Review: “Neptune Frost”

“Neptune Frost” is the sort of film that needs to be experienced without trying too hard to unravel the intricacies of directors Saul Williams (who also wrote and composed the music for the movie) and Anisia Uzeyman’s complex world-building in their Afrofuturist musical. At the same time, it’s essential to engage with the film with […]

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Review: “Cyrano”

“Cyrano,” director Joe Wright’s adaptation of Erica Schmidt’s musical of the same name that’s based in turn on the classic 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” opens not with its titular character, but with the object of his affections, Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Roxanne has been invited to attend a play by De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn), an […]

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Review: “West Side Story” (2021)

The 1961 film version of the 1957 Broadway musical “West Side Story” may be legendary, but it’s the rare movie that practically begs to be remade. The movie, based on the musical with book by Arthur Laurents, music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins, is delightful in some […]

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Review: “Dear Evan Hansen”

Like most musical theatre fans, I was all over the “Dear Evan Hansen” Broadway cast recording when it was released in early 2017. The collection of pop tunes written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who were also behind the popular musicals “La La Land” (which I like) and “The Greatest Showman” (which I loathe) […]

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Cinema Classics: “42nd Street”

“42nd Street” is the definitive backstage musical. It’s also the film that likely saved the movie musical genre. In the early 1930s, a slew of poorly made musicals following the advent of talkies failed to gain a following amongst critics and audiences. “42nd Street”, directed by Lloyd Bacon and featuring spectacularly-shot musical numbers choreographed by the great […]

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Review: “Annette”

Toward the end of Noah Baumbach’s 2019 film “Marriage Story,” Charlie, played by Adam Driver, breaks into an emotional rendition of Sondheim’s “Being Alive” from the musical “Company” while at a restaurant with friends, facing the dissolution of his marriage. It’s a beautiful scene—my favorite in the entire film, actually—and one that made me immediately […]

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Review: “In the Heights”

We’re likely all familiar with how ground-breaking Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton” was, but it’s safe to say that that show might not exist were it not for the success of Miranda’s first show, “In the Heights.” When “In the Heights” opened on Broadway in 2008, it entered a space predominantly inhabited by shows made […]

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Review: “Best Summer Ever”

Plot-wise, there isn’t much that is new about the musical “Best Summer Ever,” directed by Michael Parks Randa and Lauren Smitelli. The story involves two teens who meet at a dance summer camp and fall in love before going their separate ways. Tony (Ricky Wilson Jr.) is supposedly going home to New York, where he […]

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