Next to Normal’s premiere twitter performance of new song Something I can’t see

something

Next to Normal Twitter performance. Wednesday 28th October 2009, Tribeca NY.

Starting Just before 12am gmt or 7pm US time Next to Normal on Twitter released their new song “Something I can’t see” to a unique audience. The audience being the twitter users who helped write this latest addition to the musical.

In an intro video by creators Composer Tom Kitt and Lyricist Brian Yorkey welcomes tweeters to the event which was hosted live in Tribeca NY.

Next came a panel discussion

The panel consisted of Tom Kitt (composer), Michael Greif (director), David Stone (producer) and Brian Yorkey (Lyricist).

The panel talked about how the show was created and how it went from just being an idea in a BMI workshop to a tony award winning musical.

This discussion included playing a song called “Electricity” that was cut from the show. Other songs that were cut included ‘feeling electric’ whilst others were edited to suit the current show. All these original songs can be found here.(back then the show was called Feeling Electric)

There was also an explanation on how the new song “Something I can’t see” came to be written. During the process the twitter community voted on who should sing the song, where it would go in the show, what the motivations were and also the lyrics.

Moments later questions from twitter users were answered by the cast.

First Alice Ripley who plays the main part of Diana.

Question? “Jesse from twitter wants to know how my interpretation of Diana has changed since the beginning”?

Answer “Mmmm I would say that Diana and I have grown together in equal proportion. I think we have both become more aware of the big picture and also we have become maybe a bit crazier and maybe we both have a better sense of humour than we did a year ago”

Next up was Bobby Spencer who plays husband Dan.

Question? “I have a question here from Eric he wants to know how I cope with the incredibly overwhelming emotions throughout the show”?

Answer “Mmmm its a great question and I guess I never really think about it when I am doing the show. Dan just like comes organically it just comes with the job but when the show is done I get a little hot sockey for my throat because its pretty much an opera and its like when your in the gym working out with your muscles you like to take a hot bath, same when you sing a little hot sockey is good for the throat and other than that it’s just having fun throughout my day and laughing and being light hearted because an emotional show like this could tend to bring some people down but everyone in the cast is very very goofy, we are incredible goofballs. We all get along great and we are constantly laughing till they say places so thats how we cope with it by just being goofballs”.

Finally Jenn Damiano who plays 16 year old Natalie answered questions.

Question? “Brian Larson asked a question on twitter and he wants to know what the single hardest scene or song to perform is and why?”

Answer “Mmmm I would say the single hardest scene or song to perform is definitely “Super boy and the invisible girl”. Mmm only because there’s a lot of emotion and anger going on during the song its still you know really hard to sing so it just takes  a lot of balance and focus too because the worlds have so much weight on them and you don’t just want to through those phrases away because they seem so much and you still have to sign them pretty loud and really thoughtfully at the same time and its a challenge every night. But then the audience clap really loud after”.

Finally the show is closed by a thank you video message from Tom and Brian followed by a link to a short preview of the song.

The new song will be released soon as part of a podcast that is being created from last nights event. There are also plans for a future EP of songs that were cut from the show.

For now Next to Normal is still running in the Booth Theatre in New York.

Saw VI

4 stars

 

 

“This Halloween, his disease is still spreading. The game goes full circle”

 

In the latest of the Saw series we see some old characters return and also some fresh new faces as they all battle it out against the game to see who can survive. Unlike the previous saw this time we get more story and less gore which is definitely a benefit as we really see the story and the background develop more.

After the death of Jig saw his wife is left a box in his will. The box reveals his final 6 victims and it her job to follow his wishes. As the targeted ones are rounded up we see that this time the main victim of this cruel game is a health insurance broker. In the past he has destroyed peoples lives by refusing payouts. This has resulted in deaths of many including jig saw himself.

He has 60 minutes to live. In this time he has decisions to make all of which see him having other peoples lives in his hands. Who will live and who will die? The highlight of this is definitely the death carosel where he has to choose to kill 4 out of the 6 on his work team. The decision seems too but it is amazing to see how people crack under pressure and do anything to stay alive.

After the 60 minutes is up he escapes and there is a twist to the story. Has his won his game or was it even his own game to win?

With mediocre prerformances by the cast it doesn’t matter. In the end this is a saw movie and good or bad it will still reel in viewers who have seen the five previous ones. The storyline is perhaps the strongest yet and the twist is also well worth it.

It goes without saying that you should never see a saw movie without seeing the previous ones and the same applies here. With flashbacks throughout it could be easy for a newcomer to get lost so I would suggest catching up with previous ones beforehand.

Overall verdict: Definitely one of the better horrors this halloween.

 

Death carosel

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdRsM6MZOcQ&hl=en&fs=1&]

Adventureland (2009)

2 stars

 

 

“1987 exciting career opportunities, on the job training, inspiring leadership,the worst job ever, the best time of his life. Adventureland

 

From the creators of Superbad comes Adventureland but Superbad it is not!

It’s the summer of 1987 and James (Jesse Eisneberg) is a college freshman whose plans of traveling Europe for the summer are destroyed when his father gets demoted. Staying at home he doesn’t like the fact he is going to have to work for his college accommodation in the fall instead of travel with his friends.

With little job experience he finds himself in adventureland a theme park in his home town.

Here he meets Em (Kirsten Stewart) who is struggling to come to terms with her father having a new partner along with other issues.

In this boy meets girl drama James and Em are quite obviously drawn together. Will the boy get the girl?  Will the girl want the guy? Lets just say the ending is somewhat predictable.

While the movie lacks jokes and has little comedy the acting makes up for that. Kirsten Stewart is without a doubt the star of the movie drawing the viewer into her emotions she is far from being Bella (her other current role in Twilight). She too has to face personal struggles. Will she sit back and be used and stay in the theme park forever or will she stand up for herself and move on with her life.

Other cast members include Math Bush (Halloween II) as Frigo and Michael Zegen (The girl next door) as Eric.

One of the highlights of this movie is the soundtrack which is compiled of hits from the 80’s. Songs by Bowie, Lou Reed and The Cure bring you back and make this movie more realistic to the time.

 

 

 

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0fCB4eDq08&hl=en&fs=1&]

 

Sorority Row (2009)

4 stars copy

“A prank, no one would ever forget. A secret, no one would ever tell. Sisters for life and death”

A prank gone wrong could change peoples life forever or it could just disappear as if it never happened. Things are not always able to disappear. What may appear as just another teen horror flick Sorority Row is actually a whole lot better.

What happens if someone betrays your sister. You get revenge. What happens when the guy things your lies are real and he makes the fantasy nightmare real. What do you do. You fight.

Although named Sorority Row this movie could just have easily have been called I know what you did last summer. Our I know what you did last house party or something like that because the basic plot is exactly the same as the movies from the 90’s.

This aside it does have some great acting. There are bits when you are sitting there thinking how stupid are these girls. But hey they are sorority sisters they don’t have to be intelligent. The group is made up of a mix of girls the blonde, the geak, the pretty one.. and like other groups this is the deciding factor in how they are killed.

No gore is spared and although being killed with a tire iron may appear to be a boring way to watch someone die it really is not.

The plot may be cliche but that doesn’t mean you know the killer. Seconds before you find out you find yourself thinking could it be him/her. And trying to convince yourself that no way could that be possible it does land as a shock when you find out.

The cast included Rumer Willis in one of her first big screen lead roles. She is not the smartest or prettiest and takes a bit of a back seat compared to the other sorority girls. Other cast members included Brianna Evigan (Step up 2) as Cassidy and Leah Pipes (Life is Wild) as Jessica.

Overall verdict : A movie that started with a pillow fight and ended with a pile of dead bodies could have been a disaster but somehow they pulled it off.

Fame (2009)

 

3 stars

 

 

“In New York city there is a school, where any dream is possible. This Autumn welcome to love, friendship, heartbreak, passion. FAME

 

This movie brought about less publicity than expected and in the end just seemed to die away. Back in the day of Save the Last Dance and Centre Stage movies like this well sold out with young teenage girls queuing up for all the extras soundtracks, t-shirts etc etc etc

There were good bits but the main failure of Fame was that it was too short to develop any of the characters.

We see the pianist whose parents insisted on her playing classical yet she ended up singing rap.

We see the boy whose mother does not believe in his talent and he lies telling her he is studying in public school

We see the girl whose affraid to let go of her inhibitions and live life.

Thats all these characters are in the end boys and girls. Do we know them well enough to remember their names? I think not.

This is the school that everyone wants to go to, it is full of talented actors and singers, musicians and dancers. The movie should have given a face to these names but it failed to do so. This was the first time some of these young actors got to play a main role. Do we recognise them from before no? And will be recognise them in the future from their performance in this movie. Hardly not.

The movie was extremely watered down. There is nothing wrong with detail but this just seemed to skim through the three years of their school lives without giving them a chance to develop.

Negativity aside there were some excellent performances by Naturi Naughton (Denise) and Kherington Payne. However with older cast members such as Megan Mullally (Ms Rowan), Kelsey Grammer (Mr Cranston) and Charles S Dutton (Mr Dowd) there could have been a proper show.

The soundtrack is ok and the final track ‘Hold you dream” definitely steals the show but old favourites such as “Fame” are barely given recognition.

Overall verdict: If you want a good musical watch the original. If you want High school musical watch this.

 

 

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua0iO-JQwAg&hl=en&fs=1&]

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 3d

 

3 stars

 

 

“This autumn feast you eyes and taste the adventure”

With voices by big names such as Bruce Campbell ( Mayor Shelbourne) Mr T (Earl) and Lauren Graham (Fran) this move was bound to be a success and it certainly is.

Based on the best selling book by Judi Barrett the story of inventor Flint Lockwood takes place in Swallow Falls a once busy but now dying tourist town. Known for its sardine trade it attracted loads of visitors but that is the past and now the only ones eating sardines are the locals. .  Flint takes this opportunity to add to his inventions. Creating a machine that delivers breakfast, lunch and dinner from the clouds gives him the publicity he always wanted and for once it is good publicity. It also gives his weathergirl girlfriend the chance to make her break in the world of news.

It isn’t long before people become greedy however and this is surely to be a recipe for disaster. Scenes filled with ice-cream, spaghetti and pizza soon become replaced by visions of life sized hot dogs and donuts. Can Flint save the day before its too late or will he just have his piece of cake and eat it

An excellent movie for all ages Cloudy with a chance of meatballs is colorful, energetic and funny.

However the 3d was the worst I have seen. 3d movies like Beowulf, Nightmare before Christmas, Coraline and even horrors like My Bloody Valentine leave you with the wow factor. However Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs suffers from extremely poor 3d. There are moments throughout where you have to say to yourself and remind yourself that the movie is in fact in 3d. There is nothing to surprise you to wow you. What could be better than some ice-cream coming towards the audience or some donuts or even hot dogs. But no this doesn’t happen.

Overall verdict: A must see but save your save the extra and don’t bother with the 3d.

Orphan (2009)

4 stars

“There’s something wrong with Esther, you’ll never guess her secret”.

Watching the trailers it is impossible to tell whether this is going to be really really good or really really awful. Thankfully it was really great.After a family tragedy the Coleman decide that they should give their love to an orphan. Arriving at the orphanage for the first time it is not long before Kate and John are won over by 9 year old Esther. Her art skills and politeness mean that it doesn’t take much else for them to adopt her. It all seems so easy. She is the perfect child. Or is she?

After arriving home things seem perfect apart from a little jealousy from older boy Daniel everyone seems welcoming and Esther forms and instant bond with her new younger sister Max and is eager to learn sign language so that they can communicate.

It is not long before things seem odd. Why is Esther so private about bathing and her belongings? What is with the ribbons on her neck and wrists? Why is she getting into fights at school? Did that girl really slip in the playground or was she pushed? And where has Sister Abigail disappeared to?

It is not long before we learn that Esther will do anything for a family. She will take out anything or anyone that threatens her? Are these really the actions of a child or could there be something more to it?

The mystery unveils and one family has to accept that Esther may not be the perfect child. She has secrets in her hidden past. Secrets that may kill.

The acting in the movie is superb. The star of the show was definitely Aryana Engineer who played the youngest of the Coleman kids. Acting the part of Max Aryana who is deaf in real life was just seven. She played a part that most adults would find challenging. We will definitely be seeing more of her in the future.

Isabelle Fuhrman also played the part of Esther remarkably well. It was clearly a tough job for a 12 year old although it is going to be hard to see her as anyone other than evil Ester in future roles.

Other cast members are played by Vera Farmiga (The Departed and Boy in the Stripped Pajamas),CCH Pounder (Avatar, Law and Order SVU, ER) and Peter Sarsgaard (The Skeleton Key, Law and Order)

Overall view. Expect the unexpected.

Triangle (2009)

1 star

You enter a place you have never been, everything you see you have seen before”.

Triangle starring Melissa George best known for here part as Angel in Home and Away during the 1990’s is one of those films where all the best bits are shown in the trailer and the trailer would be good enough for the average viewer.

October is a time where it doesn’t take much to make a horror movie do well. But Triangle needed just that bit more put into it.  A bunch of friends go on a boat trip, during a story their boat sinks, they board an abandoned ship. They die. That’s it!

The film tells the all time message that no matter what you do you cannot change the past. That is the only way to describe the extremely repetitive drama.

If you are expecting to be on the edge of your seats and covering your eyes to hide images of a serial killer then you are not going to the right movie.

George is possibly the best known of the small cast and puts up a good performance. From the moment her character appears you can tell something is just not quite right. Appearing distant and depressed her character gives you the sense that something’s up. However this act continues throughout the film and by the end becomes very irritating and I just wanted to shake her to get some life into her.

Other cast members include Emma Lung as Heather, Rachel Carpani as Sally and Michael Dorman as Greg non of whom bring much to the movie.

There are times when you think how stupid can people be, boarding a ship where no one is onboard. This however makes you think something good will come. Perhaps a troop of pirates will hack them all up and eat them for supper. Right? No think again!

There are times in this movie where you may be tempted to leave the theatre. If this happens do not give it a second thought. If you leave you will miss nothing other than the repetitiveness of the scenes being replayed over and over.

Overall verdict – extremely disappointing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA6NR5-qCsQ

Restaurant review

High Note

100 feet road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore

As a European living in India for a month the culture is certainly a lot different. The traffic, the food, the people and the traditions.

Suddenly you go from English, American and Italian delicacies to eating rice at every meal. High note restaurant offers a sweet alternative to this.

Finding the place in our last week as volunteers we were greeted with a menu full of Italian and European foods such as pasta, fish and chips and steak.

This was the first occasion for many of us since arriving earlier in the month to eat chips, beef and fish.While High Note does offer the Indian choice it also offers a variety of other food genres from noodles to curry.

Drinks -The drinks menu at High Note offers a great choice from wines, soda, cocktails or even mock tails. We decided to go for three sweet lime sodas’s which were a great prelude to our meals.

Starters-For starters we ordered a selection of stuffed mushrooms and assorted potatoes. While the quantities cater for these starters being shared it is possible to work up enough of an appetite to eat one alone.

The potatoes in the basket gave a great variety from crispy fried chips, to spicy potato wedges and even traditional English hash browns.

The mushrooms were soft and nicely fried and came with a chili dip that added an extra kick to the taste.

Main course-For main course we settled for two pasta dishes as well as a steak and chips.

The chicken and mushroom pasta was light and creamy providing a rich taste to our pallets.The cheese covered steak was nicely browned and the portion size was just enough to satisfy the average diner.

Desert -While desert selections included cooked pineapple with ice-cream, date wontons and ice-cream we decided that a chocolate fix was just what we needed to finish of the perfect meal. Provided in individual bowls the chocolate moose was rich and creamy with a nice liqueur aftertaste. With a cherry on top the chocolate went down perfectly and left us with a sweet taste in our mouth to end the perfect evening

Service -Arriving 30 minutes before opening time we were cautious about the service. Would they be angry? Would the place even be open? The waiter kindly agreed to let us sit and have drinks while looking at the menu. Once we had decided he took our order for starters and assured us that as soon as business began at 7pm our order would be the first.

The same friendly service continued throughout the meal as the waiters did all they possibly could to ensure that we were having a good night. The friendliness was not overpowering and we still felt we had privacy in our corner booth.

Atmosphere-The atmosphere in High Note is relaxed with a candle lit dinner in a room that overlooks 100 foot road. The restaurant is not themed for any culture and so it is very possible to sit back and enjoy your food whilst pretending you are dining in Italy, Ireland, France or any other country of your choice.

The waiters were helpful and the music was low enough so as to provide a soothing atmosphere over a loud distracting one.

Overall the experience was perfect and an excellent end to a four week stay in Bangalore giving us familiar food with the choice to also eat Indian if we so wished.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

stars

Wednesday June 10. 8pm

New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 W42st New York.

Based on P.L. Travers cherished stories and the original 1960’s Disney film Mary Poppins on Broadway is practically perfect in every way. The story sticks to the much loved original tale. However, despite its predicitablilty there are suprises and shocks in store that will have audiences of all ages on the edge of their seats.

Staring in the lead as Mary Poppins Scarlett Strallen wows audiences with her vocal ability and smooth moves. Making magic with her bag and umbrella she caputures the audiences attention. However there is that sense of her being a supernany like Jo Frost off those tv shows that was not present in the original Disney movie. At times she appears evil summoning the toys to teach the kids a lesson whereas in other scenes her mood is light and uplifting as she goes on that jolly holiday. Mary-Poppins-Broadway-4-web

Adam Fiorentino plays the part of Bert and his character is not far from the original played by Dick Van Dyke. As a chimney sweep he whistles the days away while taking the odd break to dance on the roof top. One thing has to be said however that guy has guts for doing the magical walk high up on the proscenium. An act which left almost every member of the audience on the edge of their seats.

Other parts played included Daniel Jenkins and Rebecca Luker as Mr and Mrs banks and Kelsey Fowler and Zach Rand who play the troublesome Banks kids.

The set is fantastically detailed with a full size house that moves up and down as needed as well as extra sets including a full size roof top, a bedroom  and a park which come and go as needed. The set is amazingly true to life with props and colors as well as a fully functional stair case.

The music brings the story to life with songs of new and old. Composed by the score includes old favourites such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee as well as new songs “Temper, Temper” and “Brimstone and Treacle”. HO

The costumes were equally spectacular from caputuring the traditional dress of Ms Poppins to adding life size cakes onto the dresses of dancers in the candy store scene.

Throughout the show there were acts of magic from Mary Poppins bag to the letter magically flying up the chimney. Acts which even as an adult it is hard to decipher how exactly do they do it.

Mary Poppins brings the young on an exciting new adventure while older viewers are given a taste of childhood nostalgia.

AFTER THE SHOW

After the show all members of the staff were at the stage door. Beginning with the two kids who were keen to talk about the new Harry Potter film then the Mr and Mrs Banks and finally Mary Poppins and Bert.

VIDEO CLIPS

A chat with Mary Poppins

Behind the scenes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL3pLv2OdrM