In Hollywood, one of the methods that producers use to fill seats is to hire performers who are well known to the audience. The problem is that this method does not always work. Just because an actor is famous does not guarantee that they are right for the role or that fans will respond in a positive manner.
For the last few months, Beanie Feldstein has been headling in the new revival of Funny Girl. Though most of the reviews were not entirely bad, they were not entirely good either. Though I haven’t seen it, close family members have. What they told me echoed what has been written about the production.
Feldstein was supposed the role of Fanny Brice until the end of September. She is now leaving at the end of this month.
To be fair, this is the first revival of the musical since its premiere in 1964. Given that the only person who has played the title role is Barbra Streisand, the expectations perhaps need to be a little more realistic..
Lea Michele of Glee fame will be taking over from Feldstein in the fall. Though it has only been a few days, the rumor mill in regards to Michele’s supposed diva behavior has not stopped churning.
I’m obviously not in showbusiness. But I have been in the working world for nearly two decades. From my perspective, this is a dumpster fire than can only go one of two ways: Michele can prove her critics wrong and the show will last. Or, it will all go down in flames and the reputation of this beloved Broadway musical will have a tarnish on it that will remain on it forever.
*I apologize for the delay in posting. I should have written this before New Year’s Eve.
Loki: Tom Hiddleston shines once more as Loki, the complicated immortal who has become much more than the standard antagonist. Forced into new circumstances, he goes on a journey that forever changes him.
Ordinary Joe: This new NBC series is the story of one man and three distinct life paths before him. Told concurrently and using different colors for each decision, is is a reminder of how one choice can affect the rest of our lives.
The Book of Boba Fett: This latest entry into the Star Wars universe from DisneyPlus just premiered on December 29th. Though only two episodes have been released, it is already asking questions that are begging for answers.
Behind Her Eyes: Based on the book by Sarah Pinborough, this six part Netflix series about a married man’s affair with his secretary has a delicious ending that is jaw dropping and completely out of left field. Few endings have wowed me as this did.
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 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.
Coming of age movies have been around for decades. Most of these movies are centered around young men. Female characters in these films are usually limited in both the number of characters and their ability to grow beyond a basic character type.
In the new movie, Booksmart, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are best friends who are about to graduate high school. The last four years have been all work and no play for the girls. Operating with the belief that their classmates are more interested in the social aspects of high school than the academic aspects of high school, Molly and Amy are shocked to hear that they are not the only ones who prioritize school work.
Wanting to make up for the last four years in one night, the girls decide to make the night a memorable one.
Directed by actor Olivia Wilde (making her directing debut) and written by four female writers, this film takes the basic buddy comedy/coming of age film and elevates it to a new level. Taking the place of traditional male leads, Molly and Amy are intelligent, determined and political without hitting the audience over the head. They are also honest and have a bit of a potty mouth, which works perfectly for these characters and their narrative.
The film also speaks to the oh sh*t moment that most, if not all us realize the night before we are to graduate high school. Our lives are about to change, the four years that we thought would last forever went by in a flash. It is a reminder (though we may not be cognizant at the time), that life goes by fast. Stopping to smell the roses wouldn’t hurt every once in a while.
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