Sorry (#110 of 2)

Lady Gaga Drops Derivative New Single "The Cure"

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Lady Gaga Drops Derivative New Single "The Cure"
Lady Gaga Drops Derivative New Single "The Cure"

Lady Gaga's last album, Joanne, felt like a forgery—a misguided bid to be taken seriously. This was curious coming from an artist who once refreshingly insisted that pop need not make any apologies. Joanne wasn't the sound of a singer who'd lost herself, but of one who never knew who she was in the first place. Gaga's new surprise single, which she premiered during her performance at Coachella last night, only further calcifies that impression. With “The Cure,” she abandons the middling singer-songwriter pap of recent single “Million Reasons” and abruptly shifts gears for a tropical house rhythm complete with a sped-up vocal sample reminiscent of Justin Bieber's smash “Sorry.” The lyrics are composed of generic pop platitudes about unconditional devotion that aren't worth citing here, rendered even more forgettable by a generic hook and a lifeless vocal turn by Gaga herself. If her intention was to make us realize just how much personality she imbued Joanne with, “The Cure” is a resounding success.

Interview: Laila Robins

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Interview: Laila Robins
Interview: Laila Robins

New York's fall theater season is the best in recent memory, primarily due to the high quality of its remarkably large number of repertory productions. Performing Twelfth Night in tandem with Richard III, Mark Rylance and his all-male company find fresh immediacy in the 400-year-old traditions of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Ian McKellen and Billy Crudup exhibit impressive versatility moving from Beckett's Waiting for Godot to Pinter's No Man's Land. And Bedlam Theater brings Hamlet and George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to blazing life due to the energy of four young actors tossing characters around as if they were juggling balls. The greatest ensemble in town though, featured in The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country, performs the same roles in play after play after play after play.

Writer-director Richard Nelson's intimate four-part work takes place around a dining room table. Writ small, it lands large by enmeshing us in the emotional lives and political beliefs of a Chekhovian family unit—the three Apple sisters and their brother—along with their uncle and a sister's boyfriend. Emotionally epic, the unique project began as a one-off, with the Public Theater's production of the 90-minute That Hopey Changey Thing. It opened the night of 2010's midterm elections, which was also the night the play takes place. There was little expectation that this “disposable” work, as Nelson himself described it, would ever be produced again much less lead to any sequels. It proved such a success a new installment has appeared every year since—on the 10th anniversary of September 11 for Sweet and Sad, 2012's election night in Sorry, and now, with Regular Singing, the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. The works' impact stems largely from the brilliant acting of the company, particularly the four who've been with the project from the beginning: Laila Robins and Maryann Plunkett as two of the sisters, Jay O. Sanders as the brother, and Jon De Vries as their uncle, whose amnesia from a stroke sparks the plot and theme of much of the project.