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Review: ‘Hamilton’s Revolution Still Shoots Fireworks Over Broadway

It’s rare enough to experience the shiver of revelation that comes in the first few minutes of a great show; rarer still to be blasted above the ordinary the second time around. That’s something great plays and musicals do: They expand with our consciousness. So it is with Hamilton, which turns two on July 13. The original cast members, led in the title role by the show’s author, composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, have long since departed on a wave of recognition… Read


CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ Calls ‘Fox & Friends’ A Trump “Infomercial”

Two days after Fox & Friends‘ Ainsley Earhardt complimented President Donald Trump over his public bluff about non-existent secret tape-recordings, CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter is calling the Fox morning show “an informercial” for the president. In a critical if light-hearted piece on this morning’s Reliable Sources, Stelter called Fox & Friends a “celebration of the Administration each and every single day.” After first making a Barney the Dinosaur analogy… Read

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‘1984’ Broadway Review: Olivia Wilde, Tom Sturridge & Reed Birney Revive Orwell’s Grim Tale

It’s entirely possible that producers Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman – who’ve brought Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s frequently harrowing adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 to Broadway after three years in London and on the road – meant to parody the punitive Big Brother-like tone with the program insert that accompanies the Playbill. The giveaway is that “101 minutes,” an unsubtle reference to Room 101, the torture chamber described in the 1949 novel and made quite… Read


Peter Bart: Are Fabulous Female Directors Limited By Tired Dude Genres?

Five very attractive actresses sewed their wild oats on 3,100 screens last weekend, but hardly anyone noticed. With a female director and an all-female cast, Rough Night from Sony sat a sad seventh on the box office charts (barely above Captain Underpants), stirring some to ask these questions: Are female filmmakers squandering their newly acquired muscle by recycling tired dude genres? Are the feminine sensibilities of a Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers getting lost in… Read


In Battle Of The Film Festivals, Telluride Comes Into Town And Upstages LAFF In Its Own Backyard

Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 2014

The currently running Los Angeles Film Festival, which by nature of its Hollywood industry hometown roots should be cock of the walk, just can’t catch a break as interlopers like Telluride are hogging the attention. Proving it is never too early to kick-start the movie awards season, the Telluride Film Festival once again temporarily relocated to the London Hotel rooftop deck in West Hollywood on Tuesday evening to tout this year’s upcoming Labor Day weekend edition of… Read


Bart & Fleming: Megyn Kelly, Hulk Hogan, Gawker & Journalism’s Secret Peril

Megyn Kelly Hulk Hogan Billy Bush

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: As I was pondering this Megyn Kelly/Alex Jones mess, I thought of the Pentagon Papers movie Steven Spielberg’s making with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. It struck me that he has a subject that is to journalism what Saving Private Ryan was for WWII soldiers: one of the last… Read


Guest Column: John Gray On The Generous Spirit Of Director John Avildsen

John Avildsen Rocky

While John Avildsen is being memorialized for his Best Picture winning film Rocky as well as The Karate Kid, Lean on Me and others, it isn’t all about film credits. Here, John Gray, who directed the film White Irish Drinkers and Glimmer, and helmed episodes of series including Grimm and The Family, recounts an act of generosity shown him by the filmmaker that made for an indelible memory in a young filmmaker’s life    Another sad loss for our business. Here’s my John… Read


Peter Bart: Can ‘The Big Sick’ Grab Healthy Box Office Take Among Summer Tentpoles?

The Big Sick

When The Big Sick opens June 23, it will defy box office odds in several notable ways: The $5 million rom-com has a problematic title, it stars a Pakistani stand-up who opened his publicity swing this week by urging college students to "have sex with an immigrant," and it will platform in only two theaters in pursuit of critical support followed by a slow ’70s-style rollout wedged between a clump of $100 million-plus franchise pictures including Transformers: The Last Knig… Read


Bart & Fleming: ‘The Mummy’s Franchise Fail & 21st Century’s Top Films So Far

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: What is the long-term takeaway of the failure of Pirates Of The Caribbean and now The Mummy to incite any excitement among moviegoers, Peter? Maybe we need to wait for the next Transformers to be sure, but I would say that these committee-formulated summer studio franchises… Read


Emmys: Voting In Progress As Shows Make Final Pitches In Biggest Campaign Season Yet

Last night, the Television Academy sent out a notice to all eligible voters that Phase One balloting for Emmy nominations has begun, with a return deadline of June 26. “A lot of people are going to be disappointed on July 13th,” one awards pundit predicted to me recently about the morning nominations will be announced. We were discussing the sheer volume of contenders with big campaigns behind them this year. It seems a lot of people have high hopes. Every year it gets… Read


‘Julius Caesar’, The NEA, Delta Airlines And ‘The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’

UPDATE Monday afternoon: The National Endowment for the Arts, which is facing a Trump administration effort to eliminate the agency, issued a statement distancing itself from the Public Theater’s Julius Caesar production “to correct a misunderstanding” about funding. Read more here. EARLIER: On Sunday afternoon, a few hours before the Tony Awards, Delta Airlines declared that the Public Theater had gone beyond the boundaries of civil discourse with its production of… Read


Tonys Review: Kevin Spacey Does Bill Clinton And Johnny Carson As Bette Midler Drowns Out The Band In A Low-Key Show

With no Hamilton to electrify the TV audience, the 71st Tony Awards tried hard to generate some excitement Sunday night with first-time host Kevin Spacey and a slew of competitive races that jazzed the Broadway crowd. Whether that fed the national audience, tomorrow’s ratings will reveal. For the theater fans, there were a few surprises and even an upset or two in a mostly non-political, nearly old-fashioned show. Stephen Colbert got in some choice digs at the President… Read