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Grammy 2014 Winner Predictions

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Grammy 2014 Winner Predictions
Grammy 2014 Winner Predictions

Starting tomorrow, we’ll predict the winners in all four General Field categories of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, airing Sunday night on CBS. To kick things off, though, here are our thoughts on some of the smaller categories:

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: If this category is indeed meant to honor performance and collaboration, it’s hard to argue with the crossover synergy of Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines,” whereby Pharrell supplies the Marvin Gaye sample (plus those all-important head-bobs), while Thicke brings the yelps, grunts, and falsetto blue-eyed R&B flourishes that critics have admired for a full decade, even as Thicke failed to drop a #1 single. That single is here, and we suspect it means Thicke will be taking home at least one tchotchke on Grammy night. Ted Scheinman

A Grand Folly: An Interview with Arias with a Twist Masterminds Joey Arias and Basil Twist

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A Grand Folly: An Interview with Arias with a Twist Masterminds Joey Arias and Basil Twist
A Grand Folly: An Interview with Arias with a Twist Masterminds Joey Arias and Basil Twist

Cabaret, drag, and performance artist, Joey Arias is a potent experience all by himself. Add a Twist—that’s master puppeteer Basil Twist—to the mix and you get the heady enchantment that is Arias with a Twist. Arias and Twist’s striking collaboration is now playing on the Lower East Side at the Abrons Arts Center, in a nearly century-old theater, the original venue of the Neighborhood Playhouse. It seems fitting that the delightfully zany, visually jaw-dropping, ribald fantasy has berthed at the theater that, in the 1920s, was home to the popular vaudeville spoof, The Grand Street Follies. The current grand folly, Arias with a Twist (playing through October 16) is a series of tableaus, sketches, songs, and theatrical effects strung together to showcase the unique talents of its star and designer.

Arias with a Twist Deluxe, as it is now billed, is a return engagement of the show that became a cult favorite during its eight-month-long run at Soho’s HERE theater in 2008, scaled up to fit into a larger stage. Enhanced with a couple of new songs and more elaborate video effects, it still retains the joyously scrappy quality of the original, and continues to surprise and delight with its theatrical magic. Arias, dressed in costumes by Thierry Mugler, holds his own amid Twist’s stage creations, which are ably manipulated by a near invisible team of six puppeteers. The very loose plot has the sexually polymorphous character Joey abducted by aliens, duly probed and then dropped back into a lush jungle on this planet; after a mushroom-induced side trip to Hell, a larger-than-life Joey returns to Manhattan to perform in a retro nightclub accompanied by a four-piece puppet orchestra; the act comes complete with a chorus line and a Busby Berkley-inspired finale.