As Judas, Brandon Victor Dixon was simply fantastic. The only capable actor among the principals, Dixon sang beautifully, interpreting the material instead of painting by numbers. He brought unpredictability and riveting vitality to the production, and made it seem effortless. He pulled me to my feet several times, my internal 16 year-old pumping his fist and lip-syncing with the TV.
On December 14, 2017, I sat in the second row mezzanine at Walter Kerr Theatre, about 60 feet from Bruce Springsteen. It was the closest I’d ever been, and the clearest I’d heard him over ten concerts I’ve attended. Unfortunately, it was my least favorite of his shows.
At 4:58 PM most Sunday afternoons, my heart trips a quick panic, my feet go cold and my ears ring. Then I pick up the microphone, wondering if anybody sees my hand shaking. Every damn time.
As a performer being honored, essentially, for her empathy, it’s entirely appropriate for Streep to highlight a performance anathema to her life’s work. In context, she was saying “performers have great power and great responsibility.”
The song is so catchy, it makes you root for the guy who won’t take no for an answer. Our cultural norm, constantly reinforced in music and movies, is that a little resistance is good, but real men are persistent and get what they want in the end; furthermore, women like it that way.
Born To Run is really The Essential Bruce Springsteen, by His Hand and in His Voice (even if it isn’t, and it probably is; even if – and because – it could use a stronger editor.) What a book – a tour de force rock ‘n’ roll memoir/deconstruction. Here’s the rock star who decided he WOULDN’T die before he got old, because he sorta liked living.
Our mother loved music, and she loved weddings. I realized an event with wine and dancing was the perfect setting for her memorial. I asked the family for songs they associated with her. The initial list was long – more than forty tracks. My intention was to compress those to a 3-minute collage, but that first attempt was a jumble. Listening to the playlist over and over, I settled on twelve that seemed most representative.
So many days this winter, I’d stare at my computer monitor without any motivation to be productive. I stopped running, writing, reading. Gradually, life returned. It took longer than a week. I kept wondering, “Do I feel normal yet?” and eventually realized this was the new normal.
Moss Island’s agonizingly whittled-down list of the greatest Christmas songs ever. The shortlist started at 40. These are the best.
A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records is a distillation of Phil Spector’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Wall of Sound, over-the-top but perfect as a Christmas confection.