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There Ain’t No Shelley Long Here: Hello Again

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There Ain’t No Shelley Long Here: Hello Again

Okay, the gripes are gonna come out first: The loft space at 52 Mercer Street used for Transport Group’s glorious redo of Michael John LaChiusa’s La Ronde takeoff Hello Again seemed about 20 degrees too warm on the press night I attended, and my ass was as sore as a whore’s from the cushion-less seating around the large banquet tables. Oh, and the considerable presence of actress Elizabeth Stanley (Company, Cry-Baby) is somewhat underutilized. But that’s pretty much all that isn’t stirring about this production, given an arresting, fresh, downtown-chic pulse by director Jack Cummings III (who similarly staged The Boys in the Band last year, hauntingly, in an actual NYC apartment), and featuring a truly brave, fully charged ensemble that never pushes the sexually voracious vignettes into prurient wank territory.

Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play has gotten so many makeovers it’s easy to see why it so often fails in translation. Most productions amp up the sexual content until there’s no room for a narrative to breathe, or are stiff bores for Etonian snobs. LaChiusa’s adaptation is both grave and playful, in highlighting its 10 tales, which follow through the entire 20th century, from clandestine trysts to casual hookups, pairings both gay and straight, with a little bisexuality thrown in for good measure. Among them are a Whore (Nikka Graff Lanzarone) and a Soldier (Max von Essen) who get it on with no names exchanged until post-coitum, a College Boy (Robert Lenzi) who dallies with both his Nurse (Stanley) and a Young Wife (Alexandra Silber) who is not his, a Senator (Alan Campbell) entangled with an Actress (Rachel Bay Jones), and in the most potent tale, a Husband (Bob Stillman) and a Young Thing (Blake Daniel) who have a liaison in the midst of a ship hitting an iceberg, and knowing full well that at least one of their hearts will not go on.

Transport’s production is sure to be buzzed-about rather quickly due to its near-record use of naked, well-muscled male backsides, sometimes literally thrusting close to your face. But the most surprising aspect is how the musical never becomes smutty, even while predicating every scene on a sexual bout. This could be because the inherent surge of emotion, as well as the deflating end result, that is involved in a sexual encounter is also constantly omnipresent, and director Cummings, along with his marvelous design team, have created a voyeuristic salon that is both titillating and repelling (just watch how your fellow audience members’ faces change from elation to recoilment through the course of the one-act).

LaChiusa’s sometimes atonal score has never been for everyone, but as brilliantly re-orchestrated by Mary-Mitchell Campbell to be played directly in the room with you, it has never sounded so fully realized. The simplest string arrangement suddenly feels epic, the nuances in the ambitious score—which ranges from jazz to disco to blues—that much more deeply felt. It helps immeasurably that this contains a cast full of distinctive voices (Campbell’s high peaks have never felt so encompassing) and personalities to match, and their ability to put themselves out there so brazenly is truly worth commendation. So book yourself a seat, and not only will you get a first-rate musical revival that won’t give you a toothache; you might even get a go-go boy on your table in the deal.

Hello Again is now playing in a loft at 52 Mercer Street, 4th Floor, in New York City through Apr 3. Schedule: Tue-Sun at 8pm. Running time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, no intermission.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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