Daily Archives: September 18, 2021

Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen Review

Costumes are more than clothes on a performer. They communicate as much about the character as the words that come out of the actor’s mouth.

The new exhibit, Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen, is open until the end of next month. Visitors are able to get up close and personal with some of the most lavish and beautiful costumes from their favorite stage shows, movies, and television programs. They are also able to have conversations with the experts in the field as they talk about their craft and the work that goes into the finished product.

This is the type of experience one can only have in New York City. The ability to see the detail and the effort it takes to create these masterpieces is not one that occurs very often. As an audience member, it makes me appreciate the artisans and artists who job it is to bring these masterpieces to life.

My problem is that I wish there was more to it. While it is entertaining and a bit of a learning experience, it falls short of fulfilling the promises it makes.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen will be open until October 31st. It is located at 234 West 42nd Street in New York. More information can be found on the first link above.

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Filed under Movies, New York City, Television

Impeachment: American Crime Story Review

Back in the late 1990’s, the impeachment trial of then President Bill Clinton was everywhere. His affair with Monica Lewinsky and the scandal that followed could not be ignored. One would have to be either living under a rock or under a certain age to at least not catch a whiff of what was coming from Washington DC.

The third season of the FX series, American Crime Story, focuses on the whirlwind that surrounded the Clinton administration following the rumor that he had an extramarital affair with Lewinsky, who was then an intern in her early 20’s. Clive Owen plays the former President. The four main female players are Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein), Hillary Clinton (Edie Falco), Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson), and Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford).

What I like about this series is that it takes the sexism that was part and parcel of this this entire affair and turns it on its head. Nowadays, Clinton has been politically lionized in some circles for what he did while in office. But it is easy to forget that his reputation was that of a hound dog who was not above forgetting his marriage vows. The focus is not on him, but the women around them. Depending on the sources, Lewinsky (who is one of the producers of this season), Clinton, Tripp, and Jones are either mocked, ignored, or vilified for their behavior during this period. Instead of being portrayed as 2D stereotypes, these women are fully rounded characters and finally allowed to tell this story from their perspective.

The cast is fantastic. Owens disappears under a prosthetic nose and a southern accent. Feldstein gives her character the breadth and depth that she finally deserves after being a punchline for twenty plus years. Paulson’s Tripp is sort of an anti-hero. The viewer may not agree with the decisions she made, but we learn more of her than the headlines portrayed back then. For their parts, Falco and Ashford are equally good, trying to hold their own in a world that does not do them justice.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Impeachment: American Crime Story airs on FX on Tuesday night at 10PM.

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Filed under Feminism, FX, History, Politics, Television, TV Review

The Drowning Kind Book Review

The bond with our siblings is an interesting one. They are hopefully our best friends. But they can also be someone who we wish we would get along with, but just can’t.

Jennifer McMahon‘s new book, The Drowning Kind, was published in April. Jax is a social worker living on the West coast of the United States. Her relationship with her older sister, Lexie, has been fraught due to Lexie’s mental health issues. When her sister drowns in a pool on the family estate, Jax has no choice but to return home. Going through Lexie’s things, she begins to uncover the history of the property and the mysterious spring that is rumored to be haunted.

The narrative then flashes back to the late 1920’s. Ethel Monroe is a newlywed with only one wish: to become a mother. Seeing that his wife is is need of a break from their daily lives, they take a trip to a new hotel in Vermont. This hotel is not only famous for being the latest and greatest, but it has a natural well that can grant wishes. But for every wish that is granted, the well needs something in return.

This book is a slow grind, but in a good way. The mystery is revealed in a manner that sends a chill up the reader’s spine. I generally don’t watch or read ghost stories because I am a writer and I have a vivid imagination, which loves to comes out and play when it is time to go to bed. What kept me hooked was the relationship between Jax and Lexie, but the supernatural element added another level to the narrative making it that much more interesting and readable.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Mental Health