Connect with us

Entertainment

Rappers are blowing up Twitter with praise for Jay Z and ‘4:44’

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam.

Published

on

Photo: Shutterstock

Nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo.

Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur.

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga.

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur.

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

“Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat”

Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt.

Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Events

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Ashley Griffin and Danny Gardner

Published

on

We are so pleased to announce our guests this week are Director/ performer Ashley Griffin and Broadway’s Danny Gardner Join us Wednesday May 22nd at 5pm.

Ashley Griffin

Ashley Griffin is a Broadway writer/performer most well known as the first person in history to be nominated for a major award (New York Innovative Theater Award) for both playing and directing Hamlet (for a theatrical production.) As a writer Ashley’s work has been produced/developed at New World Stages, Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights Horizons and more. Ashley received the WellLife Network Award and a county commendation for her Off-Broadway play Trial (directed by Lori Petty and heralded as “If this show were on Broadway it would win the Pulitzer” – Stagescore) which is currently in talks for a transfer. She has written extensively for film and T.V. and is the author of two bestselling novels, Blank Paige and The Spindle. As a performer, Ashley has appeared extensively on and Off-Broadway as well as in T.V. and film. Highlights include work at The Gershwin Theater, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, MTC and The Public Theater, as well as on The Greatest Showman and “Homeland.” She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has trained at RADA, the National Theater and the Boston Conservatory. www.ashleygriffinofficial.com

Danny Gardner

Danny Gardner starred io Broadway Flying Over Sunset, A Christmas Carol and Dames At Sea. City Center Encores!: Dick Trevor in Lady, Be Good! (Subsequent Album). Radio City Music Hall: Dad / George M. Cohan in The NY Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes. His national tours include Here to Stay – The Gershwin Experience!, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and 42nd Street. Off-Broadway: Cheek To Cheek (The York Theater), Time Step (New Victory Theater), Room 17B and Everybody Gets Cake(59E59th Street Theaters). His regional theatre experience includes; Dial M For Murder (Geva Theater Center & Dallas Theatre Center), Bach At Leipzig (People’s Light and Theatre Company), Crazy For You (Signature Theatre), Singin’ in the Rain (Chicago’s Marriott Lincolnshire), Mary Poppins (Houston’s Theatre Under The Stars), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (John W. Engeman Theater). @dannyjgnyc, www.danny-gardner.com

These two are staring in a limited three-week engagement of The Opposite of Love presented by NewYorkRep May 28 through June 15 at Royal Family Performing Arts Space (145 W. 46th Street, NYC). The Opposite of Love is an intimate story about a down on his luck hustler and a trust fund baby who form an unlikely bond when she hires him to help overcome her sexual trauma. Can this unexpected connection transcend their darker inclinations in a world where love is a commodity? Directed by Rachel Klein (The Gospel According to Heather). Opening night is Thursday May 30 at 7PM. Tickets are now on sale at EventBrite.com.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed at the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here, thirteenth episode here, fourteenth here and fifteenth here.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Pros and cons of sweepstakes vs real money casinos

Published

on

By

Sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos may look similar on the surface, but there is a variety of differences between the two. This is so much the case that the entire casino experience can be drastically different when comparing one to the other, making choosing the right format for you incredibly important. But how exactly do sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos differ, and what are their pros and cons?

These are great questions, both of which we are going to explore in this article. Today, we will be diving into the pros and cons of sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos as well as going over how to choose the right format for you. Let’s get right into it.

What are sweepstakes and real money casinos?

Let’s delve into the distinctions between sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos. Firstly, real money casinos, the classic gambling hubs we’re familiar with, operate on the premise of wagering actual money for the chance to win big rewards. Their enduring popularity attests to the thrill of this dynamic.

The allure of real money casinos lies not only in the sheer enjoyment of their games but also in the adrenaline rush that comes from having a genuine investment in each play. Moreover, the absence of constraints allows players unrestricted freedom to gamble as they please.

However, the downside to real money casinos becomes apparent when responsible gambling measures are lacking. The high stakes inherent in these venues can lead to problem gambling

and emotional repercussions, a topic we’ll explore more thoroughly later on.

Now, let’s turn our attention to sweepstakes casinos. In stark contrast to their real money counterparts, sweepstakes casinos operate without players having to invest their own money. Instead, the casinos provide tokens periodically, allowing players to engage in gaming purely for amusement.

While players may acquire tokens through various channels such as bonuses or even purchases (though with little incentive due to the absence of real money winnings), the primary method is waiting for the next token distribution cycle.

This innovative approach of sweepstakes casinos mitigates many of the pitfalls associated with traditional casinos while still affording players the opportunity to participate in gambling activities to some extent. Thus, they cater to a distinct segment of players seeking a different gaming experience.

The main pros of cons of each

Now that we’ve got a handle on what sweepstakes and real money casinos are, let’s dive into their pros and cons. The debate between sweepstakes vs real money casinos can get pretty heated, and it’s no wonder why. Each type has its own perks, but let’s strip away the bias and take a straight-up look at both.

No doubt about it, real money casinos are usually more of a rush than their sweepstakes counterparts. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that playing with your own cash adds an extra level of excitement – you’ve got skin in the game, after all.

And let’s not forget the freedom real money casinos offer. You’re not stuck waiting around if you run out of funds, like you might be at a sweepstakes joint. You can keep on playing as long as you’ve got the dough.

That’s where sweepstakes casinos come in. You don’t have to cough up any cash to play, so there’s no risk of blowing your savings. Plus, they usually put soft limits on how much you can play with the tokens they give you, which can help keep things in check.

However, there’s a catch. Without the thrill of real money on the line, some people might not get the same buzz. And if sweepstakes places let you straight-up buy tokens, well, that kind of defeats the purpose. They could lure in problem gamblers, just like real casinos do.

How to choose the right casino for you

Figuring out which casino is the best fit for you isn’t just about the facts; it’s about your personal circumstances. If you’ve struggled with gambling issues in the past, or if addiction is a concern, sweepstakes casinos could be the safer bet for you – just make sure you pick one that doesn’t let you buy tokens with real cash.

On the flip side, if you’ve dabbled in gambling before and you’re confident in your ability to keep it in check or have plenty of cash to spare, real money casinos might be right up your alley. Just be real with yourself about where you stand financially and make your call from there.

You wouldn’t watch a Toby Keith interview if you didn’t want anything to do with him – so why would you play at a real money casino if you know you can’t handle your finances? Honesty is key here. Even if you’re not thrilled with your options, facing the reality of your situation is crucial for making the right choice.

It can be difficult if you come to the realization that you should probably play at sweepstakes casinos. You may even think you’ll be fine and just head straight to real money casinos. In the end, it’s your choice. But you’d be doing yourself a huge favor by being honest with yourself and doing the right thing.

We hope we have been able to give you a better insight into the pros and cons of both sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos. Both have their merits, and depending on your circumstances, either one could be better for you. Regardless of which you choose to go with, make sure to practice responsible gambling.

Even in sweepstakes casinos, responsible gambling is incredibly important for building good habits and maintaining a healthy relationship with casinos. And that goes without mentioning the fact that many sweepstakes casinos do allow players to spend real money. Either way, pick what works for you, have fun – and above all, stay safe. See you next time!

Continue Reading

Out of Town

The Wrong Bashir Fits Right at Crow’s Theatre Toronto

Published

on

By

All this play needs is a few doors to go in and out of, or slam, for The Wrong Bashir, the new play at the Crow’s Theatre, to become a full-fledged farce. It’s hilariously and wickedly fast-paced and original, flying forth on speedy laugh-out-loud wings, and as directed by Paolo Santalucia (Soulpepper’s The Seagull) and written with wit and intelligence by Zahida Rahemtulla (The Frontliners), The Wrong Bashir gets it perfectly and lovingly right.

Sugith Varughese, Nimet Kanji, and Sharjil Rasool in Crow’s The Wrong Bashir. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

With a cast of sure-footed professionals leading the charge, The Wrong Bashir whips its way through a farcical family drama of high comedic proportions that quickly starts rolling forward in urgency when Bashir Ladha, the wildly unfocused son played well and true by Sharjil Rasool (FX’s” What We Do in the Shadows“), is chosen by their immigrant community to a distinguished religious position that does not fit him like a glove. That is clear. His parents; Sultan Ladha and Najma Ladha, deliciously played in all the right tones by Sugith Varughese (Soulpepper’s Animal Farm) and Nimet Kanji (Northern Light’s Contractions), are completely over the moon in excitement, early accepting the role before they even inform their wandering bohemian Bashir. Bashir’s sister, Nafisa, played wonderfully by the engaging Bren Eastcott (Tarragon’s Orestes) is privy to the celebratory news, knowing both that this is of the greatest importance to her parents and (soon-to-be informed) extended family, and also a role so unimportant and ill-fitting to her lost philosophizing brother. It is etched within her role that we can see and understand all sides to this wrong choice, and she becomes the simple subtle connective tissue that holds the framework together, all the while sitting on the sidelines helping out on both sides of the aisle.

Sugith Varughese, Nimet Kanji, Sharjil Rasool, Zaittun Esmail, Bren Eastcott, Vijay Mehta, and Parm Soor in Crow’s The Wrong Bashir. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Selected by a pair of pseudo-elders; Al-Nashir Manji, portrayed solidly by Vijay Mehta (Repercussion’s Macbeth), and Mansour, hilariously over-played by Parm Soor (Walt Disney’s “Prom Pact“), the two mosque committee members quickly arrive at the door to share the news, followed soon after by the sari-wearing grandmother and cognitively-challenged grandfather; played by Zaittun Esmail and Salim Rahemtulla (Western Gold’s 90 Days); and their meddling sly family friend, Gulzar, ingeniously portrayed by Pamela Sinha (Soulpepper’s Happy Place). It’s a madcap recipe for family tension and complications as it becomes increasingly obvious that there has been a mistake. But the jubilant energy in the main room is something that the two mosque committee members, bumbling and ridiculously loveable, can’t bring themselves to destroy.

Running interference between generations and ideals, the play manically runs full speed ahead, almost getting away from us before a few surprising twists pull us back into the spotlight of what is actually important. The ultra-realistic set, beautifully created by set and lighting designer Ken Mackenzie (Shaw’s Sherlock Holmes…), with strong costuming by Ming Wong (Soulpepper’s The Guide to Being Fabulous) and a clear sound design by Jacob Lin 林鴻恩 (Tarragon’s Withrow Park), lends itself well to the manic energy being thrown out into the audience bringing full-on laughs with increasing regularity, even though a few more walls and doors could have been utilized to really give the idea of farcical conversations happening out of earshot to the others. But this is a small slight situation in a play that gets it over the top right. Rahemtulla’s writing gives you family, compassion, love, and so many laughs that you’ll walk out smiling at the insanity of it all, while also feeling the love that family brings to one another. Even when pushed too hard one way or another.

Salim Rahemtulla and Sharjil Rasool in Crow’s The Wrong Bashir. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

There’s cleverness in the care that lives in this community, with family values and ties to one another floating down the stream from generation to generation, and even when rocks get in the way of this flow, the love and honor bubble in and around. There is so many moments of people running about, escaping to the kitchen, over-spiced, smoky beverages served, side glances, eye-rolling, and faulty attempts to leave, that we struggle to stay up, yet the play never boils over into complete, disrupted, disconnecting chaos. It is clear early on that Bashir is not their man; to us, to them, and to himself, but there is another level of immigrant understanding, particularly between father and son, that also floats lovingly through the piece. It prompts questions around purpose and personal dreams, fulfilled or not, and in those more humane moments, we can only see what is most right about The Wrong Bashir, and more importantly, whether Bashir may fit the role better than even he can imagine.

Sharjil Rasool and Bren Eastcott in Crow’s The Wrong Bashir. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

For more information and tickets, click here.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Continue Reading

Celebrity

In “Back to Black,” Star Marisa Abela Turns in An Uncanny Performance as Amy Winehouse in The Sam Taylor-Johnson Biopic

Published

on

Evoking classic R&B, the late Amy Winehouse emerged as a celebrated new stars by making old music sound fresh. She possessed a deeply soulful voice which she used to sing songs of love, heartbreak, and struggles with substance abuse, as in her Top-10 hit “Rehab.” Winehouse sold 16 million copies of the LP Back to Black” and won big at the 2008 Grammy Awards, taking home Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. All that success was overshadowed by the Brit’s personal troubles, which, according to MTV News, included an arrest for drug possession — there was a viral video of the singer smoking what was reportedly crack cocaine — and an emphysema diagnosis.

Winehouse’s demons tragically got the best of her. According to The Guardian, authorities were summoned to the singer’s north London home in July 2011, where they found her dead at the scene. Winehouse was reportedly a heroin user, but a post mortem inquest pinpointed a different cause of death. According to “The Independent”, a London coroner found no drugs in her system, ruling that the singer died of alcohol poisoning following a period of three weeks of sobriety. Winehouse is believed to have consumed 416 milligrams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, well over a fatal level of 350 milligrams. She was 27 years old.

This complicated history has been fodder for articles, books, a notable documentary and now a feature film, “Back to Black”. The movie’s title is taken from the hot album of the same name. Directed by 57-year-old Sam Taylor-Johnson, her feature film debut was 2009’s “Nowhere Boy,” based on the Beatles’ singer/songwriter John Lennon’s childhood experiences.

Taylor-Johnson’s star for “Back to Black,” Marisa Abela, made her TV debut in 2020 with leads in the Sky One political thriller, “COBRA” and the BBC Two/ HBO office drama, “Industry.”  Abela appeared in the 2022 films, “She Is Love” and “Rogue Agent.” In July 2022, she joined the cast of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” (2023). Then the actress starred as Winehouse in this biopic.

This Q&A comes from an appearance made by the duo at the Museum of The Moving Image shortly before the film’s May 17th release.

T2C: This is a remarkable story and one that, in some ways, is privy to when she was alive. For each of you, what moved the dial from this is a remarkable story to this is a remarkable story that I need to tell?

Sam Taylor-Johnson:

Sam Taylor-Johnson: When Alison Owen, our producer, called me and said, “I’m looking to make the story of Amy Winehouse, which would be interesting,” I felt like I couldn’t say “Yes” quick enough. After I said so, I suddenly processed the enormity of what I was taking on. It felt like it had to be made from [Amy’s] perspective because, by living in London around the time when she was alive, I watched how her life was dissected and pulled apart in the tabloids and similarly post-death. I felt like going directly into her perspective. It was almost like allowing her to tell her own story through her words and her lyrics. It felt like a timely thing to do.

Marisa Abela

Marisa Abela: Basically, I got a call from my agent who said they’re doing it. I was about 13 when “Back to Black” came out, so I was aware of her music. I was singing the songs, but when you’re singing “Love Is A Losing Game” and you’re 13 years old, it doesn’t mean that you really understood it fully. That was my understanding of Amy [at the time]. Then, because of all of the tabloids and the images and stuff, I knew of her in that way. So, I said, “Let me think about it.” I was then in front of Sam Taylor-Johnson and Nina Gold, an amazing casting director in London. I knew they were being quite specific about who they were seeing, so I just didn’t want to make a fool of myself, essentially.

Then I started watching footage, the documentary, interviews about her life – things that really were quite telling [about] who she was as a person. There was just this thing about her and that carried me through the entire process I was watching. And there was this magnetism, this intensity, this deep well of feeling, emotions and intensity, that I was so drawn to. I felt that we’d drawn from Amy, herself. It was all there in her music. And for the people who still listened to her music often, this is for them. In the narrative around her life and death, I felt that what we’d lost really came through, but it seems like there’s a double-edged sword here.

T2C: There’s so much media and coverage, so many perspectives to sort through. Talk a bit more about your process and how you blocked out the noise and chose to privilege us with her perspective with what was there?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: It was important from the beginning to just block out the noise. There was a lot, especially when we were filming, and it became louder and louder. The louder it became, the more determined I was to just keep driving forward with it through her eyes and to uphold her. Our press are quite famous for pulling down anything that might seem to be successful in any way. It felt like those voices saying we need to protect her legacy were also the ones who pulled her apart during her lifetime. That emboldened me in a way to shut those voices out. The decision around how and what sort of film was going to be quite quickly came into place.

When I sat down with Matt Greenhalgh, who wrote the movie, I said, “If we are going through her workstyle perspective, with “Frank” and then “Back to Black,” obviously those are the keys to this film. “Back to Black” really is a love story and tells us everything within it. It became our framework. I knew that that was difficult for a lot of people who had a lot of opinions and judgments. I felt like her declaration of love and the power of that love was important to uphold in order to understand the creative journey of “Back to Black. In a way, we went into her perspective saying, she loved her father and she loved Blake: therefore, that’s our view. We still see some of the things that are highlighted in the documentary that people feel strongly about. They’re still part of our film, but they’re not seen through the lens of judgment. It was quite freeing to stay in her shoes on that journey.

T2C: This being a love story, you think immediately of romantic love. But the relationships that I was most struck by were those she had with her family. Talk a bit about choosing actors and having them light up those roles?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: With her Jewish grandmother, it was clear — during the research and hearing the stories from the family and others — that she was so much a part of the fabric of who Amy was, through Grandma Cynthia’s style and love of jazz and music. So it felt like, “Okay, this is worth going further into and strengthening that relationship.”  But when I went to Lesley [Manville] initially, she said, “Oh, I don’t know if there’s enough on the page for me.” I said, “Look at it like this is the fabric of Amy.” Once Lesley came on board, we then wrote more scenes because she was just so exceptional. We just honed in on those relationships that we felt were really important to the narrative of this story. Obviously, within — I don’t know how many minutes it was, I’ve forgotten — so much had to be dropped by the wayside. For me, as a storyteller, I have to just find my path. The Winehouses — Cynthia, Mitch, and Janis — plus husband Blake were on a path.

T2C: Talk a bit more about the music. Obviously there’s a great blueprint here. Did you have to make difficult decisions about what songs were included?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: I’ll start, but I want Marisa to take over on this because I’m talking too much. What I had quite early on was one of her playlists. On that playlist were The Specials and Minnie Riperton. It was quite a gift to have that. Amazingly, of all the things that were written that weren’t Amy’s music, we managed to have access to it. But when I started the movie, I had all the music rights from Sony and Universal. I didn’t have to have approval for anybody. I could just make the movie I wanted to make. Matt wrote very specifically for the songs, almost like it’s a musical in the sense that it belonged to the narrative structure. You couldn’t choose “Love Is a Losing Game” and switch it with “Stronger Than Me.” It really was laid out that way.

I’ll let Marisa come into this because I just want to say, when I met Marisa for the audition, she said, I remember, “What about singing? I’m not a singer.” But Marisa sang that entire movie. Every song you hear. So from the position of declaring she couldn’t sing, what you saw is very contrary to that. Okay, you can talk about that…

Marisa Abela: I think what became clear was, as I was reading the script more and more, and watching more and more footage of Amy, was that these albums are so iconic and incredible from a songwriting perspective as well as a musical one. But what was so incredible about the performances I was watching was that they were completely different every single time. If she was in a bad mood – and she was often in a really, really bad mood – you wouldn’t get half the song from her. If she was in a great mood, she was singing all over the place, amazing riffs. To certain members of the audience, this is the thing that made Amy a live performer.

What weirdly felt like the most authentic choice was to be able to use my own voice to make whatever choice came to me in the moment from a purely impulse perspective as an actor. What was inspiring me at this moment? Is it that I’m looking at Blake during “There Is No Greater Love” and I’m so overwhelmed with feeling and emotion that I want to hold on to a specific sound for longer so that he can hear me through all of those decisions? In the same way, the first time you hear her write one of her own songs with “What Is It About Men,” I wanted to be able to think about each line. How am I formulating this moment? you get to see the behind-the-scenes of the creation of a song. That’s a really beautiful thing. If we were cutting to the studio recording of “What Is It About Men,” for example, you couldn’t have that scene of Amy sitting on the bed writing it for the first time, getting mixed up with certain words.

I basically felt I needed to get as close as possible to something that sounded as recognizable as possible to one of the most recognizable voices that you would believe in. The truth is, if you listen to them side by side, I’m sure there are huge differences. But it doesn’t matter as long as you believe what she’s saying and as long as you believe what she’s feeling. That, to me, was always the most important thing as an actor, obviously. It’s the intention that matters. Process-wise, I trained very hard and also learned to play the guitar. I listened to all the people that I think she would have grown up listening to. As Sam said, we had lots of playlists of hers.

I was aware that she grew up listening to Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, Ray Charles. I just surrounded myself with that music and was singing along to it all the time. Then I was using the techniques I was learning with my singing teacher that were Amy’s tecjmoqies. We have a different face. She has a bigger jaw than me. She had a different nose to me. We use different resonances. So, it’s different. But the intention is the most important thing. I was training for two hours a day, every day, over the four months with my singing teacher.

T2C: There’s so much to dive into with its emotionality, but you touched upon something that I wanted me to talk to you about – creating these scenes like Glastonbury, the Grammys and things that we have enormous touchstones for beyond Amy’s experiences. These are media events that happen all the time. So practically recreating these scenes, which you do so successfully, can you talk more about them?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Oh, I’d love to because I’m so proud of Glastonbury. When you see that big open-air festival, we shot it in a room not much bigger than this theater. We just had brilliantly creative teams working on this. Glastonbury for the rest of the year is just a field. So all of those stages and everything, we had to recreate and film it. I had an incredible sound crew. What we created, it took months to get that sound exactly right. Then the Ronnie Scott scene early on. That was the only time I ever saw Amy play, in a young, up-and-coming Voices of Jazz. How old was she? Probably 19 or 20. It was at Ronnie Scott’s. I used my memory of what it felt like being in the room with her to recreate how that would have felt. But yes, a lot of it, like the Grammys, we had YouTube running alongside what we were filming to try and emulate it as much as possible – like the same camera angles. Marisa’s performance, as you can see, was absolutely spot-on. Every finger movement was incredible. So it was fun. It was so fun to recreate this. And, it’s fun to watch it.

Film: Back to Black

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Cast: Marisa Abela, Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan, Juliet Cowan, Lesley Manville, Sam Buchanan, Pete Lee-Wilson, Thelma Ruby, Renee Matilda Thorpe, Ryan O’Doherty

Continue Reading

Out of Town

Comedy On in Noises Off

Published

on

Opening their 2024 Season at the Bucks County Playhouse is Noises Off, a farce by the English playwright, Michael Frayn. Definition of “farce” – a comedic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including ludicrously improbable situations. Yes, yes and yes. Synonym: slapstick comedy.
To be in this production, directed by Hunter Foster, you must either be an olympic gymnast or have the stamina of a race horse for there is much hopping up and down stairs, pratfalling, back flipping, slow splits and general rolling about.

Ah, but I digress. Let us get to the plot. The what? Well, actually there really isn’t much of a plot. You see, the play is a play within a play. It is a troupe of second rate actors in a second rate tour of a second rate play, a sex farce entitled, “Nothing On”. It begins at midnight the night before the cast’s first performance and they are ill prepared. Many things go awry. Missing props, missing cues, missing lines, etc. etc. etc. And to top it all off, there are relationship problems amidst the members which become exacerbated as the tour progresses. Act One is the rehearsal. Act Two is a performance viewed from behind the scenes and Act Three is the disastrous results at the end of the tour.

The play premiered in London in 1982 directed by Michael Blakemore. The 1983 Broadway production again directed by Blakemore earned four Tony nominations and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play and Outstanding Ensemble. Since then it has had seven revivals between Broadway and the West End and has become a staple of both professional and community theaters alike. Standout performances are in order for the entire ensemble.

Amanda Kristin Nichols

Amanda Kristin Nichols (as Brooke Ashton) is hysterical in her skimpy underwear preening and posing in the most ridiculous positions, thinking she’s looking sexy.

Jen Cody

Jen Cody is appropriately dotty as the sympathetic Dotty Otley, whether she’s doing a split or hanging upside down.

John Bolton

John Bolton is simply super as Frederick Fellowes, the sensitive actor who always needs to know “why” he must complete an action on stage no matter how nonsensical it is.

John Patrick Hayden

John Patrick Hayden is marvelous as the director we sympathize with for having to deal with these screwball actors even though he turns out to be a cad. Though Roe Hartrampf is hard pressed to express himself with words as Garry Lejeune, he goes ballistic when he mistakenly thinks that Dotty is seeing Frederick.

Marilu Henner

Marilu Henner is the proverbial peacemaker always trying to smooth things over even when they are inextricably fouled up. Barrett Riggins as Tim Allgood, the Assistant Stage Manager, has greatness thrust upon him through no fault of his own.

Folami Williams

Folami Williams as Poppy Norton-Taylor, the Stage Manager is adorable as she reveals her secret at the end of the play.

Richard Kline

And Richard Kline as Selsdon Mowbray, the man with a drinking habit is quite lovable. They say the director’s hand should be invisible in a play, but I’m afraid that Mr. Hunter’s hands are all over this one for this production is choreographed to a “T”. Credit must be given to this director because usually there aren’t many laughs in Act One as it’s all just a set up for Act Two and Three. However, there are a lot of laughs in the first act. And needless to say, it’s a non-stop laugh fest for the next two acts. So if you need a good laugh – and who doesn’t with fire, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes all around us – this show is a very good panacea.

For tickets visit buckscountyplayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.

Noises Off by Michael Frayn Directed by Hunter Foster
Running now through June 10, 2024 70 South Main Street

New Hope, PA 18938

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles