Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The new David Adjmi memoir

If you need a bracing chat, I highly recommend the playwright David Adjmi, whom I interviewed about his memoir, Lot Six. My Q&A is here.

Lost Bullet

French directors are doing to action movies what an earlier generation did to horror: they're brushing up the genre cobwebs. As American actioners have grown bloated and ridiculous, the French ones stick to 90 lean minutes. And the new Lost Bullet is a nifty example of the new school. Read my review then head to Netflix. Or vice versa.

Liz Garbus, true crime and women

Before talking to Liz Garbus for the Times, I did a deep dive into her career. It was often tough going — she tends to go for dark subjects — but never less than compelling. Click here for our chat, pegged to the new HBO series I'll Be Gone in the Dark.

Why you need to watch The Bureau

S5 of the French series The Bureau has just started streaming on Sundance Now. I talked to some members of its team — including Eric Rochant, Jacques Audiard and Mathieu Kassovitz — about what makes the show, and this season in particular, so special. Click here for the spy goods.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Gay films that are not about coming out

The great arc of gay (in the widest sense of the word) characters over decades roughly goes like this: villain or pathetic characters, then coming of age/self-discovery, then the world is your oyster. I wrote about 9 films in the last category for the Times — and they're all from this decade. Click here, then stream away.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Tony's greatest moments

A few of the Times' finest theater mavens got together for this list of favorite moments from the Tony Awards. Prepare to click on a lot of YouTube links!

Streaming theater: underground and foreign edition

One of the very few upsides of lockdown is the opportunity to see shows that would have been difficult or even impossible for us to see — because they happened in Europe or because they had short, under-publicized runs in tiny spaces. I found some really good ones for my latest roundup so head thataway.

How to sing duets online

In good times and bum times, people like to sing together — but it's not so easy on Zoom. I wrote up a few tips for the Times' At Home section (first piece there!). Click here and sing out, Louise!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Seacoast Rep Theater goes live

The Seacoast Repertory Theater, in Portsmouth, N.H., almost went under five years ago so when the pandemic rolled around, these guys weren't going to go without a fight. I talked to them about what it means to put on a full production in a state of emergency. Click here for an uplifting story.

You'll Never Walk Alone

You'll never sing alone with "You'll Never Walk Alone": I tracked the stunning popularity of this Rodgers and Hammerstein song from Carousel all the way to its current status as a coronavirus anthem of sorts. Click here for a lot of videos.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Streaming French movies

There's a recent French movie for every taste, and I unearthed some under-the-radar gems in addition to higher-profile entries like Portrait of a Lady on Fire (which very much deserves its hype, by the way). Click here and then get streaming.

Streaming roundup 4

As we settle into a weird new normal, some businesses talk about reopening. Theaters, on the other hand, are still months away from welcoming audiences back into physical venues, so for now we have to do with streaming. Fortunately, there is more and more of it, and the quality keeps improving. My latest roundup for the Times has quite the range.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Streaming roundup, part 3

The virus is not going away, and neither is streaming theater. I gathered some of what's available out there for the Times. Click here then follow the yellow link roads.

Acting classes go online

A lot of things have gone online in the past months, including acting classes. I dropped by several Zoom sessions at HB Studio and Carnegie Mellon to see how that works. Click here for my piece.

Blood Quantum

I reviewed the zombie movie Blood Quantum for the Times. I'm always game for twists on the undead formula, so read on here to see what this Canadian flick pulls out.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

My favorite cast album is Hair

I've loved the Hair cast album since I was a teenager. Needless to say, I listened to it on repeat while writing this article.

Docs that rock

There are music docs and then there are rock docs. I've put together a list of my favorites in the second camp, and they're all streaming. Read and watch!

Why I continue watching Grey's Anatomy

There are hot TV shows and there are long-running workhorses, still at it after many years. My go-to is Grey's Anatomy and I can't see myself ever dropping it. Why should I: the show has done everything to make me stop, including getting rid of some of my favorite characters, and I'm still there. Thataway for the good.

The Plagues of Breslau

Serial killers and body horror go together like blade and flesh. I reviewed this gory Polish thriller — which sports a degree of murderous imagination that's downright Scandinavian — that's now streaming on Netflix for the Times. Click here for the article.

Monday, April 13, 2020

More streaming theater

Another roundup of streaming theater for your stay-at-home pleasure. Click here for the goods.

What to watch on Quibi

I updated my iOS just so I could watch Quibi. Was it a mistake? Time will tell. In the meantime, here are the shows I deemed Quibi-good.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kathy Valentine's Top 10 cultural picks

Trust the Go-Go's bassist to come up with some left-field answers for the Times' weekly "My Ten" column. Head thataway for the fun.

A tribute to Terrence McNally

Frankly, approaching these people to ask for their memories of Terrence McNally wasn't easy. And it must have been exponentially harder for them to answer. I'm grateful they did, and now you can read their testimonies here.

12 subtitled TV series you can stream right now

Best thing about subtitles: they force you to look away from the phone and focus! Here's my selection, and believe me, it was hard to pick just 12.

My tribute to Slings & Arrows

Delighted to write this short tribute to the Canadian series Slings & Arrows, as part of a weekly roundup of cultural offerings. It hasn't aged one bit. Click here.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show

The Rosie O'Donnell Show came back for a one-night-only telethon to raise money for the Actors Fund. I watched it all then wrote about it.

Theater enters the age of streaming

I'm so derelict in posting my links here! And now this piece, from the early days of the NY lockdown feels like a letter from long ago. And it was just about 2 weeks ago.

Anyway, theater has been dabbling with streaming for a while but now the situation has changed. A lot. So, what to do? Here's what some people are experimenting with.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

A roundtable about movie streaming

It was a pleasure to participate in this roundtable about the quality of streaming originals. I think we're cautiously optimistic? Click here for the goods.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The 2020-21 ski passes are out

I broke down what's new for Epic, Ikon and the Mountain Collective for next year. The news that Grand Targhee is finally joining a pass definitely made my day. Click here for the details.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Spenser Confidential

Mark Wahlberg headlines his new collaboration with Peter Berg, but the movie's real draw is Winston Duke. As long as he's on board, they can turn this into a franchise. My Times review of Spenser Confidential is here.

Coal Country

Not going to lie: I cried a lot at Coal Country at the Public. Another critic's pick — hey, it's just a really good time of the year! — and you can find it here.

Tumacho

Ethan Lipton's Tumacho is back for another round, which is great since I'd missed it at Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks a few years ago. My critic's pick review for the Times is here.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Celine Dion at Barclays Center

I've now seen Celine Dion live three times: at her first NYC show, which was at Town Hall in 1994; at Madison Square Garden in 2008; and last night at Barclays Center. So pretty much every dozen years or so. My account of the Town Hall concert was for the now-defunct New York Newsday and is not online, but the Times just put my review of the Barclays gig online.

Please, meet Bob Dylan

I asked members of the cast and creative team of the Girl From the North Country musical about the first time they heard Dylan. Needless to say, there was a drastic breakdown by generations: You could tell people's ages from their answers. Click here for the feature, which is the Times' Spring Preview.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

There is such a thing as too much upbeat, even in a musical — as evidenced by Dick Scanlan and Kathleen Marshall's revisal of this Meredith Willson show, which left me completely drained. My review is here.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Sabbath Girl

I have to admit I initially misread playwright Cary Gitter's name as Gary Gitter, and thought he must be getting a lot of redirects from a certain glam rocker on Google. What a difference a C makes. Anyway, my review of his play The Sabbath Girl can be found here.

Friday, February 21, 2020

How Killington makes snow

I love teaming up with a photographer for a story, and it was a pleasure to work with Caleb Kenna for this visually driven piece about Killington's snowmaking and grooming operation. Click here for the white stuff.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Happy Birthday Doug

Drew Droege set a high bar for wicked social satire in Bright Colors and Bold Patterns. His new one, Happy Birthday Doug, comes up a little short but it's still a good night out. My review is here.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine's Day streaming

I'm glad to have been invited to join a team of elite New York Times snipers assigned to choose some streaming movies (or episodes) for Valentine's Day. Va day may have come and gone, but romance is evergreen, right? Click here for our selections.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Ski instructions for adults

My latest for the Wall Street Journal: ski school — it's not just for kids. In which I praise the benefits of ski instruction for adults of all ages and all skill level. Click here for the article.

Brats and burritos at Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley has one of the most idiosyncratic backgrounds of any North American hills, and it was so much fun to research this article — my first for Condé Nast Traveler.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Interview with Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino is back on the NY stage for the first time in six years and I talked to her for the Times. As the headline says, she has range. The article is here.

Stew

I reviewed Zora Howard's new drama (dark comedy?) for the Times so head thataway for the goods.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Q&A with Harlan Coben

Unlike most of his thriller peers, Harlan Coben gets TV. It was a pleasure to talk to him for this Q&A.

The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker

The East Village's theatrical freak flag still flies at La MaMa! Thataway for my review.

Oscar Wao at Repertorio Español

A thorough adaptation of Junot Díaz's novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao would take hours. The one at Repertorio Español is much more compact, meaning there are shortcuts, but the first act is pretty rocking. My review is here.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Miss America's Ugly Daughter

I reviewed Barra Grant's exorcism of a solo show for the Times. New Yorkers of a certain age will remember Bess Myerson well. Click along here.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Cartography

It's always a pleasure to go to the New Victory Theater, one of my favorite New York institutions. This time, it was to review Christopher Myers and Kaneza Schaal's Cartography. How was it? Click here and find out.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Interview with Charles Busch

After years of fandom, I finally got to write about Charles Busch. What a treat! I'll say no more, just head over to the article.