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Naked Angels 25th Anniversary Gala at Roseland Ballroom

Rex Reed Monday 14th February 2011 Naked Angels 25th Anniversary Gala at Roseland Ballroom New York City, USA

Rex Reed
Rex Reed

Opening night of 'Christine Ebersole In Concert 'at the Cafe Carlyle

Christine Ebersole and Rex Reed - Christine Ebersole and Rex Reed New York City, USA - Opening night of 'Christine Ebersole In Concert 'at the Cafe Carlyle Tuesday 11th January 2011

Opening night of 'Michael Feinstein-Swinging in the Holidays' at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency Hotel - After Party

Rex Reed - Erv Raible and Rex Reed New York City, USA - Opening night of 'Michael Feinstein-Swinging in the Holidays' at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency Hotel - After Party Tuesday 30th November 2010

Opening night of the Off-Broadway play 'The Pride' at the Lucille Lortel Theatre - Arrivals

Rex Reed Tuesday 16th February 2010 Opening night of the Off-Broadway play 'The Pride' at the Lucille Lortel Theatre - Arrivals New York City, USA

Myra Breckinridge Review


Terrible
The appropriate response to Myra Breckinridge is wide-eyed bafflement; anybody with anything resembling taste will recognize it as an awful movie within ten minutes. Released in 1970 and under practically Soviet-style repression until now, it is clumsily edited, horribly acted, and practically plotless. It is lascivious without being provocative, and it did damage to the public images of both Mae West and John Huston. No movie has worked harder to try one ironic gag after another and fail every single time; it is idiocy disguised as camp. Yet there's something transcendently misbegotten about Myra Breckinridge that makes it worth studying; the differences between the excellent book and a horrible movie has a few interesting things to say about Hollywood as it stumbled from the '60s into the '70s.

The film is based on Gore Vidal's bestselling 1968 novel, which gave us Myra as a magnificently over-the-top symbol of changing sexual mores, greed, revenge, Hollywood, and how they all intersect. In the hands of director Michael Sarne, the story became a messy sex farce; Vidal stepped away from the project, and for good reason. In the book, Myra romanticizes the great movies of the 1930s, arguing, in fact, that it was the best decade ever for movies. This inspires Sarne to raid the 20th Century Fox vault and cram in seemingly dozens of clips from Laurel & Hardy and Shirley Temple films, sometimes ironically, but mostly sitting there like a bad joke told at a dinner party. (It may be that Myra's sole usefulness is that it inspired a similar idea in the HBO TV series Dream On, actually done well.)

Continue reading: Myra Breckinridge Review

Broadway: The Golden Age, By The Legends Who Were There Review


OK
Self-indulgent to a fault and brusquely shoved together without much of a sense of rhythm, Broadway: The Golden Age is on the surface the five-year-long quest by filmmaker Rick McKay (Elaine Stritch at Liberty) to interview pretty much every Broadway luminary he could get his hands on, all for the purposes of limning the glory that was Broadway's "Golden Age." Now it's no surprise that you interview a bunch of aging actors/actresses who are in this particular demographic they're going to tell you that things today are rather awful, and in their day, were much, much better. What makes Broadway as engaging as it is would be the fact that McKay's interviewees are able to back up those claims with some rather illuminating anecdotes - and not just all of the "you could go to the automat and get a muffin and coffee for 15 cents" variety, though there's plenty of that as well.

Although McKay - whose irritating narration, the usual guff about moving to New York from Indiana and just how exciting it all was, brackets the film - never really posits what exactly he's on about with "The Golden Age," two things quickly become clear: The time period he and his subjects want to talk about is Broadway theater from the 1930s to the 1950s, and that period really would have been something to behold. The cavalcade of interviewees all point to not just the embarrassment of riches that were around then in terms of both the material (Lerner & Lowe and Rodgers & Hammerstein were like musical hit factories, not to mention the new dramatic work being produced by the likes of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller) and the talent, but another very simple factor: It was cheap. In a time of $480 The Producers tickets, it's partially nice but mostly infuriating to know that not so long ago it could cost less to go to a Broadway show than the movies.

Continue reading: Broadway: The Golden Age, By The Legends Who Were There Review

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