MOVIE: The Devil Wears Prada. At some point this spring, I saw a trailer for this film, and not just a two-minute clip from here and there, but what felt like three or four continuous minutes before and during Meryl Streep's entrance. I wondered, Is that all there is to the movie? Well, not exactly, but this film is nearly as predictable as the tease suggest. The only real fun is to watch Stanley Tucci and especially Streep perform. Maybe worth a rental, many months after one's forgotten the trailer, but not yet.
ALBUM: Adieu False Heart, Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy. I was really looking forward to this album, especially after hearing them perform on a Prairie Home Companion in June. I LOVE the Cajun tunes, usually with Ann as lead and Linda as harmony vocals. And the unexpected cover of "Walk Away Renee", originally done 40 years ago by The Left Banke, really works. The other songs I enjoy as well, and they're growing on me more with every listen.
BOOK: I got this e-mail from the author asking me to write a "short review of a new Christian ebook called Land of Canaan: Ancient Hope for Future Peace by Paul M. Kingery". It turns out to be a 649-page PDF about the coming Apocalypse, using not only citations from the Book of Revelation, but Old and New Testament texts as well. First, I did not read it all. Second, I'm not much into this sort of book, with all of what I would consider its proof texting. That said, you may want to skim through it to see his argument that seems to suggest global warming (chapter 13) and the recent (current?) Middle East conflict (chapter 6 and elsewhere). I was also stuck how, in the last days, "Jesus will return to a high mountain refuge in what is now being called Kurdistan, near the banks of the Tigris River." If you don't know your world geography, that's Iraq, folks. After a 30-page index, there are nearly 20 pages of photos in and around Dohuk, Iraq, where, presumably, the Lord will be coming back.
TELEVISION: The Tonys. Do I mean the awards that were given out on June 11? I do. Carol and I FINALLY watched them over two days this week, and even though I remembered some of the winners, it was still fun to see the production numbers. Also, Jersey Boys' John Lloyd Young, the "Frankie Valli" character, who recently signed a TV contract, and who was ABC News' Person of the Week back a couple months ago for going from being a Broadway usher a year ago to a Tony winner, gave the sweetest acceptance speech about himself and his father.
MUSICAL: Beauty and the Beast, Park Playhouse, Washington Park, Albany, NY August 12. This venue of free summer performances has been the grounds for more traditional musical theater (South Pacific last year, Camelot, West Side Story). The Disneyfication of Park Playhouse, emphasized by Park Playhouse II's two-week production of Aladdin, Jr. this year (based on the movie Aladdin) makes me nervous. That said, it was a fine show, especially the vocal skills of the Beast, played by John Anthony Lopez, who I knew a few years ago, and briefly, as the tenor soloist in my church choir. I always think the ensemble gets short shrift in reviews, so I'll say they were quite good, and versatile. Still, I hope for more traditional fare next summer. This show ends Sunday.
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