Monday, May 24, 2010


Ryan Landry and The Gold Dust Orphans are at it again!

It's Hitchcock's classic set on Cape Cod, where "The Birds" become THE GULLS!

See it through May 30 at Machine 1254 Boylston Street Boston!Tippi Hedren eat your heart out.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


***WARNING:Trailer is VERY disturbing!***

OK. I said I wanted to see it. It was the best picture winner at Screamfest 2009. It promised a "one of a kind experience...guaranteed to shock and divide" audiences, a "twisted biological horror film" by Dutch filmmaker Tom Six, involving a gruesome operation--and it is called THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE after all. So I thought, why not? Sure. Send me a DVD. The press rep did-- with the offhand remark, "You're brave."

Then it arrived and I kept putting off watching it. My daughter and five of her friends who love horror movies decided to watch it. Later, they emerged from the dark looking sick and queasy. They bleakly informed me, it wasn't exactly scary, it was much worse. My daughter muttered something about "six teenagers emotionally scarred for life."

I celebrated Mother's Day, and looked at that disc sitting on my desk again. I couldn't do it. Until last night. It's a sick ride all right--two stupid American girls wearing too much eyeliner and mascara land on the doorstep of the warped Dr. Heiter on a rainy night in the black forest. One look at this guy- he leered at them like a jackal in heat--and they should have goose-stepped on out of there. Instead, they accepted a drugged drink and woke up in an operating theatre where the good doctor sketched out his next performance, a kind of "anti-operation." You see--he had once made his mark in the world of surgery by separating Siamese twins. Well now that he's out of his mind, he's decided to reverse the procedure in a particularly unseemly way. He's going to link three human beings, on their knees, mouth to rectum, in one long gastric roller coaster, giving new meaning to the expression "head up your ass."I am not making this up.

I fought back the nausea and steeled myself to the end, unable to peel my eyes away from the extraordinary Dieter Laser, who plays Dr. Heiter, one of the most truly revolting onscreen incarnations imaginable; he makes Hannibal Lecter look like Little Bo Peep. His ultra-creepy mien was enhanced by his elegant surroundings; there's a brilliantly terrifying scene where the doctor is shrieking in ecstasy at his grotesque creation, while the enslaved human centipede is screaming in anguish.

There seemed too many ways for the girls, and later some detectives to have escaped, which diminishes (thankfully?) the tension, but the lingering feeling is one of sheer misery and horror at what is happening. One character cries out for mommy. Another screams "Make it all go away please!!!"

When it was over, I savored the relief of being able to do what those poor, unfortunately made up young women could not: make it all go away, please. Ahhhh. It was only a movie. Now Playing at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline MA and limited late night engagements across the country.


Meet professional actress and WHEELOCK FAMILY THEATRE Alum, Julia Jones, who plays Leah Clearwater in the upcoming summer blockbuster, THE TWILILGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

You may not know Julia yet, but you will after June 30 and Wheelock Family Theatre’s 2010 Fundraiser!

To celebrate Wheelock Family Theatre’s commitment to youth, education, and the community, this year's benefit acknowledges the successful career of working actress Julia Jones. Ms. Jones attended classes at Wheelock Family Theatre as a child and performed onstage in Aladdin, Charlotte’s Web, and played Jo in Little Women. Ms. Jones has pursued a professional career and has appeared in a number of independent movies, the television program E.R., and now THE TWILIGHT SAGA:ECLIPSE!

Jared Bowen of WGBH will hold an onstage Interview with Ms. Jones on Thursday May 27 at 7:00pm. Tickets will be sold for the interview which will take place at Wheelock Family Theatre.


JAKE GYLLENHAAL as the Persian prince himself! CLICK HERE FOR TRAILER!

PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME Hollywood Premiere & AFI Tribute Event to Jerry Bruckheimer Streamed LIVE Online!

Add some excitement to your Monday night by joining the cast and filmmakers from WALT DISNEY PICTURES AND JERRY BRUCKHEIMER FILMS’ PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME LIVE from the red-carpet! Join JAKE GYLLENHAAL, GEMMA ARTERTON, SIR BEN KINGSLEY, and TOBY KEBBEL as well as filmmakers JERRY BRUCKHEIMER (Producer), MIKE NEWELL (Director) and JORDAN MECHNER as virtual guests to the spectacular Hollywood Premiere of PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME that will be streamed live on IMDb beginning Monday, May 17th at 6:00pm/PDT at:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Tonight, May 18, acclaimed actors Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman, and Cherry Jones joined conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra for the world premiere performance of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA. Written by composer Peter Boyer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens and commissioned by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, The Dream Lives On pays tribute to the legacies of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Monday night I emceed THE NORTON AWARDS at the Paramount Theatre! No. Not Ralph Kramden's sidekick. Elliot Norton, the Dean of American Theater Critics, who wrote for the Boston Herald, died at the age of 100, and in whose name we, the Boston theater critics, honor outstanding achievements in local theater every year. It's Boston's version of the Tonys: THE NORTIES!!!

Tony "Monk" Shalhoub and wife Brooke Adams were our honored guests, A.R.T. alum Cherry (Madame President)Jones was in the house, veteran A.R.T. alum Karen MacDonald won the Norton Prize for sustained excellence, while SpeakEasy and the A.R.T. cleaned up the awards! For a complete list of awards--CLICK HERE!

But here's what you didn't read in the morning papers:

-- Ryan Landry's GOLD DUST ORPHANS killed with show opener MASQUERADE from their hilarious Norty-nominated production PHANTOM OF THE OPRAH!

--The Huntington's Michael Maso-- this year's StageSource Theatre Hero-- had the audience howling when he referenced previous Norton Prize winner Rick Lombardo's legendarily longwinded speech from two years ago. He said Lombardo,in fact, had had even more to say, but that he was interrupted by something. Dawn.

Two honorees from Orfeo Group--one of whom was wearing a short strapless cocktail sheath--catapulted right from the audience up onto the stage (which had no direct stair access)to claim their Norty, short-cutting the long trek through the wings that left all the other winners in need of oxygen.

The sound system for the entire powerpoint presentation wasn't working until 30 minutes before showtime. Talk about drama.

This Nortian had a blast!


Click Here
I just got word that Cirque du Soleil is headed this way--and it's sure to lay an egg. That crazy French troupe of performing artists,acrobats,and juggling contortionist illusionists with the phantasmagorical music, lighting,and costumes have invaded the insect world and will spin a diaphanous cocoon of mesmerizing entertainment before our very eyes under the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau.
Get ready for OVO. July 22-August 15 Boston Fan Pier.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


You have until May 30th to get trashed at the SpeakEasy Stage Company's latest production: THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL! White trash has never been more entertaining! The show stars a bevy of Boston's best belters: Leigh Barret, Kerry A. Dowling, Mary Callanan, Santina Umbach (who nearly steals the show as "Pickles,") and Caitlin Crosbie Doonan.

Together they trill the tacky tale of the latest goings on in Armadillo Acres, the home of Jeannie and Norbert; she's an agoraphobe and he's a toll collector and their baby was kidnapped 20 years ago. Norbert(the angelic-voiced David Benoit) takes up with an exotic dancer named Pippi who's fleeing a love-struck magic marker-sniffing cowboy named Duke. Then it gets complicated.

Paul Daigneault directs with abandon and feeling--he never abandons these characters and consequently we have actual feelings for them. And the stagecraft is as impressive as the vocal artistry. There's the rollicking "Road Kill,"
the poignantly-pitched "Flushed Down the Pipes,"and the truly lovely "Owner of My Heart."

Hitch your trailer to this mad funny production and drive yourself into hysterics.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


We arrived by horse and buggy last night as Maestro Keith Lockhart (he was so kind to help me out of the carriage) & the Boston Pops opened its 125th Anniversary Season. Of course some of the beautiful people from 1885 were there: BSO Founder Henry Lee Higginson (Matt Heck) and art collector and philantropist, she of the Venetian villa turned museum (though in 1885 the Gardner museum was but a dream) ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER (me)!

My gown--an exact replica of the one Gardner wears in the portrait painted by Isabella's friend John Singer Sargent, created quite a scandal in its day. The neckline was considered much too low and revealing and the strands of pearls too suggestively positioned. It was said that Sargent had painted her "all the way down to Crawford's notch!" Isabella's ("Mrs. Jack")husband, John Lowell Gardner, was so upset by it that he pulled the painting from public view and it was never exhibited again during his lifetime.

In stark contrast, I waved to people from my horse and carriage while they walked the neighboring streets, talking on their cells, drinking, eating; they seemed not at all scandalized by my formal attire. In fact, I couldn't help but notice how they delighted in rising to the occasion. One young man-- nearly naked in tank and shorts-- bowed; an older gent tipped his cane, and at least one cabby blew a kiss.

Later that night, I was happy to unload my bustle after a splendid program featuring the WICKED wonderful Idina Menzel, and Doc Severinsen! Overhead, balloons popped spontaneously --and unexpectedly as the pops played on.

Oh yes--Spring has definitely sprung.

Monday, May 3, 2010


For the last week, a bird has been flying repeatedly into my glass door. The creature perches in the window box, then flies into the glass, and does this over and over, intermittently during the day. For days. It's happening right now. What does this mean?

I know this is nesting time, and several generations of house finches have built and rebuilt their nests in our awnings over the last 10 years. This is not a house finch. It is larger. And smoother. And it looks solitary. Is it trying to make a nest, then hitting a wall while checking out the space, then forgetting and doing it all over again?

Is it a signal from the universe? What wall do I keep banging MY head against? What do I need to open the door to??

I asked my husband. He says they don't call'em "bird brains"for nothing.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


ROCK OF AGES is one of the new shows Broadway Across America will bring to the Colonial Theatre next season! ROCK takes us back to the 80's! HAIR will take us back to the 60's, WEST SIDE STORY and JERSEY BOYS will take us back to the 50's, while WICKED and MARY POPPINS will take us back to the fantasies of our childhoods!

Herewith a schedule and some videos where available!

WICKED: September 1-October 17, 2010 (Boston Opera House)

ROCK OF AGES: October 6-17,2010(Boston's Colonial Theatre)

JERSEY BOYS: December 16-January 30,2011 (Boston's Colonial Theatre)

MARY POPPINS: February 17-March 20, 2011 (Boston Opera House)

HAIR: March22-April 10, 2011 (Boston's Colonial Theatre)

: June 14-July 9, 2011 (Boston's Colonial Theatre)

See you at the theatah, dahlings!