Home' LOTL : April 12 Contents 22 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Arts | Film
Stephen Sondheim fans will no doubt be well aware of the charms of
Company, Sondheim and Furth’s collaboration on the case for and ag ainst
marriage that centres upon the lives of Bobby and his group of many married
friends living and loving in NYC...
The musical was a multiple Tony Award winner and despite being originally
penned in 1970 (with a few re-working s from Furth in ‘95) Company
rema ins surprisingly relevant for a mo dern audience, proving that the state of
relationships have changed ver y little over the years.
This version of Company is a cinecast of a live concert that took place in
New York in 2011 and featured the talents of a number of Broadway veterans
and Tony award winners such as Patti Lupone and Katie Finneran alongside
TV talent like Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Christina
Hendricks (Mad Men).
Under the helm of Lonny Price (who recently stag ed similar productions
of Camile and Camelot), Company is given fresh life. Headliner Neil Patrick
Harris as perennial bachelor Bobby may not have the voice of a Broadway
legend – but he is easily able to hold his own – and delivers a depth of emotion
to his role that is not always seen when the part is performed by a musical
theatre star. The expectation for Patti Lupone to deliver a stellar performance
as Joanne is huge – but Lupone is easily up to the challeng e – she’s not
considered a Broadway legend for no reason. Her rendition of ‘The Ladies
who Lunch’ is filled with pathos and makes for one of the highlights of the
show. Katie Finneran is another standout as the neurotic bride-to -be Amy her
version of ‘Getting Married Today’ is outstanding . The big surprise is Mad
Men ’s Christina Hendricks whose daff y flight attendant April is superb.
Given that this show played a truly limited four performance run, it makes
sense to give it new life with this recorded version and Sondheim fans will no
doubt enjoy watching the lives of this band of New Yorkers unfold on screen.
The first instalment in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilog y lands on
screen this month and looks set to take over the mantle from Twilight and
Harr y Potter as the mone y spinning franchise of the centur y.
Collins’ dystopian novel has been delivered to the screen with great pa-
nache, providing us with a worthy heroine in Oscar nominee Jennifer Law-
rence (Winter Bones) as Katniss, the book’s central protag onist.
For those that have yet to get their hands on a copy of Collins’ novel, the
stor y is set in the US in a not too distant future – the country has been di-
vided into fenced off districts with vastly var ying deg re es of prosperity.
In the capital, the nation’s control is manag ed by a chosen few that live
in luxur y and manage the rabble with a ruthless hand. Little wonder then
that their favourite form of enter tainment is a gladiatorial style death race
marked to commemorate a failed rebellion – two teens (called tributes) are
chosen by lotter y from each district to participate in a fight to the death that
is televised on live TV. It’s reality TV gone wild...
If this plotline all sounds a little familiar (think Battle Royale, Death Race,
Rollerball) it doesn’t matter, as director Gar y Ross ke eps the action taut and
the surprises coming , aided by a wonderful cast of young actors led by Law-
rence and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta).
The casting of Lawrence who was so fine in Winte r Bones was a stroke of
genius, delivering a strong and capable heroine that resonates for the vie wer.
Hutcherson is equally good as Pe eta – and its nice to se e the role reversal
at play – Lawrence’s Katniss is the wily strong one here and Hutcherson is
more like the damsel in distress. Woody Harrelson is another coup – he plays
Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta’s mentor who trains the duo for the ‘games’.
Stanley Tucci is also wonderfully cast as the slimy game show host.
If there is anything to complain about it would be the film’s ending which
is more of a whimper than a bang – but what can you expe ct when it’s part
of a trilog y and the book’s readers will know that the best is yet to come...
THE HUNGER GAMES
Director: Gary Ross
Starring:Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks
Director: Lonny Price
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Christina Hendricks
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