Harry Potter grows up in magical Cursed Child

Dec 02

Harry Potter grows up in magical <i>Cursed Child</i>

Harry Potter, known as "the boy who lived," has continuously found life on the pages of seven best-selling novels, on the screen in eight blockbuster films, in theme parks both in Florida and California and now on stage in an epic two-part, five-plus-hour play that has to be seen to be believed.

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Depth, beauty surge through glorious Once

Jun 19

Depth, beauty surge through glorious <i>Once</i>

If every movie-to-musical transformation were as soulful and creative as Once the state of the Broadway musical would be in a much better place.

There would seem to be no less likely candidate for the Broadway treatment than the sweet and modest 2007 Irish indie film Once about a frustrated singer/songwriter in Dublin and the Czech immigrant who changes his life. It's a love story and not a love story, a musical and not a musical. Above all else, it's intimate and delicate, like a slice of life infused with passionate music transferred with great love to the big screen.

Fans of the movie (which nabbed a best song Oscar for songwriters/stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's "Falling Slowly") let out a collective groan when it was announced that Once would be turned into a Broadway musical.

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Bagpipes, battles and bloody brilliance in Black Watch

May 16

Bagpipes, battles and bloody brilliance in <i>Black Watch</i>

It's interesting that the horrors of war – far away from the battlefields – tend to turn into a videogame on the big screen and small screen, with the camera becoming a shield from the action. But somehow, when the theater deploys its magic, you can come closer to feeling what it might be like, moment to moment, if you were really there with the soldiers. In recent memory, two plays have captured attention around the world for exploring the physical and emotional aspect of war, and both are so fully works of live theater you couldn't imagine experiencing them in other form.

The first is War Horse, which uses a giant horse puppet to suspend audience disbelief and put them into World War I trenches in France. The movie of the play isn't anywhere near as powerful as the play because it's so literal. The other is Black Watch, a production of the National Theatre of Scotland, that has been touring for seven years and putting audiences into the headspace and the Iraq front lines held by members of the Black Watch, one of Scotland's oldest Highland Regiments that was sent to bolster the American war effort in Iraq in 2004.

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