wed 26/04/2017

New York

Ma, New York Philharmonic, Gilbert, Barbican

John Adams, greatest communicator among living front-rank composers, zoomed into the follow-spot for the second and third concerts of the New York Philharmonic's Barbican mini-residency. Harmonielehre, his first epic symphony in all but name, and...

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I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Finborough Theatre

In I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Halley Feiffer has written a right curmudgeon of a central role. David is a successful playwright, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who has no difficulty slotting himself directly into the great American drama tradition. He...

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CD: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Tourist

There was a time, a decade or so ago, when US indie bands would adopt such idiosyncratic names it almost felt like a ploy to stop them selling out. No band epitomised this trend more than Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. But...

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Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle’s Manhattan is long gone, and except for those nostalgic for its grindhouses and their exploitation fare, few surely regret its passing. It’s been years since any modern-day Travis could cruise in a yellow taxi along the erstwhile “...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Cover Girl

Eureka’s restored print of Charles Vidor’s 1944 musical Cover Girl looks and sounds astonishingly vivid, especially when watched on Blu-ray. Would that everything were so simple: despite a starry creative team, the film makes for frustrating viewing...

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Homeland, Series 6, Channel 4

The big surprise of this new-season opener of Homeland was that black ops specialist Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) didn't die at the end of series 5 after all, despite the fact that we last saw him apparently moribund in his hospital bed, having...

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Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four

"Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!" Curly the cowboy sang in the opening scene of Oklahoma!, the first musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein (1943). In the midst of war here was sheer optimism and celebration set – with some nods...

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West Side Stories: The Making of a Classic, BBC Two

The last time BBC TV headed over to West Side Story, it landed itself with a contradiction. Christopher Swann’s 1985 fly-on-the-wall documentary The Making of West Side Story – about Leonard Bernstein recording his celebrated score with a cast of...

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Christmas Book: When Broadway Went to Hollywood

Tinseltown's relationship to its more sophisticated, older New York brother is analogous to Ethan Mordden's engagement by Oxford University Press. The presentation is a sober, if slim, academic tome with an austere assemblage of black-and-white...

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Seasons of love: Rent 20 years on

On January 25 1996, after Rent's final dress rehearsal at the off-off-Broadway New York Theater Workshop, its composer Jonathan Larson went home to his scuzzy loft round the corner, switched on the electric kettle and, before the water had boiled,...

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Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

The pilot and the sniper have a lot in common for Clint Eastwood. In his previous US blockbuster, American Sniper, Chris Kyle’s cool shooting under pressure helped extract his comrades from overwhelming assault in Iraq, as part of at least 160 kills...

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Sunday Book: The New Yorker Book of the 60s

As the United States – and the world – agonises over the coming of Donald Trump, it seems to many of us that all hope is almost irretrievably lost. How timely, then, is the publication of a collection of essays which chronicle and celebrate a...

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