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Television

  • Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

    1930s Showtime Series

    By: Jack Lyons - Jul 08th, 2020

    “City of Angels”, the Showtime TV movie series, is a powerfully relevant TV series and a sharp reminder not only of why the painful American Civil War of 1861 was fought, only later to introduce new Jim Crow laws in the South. The tensions between LA’s Chicano community and the corrupt white power structure within the city government of 80 years ago centers around the more militant factions of young Mexican-Americans known as ‘Pachucos.

  • National Theatre Streams Rattigan's Deep Blue Sea

    Helen McCrory Stars; Carrie Cracknell Directs

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 17th, 2020

    National Theatre at Home streams Deep Blue Sea by Terrence Rattigan and Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. Remarkable productions keep theaters live when their homes are shuttered.

  • The Weir by Conor McPherson

    Irish Repertory Theatre Screens Performance

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 27th, 2020

    The Irish Repertory Theatre has come up with the perfect play to stream. The Weir is a quintet, Four men living in a remote Irish country town are joined by a pretty woman from Dublin. Stories are told by four characters and the camera focuses on them during the telling. The scene broadens to include reactions. Sometimes Director Ciarán O’Reilly has an actor face the camera, deeply involving us in the drama.

  • Lawrence Brownlee and Friends

    Lyric Opera of Chicago Streams a Virtual Concert

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 28th, 2020

    Lawrence Brownlee is an ambassador of song. He is not only a great bel canto tenor, but also leader in discussions on our racial divide. Identifying as a descendant of Africans and a person of dark skin tone, he has mentored young singers and helped direct the conversation on race in the arts and in the world about us. Yet he does not like the designation of Ella Fitzgerald as part of Black Heritage, her position on a postage stamp. Rather he sees her as a great American singer. Blacks are part of a larger community, not self-segregated.

  • Irish Repertory Theatre Streams Love, Noel

    Steve Ross and KT Sullivan Delight

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 12th, 2020

    Players Club ,where the Irish Repertory production of Love, Noel is set, seems like just the right elegant space. Edwin Booth felt he had to make up for the assassination of Lincoln by his brother. Booth realized that a club where actors could socialize with the elite and elevate their status from rabble-rousers to artists was what New York needed. In 1888, he founded The Players Club at 16 Gramercy Park South together with fifteen other incorporators, including Mark Twain and General William Tecumseh Sherman. Players is the oldest club in New York City that’s still in its original location. Love, Noel graced its halls.

  • HBO's Coastal Elites

    Playing the Pandemic with Grim Humor

    By: Jack Lyons - Sep 21st, 2020

    HBO’s just released film “Coastal Elites”, navigates the COVID-19 experience in a comedic and satirical way (for a deadly subject matter) with five vignette monologues, by five actors; each breathing life into playwright Paul Rudnick’s spot-on slices of pandemic life during this unprecedented experience, and all deftly directed by Jay Roach.

  • Irish Repertory Theatre Streams Geraldine Hughes

    Belfast Blues a Perfect Production for Video

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 23rd, 2020

    We are swept along by her lilting Irish brogue as Geraldine Hughes takes the stage in her Belfast Blues. Irish Repertory Theatre chose the play to open their fall season streaming. Charlotte Moore and her partner Ciarán O’Reilly chose well. This one woman shows draws the portraits of twenty-four characters, all presented through the vessel of Hughes. Yet we never wonder who is speaking. We learn the gestures and tics of each character and come to be entranced.

  • Rob Kapilow Tackles the Appassionata Sonata

    Orli Shaham Exposes a Sonata

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 27th, 2020

    Rob Kapilow begins his “What Makes it Great” evenings with a discussion of special elements in a musical work to be performed in its entirety at the conclusion of the evening. Kapilow is a conductor and performer. Always responsive to a live audience, he draws us in, elucidating us as he instructs. Now he is streaming from an empty Merkin Hall. Yet you become addicted in one outing. Through Kapilow, listening to music has added whole new dimensions. Orli Shaham provides examples for a discussion of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 5. She also gives a deeply moving performance of the Appassionata.

  • PBS Fall Schedule

    From Walt Disney to Julie Waters in Indian Summers

    By: PBS - Jun 04th, 2015

    Yes Downton Abbey returns in January. PBS premieres the Civil War drama Mercy Street on September 27. Come fall PBS yet again will roll out an entertaining cornucopia of programming.

  • Queen Latifah Triumphs in HBO's Bessie

    Portrays Legendary and Tragic Empress of the Blues

    By: Charles Giuliano - May 23rd, 2015

    As blues giant Bessie Smith in HBO's "Bessie" Queen Latifah gives the finest performance of her career. The drama is based on a 1972 book by Chris Albertson. During the 1920s she was the Empress of the Blues but during the great depression which followed in the 1930s, as she compellingly sang, "Nobody knows you when you're down and out."

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