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Entries in Cabaret (29)

Nov 25 2014

Stage Door: Emma Stone in "Cabaret"

Josehere.Earlier this yearI reported back from the Kit Kat Club to share my impressions about Michelle Williams’ performance as Sally Bowles in the Roundabout Theatre production ofCabaret. Last night I went back to see what Emma Stone (Spirit-Nominated this morning) brought to the part...

Halfway through the first act ofCabaret, Sally Bowles realizes that life with her naive, new lover Cliff (Bill Heck) might be exactly what she needs. She sits with Cliff on a chaise lounge and for a moment she sees herself living the life of a wife and mother, satisfied with keeping home and raising her child. Suddenly, the Emcee interrupts this precious moment by bringing a microphone, its allure too powerful for Sally to resist, and drawn towards it as if under a spell, she performs “Maybe This Time”.

Onstage, the heartbreaking irony of this moment (Sally selling her soul to showbiz, while fooling herself into thinking she’s doing the opposite) is hard to detect if the actress playing her is too eager, or not eager enough; a delicate balance which I’m thrilled to report was beautifully achieved by Emma Stone.

Having already proved to be a truly magnetic screen presence, Stone brings her unusual sensuality to Sally Bowles by subverting the quirkiness that makes her so much fun to watch in movies. Gone are the traces of the goofy girl fromEasy A, or the naivete of her Gwen Stacy inThe Amazing Spider-Man. If anything, she’s taking on the introspective self-destructiveness of her Sam fromBirdman, the same volatile qualities that make her appealing and scary. Her Sally is a teenager who has convinced herself she can fool others into thinking she can play with the grown-ups. Her levels of delusion are such that she fails to notice she hasn’t really fooled anyone but herself.

Stone is also smart enough to know that in the stage version, Sally isn’t the star, she’s part of the ensemble. To a certain degree she's also a memory conveyed by Cliff who “writes” the show as it goes by looking back at his Berlin experiences. Stone’s Sally, while not the star of the show, is so seductive that we miss her whenever she’s not onstage, partly because we want to see her again, and partly because we are afraid of what will happen to her when we’re not looking after her. The audience develops caretaker feelings towards her, combined with sexual desire, making for Stone’s most mature performance to date.

And can she sing you ask?While she is obviously no Liza (then again who is?), Stone successfully delivers her numbers, bringing a raspy, sensual quality to them. (She often sounds like Lindsay Lohan did in her pop star moment!). Stone knows that singing isn’t her (or Sally's) true forte, so she lets this be an essential part of the performance, delivering the last third of the title song completely out of pitch, furiously fighting against the notes coming from the band. If a man can’t restrict her, why does this song think it can?

Apr 29 2014

Tony Award Noms 2014: Much Movie-to-Stage Madness

The Tony Award Nominations are upon us. 8:30 AM is, I think, officially my favorite time each day. It's always when award nominations for anything are announced. Plus I've already had a cup of coffee, am wide awake and have usually already written something. The curse of the Early Riser. The 2013/2014 Broadway season -- at least for the musicals -- was completely dominated by movie-to-stage transfers or classics that have become movies and are back on the stage again but most of the transfers didn't fare as well as you might have expected.

Ever adorable Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu announced the nominees this morning withA Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murderleading the tally andHedwig and the Angry Inchclose behind.A complete list with commentary follows

Click to read more ...

Apr 11 2014


In Contentionthe Stephen Hawking biopicTheory of Everythingstarring Eddie Redmayne is getting an Oscar prime November release. Best Actor is going to be tight this year, people
Telegraphinterviewed Winona Ryder last month. Not sure how I missed this one but it's a good interview with smart comments on her career and age.
Shadowplay"things I read off the screen inIn The Heat of the Night" interesting piece on 1967's Best Picture

Playbillhas a history ofCabaret's journey from the pages of "Goodbye to Berlin" to the stage and screen
Cinema BlendI hadn't heard about this but there's aTwilightrelated lawsuit going on about profit sharing. Apparently Robert Pattinson made $25 million fromBreaking Dawn. Wow.
Pajibaon Rob Lowe's "awesome" Reddit AMA
The PlaylistDenis Villeneuve's career is heating up postPrisoners/Enemyand he's prepping a sci-fi thriller calledThe Story of Your Lifewhich might star Amy Adams. It sounds vaguelyContact-esque to me.
TowleroadX-Men Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy do great impressions of Sir Ian McKellen and more. Adorable.
AV Clubon "the return of the consumptive heroine" viaThe Wind RisesandWinter's Tale

Today's Watch
这是一个新的蝙蝠侠短风格的动画ed adventures in the 90s to celebrate his 75th anniversary (which is actually in but people are excited so they're starting early)

Creative Tributes
Cinema BlendJackie Chan, who turned 60 this year, has been immortalized with a portrait in chopsticks
i092001: A Space Odysseygets an homage via fruits and vegetables in this commercial
Chaz Eberther late husband Roger Ebert is getting a statue during EbertFest

An Actor's Director
GuardianSean Penn is returning to the director's chair for a South African romantic drama starring his new squeeze Charlize Theron (originally from South Africa so that's kind of cool) and Javier Bardem. My main concern with Penn as a director is that he's just so heavy/grim. I hope he finds a way for a range of tones here. This will also be Adele Exarchopoulos follow up toBlue is the Warmest Colour as she's playing a journalist

And finally...

AV Clublet's us now the remake ofTime Cop(1994) is back on. I don't care about this but I will take any excuse to post Jean Claude Van Damme's infamous kitchen counter split. It's one of my most vivid memories of 1990s moviegoing. What?

Apr 07 2014

Stage Door: Michelle Williams in "Cabaret"

Josehere. I have a confession to make that might make me very unpopular around here: I don’tgetMichelle Williams. I understand the reasons why she’s beloved and acclaimed and why she’s earned three Academy Award nominations so far, but I can’t bring myself to declare myself as part of her fanclub. The reason behind this is that I can’t fully fathom her as a true sexual being, yet time after time she’s asked to portray characters for whom sex is an essential trait. For instance, as much as she aced the moves, comedic timing and picaresque tone of Marilyn Monroe inMy Week with Marilyn, she played the most famous sexual icon of all time as a timid porcelain doll, whose internal turmoils kept her from having an emotional life. What is the point of having Marilyn onscreen if you’re not having at least mildly naughty thoughts about her?

Click to read more ...

Feb 15 2014

Beauty Break: Marisa Berenson

玛丽莎贝伦森67岁生日快乐。这个新的York born multilingual beauty,originally a model, has been around forever and in key films, too. Her film career couldn't sustain its major start but few careers could have. Consider that in her first decade acting she madeDeath in Venice(1971),Cabaret(1972), Stanley Kubrick'sBarry Lyndon(1975) and Blake EdwardsS.O.B.(1981). Tough acts to follow, no? She was never prolific, opting for the occasional TV guest spot and films here and there in various countries, butthat face-- memorable and impossibly beautiful.

According to IMDb she was rumored for a Vivien Leigh biopic in the 1970s (and wouldn't that be both a challenge and a coup for the right actress?) but the film sadly never materialized.

More of the impossible beauty [nsfw] of Marisa Berensonafter the jump...

Click to read more ...

Jan 07 2014

I'm Linking As Fast As I Can

Who can keep up this week?

Vanity FairKatey Rich on the embarassing Armond White display at the New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony. I seriously don't know why the NYFCC risks their reputation this way each year?
英国广播公司Jane Campion will head the Cannes jury this year. Yay! (Although this article weirdly states that Campion is the only female to win the Palme D'Or which is no longer true. Lea Seydoux & Adele Exarchopoulus won with their director forBlue is the Warmest Color
ScriptNoteswith John August and Craig Mason wonder if filmmakers will ever be able to release a surprise feature a la Beyonce's surprise record
Time50个事情你不知道尼古拉斯凯奇his 50th birthday
The CarpetbaggerWill Forte on his surprise detour intoNebraska
TowleroadLily Tomlin finally marries longtime partner/collaborator Jane Wagner
THRhilarious interview about the forthcoming Golden Globes with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Cinema BlendLiza Minnelli loves The Dallas Buyers Club, says to McConaughey...

And, honey, if you don't win the Academy Award, I'm giving you mine."

Next time I hear "Mein Herr" I'll think, however briefly, of McConaughey. But I hear Mein Herr so often so it won't ruin it for me (what? You watchCabaretmonthly, too, right?). In fact, I'm okay with this regifting if:

1) Matthew can do the entire choreography of Mein Herr flawlessly
2) Matthew gives Liza a supporting role inMagic Mike 2

Apr 27 2013

A Voyage to the Link

RetronautAmazingly sexist rejection letter from Walt Disney to an aspiring female artist
Technicolor Disneyhas reference photos for animation mashed-up with final art. Cool
《洛杉矶时报》AMPAS may expand past 6,000 members this year. They're talking about diversifying and may relax their membership cap
Cinema Blend80s/90s hitmaker Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction) to return after a long absence for another sexual thriller, this one about an open marriage and a trail of bodies. Expect big stars to headline as the troubled couple.
OutSoderbergh interviewing Soderbergh? The director's gay brother talks to him aboutBehind the Candelabra. (Someone remind me why this isn't opening in movie theaters again?)

EmpireRyan Reynolds for Tarsem Singh'sSelfless? This only leads to one logical question...
My New Plaid Pantswhat kind of revealing costumes will Tarsem put him in?
VarietyJane Fonda about to get the immortalizing hand-in-cement treatment
Playbillthe revival of Cabaret on Broadway already has Alan Cumming returning as the emcee but they're obviously looking for a starry Sally. Initial rumors said Anne Hathaway but now Emma Stone is the rumor
Slate"the secret autobiography of Tom Cruise" ...what's behind the grinning mask?
GuardianPedro Almodóvar callsI'm So Excitedhis "gayest film ever". Hmmm. It's also supposed to be some sort of metaphor for Spain's economic crisis.

one more thing...
I wasjust bitching aboutInto the Woodsbut the idea of a new movie musical version ofGuys & Dollssounds great. Especially since the original film version isn't exactly a "classic" outside of being, well, old. It's especially good news ifboth Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum really are on board. But if it doesn't get a good director I'll worry. A lot.

off cinema
i09huge breakthrough in artificial skin. How long until we seeBlade Runnerstyle replicants?
Gothamistlast three days to see Edvard Munch's "The Scream" at MoMA. When I was last there I wrote about蒂尔达斯温顿在盒子里but I neglected to tell you how embarrassed for everyone I was when I went to see The Scream. People were not lookingat itbutposing beside itwith their Scream Face on (which always ended up looking more "Home AloneFace"). some people were so confused about the pose/provenance that they were doing Monkey See, Monkey Do. TRAGIC!

Watching "Hugo" at MoMA

In the middle of a nearby exhibit about architecture, there's a 3D screen showing pieces ofHugobecause of the famous train station set.My bestie snapped a photo of me unawares looking on (above). Some of the scenes they played weren't even set-specific though. Unfortunately this meant that I couldn't even escape Chloe Moretz at MoMA.

Also tragic!