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It takes a brave visionary to make big things happen in big spaces. Bob O’Loughlin is doing just that with his renovation—or better yet, reinvention—of St. Louis Union Station.
If you need a break from your Oscar checklist, or simply prefer to watch some of the early contenders from the comfort of your couch, here are the latest releases on DVD (and most popular downloads). It’s a good week for action fans. For your convenience, I’ve divided them into two categories: Worth a Watch and Must Miss.
Story: Interspersing parables from the Gospel according to Matthew (along with a few from the Gospel according to Luke) with music inspired by Christian hymns, Godspell takes a look at the public life of Jesus Christ, from his baptism by his cousin and precursor, John the Baptist, to his crucifixion and death a few years later.
Story: The well-to-do Duncans of Main Line, Philadelphia seem to live in a TV sitcom from the ‘50s. Arthur is a bank president, his wife Grace spends her days dressed in heels and jewelry on shopping sprees and daughter Emma is a bundle of frazzled nerves from her wide eyes down to her bobby socks. She desperately longs for boyfriend Tommy to pop the question so they can get married and she can start her own idyllic family. Instead, Grace orders Tommy to put on a maid’s uniform and get busy with his new chores, since she’s unimpressed that he’s a waiter.
Here, we have the golden years’ version of The Hangover: Four friends head to Vegas for a bachelor party; this time, the groom is 70. So far, so good. No doubt four lifelong buddies heading out to Sin City would provide a seamless vein of comedy to mine, one would think.
Story: Mr. Roote is in a muddled condition as he sits in his office on Christmas Day. He is the administrator at a government-run institution that is referred to alternately as a rest home or a sanitarium, although it definitely seems to be more the latter.
OK. So it’s no secret that Hollywood is a shining example of environmentalism. I mean, when it comes to reuse and recycle, the film industry is unrivaled. If a movie’s a hit, they make it another hit and then another. Let’s see if we can hit a 10-figure, worldwide box-office gross without burning a single creative calorie. The film industry will squeeze every dollar out of a good movie down to the last action figure. It’s the soul-less version of using all the parts of the buffalo.
Story: Times are tough for the St. Francis Parish. Ironically, an ‘act of God’ has put the church in the Catholic archdiocese in dire financial straits. So, the ladies of the St. Francis Knitting Ministry decide that the best way to raise funds is to hold a trivia night while they rob a local credit union.
It seems Oscar is taking a nap this week, so it might be a good time to hit the couch with a good download. Here are the new releases and top rentals:
Story: Identical twin sons are born to a merchant of Syracuse on the same day that identical twin sons are born to a poor woman in the same city. The merchant then purchases the woman’s children as slaves for his sons. On a voyage shortly thereafter, the merchant and one of his sons and one of the slaves are separated from the merchant’s family, whom they do not see again.
Starring up-and-coming Canadian triple-threat Jake Stern, Godspell is coming soon to the Peabody Opera House.LN recently spoke with director David Hogan about the new spin on this classic musical.
Story: It’s springtime, and S Mart employee Ash has the perfect place selected for some off-campus hijinks. It’s a desolate cabin in the woods, hard to access and far removed from any bothersome neighbors. So, what could go wrong, right? He rounds up his girlfriend and S Mart colleague Linda, lovelorn sister Cheryl, wise-cracking best friend Scott and Scott’s new-found, trampy squeeze Shelly for a raucous romp in the hinterlands.
Story: Set in Russia at the end of the 19th century, The Good Doctor consists of eight comic vignettes, four in each act, that present snapshots of life, mostly in Moscow, among people at all levels of society.
I think at one time or another, everyone has thought about writing a movie about a quirky career or hobby. Best in Show and Little Miss Sunshine are stellar examples of how delightful a slice-of-life film can be. However, this comedy about the strange world of voice-over acting is an example of an idea that should have stayed at the dinner table.
With the early horses out of the gate and a smattering of expected disappointments out of the way, it’s time to get serious--awards-show serious. Here’s what to look forward to in October.
This may not be the best weekend to venture to the cinema, but if you feel compelled, here’s what’s out there.
Chicago will bring ‘all that jazz’ to the Fox Theatre Sept. 20 to 22. And with it comes John O’Hurley, of Seinfeld fame, starring as Billy Flynn; and Paige Davis, best-known for her hosting prowess on Trading Spaces and Home Made Simple, playing Roxie Hart. The Fox’s Broadway season also boasts even more Tony Award-winning dramas, comedies and adventures: Evita, Oct. 8-20; Sister Act, Nov. 19-Dec. 1; Beauty and the Beast, Nov. 1-3; RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, Nov. 15-16; A Christmas Carol, Dec. 5-8; Elf, Dec. 17-29; West Side Story, Jan. 3-5; Mamma Mia!, Feb. 7-9; Jersey Boys, Feb. 19-March 2; We Will Rock You, March 18-30; Once, April 8-20; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, April 29-May 11; and The Wizard of Oz, May 13-18. LN recently caught up with Chicago choreographer David Bushman to hear more about the much-anticipated showstopper.
Story: Kath is smitten with her prospective new tenant, Mr. Sloane. He’s tall, dark and handsome, just the type of lad that middle-aged Kath says she could ‘mother.’ He reminds her of what her own son might be like had she known him. Her son was born out of wedlock, though, and Kath’s brother Ed sent him off to an adoption agency many years ago.
Way back in the days when I was a lad, Labor Day marked the beginning of the school year. Now, of course, school districts and universities get their fall semesters underway a couple of weeks earlier.
Good news: The kids are in bed at a decent hour. Bad news: It’s getting darker earlier. Good news: There’s a refreshing crispness in the air. Bad news: The rainy chill of autumn has arrived. Good news: Vin Diesel and Channing Tatum have been locked up until next summer. Bad news: George Clooney and Michael Fassbender haven’t been let out yet. Good news: There are some outstanding films to watch at home. Bad news: There are some that are so appalling, you will wonder why no one warned you. Well, consider yourself warned...
Play: The Lyons
I was spoiled as an angst-ridden teen. I had John Hughes and John Cusack, Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have those movies, until they were gone… Fear of comparison sent filmmakers running from the teen dramedy, venturing into the genre only to explore sex romps or insanely wild parties. Well, here, we have a film that dares to plumb the dark depths, and while it may not stand up to the legendary status of the great movies about the high school experience, it is a touching, troubling and charming film.
September is finally here. Finally. We can stop paying $14 to watch good actors sell themselves out and million-dollar budgets spin down the drain. What’s more, if the early offerings from Lee Daniels and Woody Allen are any indication, the fall should be brimming with Oscar-worthy films. The releases for September beg to differ. It’s not that there’s nothing worth seeing, it’s just that there’s nothing worth nominating--well, almost nothing. Here’s what’s coming in September:
From Tony Award-winning musicals and Grammy Award-winning performers to classic and contemporary art, take a first glimpse into St. Louis’ fall entertainment season.
Story: Complicated Lives is comprised of four short, one-act plays by local playwright and actor Stephen Peirick.