wed 23/07/2014

New York

'Gimme a vodka and a floorplan': Elaine Stritch remembered

My (very) small haul of autographs collected as a schoolboy ran the gamut from Peter Pears to Linda McCartney but even back then I knew the classiest signature I bagged was that of Elaine Stritch. Years later, she was described as someone who went...

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Daytona, Theatre Royal Haymarket

When Daytona was premiered at the Park Theatre last year some of the critics went into contortions to avoid giving away the two "reveals" in Oliver Cotton's plot. The challenge remains, but can there be many potential theatregoers who haven't heard...

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Café Society Swing, Leicester Square Theatre

Alex Webb’s musical Café Society Swing, about a provocatively liberal Manhattan jazz club in the 1940s, made a much-anticipated return to the Leicester Square Theatre last night. With remarkable ingenuity and economy, Webb tells the story of the...

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Dylan Thomas: A Poet in New York, BBC Two

Swansea's much-mythologised son would have been 100 in October this year, but he died in New York in 1953, from a list of medical problems exacerbated by his colossal intake of alcohol. Thomas's doomed, chaotic trajectory could almost qualify as the...

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Fading Gigolo

Favourite of the Coens, John Turturro’s fifth turn at the helm is a surprisingly lively, enjoyable fable of male prostitution. After the shuttering of the New York City bookstore where he worked for Murray (Woody Allen), Fioravante (Turturro) is...

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DVD: American Hustle

It's surely among the most grotesque factoids in the history of Hollywood that despite being nominated for 10 Oscars, American Hustle won a grand total of none. Its big mistakes were presumably being too entertaining and failing to concern itself...

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Miles Davis: Live at Fillmore East

It’s strange to think that music recorded 45 years ago in what was once an old Yiddish theatre turned rock 'n' roll palace on the Lower East Side in the summer of 1970 – a few months before Jimi Hendrix’s death, as war raged in Vietnam and riots in...

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A New York Winter's Tale

"What's happening here?" Jennifer Connelly asks somewhere near the not-a-moment-too-soon ending of A New York Winter's Tale, a question filmgoers will have been muttering from pretty much the first frame. Not long after, Connelly lets rip with "this...

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Berlinale 2014: The Circle, Love Is Strange, Land of Storms, Praia do Futuro

Back in the 1950s the Zurich underground club Der Kreis was a rare beacon of tolerance of homosexuality in Europe. Fitting then that Swiss director Stefan Haupt’s drama-documentary of the same name, The Circle (****), won this year’s Teddy award at...

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Stroke of Luck, Park Theatre

In 2011 Tim Pigott-Smith gave us an impressive, humane King Lear at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Here he is again, a patriarch learning how "sharper than a serpent's tooth" it is to have thankless children, but this time his character decides to do...

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Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Character Actor

The news that Philip Seymour Hoffman has died at the age of only 46 robs cinema of - almost unarguably - the greatest screen actor of the age, and certainly its outstanding character actor. Where once there was Charles Laughton, or Ernest Borgnine,...

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Philip Seymour Hoffman, Giant of the Stage

On screen, Philip Seymour Hoffman will be forever immortalised as the Oscar-winning star of Capote who was both a darling of the indie film world (think Todd Solondz and the Coen Brothers) and an invaluable supporting player in such mainstream fare...

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