Trailer: Tea With the Dames — Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Eileen Atkins

Posted on July 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Four grand dames (and British Dames) of the theater: Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith.

They’ve acted together (and, I imagine, competed with one another) and get together now and again to talk over old times. “Tea With the Dames” allows you to spend time with these acting legends as they remember their professional experiences across theatre, television and film.

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A Capitol Fourth — Celebrate With the Beach Boys and Joshua Bell

Posted on July 2, 2018 at 8:00 am

Every year I look forward to the magnificent concert in front of the US Capitol Building on the 4th of July, broadcast on PBS. I’ve even been lucky enough to see it in person a couple of times.

This year, the Capitol Fourth concert features the Beach Boys, violinist Joshua Bell, Jimmy Buffett with the cast of his Broadway musical Margaritaville, opera star Renee Fleming, a capella all-stars Pentatonix, Broadway legend Chita Rivera, gospel legend CeCe Winans, the US Army Herald Trumpets, and “Pershing’s Own,” the magnificent US Army Band. Plus fireworks!

Here’s a reminder of last year’s concert.

Happy 4th!

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Holidays Television
Movies for the 4th of July

Movies for the 4th of July

Posted on July 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Independence Day Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum star in one of the all-time great popcorn pleasures. Aliens attack the earth and it takes a quirky engineer, a plucky President, and a heroic military pilot to save the day. What does that have to do with the 4th of July? Listen to the President’s stirring pep talk.

The Patriot There are many films about the Civil War, but not many about the Revolutionary War. Mel Gibson stars in this uneven but stirring film about a farmer pulled into the rebellion.

1776 I love this film, based on the Broadway musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with almost all of the stars from the acclaimed stage production, including William Daniels as the “obnoxious and disliked” John Adams, Ken Howard as a dashing Thomas Jefferson, and Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin.

And don’t forget Schoolhouse Rock!

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Rita Hayworth, Part 2: Ticklish Business Podcast with Kristen Lopez

Posted on July 1, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Many thanks again to Kristen Lopez for inviting me on her Ticklish Business podcast to talk about Rita Hayworth. Listen to part 2, our conversation about the movie with the worst Irish accent, the worst Hayworth haircut, but the best fun-house mirror denouement, The Lady from Shanghai, directed by and co-starring Hayworth’s then husband, Orson Welles.

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