Watch a Hit Broadway Musical on Your Laptop!

Posted on July 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm

One of the biggest hits on Broadway is the delightful musical “She Loves Me,” based on the same story that inspired “The Shop Around the Corner,” the Judy Garland musical, “In the Good Old Summertime,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” It’s the story of co-workers in a shop who think they do not like each other — until they find out that they are in love via anonymous letters.

The award-winning Broadway production, with songs by the “Fiddler on the Roof” team of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, was live-streamed to theaters last week and is now, for the first time ever and just until July 7, available for live-streaming online via BroadwayHD. The spectacular cast includes Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, and Gavin Creel. This adorable bon bon of a show is a rare treat and highly recommended. If you saw this number on the Tony Awards and loved it, here’s your chance to see the rest.

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Live Theater VOD and Streaming

#OSCARSlesswhite — New Additions to the Academy Bring Some Diversity

Posted on July 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Some good news from the Motion Picture Academy — the acceptance of a younger, more diverse group of highly qualified members, which should help with the embarrassingly narrow focus that led to the #oscarsowhite problem last year, not a single person of color nominated for an acting award. New members include actors Idris Elba, Brie Larson, John Boyega, America Ferrera, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Tina Fey, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hiddleston, Ice Cube, and directors Ryan Coogler, Julie Dash, Adam McKay and Patty Jenkins. and Chadwick Boseman. It is the Academy’s largest and most diverse new group of members, more than double the 322 invited last year. 41% of the new invitees are people of color. There are 283 new international members from 59 countries. Academy president Cheryl Boone has made good on her promise for prompt action. Here’s hoping we see this kind of improvement every year.

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Commentary Gender and Diversity Race and Diversity

Opening This Month: July 2016

Posted on July 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Happy July! And welcome to the height of the summer movie season. Today, we kick off the 4th of July weekend with two big movies, Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” based on the book by Roald Dahl and starring Oscar-winner Mark Rylance.

And a new version of the classic story with “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, and Margot Robbie.

Some of the other highlights of July 2016 at the movies:

July 8

“The Secret Life of Pets” answers the question we all wonder about. What do our dogs, cats, fish, bunnies, reptiles, and other pets do all day while we’re away from home? Voice talent includes Louis CK, Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, and Eric Stonestreet.

“Life, Animated” is a heartwarming documentary based on the best-selling book about Owen Suskind, a young man with autism whose love for animated films helped him learn how to communicate with his family.

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” stars Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron, Adam Devine, and Aubrey Plaza in a wild, raunchy comedy about two brothers who advertise on Craigslist for dates to take to their sister’s wedding.

July 15

“Ghostbusters” Who ya gonna call? In this reboot, it’s Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig, with Chris Hemsworth as their administrative assistant.

July 22

“Star Trek Beyond” There are a couple of intriguing new names in the credits of this latest in the beloved series. Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, co-wrote the script. And Justin Linn of the “Fast/Furious” films, takes over as director.

“Ice Age: Collision Course” Pegg stars in this film, too, along with fellow returning cast members Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Keke Palmer, Queen Latifah, and Jennifer Lopez.

July 29

“Jason Bourne” Matt Damon is back as Bourne. I just hope there’s one of those scenes where the CIA boss says he’s in his office and Bourne is all, “No, because then I’d be looking at you.”

“Bad Moms” Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn decide to stop trying to be perfect moms like that meanie Christina Applegate.

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Opening This Month

Happy 100th Birthday Olivia de Havilland!

Posted on July 1, 2016 at 10:04 am

Happy 100th birthday to one of the greatest and most versatile stars of the golden age of Hollywood, Olivia de Havilland!

She and her fellow-Oscar-winning sister, Joan Fontaine, were born in Tokyo, the daughters of British parents, a professor and an actress. The girls and their mother later moved to California, where she appeared in local theater productions as a teenager. Producer Max Reinhardt offered her an understudy role in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and when Gloria Stuart (later nominated for an Oscar for “Titanic”) left the production, de Havilland played Hermia, and was asked to perform the same part in the film, opposite Dick Powell.

Soon she was paired with Errol Flynn in “Captain Blood.”

They made eight more films together. My favorite is “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

Another of my favorite de Havilland performances is opposite James Cagney in “The Strawberry Blonde.”

She played Melanie in “Gone With the Wind.”

She won an Oscar for “To Each His Own.”

She won another one for “The Heiress.” And she won something more important — her rebellion against the oppressive contracts of the Hollywood studios led to a lawsuit that gave actors the freedom to choose their roles.

Happy birthday, Miss de Havilland! Thank you for 100 years of grace, beauty, and intelligence.

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