Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio Praise ”Icon” Luke Perry for Work on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Brad Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio, Luke PerryBelieve it or not, even people like Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio get starstruck.
This was exactly the case when they walked onto the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood set, and found…

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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Esmeralda Santiago

The island of Puerto Rico, where my parents came from, is displayed with beauty and poignancy by Santiago.
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of bell hooks

Min Jin Lee on her former professor: “For me, reading ‘Ain’t I A Woman,’ was as if someone had opened the door, the windows, and raised the roof in my mind.”
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Maurice Sendak

“I’ve read the books many times to my own children, astonished at how much is in them for my grown-up self — about that growing-up process, and about the times I grew up in, too.”
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Glasvegas’ James Allan: Why praise and success led to pain

Glasvegas singer James Allan explains why all the praise for their debut album made him depressed.
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In Praise of Bernstein as Conductor: Movement That Mesmerized

To his fans, especially the baby boomers who were the target audience for his Young People’s Concerts, his theatrical podium persona was thrilling.
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Karel Capek

“This is the power of ‘War With the Newts’: It leaves us staring with bewilderment at the ways that we — with our tiny acts of greed and insensitivity and willful blindness — did all this.”
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Elizabeth Hardwick

“Of all the books I have reread to comfort myself, I have turned most often to ‘Sleepless Nights,’ not without a little bitter tang of irony because of its title.”
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Retailers Praise Pitti Uomo’s Good Vibrations

FLORENCE — Pitti Uomo: an increasingly influential men’s wear platform with good vibrations. That was the consensus of retailers attending the 94th edition of the fair, which wraps today.
But they were also in town for an appetizing lineup of shows, including Paul Surridge’s debut effort for Roberto Cavalli Men’s; the launch of Comme des Garçons offspring Fumito Ganryu’s namesake brand, and Craig Green who on Thursday night staged his first show outside the British capital, as the headlining guest designer. Tom Kalenderian, Barneys New York’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager, hailed the choice as “emblematic of the importance to focus on new ideas for the future of young men who will become our core consumers.”
Green himself on the morning of his show described the event as an “incredible” platform for designers. “There are buyers who have been buying my collections, but who have never yet been to one of my shows because they don’t come to London,” he said. “The reach of Pitti is so much bigger than anything we’ve done before.”
Among the reigning trends at Pitti Uomo, retailers said streetwear and fluro are both still very apparent, as is sustainability and outdoor-inspired activewear.
“The overall message is a stronger

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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Julia Alvarez

“By the time I found ‘How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents,’ I’d already resigned myself to using books as windows rather than mirrors.”
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Retailers Praise Pitti Uomo’s Good Vibrations

FLORENCE — Pitti Uomo: an increasingly influential men’s wear platform with good vibrations. That was the consensus of retailers attending the 94th edition of the fair, which wraps today.
But they were also in town for an appetizing lineup of shows, including Paul Surridge’s debut effort for Roberto Cavalli Men’s; the launch of Comme des Garçons offspring Fumito Ganryu’s namesake brand, and Craig Green who on Thursday night staged his first show outside the British capital, as the headlining guest designer. Tom Kalenderian, Barneys New York’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager, hailed the choice as “emblematic of the importance to focus on new ideas for the future of young men who will become our core consumers.”
Green himself on the morning of his show described the event as an “incredible” platform for designers. “There are buyers who have been buying my collections, but who have never yet been to one of my shows because they don’t come to London,” he said. “The reach of Pitti is so much bigger than anything we’ve done before.”
Among the reigning trends at Pitti Uomo, retailers said streetwear and fluro are both still very apparent, as is sustainability and outdoor-inspired activewear.
“The overall message is a stronger

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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Ruth McKenney

I wish McKenney’s life had been as joyous and carefree as her effervescent memoirs. But I rejoice that her books are still available at my hometown library.
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Evan S. Connell

Again and again, when I meet people who don’t know the book, I find myself being a “Mrs. Bridge” evangelist, telling them that it’s a perfect novel.
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New Year Honours attract praise and criticism

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has been awarded a knighthood for services to music and charity work as the Queen’s New Year Honours are announced.
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of William James

“The Varieties of Religious Experience” is a generous and endlessly insightful book about human nature.
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of the ‘Career Romance’

Written to educate young women about various industries, the books are as historically interesting as they are entertaining — sociology lesson plus soap opera.
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In Praise Of ‘Drew Barrymore,’ The SZA Song And The Woman Who Inspired It

Why young women found it so easy to fall in love with Drew Barrymore.
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Daphne du Maurier

What begins as a taste for this author’s twisty plots, briny wit and bracingly bleak view of marriage can become an addiction.
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Retailers Divided Over Milan’s Shorter Length, but Praise Collections

MILAN — Retailers were divided about the shorter fashion week in Milan, but they agreed that creativity was strong and that designers generally delivered.
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, said “despite the fact there are fewer shows here, it is still a schedule packed with appointments, showroom walk-throughs and certainly runway shows. Milan Fashion Week is incredibly important and fruitful for us at Goodman’s, always.”
Retro sports looks, including track suits; oversized silhouettes and baggy pants; layering; strong outerwear; a fresh summer color palette that included shades of pale pink; fluid shapes and fabrics, and streetwear references were some of the main trends praised by retailers.
Maud Tarena, director of men’s fashion at Le Bon Marché, said brands are “mixing up lighter and warmer outerwear together” in a seasonless way. “Thom Browne, for example, offered down jackets and swimwear in the same show [Moncler Gamme Bleu]. Even the weight of fabrics is very versatile,” said Tarena, whose favorite show was Prada. It was “energetic and exciting,” she said. Tarena, however, was frustrated by the limited number of shows in Milan and said there were “no strong discoveries, no surprises.” The store’s budget remained stable compared to last year, she said.
Tom Kalenderian,

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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Derek Walcott’s Epic of the Americas

How one reader came under the spell of Walcott’s poetry. And a suggested starter kit to his poems.
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Class act: Are posh actors given more praise?

Line Of Duty star Daniel Mays said the upper echelons of acting are currently in vogue, but is he right in thinking so?
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The Enthusiast: In Praise of Agatha Christie’s Accidental Sleuths

The doyenne of mysteries is best known for Poirot and Miss Marple. But her less famous detectives are the ones who keep this reader coming back.
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T2 Trainspotting: Critics praise film sequel

Critics broadly praise T2 Trainspotting, but many note it will not have the same impact as the original.
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In Praise of the Woke Mustache

And its timely return to pop culture.

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In Praise of Dark: In Superhero Films

Every superhero film doesn’t have to be dark. Imagine that in the Ant-Man film. In any case as long as it may enhance the story and gives credence to the hero, then by all means pull the pin and blow the lid off!

Every so often someone carps and asks, why can’t superhero films be fun? The answer, some weren’t meant to be fun. And that’s a good thing. Yet when those lament about certain superhero films being dark, it helps to honestly stop and ask, define dark?

In other words, doses of realism is often mistaken for dark in some superhero films, as dark is welcomed in other films. For example, the Scorsese-DiCaprio film, Shutter Island, is definitely a dark film. For dark is often creepy, ghastly, unsettling, all that is Shutter Island. While Leonardo DiCaprio’s newest film, The Revenant, was all realism. And man did he deserve that Oscar.

The DC films, the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have all been said by most to be dark films. As if dark as in a dose of realism, is a bad thing. Whereas most Marvel films are deemed fun. Not a bad thing either, for there was also some “dark” in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and is indeed a top notch Marvel film. For in that Cap film, which I wrote about in my April 9, 2014 Huffpost article, in the opening I stated, “This second Captain America film centers on one basic premise as a question actually. As important as freedom is, should freedom be sacrificed for security? By showing this in a thought provoking and entertaining way, this film succeeds in both script and action brilliantly.” It was about government overreach, a theme that will carry into Captain America: Civil War.

Now lets’ go over those so called dark DC films. What’s great about the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy is the social themes throughout. There’s a scene in Batman Begins when Bruce Wayne meets crime lord Carmine Falcone in a swanky restaurant. It’s now fourteen years after Wayne’s parent’s death by Joe Chill, whom Falcone had killed, preventing Chill from testifying. There’s a face off. Wayne tells Falcone he’s not scared of him, while Falcone reminds Wayne about his childhood friend Rachel Dawes, now an assistant D.A., and Alfred his butler. And then Falcone explains, “People from your world, have so much to lose. Now you think, because your mommy and your daddy got shot… you know about the ugly side of life, but you don’t. You’ve never tasted desperate. You’re Bruce Wayne the prince of Gotham.”

Falcone hammers upon Wayne, before the crime lord concludes, “So don’t come down here with your anger, trying to prove something to yourself. This is a world you’ll never understand. And you’ll always fear, what you don’t understand.” For as corrupt as he is, Falcone was right.

Bruce Wayne, heir to Wayne Enterprises, afterwards gets a tad roughed up by Falcone’s men and thrown out of the restaurant. And who does he meet next? He sees a homeless man warming his hands over a fire in an oil drum. Wayne then meets the man and does a few things. He takes off his scarf and throws it into the fire. He then takes all the money out of his wallet to give to the man for his shabby jacket, before also throwing his wallet into the fire. And just as Wayne was about to also throw his nice coat into the fire, he’s stopped by the man.

“Let me have it. It’s a nice coat,” says the man. “Be careful who sees you with that. They’re gonna come looking for me,” says Wayne. “Who?” the man asks. “Everyone,” Wayne replies, before he stows away on a cargo ship leaving Gotham. That night Bruce Wayne became Batman, a period to taste desperate as Falcone had said, before becoming a trained weapon to fight crime.

Another great scene is in The Dark Knight. The Joker terrorizes Gotham, whose people flee the city on two ferries, the Spirit, filled with inmates from Blackgate Prison, and Liberty, filled with citizens. A half hour before midnight both ferries suddenly stop, then the Joker’s voice is heard on loudspeakers. He tells the ferries about his social experiment, that each have a bomb aboard, each has a detonator to the bomb at the other ferry, and each must decide to blow up the other first before midnight. Or else at midnight if they haven’t done so, he’ll detonate both.

On the Liberty, filled with a broad social class of citizens, they vote. On the Spirit, the warden of Blackgate has the detonator, struggling with the decision. Finally, a mere two minutes before midnight, a tall formidable looking inmate walks up to the warden, and he says, “You don’t want to die, but you don’t know how to take a life. Give it to me. These men would kill you and take it anyway. Give it to me,” he says softly, yet firm, then he adds, “You can tell em I took it by force. Give it to me, and I’ll do what you shoulda did ten minutes ago.” Whereas on the Liberty, a man in a suit, perhaps a white-collar professional, decides to take the detonator, and says, “Fine, I’ll do it. Those men on that boat. They made their choices. They chose to murder and steal.” Yet on the Spirit, the inmate throws the detonator out the ferry window. While on the Liberty, the man in a suit, his hands on the detonator, then withdraws. A very powerfully crafted and acted scene!

Finally, there’s a great scene in The Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne’s back was broken after his first fight with Bane, and sent to a foreign subterranean prison called Hell on Earth. After watching the dead bodies of three police officers hanged at a Gotham bridge by Bane’s men on TV, Wayne is enraged, and gets his back healed by a prisoner. Wayne then makes two attempts to climb up a shaft with a safety rope, and make a daring jump at a ledge to grant escape. Both times he fails to clear the jump, and later becomes dispirited. Then a helpful conversation begins.

“Fear is why you fail,” says the blind prisoner. “No, I’m not afraid. I’m angry,” says Bruce Wayne. “You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak,” says the blind prisoner. “Why?” asks Wayne. “How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible, without the most powerful impulse of the spirit? The fear of death,” replies the blind prisoner. Wayne is getting reached. “I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns… with no one there to save it,” says Wayne. “Then make the climb,” the blind prisoner replies quickly after. “How?” asks Wayne. “As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again,” the blind prisoner concludes. For much later, the child is revealed to have been a girl.

Bruce Wayne’s third attempt is without a rope while only carrying supplies. Loud chanting is heard from a large gathering of men below, shouting, “Deshi-Basara,” Arabic for, “Rise.” Wayne leaps, makes the ledge, and he’s rewarded by a thunderous roar of joyous shouting from below. Reaching the top, he also didn’t neglect the men below, and casts down a rope for their escape.

The message from the blind prisoner was this. So often we’re told to be fearless. While on the other hand, what is that definition of courage that’s been said? To act during fear. Is this not why Medal of Honor, silver-star, bronze-star, and purple-heart award winners are to be revered?

Bruce Wayne/Batman is the epitome of the warrior ethos, captured brilliantly in The Dark Knight trilogy, of which the British actor Christian Bale in the title role was superb. Known for his zeal in diving into roles, he goes skeletal for The Machinist (2004), gets muscular in Batman Begins (2005), goes skeletal again in the Vietnam War true story film Rescue Dawn (2007), gets muscular again for The Dark Knight (2008), and gets skeletal a third time for The Fighter (2010), winning an Oscar in that film. Then he gains muscle again for The Dark Knight Rises (2012). And praise goes also to Christopher Nolan, who elevated the iconic superhero to urban realism.

Message to DC Entertainment and Marvel Studios, again not every superhero film have to be dark (realism). Even so, if you have to use it, pull the pin, blow the lid off and don’t look back.

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Community Praise Center Receive Tribute & Free Discount Prescription Cards by ACRX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.

Top Praise & Worship Instrumental Solos, Violin/Piano Accompaniment: Level 2-3

Top Praise & Worship Instrumental Solos, Violin/Piano Accompaniment: Level 2-3


Used – This collection includes specially arranged Instrumental solos of the most popular Praise and Worship music sung around the world. Arranged specifically for the Level 2-3 player, each book comes with a play-along CD that includes a backing and performance track for each title. An optional piano accompaniment book is available for wind instruments. The bonus song downloads are available to the left. Right-click on the appropriate link and choose the “Save As” option.

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Theater: Savion Glover Prays; Broadway, Cabaret Stars Praise

SAVION GLOVER — OM ** out of ****
BROADWAY BY THE YEAR 1990-2014 *** out of ****

So much theater is here and then gone in the blink of an eye. Has it really been two and a half years since Newsies opened on Broadway? It closes in August and will rank as one of the few shows (just over 100) in history to run for more than 1000 performances. And yet it seemed to arrive yesterday. That’s even truer for one-time events, limited runs and those precious shows that simply don’t run nearly as long as they should. Before I review a limited run of Savion Glover’s latest and a one-time event that is already history, here are three events coming up.

DUBLINERS: A QUARTET — ONLINE

Most great theater occurs in a few major cities like London and New York as well as on tour. But no matter where you are in the world, this Saturday or Sunday you can watch a free live streaming performance of the radio play Dubliners: A Quartet. Held at the Greene Space — a downtown performance space and home for WNYC and WQXR — it’s an evening of music and song and adaptations of four short stories taken from James Joyce’s classic work Dubliners. This work has already inspired a lovely stage musical and director John Houston’s moving final film. And since the live performances of August Wilson’s Century Cycle at the Greene Space was one of last year’s theatrical highlights, you shouldn’t miss this. And you don’t have to. Anyone can go online and watch a live streaming of the event Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. If you miss that, they’ll be releasing it as a podcast and on-demand video in July. Go here for more info and to see how you can join in this event for free.

THE AMBASSADOR REVUE AT TOWN HALL

If you’re lucky enough to be in NYC this weekend, Friday night features a one-night only performance of The Ambassador Revue, the toast of Paris in 1928. Porter had a Broadway hit that same year appropriately called Paris, a show that featured “Let’s Misbehave” and “Let’s Do It.” That success overshadowed his revue and Porter never looked back…and The Ambassador Revue never played in America till now. Bringing it to life is Tom Wopat, Jason Graae and Amy Burton among others, led by the marvelous Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, specialists in the music of the 1920s and 1930s and the band I’d choose to perform at my wedding. Let’s hope someone is recording this one. Go here for ticket info.

THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER AWARDS

The Ambassador Revue is a rare chance to glimpse musical theater’s past. If you want to glimpse musical theater’s future, head to the National High School Musical Theater Awards on Monday June 30 at 7:30 pm on Broadway at the Minskoff. Winners of competitions held all across the country get to perform on a Broadway stage and compete for the big prize, nicknamed the Jimmy. I attended a recent event that was the culmination of nationwide contests where teens performed monologues by August Wilson and it was great fun. You can check out the nominees (or to be more positive, the winners of their region) right here or hear them strut their stuff on Monday night.

Now on to the reviews.

SAVION GLOVER — OM ** out of ****
JOYCE THEATER

If the guest I brought to this performance were writing the review, it would be far less pleasant. “Savion Glover’s a genius! Why should he be bothered to entertain the audience?” asked my friend scathingly. Indeed, several dozen people left during this spiritual journey called Om, which is the antithesis of the delightful, crowd-pleasing STePz, one of my favorite shows of 2013. Indeed, the show seemed intent on making this private meditation as difficult as possible for those attending.

It began late, even though the show starts with a darkened auditorium and a lowered curtain while a lengthy jazz recording (Kenny Garrett’s “Calling,” apparently) played for five or ten minutes. Eventually, the curtain rose to a beautiful setting: a stage filled with candles and yellow lights, scattered with photos of Glover’s spiritual fathers, be they dance legends or religious figures like Gandhi. Five rectangular platforms were grouped towards the front, two roughly near each other at the center, one on stage left and two at an angle on stage right. Glover was on one of the two roughly at center and never moved from it for the entire evening. The lighting stayed dim, he tapped with his usual fluidity and grace and precision and power, and the evening progressed.

At first, we were given a few changes: more dancers arrived and took their places on the other platforms, some songs and chants were played, ranging from a spoken-word piece quoting Psalm 23 to selections from other faiths, a quick cross-cultural survey that captured the world-wide yearning for spirituality and faith. Another tune — which I couldn’t identify — might have been a spiritual or blues (Odetta? Maybe?). For a brief passage early on, all the dancers performed in unison. But then the music focused slowly on a piece (from India, I assume) that lasted for 30 or 40 minutes. Glover’s long-time collaborator Marshall Davis Jr. had more extensive work to due, especially on one concise duet but he left the stage for lengthy periods. The other dancers had literally nothing to do, posing in place, assuming spiritual or meditative poses, hitting a chime, moving briefly and then posing for minutes at a time and so on. Especially unfortunate were the disciples who came out and sat at their feet like adoring acolytes.

As the one piece of music went on and on — Glover dancing with his usual inventive brilliance — the static nature of the evening wore on you. It was almost rude if not self-indulgent to see so many talented dancers allowed only the most cursory moments to perform but otherwise be simply decorative. It was like a jazz combo filled with talented artists but most of the concert included only a drum solo while the other artists simply stood there and watched.

And yet I feel inclined to take Glover at his word. Perhaps this was a meditation best left in the rehearsal room or his private dance space, but surely it was sincere if misguided. He has often spoken of his increasing fascination with the percussive, rhythmic, musical nature of tap. And this evening focused on it like never before. The subdued lighting and almost entire lack of movement left you little else to focus on but the sound of his tapping. And it did indeed achieve moments of engaged, focus brilliance. I’ve listened to recordings of Fred Astaire with a jazz combo, singing his songs and then soloing on tap, which sounds silly. (Just listening to someone dance?) But it makes sense when it’s so musical and well-thought out…and lasting for brief passages in a song that usually lasts three or four minutes at most.

Glover was surely preaching to the converted here. But the best ministers know how to vary their sermons and mix in humor and stories and wisdom with the strong stuff of salvation and sin. With Om, Glover ended up talking to himself, leaving those hoping for uplift with the awkward feeling that he’s already been saved and in the Rapture and we’ve been left behind.

BROADWAY BY THE YEAR 1990-2014 *** out of ****
TOWN HALL

Impresario Scott Siegel caps off his celebration of Broadway By The Year with this recap of key songs from the past 25 years of musical theater. If it wasn’t as great as the three earlier editions, well, surely that’s because the past 25 years haven’t been nearly as good as the 1930s and the 1950s and the 1970s. You can choose the best song from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects Of Love or Lysistrata Jones or Miss Saigon, but they’re still not going to be very good, are they? Time and again, as they worked their way from 1990 to 2014’s Beautiful, you saw Siegel wisely ask a Broadway or cabaret star to tackle a tune that may have appeared in a Broadway show in the past two and a half decades, but actually originated from a much more fertile time period in the past. Hence he cleverly padded the evening with “The Acid Queen”, “Fools Fall In Love,” “Sing Sing Sing,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Stormy Weather” and “Fever.” Great songs that were born in the last 25 years? Nope. And thank goodness.

If you’re not familiar with Broadway By The Year, it’s an ongoing series. Traditionally, they tackle one year from Broadway and a rotating cast of Broadway greats, rising talent and cabaret stars perform some of the best gems of the year along with lesser-known fare that has unjustly slipped from view. This year, Siegel celebrated the series’ ongoing vitality by tackling 100 years with 100 stars over four nights. They’ll do it again next year, since of course the riches of Broadway make this an easy parlor game to play without having to scrape the barrel…at least until you hit the 1990s and noughts, apparently.

Like any evening of this sort, the evening was mixed bag, though Siegel’s venture always brings out the cockeyed optimist in me. Misfires like Lucas Steele’s misguided spin on ABBA’s “The Winner Takes If All” from Mamma Mia and Natalie Toro’s melodramatic spin on “With One Look” from Sunset Boulevard were easily outweighed by the pluses. Two dance pieces were lots of fun, though oddly they almost followed one another in the first act. Still, Mark Stuart and Mindy Wallace were fun in “Libertango” and Jimmy Sutherland was an excellent last minute replacement on “Sing Sing Sing.”

Siegel always helps you make some discoveries, thanks to showcasing the talent he finds in another of his many ventures, Broadway’s Rising Stars. (The next one presents the cream of the crops from the top arts programs and takes place July 14 at Town Hall.) For me, the ringer was the performer with the wonderfully absurd name of Oakley Boycott. She was a gangly, notably tall and eye-catching presence when the Broadway By The Year chorus took a spin through “Seasons Of Love” from Rent. But she really wowed when doing the comic number “He Vas My Boyfriend” from the ungainly Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein. Boycott nailed this number (easily the best in that show), milking every laugh like a seasoned pro.

When they turn Robert Altman’s movie Popeye into a Broadway musical, Boycott simply must play Olive Oyl. (Speaking of casting of future shows, Jeremy Morse tackled “Santa Fe” from Newsies but I spent his entire performance thinking, this guy has to play Mickey Rooney…or at least the lead in a revival of Babe In Arms. ) Another find — for me — was Jenn Gambatese, who sang “You Walk With Me” from The Full Monty with a lovely voice and a direct simplicity that was disarming. She’s starred in the Broadway musicals Tarzan and All Shook Up and clearly deserves better. And cabaret performer William Blake was a tonic, a truly unique voice that straddles the line between male and female. But this is no crooning, ambisexual Chet Baker; he’s a wickedly forceful personality who enlivened “Fever” by daring us to laugh with him as he sashayed and powered his way through that Peggy Lee standard.

Adam Jacobs of Aladdin proved he’s got the goods, giving his all to a so-so number from Miss Saigon, which remains as uninteresting to me as Les Miserables is strong. And Rory O’Malley was very funny with “I’m Not That Smart” from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. But the ladies were strongest: Jeannette Bayardelle did acrobatics through “Fools Fall In Love,” NaTasha Yvette Williams did indeed stop the show with the always pointed and hilarious “Stop The Show” from Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, and Terri White was a no-nonsense, astringent delight with “Stormy Weather.”

But as so often happens, I’ll be thinking longest about Bobby Steggert and his effortlessly charming performance of “What More Can I Say?” from Falsettos. That William Finn musical is clearly ready to be revived — at least in concert — and who better to tackle the role of Marvin then Steggert? If they can’t get Giant to Broadway (and they should), hopefully Steggert will get a chance to shine in this show. For the lucky few who caught the latest edition of Siegel’s event, they got the chance to see Steggert perform a great number from Broadway’s past and perhaps, just perhaps, see a glimpse of what might be in the very near future.

THEATER OF 2014

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ***
Rodney King ***
Hard Times ** 1/2
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead **
I Could Say More *
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner **
Machinal ***
Outside Mullingar ***
A Man’s A Man * 1/2
The Tribute Artist ** 1/2
Transport **
Prince Igor at the Met **
The Bridges Of Madison County ** 1/2
Kung Fu (at Signature) **
Stage Kiss ***
Satchmo At The Waldorf ***
Antony and Cleopatra at the Public **
All The Way ** 1/2
The Open House (Will Eno at Signature) ** 1/2
Wozzeck (at Met w Deborah Voigt and Thomas Hampson and Simon O’Neill)
Hand To God ***
Tales From Red Vienna **
Appropriate (at Signature) *
Rocky * 1/2
Aladdin ***
Mothers And Sons **
Les Miserables *** 1/2
Breathing Time * 1/2
Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna * 1/2
Heathers The Musical * 1/2
Red Velvet, at St. Ann’s Warehouse ***
Broadway By The Year 1940-1964 *** 1/2
A Second Chance **
Guys And Dolls *** 1/2
If/Then * 1/2
The Threepenny Opera * 1/2
A Raisin In The Sun *** 1/2
The Heir Apparent *** 1/2
The Realistic Joneses ***
Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill ***
The Library **
South Pacific ** 1/2
Violet ***
Bullets Over Broadway **
Of Mice And Men **
The World Is Round ***
Your Mother’s Copy Of The Kama Sutra **
Hedwig and the Angry Inch ***
The Cripple Of Inishmaan ***
The Great Immensity * 1/2
Casa Valentina ** 1/2
Act One **
Inventing Mary Martin **
Cabaret ***
An Octoroon *** 1/2
Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging ***
Here Lies Love *** 1/2
6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition
Sea Marks * 1/2
A Time-Traveler’s Trip To Niagara * 1/2
Selected Shorts: Neil Gaiman ***
Too Much Sun * 1/2
Broadway By The Year 1965-1989 ***
In The Park **
The Essential Straight & Narrow ** 1/2
Much Ado About Nothing ***
When We Were Young And Unafraid
Savion Glover’s Om **
Broadway By The Year 1990-2014 ***

_____________

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.
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Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News