Oscars 2013: The Winners
Argo – the Ben Affleck-directed thriller, set in Iran at the height of the 1979-80 hostage crisis took home the top prize at the 85th Academy Awards, as the film industry scattered its highest honors across multiple movies. “It doesn’t matter that you get knocked down in life … All that matters is you get up,” Affleck said in accepting the Best Picture award.
As expected, Best Actor went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his towering performance in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her work in the dramedy Silver Linings Playbook. Anne Hathaway sang her way to her first Oscar for playing Fantine in Les Miserables, the sweeping film adaptation of the stage play. Christoph Waltz was the surprise winner and took Best Supporting Actor honors for his turn as an eccentric dentist-turned-bounty-hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s slavery revenge fantasy Django Unchained.
The design and effects categories heavily honored Life of Pi and best costumes went to Anna Karenina.
The show was a tribute to music in the movies and at times felt like the Tony Awards or a variety show special. Among the more effective musical moments were the ones that actually tied into this year’s nominees. In a Bond movie tribute Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” was an undeniable highlight. Seth MacFarlane, made his debut as Oscars host with a brand of humor that at times was over-the-line.
Slask returns with March Tour
Following a Fall U.S. engagement, the Slask Song and Dance Ensemble of Poland returns in March with a second North American tour produced by Canada’s Starvox Entertainment. The schedule is as follows:
16 – Toronto Canada – Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St.
17 – Hamilton Canada – Hamilton Place Theatre, 10 MacNab St.
19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Byham Theater, 101 6th St.
21 – Princeton, NJ – McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place
23 – Bronx, NY – Lehman Performing Arts Center, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West
24 – Schenectady NY – Proctors Mainstage, 432 State Street
The company, founded by composer Stanis?aw Hadyna with choreographer extraordinaire Elwira Kaminska, is made up of professional singers and dancers with a great deal of ballet training. Hadyna’s compositions are symphonic and neo-classical in structure. Much of the appeal of Slask relies on its immense unison, impressive patterning, and stylistic traits. The meticulously dispatched footwork and the exuberant dances excite and engage an audience. The performers display a pedigreed training and present a version of “folk” that never was. Even though the repertoire is drawn from Poland’s many ethnographic regions, the numbers are a distillation produced for theatrical effect. Further information on www.starvoxent.com.
Ballet Flamenco at City Center
Spain’s renowned repertory company will transport audiences to the emotion, drama and passion of Andalucía, the cradle of flamenco. On March 6-9 nineteen performers will take the stage at New York City Center – 130 W 55th St in a program featuring castanets, fans, traditional flamenco “bata de cola” dresses and effervescent heel-and-toe step combinations, along with the power and demanding technique of Spanish dance.
Jazz at Kosciuszko Foundation – DC
Jazz Guitarist and Composer Rafal Sarnecki with pianist Glenn Zleski will perform original compositions from his two albums: Song from a New Place and The Madman Rambles Again on Friday, March 8, at 7:00 pm at the Kosciuszko Foundation – 2025 O St. NW, Washington, DC. For tickets: 202-785-2320 or email@example.com.
Julia and the Duke
Actors’ Equity’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee’s celebration of Black History Month took place at the Laurie Beechman Theater on 42nd St. Julia and the Duke honored the music and legacy of the “King of Jazz” – Edward Kennedy Ellington – who we know as Duke Ellington Ellington once said “Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one.” The same can be said Julia Breanetta Simpson who lead the audience in song, history and dialogue through a glorious evening. Her velvety notes sailed and floated. I especially enjoyed the torch song from Jump for Joy and the excerpt from Black, Brown and Beige. The combo was fine and the production values high with great lighting.
Emmy-winning producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Touched by an Angel’s Roma Downey are the team behind a highly anticipated epic miniseries, The Bible, which airs as a 10-hour miniseries on the History Channel beginning on March 3. The project was conceived by Burnett and Downey, who are married, after watching Ceci B. DeMille’s version of The Ten Commandments for the first time since childhood. The series will cover “Genesis to Revelation” within five two-hour parts, each containing two or three biblical stories told through live action and computer-generated imagery.
Americans never lose their fascination with Abraham Lincoln, but now is an especially good time to be plunging into the 16th president’s story, as the producers of “Killing Lincoln” are finding out. National Geographic Channel’s new docudrama — based on the bestseller co-written by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly — is coming on the heels of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which had gathered plenty of Oscar buzz and sparked viewer interest in the Civil War period. Billy Campbell, who plays Lincoln in the NatGeo movie, has the unenviable task of following Daniel Day-Lewis Oscar-winning turn in the Spielberg film.
The new musical is based on a true story of a conservative but failing British men’s footwear factory that switches gears and starts producing kinky boots. The score is by Cyndi Lauper, the book by Harvey Fierstein, with direction, choreography, and vision by Jerry Mitchell. The show is currently in previews with an opening date set for April 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre – 302 West 45th St., New York, NY.
If the shoe fits, go see the show! The Broadway debut of this beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical offers a new romantic twist on the ultimate makeover story of a maid-turned-princess, mixing fresh comedy with the fairy tale’s classic elements. This new version adds songs from the R&J song catalogue and puts a fresh spin on the fairy tale. The 1957 classic television production starred Julie Andrews; it became an annual event when it was remade in a new version with Lesley Ann Warren in 1965; and then later as 1997 Disney TV production starring recording artist Brandy. The show plays in an open-ended run at the Broadway Theatre – 1681 Broadway, New York, NY.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
A starry cast featuring Scarlett Johansson tackles Tennessee Williams’ classic masterpiece under the direction of Rob Ashford. Tapping into her feline side, Johansson plays Maggie “the Cat” on Broadway in the current revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It is her first time back on Broadway since winning a Tony Award in the Arthur Miller play A View from a Bridge in 2010. Born in New York City, she is of Polish Ashkenazi Jewish descent on her mother’s side, and of Danish descent on her father’s side. Her acclaimed film career includes: The Horse Whisperer, Ghost World, Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and in Woody Allen’s Match Point. As a singer, Johansson has released two albums, Anywhere I Lay My Head and Break Up. She sang the Oscar-nominated song “Before My Time” from the climate documentary Chasing Ice. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof plays through Match 30 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre – 226 West 46th St., New York, NY.
A Dancer’s Tour of Duty
New York’s Village Voice recently did a cover story on dancer/Marine Roman Baca. Part Polish, Roman was born in New Mexico and grew up in Washington State. After high school, he moved back to New Mexico to go to college, and began studying ballet and jazz dance. Later, he studied ballet at a conservatory in Connecticut and worked as a professional ballet dancer; then he was enlisted in the Marine Corps. “Being a classical ballet dancer has a lot of stigma attached to it,” said Baca. “I wanted people to look at me differently; and I wanted to serve my country.” Baca went to basic training. It was quite difficult, but the ballet conservatory was also quite challenging. As an Iraq War Veteran, he was released from military service in, and married his dance partner Lisa Fitzgerald. He has since made a mark as the Artistic Director and choreographer of Exit 12 Dance Company in New York City.
The Paul Taylor Company
Following its record-breaking premiere season at Lincoln Center in 2012, the Paul Taylor Dance Company returns for three weeks, March 5-24. Paul Taylor’s unmistakable language and the company’s magnificent repertoire will be on display at the David H. Koch Theater (formerly New York State Theater) with a world premiere of “To Make Crops Grow;” all six of Taylor’s masterworks set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach; the return of the acclaimed “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rehearsal), honoring the 100th Anniversary of the collaboration of Stravinsky and Nijinsky on the original “Sacre” for the Ballet Russes; among many others from seven different decades, from the 1950s to the present.
ART – Photography by Hanna Kelker
A photographic exhibition by Hanna Kelker will be on display at the Starbucks Art Gallery curated by Janusz Skowron at 910 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint-Brooklyn, NY. Kelker, born and educated in Poland, is a scientist by training and by profession. With a keen lifelong interest in the arts and always fascinated by photography, she has recently begun a serious artistic pursuit using digital photography.