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Posts from August 2004

“Shrek 2”

UGC Ciné-Cité les Halles, Paris • 12.8.04 à 20h10

A tremendously successful sequel to a movie I had not enjoyed much because of its toilet humour. Shrek 2 is a joy to watch and packs more jokes and winks than anyone can get in one viewing. The Fairy Godmother, in particular, is a brilliant creation.

Movie on DVD - The

Movie on DVD - The Wizard of Oz I kept
thinking that this movie was remarkably well done for its time. I wish they'd
kept "The Jitterbug," though.

Musical - A Funny Thing

Musical - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to
the Forum
(Olivier Theatre, London, 7:30pm) A brilliant production,
impeccably staged to make the farce as effective as possible. My only quibble
was that some of the actors were not great singers, so some of the musical
numbers (most notably "That Dirty Old Man") were not as enjoyable as they could
have been. The wonderful surprise was that Desmond Barrit not only has a great
stage presence, perfect for playing Pseudolus, but also that he is a real team
player. Not once did he try to steal the show. On the contrary, he only seemed
to be having fun when he could involve the rest of the cast. And he didn't ad
lib or go astray once. The pace of the show was exhilarating, from the first
bars of "Comedy Tonight" to the unbelievable acceleration of the last few

Exhibition - Saul Bass (Design

Exhibition - Saul Bass (Design
Museum, London) Anybody who has seen Psycho or North By
realises the potential impact of well-designed titles...
especially when the music is also involving. This exhibition is a great tribute
to the man who realised titles didn't have to be a series of dull cards against
a static background. And titles of recent movies like Monsters, Inc.
and Catch Me If You Can show that he's left a legacy.

Musical - Camelot (Regent's Park

Musical - Camelot (Regent's Park Open Air
Theatre, London, 8pm) A very enjoyable production, in spite of the reduced
orchestra. The show has its usual weaknesses, especially in the second act, but
the cast was great. It was a good idea to cast Russ Abbot as King Pellinore, all
the more as he didn't try to walk away with the show as could have been feared.

Musical - Out of This

Musical - Out of This World (Festival
Theatre, Chichester, 7:30pm) What a great idea to produce this seldom-seen Cole
Porter musical! Granted, it probably has little commercial potential today, but
it's a great case in point of what musicals could be back in the 1950s:
light-hearted, fluffy, thoroughly likeable. The score doesn't contain any big
Porter standard (except maybe "From This Moment On," which was cut from the
original production), but it is vastly enjoyable from beginning to end. Great
cast, good staging, cheap-looking set... and a "revised" book by Greg McKellan
that probably removes the topicalities that would have made the show hard to
understand today.

Movie on DVD - Camp

Movie on DVD - Camp A very forgettable
movie, even if one doesn't get to see the "Turkey-Lurkey Time" ballet or "And
I'm Telling You..." every day. Why Stephen Sondheim accepted to appear is beyond