For Viewing: Florence Henderson Sings “When You’re Good to Mama”

The great Florence Henderson passed away yesterday. Most know her from her wonderful TV and film work, but she was also a remarkable stage performer. Here she is singing “When You’re Good to Mama” at the 2013 S.T.A.G.E. benefit benefit “Broadway My Way”

For Viewing (Thanksgiving Edition): “Turkey Lurkey Time”

Technically, this is a Christmas song (back in the 1960s, you ate turkey at Christmas), but no broadway show tune is more appropriate for the holiday. This is the performance from the 1969 Tony Awards from the original cast of the musical Promises, Promises. Michael Bennett did the fabulous choreography and Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote the song.

This is “Turkey Lurkey Time”

Movie Recommendation: “Moonlight”

I mentioned in my review of Theatre Rhinoceros’s production of The Brothers’ Size that Tarell Alvin McCraney was about to become a recognizable commodity thanks to the new movie Moonlight that would be coming to theaters in later 2016. Well, now it’s later and Moonlight is playing in several hundred theaters nationwide.

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For Viewing: “The Making of the ‘Giant’ Cast Recording”

Giant, the 2013 Michael John LaChiusa musical based on the novel by Edna Ferber, has one of the strongest scores I’ve ever heard. By turns epic and intimate, classical and modern, the overall effect is Paint Your Wagon by way of Adam Guettel. Here’s a video on the recording of the original cast album:

For Viewing: “Manchester by the Sea” trailer

Kenneth Lonergan, one of our greatest living authors, has a new movie out in limited (but expanding) release right now. Considering that You Can Count on Me and Margaret, his two previous films, are absolute masterpieces, I’m definitely excited for an opportunity to see it. Here’s the trailer if you’re interested.

Review: “The Night Alive” at San Jose Stage Company

Since the death of the great Brian Friel, there are two playwrights who might lay claim to the title of Ireland’s greatest living playwright. Those two are Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson, a pair of writers who could not be more different in writing style if they were born two thousand years apart. While both write black comedies, McDonagh prefers to encourage the audience to laugh as his characters writhe in the filth of their lives, McPherson forces you into the lives of his characters, so that every laugh has a twinge of pain.

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Review: “Safe House” at Aurora Repertory Theatre

How often do people yell in real life? In the past six months, I can only think of about two conversations that have resulted in raised voices that I personally participated in. Keith Josef Adkins, however, would have you believe that the natural colloquy of human beings is loud and emotional. At least, that’s how he presents his characters in his 2014 slavery drama Safe House, a loud and exasperatingly overwrought melodrama that hides its interesting sociopolitical themes in a thick coating of syrupy sentiment.

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