Entertainment Newjerseynewsroom.com News for New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/entertainment/ Sun, 23 Nov 2014 09:47:21 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Queen Latifah: How Bad Was It? http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/queen-latifah-how-bad-was-it queen_opt_copyBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The crowded daytime talk show scene just got a little less so this week. And feeling the fallout was a New Jersey native.

“The Queen Latifah Show” will not be around for a third season.

Latifah’s show was cancelled on Friday. A Wrap story on Yahoo TV revealed that the program averaged about 1.4 million total viewers. Latifah had only signed for two years when the show first began. One Wrap source accused Latifah of “phoning it in the whole time.”

The Queen Latifah Show began in September 2013, and featured celebrity interviews and human interest stories. People reported that during an interview, actress Rene Russo admitted that she is taking medication for bipolar disorder.

]]>
Movies Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:25:01 +0000
Vampire Romance Set in Iran Has Style to Spare http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/vampire-romance-set-in-iran-has-style-to-spare alone2_optBY MIRIAM RINN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

It seems vampires are a problem not only for love-starved American teenagers. They stalk Iranians too, especially those who have fallen off the path of the righteous. In “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” a pretty, young-looking vamp wearing a chador preys on the lowlife of Bad City, acting sometimes like an avenging angel and other times like a hungry bloodsucker. This droll indie first feature by writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour maintains a bemused attitude toward its various characters and manages to paint an intriguing portrait of life in the Islamic republic.

While the film is set in an oil-drilling town in Iran and is in Farsi, it is a product of the Iranian community in Los Angeles, the largest outside of Iran. Amirpour shot in a vacant California oil town and drew her actors from the L. A. Iranian American arts community. The soundtrack is a mixture of Middle Eastern and American rock, and since Amirpour was a member of a band for years, music plays a large role, both as background and as plot device. The resulting film feels both foreign and familiar, like Jim Jarmusch’s work.

]]>
Movies Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:49:28 +0000
'Side Show' Broadway Review: A Sister Act Unlike Any Other in Show Biz http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/side-show-broadway-review-a-sister-act-unlike-any-other-in-show-biz SideShowBway1w_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BROADWAY REVIEW

A dark, ambitious, sometimes weirdly alluring musical drama about conjoined twin sisters, “Side Show” lasted only a few months on Broadway back in 1997.

I thought it was striking and was sorry when the musical did not catch on with the public.

Now considerably revised by its makers, “Side Show” has returned to Broadway at the St. James Theater.

Bill Russell’s story is derived from the real-life 1920s-30s times of the Hilton Sisters: Pretty conjoined twins who improbably became musical headliners in vaudeville.

Russell’s libretto sees teenaged Daisy (Emily Padgett) and Violet (Erin Davie) rescued from exploitation in a seedy carnival and then groomed for mainstream success by Terry (Ryan Silverman), a slick agent, and his song-and-dance chum Buddy (Matthew Hydzik).

]]>
Movies Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:38:33 +0000
"Happy Valley" Doc Probes Penn State Sex Scandal http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/qhappy-valleyq-doc-probes-penn-state-sex-scandal HAPPY_opt-1BY MIRIAM RINN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

If you go to see “Happy Valley” to learn the definitive truth about whether Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew about his assistant coach’s predatory behavior toward pre-teen boys and basically ignored it, you will be disappointed. Amir Bar-Lev’s absorbing documentary on the Penn State sex-abuse scandal focuses instead on the reaction of football fans to the firing of their beloved and successful coach and to what that means for their team’s chances. For many, the future of the football team and its coach trumps the damage done by a single person.

Bar-Lev begins his film with the preparations for a game, emphasizing how deeply Penn State football is embedded into the culture of State College, Pennsylvania, the town nicknamed Happy Valley. Thousands of people begin setting up their tailgate parties early in the day and the game itself is part of a larger phenomenon essential to the identity of the people there. “College football is something special,” a fan explains somewhat unhelpfully but with deep feeling.

]]>
Movies Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:53:54 +0000
'Allegro' Off Broadway Review: A Rodgers & Hammerstein Rarity http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/allegro-off-broadway-review-a-rodgers-a-hammerstein-rarity 14_opt_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

“Allegro” is the unconventional musical that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II crafted in 1947 in the wake of their “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel” triumphs.

The show ran 315 performances, lost money and has scarcely been produced since.

Musical theater aficionados now have a rare chance to savor “Allegro” in a dandy – and appropriately unconventional – staging by director-designer John Doyle at Classic Stage Company.

]]>
Movies Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:21:48 +0000
'Tamburlaine' Off Broadway Review: A Classical Blast From 1588 http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/tamburlaine-off-broadway-review-a-classical-blast-from-1588 tambo_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

It is a bloody thrill to see “Tamburlaine, Parts I and II” staged so well by Theater for a New Audience.

Literally. A 30-minute intermission between the two 90-minute plays allows the crew barely enough time to mop away the blood that soaks the stage at TFANA’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn.

A wild story about a cruel and implacable peasant warrior, Christopher Marlowe’s “Tamburlaine” was a huge hit in 1587-88 and became the blank verse prototype for Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.

The work is rarely produced anymore due to its massive cast and its excesses of violence and poetical bombast. TFANA’s revival is the play’s first major New York staging since 1956 and it’s a classical blast.

]]>
Movies Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:24:29 +0000
'The River' Broadway Review: Hugh Jackman Goes on a Fishing Trip http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/the-river-broadway-review-hugh-jackman-goes-on-a-fishing-trip jackman_opt1BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BROADWAY REVIEW

Some people may pluck some significance from “The River.”

To me, it seems like so much matinee-idol chowder.

Not that the new Broadway show at Circle In the Square isn’t tasty.

This cunningly-served production stars the ever-delectable Hugh Jackman, who sensitively acts being moody and manly during a romantic weekend. Just watch him gut a trout and tenderly prepare it for an intimate dinner with a winsome miss in his rustic retreat in the woods

Or is The Man (as Jackman’s character is called in the playbill) really fileting that fish twice?

]]>
Movies Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:01:38 +0000
'Grand Concourse' Off Broadway Review: Trouble at the Workplace http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/grand-concourse-off-broadway-review-trouble-at-the-workplace tyler_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

A soup kitchen in the Bronx is the scene for “Grand Concourse,” a new play that studies the relationship between an unstable young woman and a kindly nun whose faith is wavering.

Expect none of the usual soup kitchen clichés, thankfully, in Heidi Schreck’s absorbing present-day piece, which opened Wednesday in its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons.

All right: There is a loveable homeless guy on the premises but actor Lee Wilkof portrays him neatly.

Other than that hoary figure, Schreck delivers a 100-minute drama of the workplace that a lot of people will appreciate all too well.

]]>
Movies Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:16:35 +0000
Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank Struggle Against Odds in "The Homesman" http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/tommy-lee-jones-and-hilary-swank-struggle-against-odds-in-qthe-homesmanq HOMESMAN_optBY MIRIAM RINN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

The American frontier was a brutal place for women, who seemed to suffer even more than men from the isolation and the privation of the plains, and depression and suicide were not uncommon. That terrible reality forms the backdrop for “The Homesman,” a film co-written and directed by Tommy Lee Jones. “The Homesman” features Jones and Hilary Swank in the primary roles, with a crowd of well-known actors, including Meryl Streep, John Lithgow, and James Spader, filling smaller roles. Despite the A-list talent and the striking cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto, “The Homesman” is brought down by a confused script and unconvincing characterizations.

]]>
Movies Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:53:03 +0000
'Disgraced' Broadway Review: A Perceptive Study in Prejudice http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/disgraced-broadway-review-a-perceptive-study-in-prejudice disgraced_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BROADWAY REVIEW

A successful Pakistani-American corporate lawyer is shipwrecked on the rocks of prejudice and his own personal demons in “Disgraced.”

Produced in Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3 series in 2012, Ayad Akhtar’s stimulating contemporary drama was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and recently moved into the Lyceum Theater as a Broadway attraction.

Trendy in its perceptions and topics, lively in its conversation, this lucid piece is a modern-day heir to the glossy problem dramas that S.N. Behrman and Robert E. Sherwood contributed to Broadway in the middle of the last century.

]]>
Movies Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:40:16 +0000