined or actually was throughout the 20th century. Plus it's always great to see NY theatrical talent who made it in Hollywood as well (like Judy herself) immortalized. I recommend giving the film a whirl. In fact, see Judy Holliday in everything she did. It's so sad that she didn't live to enliven more movies. She died at 44 of throat cancer, just 5 years after her committing this Tony-winningBells role to celluloid. This was, unfortunately, her last film. Apparently she was already sick while making it. It doesn't show. Onscreen she's got life force to spare.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Miller @ the Movies

Sin City was the talk of April at the movie theater so where will Frank Miller's inky aesthetics strike next cinematically speaking ? The obvious choice would be in Sin City Volume 2. Robert Rodriguez (that films renegade force) works fast. And he could always finish the job of adapting Frank Miller's stories of the town without pity; Miller and Rodriguez didn't deplete all of the graphic novels in this first hit movie.

Despite the hype, the now well-known and of-the-moment Sin City was not actually the first Miller inspired movie. 2003's incredibly botched Daredevilfilm holds that disappointing and undeserved honor. The film used Miller's very famous Elektra/Bullseye arc that put both the comic (a B level character and seller) and Frank Miller the writer/artist on the map back in the day. Let's not speak of Elektra... I haven't seen it. Don't intend to. I doubt I could take it given my love of the real character. You know, the one made of ink who does not also happen to go by the moniker of 'Jennifer Garner'.

Whether or not Sin City gets a quick sequel, I expect that we'll see someone attempt Ronin before long as well. Ronin is like a mass collision of already familiar, easily marketable movie genres --Samurai / Apocalyptic Future-- most prevalent among them. The other major Miller work that we'll see adapted soon (though development hell is always a danger) is 300, a graphic novel about the Persian/Greek war and the battle of Thermopylae war.

Zach Snyder is currently set to helm. Yay! Snyder's debut was the generally impressive and tightly wound remake ofDawn of the Dead so maybe he does have what it takes to pull off the herculean task of a bloody action-packed period epic. Any guesses as to whether or not it will make it to the screen on time (2006) and with Snyder still in? Or will Hollywood execs, known for their disloyalty to those without clout if those higher on the foodchain suddenly get interested (and that could happen with Miller being suddenly a name that Hollywood types know) dump him and move on to a more boring choice. Or maybe you think he's the wrong choice to begin with? Not I.


I'm finally fully wired in my new home. So the main site will be active again today. If I can get to the theater too we'll have more talk about movies and less about the bilby (No offense to Australian marsupial lovers everywhere).

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Poll #1 Response (in which Nathaniel kills time) 26 (ha ha -shame on u lurkers!) readers... I wuv u.
To...anonymous #1 --chicken IS good to eat though I am ashamed to say it since I was once a vegetarian. They are way difficult to draw though so props to your mad skills!
to Joe Rprocrastinate is also a fav' of mine. Can u tell?
Alex Last night I had a nightmare about defenestration. No seriously. I did. I blame u!
Lyn, Nick,& MosesThe feline world thanks you for your devotion and acknowledges that you may live another day and enjoy their purring and fuzzy exteriors without wearing protective gear. Carry on.
I think Marcelo is horny. The gym AND the bedroom? is David"mount?"
Jo!!!!!!! Ahhhh how r u? it's been years. e-mail me your new addy! I have Monty stories...
Anonymous #whatever ---Silence minion! Grievances may only be aired bi-monthly on third Saturdays if there happens to be a full moon.
everyone else who answeredYou warmed the cockles of my heart today.

Burning questions of the zoological variety that remain
What the hell are "bilbys"? "tuaturas" ? a "nautili"?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Instant Poll #1

Out of restless curiousity; How many people are reading? Answer one or two of these five questions immediately and without embellishment (just cuz. humor my sudden need to order the minions around) Appease my need for immediate gratification!

what is your favorite ...
animal? verb? place? body part? hobby?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


no comments for now (too much!) but a lot of intriguing directors

Official Selection. Competition
David Cronenberg A History of Violence
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne L’Enfant
Atom Egoyan Where the Truth Lies
Amos Gitai Free Zone
Michael Haneke Cache
Hou Hsiao-Hsien The Best of Our Times
Jim Jarmusch Broken Flowers
Tommy Lee Jones The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Masahiro Kobayashi Bashing
Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez Sin City
Arnaud & Jean-Marie Larrieu Peindre Ou Faire L’Amour
Marco Tullio Giordana Une Fois Que Tu Es Ne
Carlos Reygadas Batalla en el Cielo
Hiner Saleem Kilometre Zero
Johnny To Election
Gus Van Sant Last Days
Lars Von Trier Manderlay
Wang Xiaoshuai Shanghai Dreams
Wim Wenders Don’t Come Knockin’

Out of Competition
Fatih Akin Crossing the Bridge
Woody Allen Match Point
Shane Black Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
Bertrand Bonello Cindy
Christian Carion Joeux Noel
Adam Curtis The Power of Nightmares
Kim Jee-woon Dal Kom Han In-Saeng
George Lucas Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Avi Mograbi Nekam Achai Mishtey Eynay
Michel Ocelot Kirikou et le Fetiche Egare
Rithy Panh Les Artistes du Theatre Brule
Michel Piccoli C’Est Pas Tout A Fait La Vie Don’t J’Avais Reve
Stuart Samuels Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream
Seijin Suzuki Operetta Tanukigoten

and since it's Cannes that's just the tip of the iceberg...

not Bridget Jones

I keep talking about my iPod. I will eventually talk about movies again. When it will happen I do not know.

The other night I was coming home from a fun so-nice-to-see-you-again type diner dinner with my friend and on the subway en route to my spectacular new apartment --you will all have real estate envy! mwaa ha ha-- I noticed a pattern forming on my iPod's random playlist: Crazy British chicks. Siobhan Fahey (formerly of Bananarama and Shakespear's Sister. Now solo). The aforementioned Bananarama (the others being Keren, Sarah, and the one of whom we do not speak who replaced Siobhan), Kate Bush, and the set ended with Boy George... also a crazy British gal I'm sure you'll agree.

Now, they say that patterns do not really form on iPod's random setting despite much urban personal anecdotal evidence to the contrary. They say it's all mental and mnemonic associations based on the fact that we ourselves select the thousands of songs that the iPod has to choose from when in shuffle mode. But I don't believe this. My iPod really does create its own concept albums!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Time Warner's sucky monopoly

Time Warner is the devil. There's no getting around them if you want to watch your television or enjoy high speed internet and you live in most of Manhattan (or Brooklyn or Queens, etc...) I hate monopolies. They add up to sucky customer service, high prices, and general incompetence. I won't go into today's ordeal but it's ridiculous how many menus I had to listen to, how many times I had to call, and how impossible the simplest request turned out to be. Hopefully I will be fully up and running by next weekend and you'll see site updates and the like.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Address Unknown

Pardon the silence. My computer is moving homes. My laptop is also travelling to its new location. Updates to site during this move? Unlikely.

Weird Personal Music Facts (part 2)

OK, Part 2 will have to be done differently. excludinganything not played in 2005 or the top songs already covered (they take their playcounts with them when they're moved into iPod apparently) I wish you could search this by most played during a specific time period. The iPod most played list includes (alpha order):

Alive -Beastie Boys
The Blowers Daughter -Damien Rice
Hollaback Girl -Gwen Stefani
Just Like a Pill -Pink
Knock Yourself Out -Jon Brion from I Heart Huckabees
Lot's Wife -Tonya Pinkins from Caroline or Change
Pavement Cracks -Annie Lennox
Precious Box -George Michael
Triumph of the Heart -Björk
Unforgiven -The Go-Gos
What Are U Waiting For? -Gwen Stefani
You're My Only Home -Magnetic Fields

The absolute weirdest thing about all of these playcount lists is that Scissor Sisters barely show up anywhere and theirs is definitely the CD I have listened to most in the past year. Ah, but it's in the ancient device in my living room: The CD player.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Weird Personal Music Facts (part 1)

Just as I was about to go to bed I clicked on iTunes and hit the Play Count feature to see which songs I've listened to the most since getting this program (can't remember when but I've had it since at least late 2002 so we're talking at least 2 and 1/2 years) --I don't know why I did this and the results were not what I expected. Keep in mind this list is from my actual computer. I listen to my iPod more than I do my computers so this is going to naturally skew towards somewhat older stuff before I had the iPod. Maybe I should check the iPod stats instead?

iTunes Most Played
01 Cucurrucucu Paloma from the Talk to Her soundtrack. Gorgeous.
02 Come What May Ewan & Nicole from Moulin Rouge!
So far it's making sense. Than suddenly...
03 Me Against the Music -Britney Spears (featuring Madonna)
I don't even really LIKE this song. Let alone love it. How did it get played so much? Yikes.
04 Cannonbal -Damien Rice. Beautiful song but it's since been eclipsed in my heart by his other really well known song The Blower's Daughter
05 It's in Our Hands -Björk
06 Why Can't I? -Liz Phair
07 A Call From the Vatican -Jane Krakowski from the Broadway revival of Nine.
now, I knew I was obsessed with Jane Krakowski as Carla when that came out. But top ten? Wow. And the fact that it's the most played Broadway tune.
08 Crying in the Rain -A-Ha
Another odd 'I did not see that coming' finalist. A-Ha is one of those groups that definitely has more than one fine pop song but the world doesn't know it. To America they seem to be the definition of one hit wonders -although in point of fact they had more than one hit here, too.
09 Take it With Me -Megan Mulally (yes, the Megan Mullaly of Will & Grace fame)
Her CD Big as a Berry is g-r-e-a-t. Terrific vocalist. I wish she'd do a Broadway show or a movie musical. Ignore that annoying M&M commercial. She can belt with the best of them.
10My Phone's on Vibrate for YouRufus Wainwright.
And that song is truly gorgeous and resonant so it's a lovely bookend to the Talk to Her song to round out my top ten.

Some runners up?
Pass That DutchMissy Elliott, MaryPatty Griffin, Where Do We Go From Here?the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Hella Goodand Ex-GirlfriendNo Doubt, Paris ParisMalcolm McClaren & Catherine DeneuveNothing Fails and American Life Madonna. Further down are several more songs each from Rufus Wainwright, Madonna, and Missy Elliott.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I suddenly want to do a photo-blog! Because my life simply is not complicated enough. (snort) Please give me my 380th deadline/expectation for the day. Or medication. Whichever.

(And I Am Telling You)

...great article today on the negotiations for Dreamgirls the movie over at David Poland's Hot Button. Read it if you're at all interested in star wheelings and dealings.

Monday, April 11, 2005

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The old saying had better be true this year. It's not physically raining right now. But when it rains it pours...even if only in the life sense. And in both good and bad ways. And I need to see a light at the end of the tunnel (and all that). While I try to deal with all the personal whammy going on, please enjoy the new site feature -The Calendar (linked above).

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Spoke too soon

So I brought my site back up today but I probably spoke too soon about the many updates I was going to make. See, I like to do 39 things at once... and in addition to trying to do this I am also moving next week so I spend lots of boring hours throwing possessions away, regifting, and packing boxes. And I'm also working ridiculous hours. Fun for me. I hate my life right now. But thank God it's Spring. When you're really really low, the only way is up...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Julius Caesar

All over NYC you can see posters trumpeting Denzel Washington's appearance on the boards as Brutus in Julius Caesar. This advertising blitz and Denzel's fame should explain the big sales for his limited run in this Shakespearean production. Sadly my friends, Romans, and countrymen, if you lend me your ear I cannot report good news. The play comes with a certain hard-to-mess-with gusto (Shakespeare you know) but otherwise it is very much a mess. The modern trappings don't seem to be saying much. And shouldn't they if that's the direction a production goes with? The performances are pitched all over the place from classical Shakespearean delivery (Cassius) to film-like method underplaying (Brutus) to plain old over the top cluelessness (I shan't say). Sometimes you can't hear Denzel's voice. The voice itself is lovely and resonant of course as the entire nation is aware --but on stage... well, he just doesn't seem to have the training for it. It's hard to make out many of his lines and despite the quiet line deliveries in certain spots the rest of the soundcraft is ear splitting. The guns, special effects, war sounds are extremely loud. The gorgeous language Shakespeare is known for is often lost in the shuffle. Not a good trade.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"525,600 Minutes" (x 9)

Any Rentheads out there? Rent is about to enter its ninth year on Broadway so I figured I ought to check it out having only touring productions prior to moving to New York now (!) six years ago (!). The film will be arriving in November. If Chris Columbus (of Harry Potter / Mrs. Doubtfire fame) who is directing can harness the energy that this show is known for without sacrificing its pansexual East Village edge (even if that "edge" is theme-parkish as edge goes...) than he could have another huge hit on his hands.

The show just works. Not sure why. Sometimes it feels like it shouldn't. But it does. It gets to you. Whether it's the raucous youth comedy of "La Vie Boheme" or Maureen's Laurie Anderson spoof-like performances or the all choked up sentimentality of "I'll Cover You" or "Seasons of Love" Rent remains extremely hard to hate and easy to get swept up in. least on stage. Good luck Columbus!

Monday, April 04, 2005

wha. the. fu. ?

Whenever I rent "gay films" as in films that are really only made by and for gay people as opposed to real films with gay content or gay directors my boyfriend expresses much dismay and says very loudly "gay people should not be allowed to make films!"

Now, part of this is a pose... obviously nobody wants Todd Haynes and other greats to quit working. But sometimes he has a point. And queer cineastes do certainly have a lot to complain about. A lot of stuff that does get made that is of questionable quality would not get made if it were straight i.e. if you're serving a specialized starving audience, you don't have to deliver good taste, exquisite plating, or even anything all that edible to pack your restaurant full. Or, to put it in film terms your story doesn't have to make even a lick of sense, you don't have to follow any standard rules of storytelling, and your protagonists and supporting characters don't have to be likeable or interesting as long as they drop trou.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Frank Miller's Town

I know that when the first "event movie" of the year comes out I should make a much bigger todo about it... but I don't have a lot to say. I grew up reading Frank Miller comics so it was a treat to see his aesthetic visualized --but as a film it didn't completely satisfy --too long. repetitive. gross. etc... Since it was so faithful to the source material I kept wondering why they just didn't animate it? But, yes, it looks hella cool.

Tarantino's section is best starring the always (and increasingly) magnetic Clive Owen. Is it just me or does he get better all the time even though he started out sensationally? *
*edited out comments about other actors since maybe Tarantino didn't direct this whole section I'm hearing.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Despite two hours of sleep on Wednesday night and a marathon work day on Thursday, I was wide awake on Broadway Thursday night for the duration of that infamous and vicious couple's pub crawl through the home of George and Martha. The boozy evening of which I speak (for those of you who are young...or older folks who have lived under a rock) is the framework of Edward Albee's masterpiece Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

For those unfamiliar with the original play or its film incarnation, it begins as if already in Act 2: George and Martha, a middle aged college professor and his wife, return home from a faculty party already inebriated and waiting for the arrival of a younger couple whom they met earlier in the evening. For the remainder of the three act play George and Martha torment each other, their guests, and especially themselves. It's an all-night binge on strange love, regret, bourbon, petty grudges, and the comfort of familiar emotional baggage. Sounds like a laugh riot, huh? Yet thanks to Albee's razor sharp skills as a writer and the indelible characters within, the play is thrillingly alive and therefore funny, smart, and joyous in the way art can be even when its subject matter is bone-crushingly dark.

Woolf is hardly Albee's only major theatrical claim to fame; he also wrote the blisteringly funny The Goat, or Who is Sylvia and Three Tall Women among other important pieces for the stage. His most recent triumph was the off Broadway The Play About the Baby which was, in a peculiar way, a kind of abstract rendering of Virginia Woolf's central mystery. Albee has also won the Pulitzer three (!) times. Yet George and Martha's epic tussle remains his signature piece. In the course of its history (1962 to the present) and throughout its various incarnations it has won 8 Tony Nominations (with more presumably to come for this production), 5 Tonys, 13 Oscar nominations, 5 Oscars, 7 Golden Globe nominations, and many others. Not too shabby.

This Broadway revival's cast features Bill Irwin (famous New York clown) as George in his second dark descent into Albee's land of tormented couples. He previously starred in The Goat I'm happy to report that he's much more impressive here. But then, to be fair, Bill Pullman's creation of The Goat role would have been impossible for anyone to top -being one of the best performances ever(hyperbole fully intended). But of course the marquee name here is the one and only Kathleen Turner.

For longtime readers of my site, my love for certain actresses is well known. Yet my devotion to Kathleen Turner may have slipped by unnoticed due to her rather abrupt descent from the movie star ranks. Those who first dropped jaw at this actress's debut in Lawrence Kasdan's early 80s noir effort Body Heat probably wouldn't have seen a fine grande dame stage career in her future.... but, in a way, Turner has been building up to Martha for years. From her memorably dangerous seduction of William Hurt in that film to her breakout star turn with Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone through her sometimes violent love/sex matches with Jack Nicholson in Prizzi's Honor Steve Martin in The Man With Two BrainsTony Perkins in Crimes of Passion and within the divorce dramedies The War of the Roses and Peggy Sue Got Married nearly all of Turner's important characters have been women in the midst of extremely contentious and high stakes coupledom. Stepping into Martha's shoes, once inhabited by legends as large as Uta Hagen and Elizabeth Taylor is, to Turner's great credit, a completely unforced fit. Taylor's bray as Martha in the film version was a perfect match and won her the Oscar. Turner's famously husky voice and big throaty laugh spin just as naturally from and in service of one of the best written characters for stage or screen. She is Martha and will certainly be rewarded with one of this year's Tony nominations.

By the end of the play I had momentarily forgotten all about the film (which I love) so immersed was I in this new production. The finale is a marvel. In those superb last moments overflowing with repetitive "yes" and "no"s the consensual nature of George and Martha's emotional violence hits home. For these weary warriors, one realizes with a shudder, this night might be just like any other night. It's a dismaying thought. But for the audience, happily, this is not just any night at the theater. Highly recommended.