Category Archives: Coming Attractions

Watch the Best of British Theatre at Home

With theatres all over the world gone dark, and potential audiences confined to their homes, the National Theatre (UK) has come to the rescue with a bit of relief for theatre lovers everywhere. Beginning this week, National Theatre at Home will make selections from its extensive collection of live-on-film productions available online, free of charge.

First up is the hilarious One Man, Two Guvnors, an updated version of Carlo Goldoni’s 1746 farce, The Servant of Two Masters. James Corden won a Tony Award for his lead performance in the Broadway production of the West End hit.

Some clips from the show:

Each show will be posted to YouTube on Thursdays at 7 PM UK time. That’s 2 PM on the US East Coast. Each show will be accessible for a full one-week run on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel.

When One Man, Two Guvnors ends its run next week, it will be replaced by a reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Treasure Island arrives on 16 April, and Twelfth Night will open on 23 April.

A Gift from the Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera House

Metropolitan Opera House

Met to launch “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website during the coronavirus closure

Because of coronavirus concerns, the Metropolitan Opera has canceled all performances through 31 March 2020, but there’s a silver lining: Each night for the duration of the closure, starting Monday, 16 March 2020, the Met will stream encore presentations from the award-winning Live in HD series of cinema transmissions on the company website for free. Learn more here.

All “Nightly Met Opera Streams” will begin at 7:30pm and will remain available via the homepage of metopera.org for 20 hours. The homepage link will open the performance on the Met Opera on Demand streaming service. The performance will also be viewable on all Met Opera on Demand apps.”

Here’s this week’s schedule:

March 16: Bizet’s Carmen
Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna. (Originally broadcast January 16, 2010.)

March 17: Puccini’s La Bohème
Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas. (Originally broadcast April 5, 2008.)

March 18: Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Yonghoon Lee, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. (Originally broadcast October 3, 2015.)

March 19: Verdi’s La Traviata
Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, and Quinn Kelsey. (Originally broadcast December 15, 2018.)

March 20: Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment
Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez. (Originally broadcast April 26, 2008.)

March 21: Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, and Mariusz Kwiecien. (Originally broadcast February 7, 2009.)

March 22: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Conducted by Valery Gergiev, starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. (Originally broadcast February 24, 2007.)


With my goldfish-like attention span, I’ve never gotten into opera. I think I might give it a try this week.

This Year’s BBC Agatha Christie Adaptation — The Pale Horse

Under terms originally set forth in the Magna Carta, the BBC is required by law to broadcast at least one big new Agatha Christie dramatization every year. Since they can only remake And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile two or three times a decade, BBC management occasionally looks to Christie’s lesser-known works for inspiration.

This year, they’re giving us Christie’s witchy 1961 novel, The Pale Horse. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are absent from this one, but Ariadne Oliver—friend of Poirot, mystery novelist, and frequent stand-in for the author herself—plays a prominent role.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s the cast:

The Pale Horse is available on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and starting this weekend, on Amazon Prime in the US.

Lauv — “Modern Loneliness”

Really liking Lauv’s new release, “Modern Loneliness”, which is one of those songs that seems to be speaking directly to me. (And, it seems, directly to a lot of other people, as well.  The video was posted five days ago and already has more than two million views.)

“Modern Loneliness” is the final track on his first studio album, How I’m Feeling, which will be released on 6 March 2020. In early 2019, Lauv started to release singles that will appear on the album as they were completed, so 10 of the 21 cuts from How I’m Feeling are already out there online.

Lauv, after musical collaborations with everybody from Troye Sivan to BTS, is three months into a year-long world tour.


The image is the artwork for <i><b>How I'm Feeling</b></i>

The image is the artwork for How I’m Feeling

Tuesday, 25 February 2020, Is Pancake Day


“The Fight Between Carnival and Lent”, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pancake Day has never caught on in the US, and that’s an American deficiency that should be corrected. It’s celebrated around the world, but especially in the British Commonwealth, on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent.

a

In towns throughout the UK, schools shut down at 11 AM, and roads are closed to traffic so that local citizens can race through the streets, tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in frying pans as they go.

b

If you happen to be in London, which is to Pancake Day what New Orleans is to Shrove Tuesday, but with fewer next-day regrets, TimeOut has posted a list of some of the pancake races, pancake eating contests, and create-your-own dream pancake celebrations.

Up until a year ago, you could also watch teams from the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the media competed for the title of Parliamentary Pancake Race Champions, in support of the charity Rehab. The fun relay race has apparently become yet another casualty of Brexit bitterness.

c

If you’re in the US, you can still celebrate! IHOP, which I believe is a public interest organization of some sort, has got into the spirit of Pancake Day by offering a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes to every guest on 25 February 2020.


Disclaimer

(This comment was neither sponsored nor endorsed by IHOP, formerly known as the International House of Pancakes, not that I’d turn down some coupons for free stacks if they offered them in exchange for the wide exposure this blog post will give them. I mean, I’m an Influencer, dammit. My recommendation will make their pancakes sell like…well, off-hand I can’t think of a good analogy.  I don’t know, maybe Popeye’s chicken sandwiches* or something.)

*Which I also like and would gladly recommend, for a small sum.

Better Call Saul — Season Five Starts Tonight

Looks who’s back!

It’s Saul Goodman, a shyster so corrupt, so morally bankrupt, so totally devoid of ethics, honesty, and scruples that it’s surprising he didn’t pop up advising the Republican senators during the recent impeachment trial.

And look who else is back!

Gus Fring!

Héctor  Salamanca!

Mike Ehrmantraut!

And even DEA agent Hank Schrader!

All brought back from the dead for this prequel to Breaking Bad, probably the finest television achievement of the still-very-young 21st century.

There’s a never-ending debate on line—one of those Kirk-vs-Picard things—about exactly when Walter White broke bad and went over to the dark side. (I admired the Redditor who answered the question by posting sonogram of a fetus.)

With Jimmy McGill, the question is pretty much resolved: It was when Jimmy McGill became “Saul Goodman”. That’s where we are at the start of Series Five.

After tonight’s episode, Better Call Saul will return with a second episode on Monday night in its regular time slot. This is the show’s next-to-last season, but, hey, s’all good, man.

La Dolce Vita — A Classic Remastered

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Federico Fellini, one of the truly great filmmakers of the 20th century. To commemorate the occasion, the British Film Institute is sponsoring a major two-month retrospective at BFI Southbank and the release of a restored version of the director’s 1960 masterpiece, La Dolce Vita.


The film opens with a scene in which a helicopter transports a statue of Christ over Rome to St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican was not amused by the Flying Jesus, and condemned the movie, which probably contributed to La Dolce Vita’s record-breaking box office success.


In one of the most memorable sequences from the film, the disillusioned journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) and the Swedish movie star Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) make a late-night visit to the Trevi Fountain.


Anouk Aimée, magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful, played the heiress Maddalena.


This remastered version of La Dolce Vita will eventually make it to the US, but a date for its arrival has not yet been announced.