Friday, March 17, 2006

Cat Herding

Must See - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Not for the faint-of-heart, the current Broadway productionof Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" is a powerful alternative to happy-go-lucky shows like "The Producers" or "Hairspray". "Sweeney Todd" has long been my beloved favorite musical and the original 1979 production, starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou, has always seemed an untouchable for me. Hence, I was skeptical, but nonetheless excited, about the new production starring two of Broadway's greatest talents, Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone. Harold Prince's original grand "Sweeney" couldn't be more different from John Doyle's new radically scaled-down version and yet, without in any way reducing my love for the first show, the new "Sweeney" is equally, if not more, emotionally effective. Reduced to 10 performers (from the original 30), playing their own instruments, with no orchestra or conductor, this production is more intimate and, consequently, more harrowing and visceral. The sparer orchestrations also provide the audience with more insight into the wonderful Sondheim compositions. The cast is remarkable, not only in their ability to wield their instruments with deft skill and excellent timing, but in their gifted acting and singing. A standout is the young Manoel Felciano as Toby. I look forward to seeing a great deal more of him in future shows. The cast and staging convey superbly the humor, beauty and horror of Sondheim's masterpiece. From it's first moment, the new "Sweeney Todd" is gripping and has the power to pin you to your seat and gut you like only the greatest theatre can do.


". . .under the bold direction and design of John Doyle, this minimalist re-imagining is almost unbearable exciting."
John Lahr, The New Yorker

"[Sweeney Todd] burrows into your thoughts with the poisoned seductiveness of a campfire storyteller who knows what really scares you."
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"If you can't recall the last time a live, writhing stage production gutted you stem to stern, attend the tale of Sweeney Todd."
Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Now Playing at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre
230 West 49th Street
(Between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
New York, NY

Tickets are available online at
or call
(212)239.6200 (NYC Metro Area)
(800)432.7250 (Outside NYC Metro Area)

Monday, March 06, 2006

78th Annual Academy Awards or I Love Jon Stewart Night

The highlights of the 2006 Oscars? The laughs!

"I have to say it is a little shocking to see all these big names here, these huge stars. The Oscars is really I guess the one night of the year when you can see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic Party. And it's exciting for the stars as well because it's the first time many of you have ever voted for a winner." — Oscar host Jon Stewart during the opening monologue.

"I do have some sad news to report. Bjork couldn't be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her." — Jon Stewart.

"It's a funny thing about winning an Academy Award. This will always be synonymous with your name from here on end. It will be, Oscar winner George Clooney, sexiest man alive 1997, 'Batman,' died today in a freak accident ..." — George Clooney after winning his first Oscar, for supporting actor in Syriana.

Best Dressed Women:

Jennifer Lopez

Reese Witherspoon

Uma Thurman

Salma Hayek

Jessica Alba

Best Dressed Man:

Jake Gyllenhaal - The honor could go to George Clooney, but then he would be on every list, and that would be boring.

Best Dressed Couple:

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith

Worst Dressed Women:

Charlize Theron - With a body like this, why would you want to wear this ghastly dress? I think she was trying for high fashion and sacrificed the need for a flattering dress. The gown is wearing her.

Naomi Watts - Umm . . . What attacked Naomi?

Sandra Bullock - The hair, the stunned expression, the poorly carried-out dress. Ugh!

Worst Dressed Man:

Jamie Foxx - I strongly dislike the shirt color with the suit. It clashes and though I love blue, this particular shade is too garish.

Worst Dressed Couple:

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter - Kind of a no-brainer.

Real Life Simpsons Intro

Natalie Portman SNL Rap