Story: Brother Jeroboam, like many preachers near Lagos, Nigeria, prefers to minister to his faithful in a local fishing village down at the beach. In reality a con artist, he has a makeshift ministry there, where ostensibly he lives outdoors. Actually, he sleeps nightly in a nearby shack, trying mightily to ward off his major temptation, attractive women.
Story: Meena is feeling unfulfilled in her job as managing editor for piggeries at American Cattle & Swine magazine, oddly enough. After all, she once wrote a book of “prose poetry” that was even published and reviewed. The lone critique was unflattering, and the book didn’t sell many copies, but still she did it.
I think it’s fair to say that Jason Bateman is one of the most likable actors working today. In movies like The Change-Up and Horrible Bosses, he puts an edge to the classic straight-man role. On top of that, he seems like a smart guy, which is why I was eager to see his directorial debut, this black comedy. I have no doubt Bateman himself would like the film referred to as a 'twisted' black comedy, sadly there is no plot to twist.
Let’s face it: Tragic career spirals are as common in Hollywood as Botox and traffic jams. Nobody seriously asks the question, Whatever happened to (fill in the blank)? because the answer is obvious and unsurprising: He chose a couple of bad projects (Zac Efron); his ego got the better of him (Vin Diesel); drugs (Lindsay Lohan); bad reviews (Ryan Reynolds); people forgot about him (whatshisname). It’s the nature of the business. Did you know, for example, that the actor who portrayed the magnetic bad boy Kelly Leak form the original Bad News Bears movie, Jackie Earle Haley, is a renowned and busy character actor these days; or that Karate Kid nemesis William Zabka has been popping up in television shows of late?
For the first time ever, the intimate story of a struggling street musician and the woman who gave him new hope will take centerstage at the Fox Theatre with the original Broadway show, Once. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Once is a unique theatrical experience featuring live onstage musicians playing what becomes the soundtrack to the characters’ romance and dreams. LN spoke with British lead actor and musician Stuart Ward about the musical, performing it live, as well as the power music has to captivate us all.
Story: The Prince of Verona has had it up to here with the long-standing feud between the Capulets and Montagues, two distinguished local families. He demands a cessation of the hatred under penalty of death. Emotions still hold sway, though, and when young Romeo Montague falls in love with the young teen Juliet Capulet at a masked ball, her kinsman Tybalt is enraged and vows to seek revenge.
Another stellar lineup is in store for the 2014-2015 season of the St. Louis Speakers Series presented by Maryville University. The season begins Oct. 7 with award-winning actor/social activist Martin Sheen.
Description: If two recent performances by Ken Page and Tim Schall serve as appropriate litmus tests, it would seem that Jim Dolan’s Gaslight Cabaret Festival is a big hit with local audiences.
Story: Director Lloyd Dallas is frantically putting his ensemble of six performers through their much-needed dress rehearsal for the Otstar Productions Ltd. presentation of Nothing On, a comedy by noted playwright Robin Housemonger. “Doors and sardines,” Dallas advises his troupe. “It’s all about doors and sardines.”
Not too long ago, we all can remember ourselves groaning, Darn it! I have to miss (fill in the blank here), I have plans tonight. Well, unless you’re subletting the Unibomber’s cabin, those days are long gone—but our protestations weren’t. Soon, the viewer war cry was, Dammit, (fill in the blank here) didn’t record! Now, with the rise of Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Amazon and countless other streaming sites, television suddenly is without schedule.
Play: Shirley Valentine
The weather may be warming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything in theaters worth seeing. If you remain firmly planted to your couch, rightfully suspicious of the thaw, you have options. Here’s what’s new on DVD:
Recognition of stellar productions by nearly two dozen local theater companies will take center stage when the St. Louis Theater Circle presents its second annual awards ceremony honoring the best in local professional theater, on stage and behind the scenes, on Monday, March 17, 2014 at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), 524 Trinity Avenue in University City.
Story: Most days, Shirley Bradshaw puts on a face that she keeps in a jar by the door. She’s only 42 years old, but she feels more like 142. It’s the mid-1980s, and Shirley lives a humdrum existence in a working-class neighborhood in Liverpool, England, where John, Paul, George and Ringo got their start.
To get you in the mood for this Sunday's 86th Annual Academy Awards, we have LN's longtime movie critic, Debbie Baldwin, comparing notes with Brandon LaMew, who's been ranked No. 15 among Netflix's top film reviewers worldwide.
Considering the options at the megaplex, it may be wise to stay in this weekend and rent a movie. Here's a list of what's out:
Story: The Wyeths share their surname with a family of famous artists who counted celebrities among their friends and admirers. So it is with Lyman Wyeth, a retired actor who gave up success on the silver screen for patronage roles with the Grand Old Party, which was led by his friend and fellow former actor Ronald Reagan. Lyman was good as a leading man in the pictures and just as polished as a genial Republican ambassador.
Story: What does a talent agent do when her prime client, a suave and popular leading man, has a “recurring case of homosexuality”? Well, if the agent is Diane and the matinee idol is Mitchell, she does her mighty best to submerge his true identity. In fact, lesbian Diane even poses as Mitchell’s ‘beard’ to allay any fears or concerns by the general public about his manliness.
To be perfectly honest, I’m a fan of young romance: I’m a fan of romantic comedies, I’m a fan of straight-up comedies, and I’m even a fan of Neanderthal male-bonding buddy movies. This is none of those.
Story: Seven women, identified only by the singular color of their clothing, appear on stage in a ‘choreopoem’ that combines dance with poetry in 20 vignettes describing various experiences of African-American women.
Well, we are mid-awards season—an underwhelming awards season at that—and we’re finally through January, notoriously the worst month of the year for movies. It’s gray outside and grim in the cineplex. Nevertheless, refusing to give up on a Hollywood that seems to have done nothing but disappoint over the past year, we look to the future. We cling to the hope that when the new buds appear, so will a new crop of movies--a bountiful harvest of action, comedy, drama and suspense. So, renew your Netflix account and Hulu Plus for the next couple of weeks, and then get excited to go to the movies.
Story: Constance Ledbelly is a quiet, unobtrusive assistant English professor at a Canadian university. She spends her time making Claude Night, a full-fledged professor at the school and the object of her unrequited love, look good by doing much of his work for him, while she toils in obscurity.
Story: Lyman Felt is recovering in the hospital after being involved in a serious car accident, careening down a mountain road in wintry conditions in upstate New York. In and out of delirium, he imagines that his wife Theo and grown daughter Bessie have arrived from New York City to visit him. He also hallucinates that Leah, his other wife, has come to the hospital to see him, too.
Well, the weather outside may still be frightful, so this weekend may be perfect for popping some popcorn and settling in with a good film. The list of recommendations is short, but there’s something for everyone. I’m skipping what’s popular and just going with what’s good.