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Rachel Perry Welty opens at DeCordova

Posted by Sebastian Smee January 31, 2011 01:55 PM

Rachel Welty 4.jpgA show of the work of Gloucester resident Rachel Perry Welty opened at the DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum on the weekend. It's worth checking out. The DeCordova is looking great right now, with a good spread of shows (look out for the photographs of Lucien Aigner on level 2) in an exceedingly picturesque setting (and yes, you can get around the sculpture park: you just need suitable shoes and clothing). I have my doubts about the effectiveness of a lot of Welty's work, but it is certainly witty and beautifully presented. It runs until April 24.

Oscar nominees in Legos

Posted by Nicole Cammorata January 28, 2011 10:31 AM

As seen on Gawker, Alex Eylar's cheeky depictions of this year's Oscar nominees for best picture, built using Legos.


["The Fighter"]

See more photos after the jump...


Seiji, Lang Lang, and NEC in the news

Posted by Jeremy A. Eichler January 28, 2011 10:23 AM

In case you missed them, a few recent classical music stories:

Seiji Ozawa is scaling back his conducting this year and cancelling his April Carnegie Hall dates in order to recuperate from his recent back surgery.

The Chinese pianist Lang Lang improbably sparked a controversy through his choice of repertoire for a performance at the White House. The pianist later pleaded ignorance about the back-story of the music he played.

And New England Conservatory's controversial decision on El Sistema USA has now been noted by the New York Times. The story is also being digested by outside observers. One of the most clear-eyed analyses comes from arts education expert Nick Rabkin, who writes about how the issue runs much deeper than simply the question of whether NEC has the funds necessary to keep El Sistema USA. (The Globe's recent coverage can be found here and here.)

Will Ferrell joining 'The Office'

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 27, 2011 11:36 AM

It would be too much to hope that someone like Will Ferrell or even Ricky Gervais would replace Steve Carell on "The Office." Wouldn't it?

Well, hold on. Last week NBC announced that Gervais -- the creator and star of the original, British version of "The Office" -- would make a cameo on tonight's episode. Now comes word that Ferrell will play a visiting branch manager for several episodes this season. The Associated Press is reporting that Ferrell's character will be "just as inappropriate" as Carell's Michael Scott.

Carell is leaving the popular series before the end of this season, and speculation has swirled over who would be brought on to run the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin paper company. Is it possible that NBC is trying out Will Ferrell for the job? Nah. Carell, after all, is leaving to further his movie career, whereas Ferrell's film career is already in high gear. Still, until an official announcement comes, we can hope...

Ex-Channel 7 GM arrested again

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 26, 2011 03:54 PM

0416185_20110124009_f.jpgRandi Goldklank, who lost her GM job at WHDH-TV (Channel 7) two years ago after a booze-fueled tirade at Logan International Airport, is out of a job again after being arrested Sunday for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest at a Delray Beach restaurant.

Goldklank has been dumped by WPEC-TV (Channel 12), where she was an advertising executive, after being "intoxicated and doing inappropriate acts," according to police. (Her arrest was first reported by The Palm Beach Post's Jose Lambiet.)

According to a Delray Beach Police report, the manager of the trendy restaurant The Office called 911 because Goldklank was behaving bizarrely -- "removing her top, and dancing on a pole like a stripper" -- and refusing to leave. When police arrived, they found Goldklank, 42, fooling around with the DJ's equipment. An officer tried to escort her out of the restaurant, but Goldklank, whose speech was slurred, resisted and tried to run away, police said. According to the officer, "the defendant repeatedly told me that if I did not let her go, I would be on the news because she works for News 12."

Not anymore, she doesn't. Station spokesman Bob Emmers told us today that Goldklank "is no longer employed by the station." Attempts to reach Goldklank were unsuccessful.

The newswoman made headlines in 2008 with her arrest at Logan Airport. In that case, she had to be helped off an airplane by two crew members, and then struck a state trooper responding to the ruckus. During the incident, she threatened to call a news crew and put the trooper "on TV and ruin [his] life." She later resigned as Channel 7's general manager, saying it "would have been extraordinarily difficult for her to continue."

Filed by Globe staff writer Mark Shanahan

(That's Goldklank's mug shot above. Below, Goldklank in 2007; Globe file photo by Wiqan Ang.)



Newport jazz, folk fests to be nonprofit

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 25, 2011 02:27 PM

08092010_09newport2.jpgAcknowledging that he "won't be around forever," the 85-year-old cofounder and organizer of the Newport jazz and folk festivals says he's turning them into nonprofits in order to ensure their survival.

George Wein, who started the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, sold the two events in 2007 but resumed control two years later after the company that bought them ran into problems that nearly forced their cancellation. Since then, the festivals have not had an easy time attracting and retaining sponsors.

Wein's new nonprofits, the Newport Festivals Foundation, will oversee the events now, according to the Associated Press. "I want the festivals to go on forever," Wein told the AP. "With me it's not a matter of business. This is my life." In fact, both festivals started as nonprofits, but Wein turned them into for-profit ventures after his entire board quit in the wake of rioting at the 1960 jazz fest.

The 2011 Newport Folk Festival is scheduled for July 29-31 at Fort Adams State Park, and the Newport Jazz Festivals follows Aug. 5-7.

(AP photo: Anat Cohen performing at the 2010 Newport Jazz Festival.)

Vampires nominated for Razzies

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 24, 2011 02:40 PM

Film Razzies.jpgOscars, shmoscars. The nominations for the Golden Raspberry Awards -- the Razzies, as they're known -- are out today, and both the most recent "Twilight" film and a parody of the "Twilight" series are on the list.

The Razzies, founded in 1981 by a copywriter and publicist named John Wilson, celebrate the worst that Hollywood has to offer. This year the nominees for worst picture are "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," "Vampires Suck," "The Last Airbender," "The Bounty Hunter," and. "Sex and the City 2." "Eclipse" and "Airbender," in fact, tied for the most nominations, with nine apiece.

In announcing the nominees, Wilson said he actually found "Eclipse" funnier than "Vampires Suck." "I know people who are into 'Twilight' who take it totally seriously and they're very vociferous," Wilson said, according to the Associated Press. "Those of us who are not 'Twi-hards', we don't get it. I don't actually know any teenage girls who have had to make the choice between a werewolf and a vampire."

The full slate of nominees -- which include the entire cast of "Eclipse" -- can be found here.

Maazel returns to BSO with all-Russian program

Posted by Jeremy A. Eichler January 21, 2011 01:04 AM

Lorin Maazel conducts the BSO on Jan. 20. (Photo by Stu Rosner)

After some last-minute substitutions for James Levine last season, Lorin Maazel is back this week on the Boston Symphony Orchestra podium, this time as an officially scheduled guest conductor. For the occasion he has chosen an all-Russian program that steers clear of greatest hits, surveying instead three less frequently performed works: Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3, Stravinsky's Symphonic Poem "The Song of the Nightingale," and Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy." Even the Tchaikovsky, the most recently played of the three, had not been performed by the BSO in a decade.

One can also guess why it had been so long. The Suite No. 3, which the composer wrote in the period following his Fourth Symphony, is not really top-drawer Tchaikovsky and certainly lacks some of the heft and impact of his greatest symphonic music. But it does boast generous portions of richly melodic writing that were smoothly dispatched last night, with Maazel coaxing from the strings in particular an appealingly dark-hued, velvety tone, and sparking from the orchestra as a whole some tightly controlled virtuosity in the closing polonaise. The fourth movement also contains an expansive violin solo, elegantly rendered here by concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and spiced with a few touches of portamento.

After intermission Stravinsky's "Song of the Nightingale," a work culled from the composer's early opera based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, was given a crisp, bright and often brilliant performance. That very crispness, the sharply delineated contours of Stravinsky's symphonic poem, made for an effective contrast with the program's final work -- Scriabin's heavily perfumed, lushly scored "Poem of Ecstasy."

Completed in 1907, Scriabin's piece is a kind of slow-burning exercise in orchestral yearning, a potent cocktail of mysticism, symbolism and sexuality that builds in its final bars to an immense sonic climax. As the BSO's program note pointed out, Scriabin first planned on titling the piece "Pome orgiaque."

Last night the score drew more vigorous leadership from Maazel than he had shown until that point. He was meticulous in his attention to flow, making sure the orchestra did not give away too much too soon, meanwhile shaping the work with a sense of inevitability towards a massive final blaze of sound. The BSO trumpets distinguished themselves on the second half, particularly Thomas Rolfs in the Scriabin and Thomas Siders in the Stravinsky.

Jeremy Eichler can be reached at

Natalie Portman will have a busy 2011

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 19, 2011 03:54 PM

NUP_143187_8202.JPGHarvard grad Natalie Portman, who won a Golden Globe Sunday night for her portrayal of a troubled ballerina in "Black Swan" and stars in the new romantic comedy "No Strings Attached," has a busy year ahead of her. Not only is she pregnant with her first child and getting married to choreographer Benjamin Millepied, but she's got four more movies in the works -- a schedule that even she admits is "a little insane." Portman plays a warrior in the comedy-adventure "Your Highness" and a human in the superhero film "Thor," and she's also working on two movies -- "Hesher" and "Best Buds" -- through her own production company, Handsomecharlie Films. Despite the hectic personal and private life, the actress said she's been relaxing with her mother on the West Coast. "I think because so much is going on, it's just sort of going over my head," Portman told the Associated Press. "I don't know that I'm taking it all in. I'm just like, 'Oh, the sun is shining. I'm with my mom. I'm with my dog. Life is good.'"

Sinatra, Bernstein and others lead JFK's pre-inaugural gala

Posted by Doug Most January 19, 2011 09:54 AM

As part of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum's ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of JFK's 1961 inauguration comes this remarkable video.

Imagine if Beyonce, Streisand, Jon Stewart, Quincy Jones, Renee Fleming, Oprah, Stephen Sondheim, James Levine, and some of the performance stars of today all gathered at the White House. This was sort of like that, 50 years ago.

It's restored footage from the pre-inaugural gala, which was produced by Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford. There were performances by Harry Belafonte, Milton Berle, Nat King Cole, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Kelly, Frederic March, Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante and others. It was a significant event, as it was really the first that showed how big a role the arts would have in public life during Kennedy's administration.

Richard Hatch joins 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 14, 2011 04:32 PM

People Richard Hatch.jpgRichard Hatch, who won the inaugural season of "Survivor," is returning to reality TV. Donald Trump announced the cast for the new reason of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" yesterday, and the B- and C-list celebs include Hatch, who might be in jail when the new season begins. A Providence judge ruled this week that Hatch, who lives in Newport, R.I., violated the terms of his supervised release by failing to refile his tax returns. Convicted in 2006 of failing to pay taxes on the $1 million prize he won on the reality series, Hatch spent more than three years in federal prison and another three years on supervised release. If you must know, the rest of the "Celebrity Apprentice" lineup includes actors Gary Busey, Marlee Matlin, and Lisa Rinna; TV personality Star Jones; "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes; singers Meat Loaf, La Toya Jackson, Dionne Warwick, John Rich, and Mark McGrath; rapper Lil Jon; models Niki Taylor and Hope Dworaczyk.; former teen idol David Cassidy; retired Major Leaguer Jose Canseco will also be among those competing. The season premieres March 6.

(AP photo: Hatch leaving federal court in Providence on Monday.)

Steve Carell leaving 'The Office' early

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 14, 2011 03:59 PM

carell113.jpgLooks like Steve Carell won't even make it to the end of the season on "The Office." The NBC comedy's executive producer, Greg Daniels, said today that Carell's exit will come before the season ends in May, the Associated Press is reporting. Carell, who was born in Concord and grew up in Acton, had previously announced he was leaving his role at Dunder Mifflin manager Michael Scott to focus on his movie career, which last year included starring roles in "Date Night," "Dinner for Schmucks," and "Despicable Me." Daniels said Carell will leave with four episodes remaining, which would put his departure sometime in April.

(NBC photo)


JFK's archives open to the world

Posted by Doug Most January 13, 2011 12:01 AM
jfkinauguration001.jpgIt only took four years, $10 million, and the brains of some of the biggest tech and data companies, but today the JFK Library and Museum unveils a new archive that will let the world inside the presidency of John F. Kennedy like never before. And a sneak peek reveals some pretty cool stuff.

Click here and type in "Jackie Kennedy" and hear a video podcast of how she went about entertaining at the White House and hosting dinners. Type in "John F. Kennedy Jr." and see some strikingly candid photographs of the family. Just searching for "video" brings you a collection of videos, including Kennedy's 1963 televised speech to the nation about the Nuclear Ban Test Treaty. In this age of YouTube, and incredibly vivid graphics, the uncluttered black and white images are refreshing in their simplicity. No ticker running along the bottom. No distractions on the screen. The lack of color in fact brings more power to the words.

The occasion, of course, for all this is the 50th anniversary of the 35th president's inauguration. Today in Washington, Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, will officially announce the archive's unveiling. As the Globe's Joe Kahn first wrote back in November (that front page story is here), creating a digital archive of JFK's presidency was no small task. And it marks an important step for all presidential libraries.

Here is how Kahn described it:

Access to a Legacy, as the project is called, marks the first time a presidential library established in the paper age has fully committed itself to the digital era. The amount of material to be posted online in January is huge 200,000 pages of text, 1,500 photos, 1,250 files of audio recordings and moving images, and 340 phone conversations totaling 17 1/2 hours but represents just a small portion of the collection.

Among the documents likely to draw intense interest is a draft, in JFKs handwriting, of his inaugural address (Ask not what your country can do for you ... ). There are also notes, tapes, and maps made during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and Oval Office phone conversations between Kennedy and other important historical figures, from foreign heads of state and former US presidents to key political allies and aides. Users will be able to print and copy material directly off the website, so they could download a personal note to JFK and make a copy for themselves.

The 50th anniversary celebration includes a number of roll-outs and events.

On Friday, Comcast will offer its customers JFK 50 Years, a Video on Demand channel of archival footage of speeches, debates, commercials, and other pieces.

And beginning Saturday, visitors to the museum can step up to a podium set amid the January 20, 1961 inaugural scene and deliver some of Kennedy's most stirring passages from his address. Bonus points if you can nail his accent perfectly.

Case against Shepard Fairey finally over

Posted by Sebastian Smee January 12, 2011 05:22 PM

FILES-US-POLITICS-INAUGURATION-PORTRAIT_001.jpgAfter a two year court battle, the case against Shepard Fairey for copyright infringement in his use of an AP photographer's image of Barack Obama for his "Obama Hope poster" has ended with the two parties agreeing to settle. Neither side has had concede wrongdoing, but Fairey, who stenciled the AP photograph of Obama to make his poster, has agreed not to use any more AP images without first receiving a license from them to do so.
His argument - that he was simply using the appropriated image under fair use in the tradition of countless other artists throughout art history - has not been rejected by the law, but nor has it been upheld.
Fairey, a street artist, political activist, and entrepreneur, was the subject of his first museum retrospective at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art in 2009.
His "Obama Hope poster" became famous around the world after it was used during Obama's campaign for the presidency, converted into stickers and T-shirts and used to raise large sums of money. A version of the poster was subsequently acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., and displayed in the National Portrait Gallery.
The AP, wanting to protect their own revenue stream, claimed that Fairey had copied their photograph.
The case against Fairey, who had initially sued the AP seeking a declaration of legitimacy and was then countersued, was complicated when it was revealed that Fairey was under criminal investigation for lying about which image he used, and suppressing evidence.
The two sides will henceforth share the right to make and sell Obama Hope posters.

Meet the Funky Fresh Senior Choir

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 12, 2011 03:22 PM
What in the world? What possessed these people to do this?

More films headed to Imax

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 12, 2011 11:21 AM

Get ready to see more movies in Imax theaters. The succees of showing feature films in Imax form -- and charging premium ticket prices for them -- is causing more films to head to the giant screens. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Imax has booked four major Paramount films for 2011: "Super 8" (out June 10), "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (July 1), "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" (Dec. 16), and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" (Dec. 28). Walt Disney and Warner Bros. also have several films coming to Imax in 2011, according to THR.

Snooki: Don't call me Snooki

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 12, 2011 10:05 AM

resized_Snooki_AP_2.jpgApparently under the impression that her 15 minutes of fame isn't almost up, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi says she'd like people to stop calling her "Snooki" and start calling her "Nicole."

"I miss my real name," the 23-year-old star of MTV's "Jersey Shore" told the Associated Press. "I miss people calling me Nicole." This despite the fact that "A Shore Thing," her new novel (don't get us started), lists her as "Snooki" on the jacket.

No worries, Snooki. Pretty soon nobody will be calling you at all.

(AP photo)

Greatest film chase scene ever?

Posted by Doug Most January 11, 2011 09:54 AM

Before the days when every movie seemed to have a car chase scene ("Date Night"? Please), there was, for me at least, "Bullitt." Steve McQueen in 1968 chasing the bad guys in his muscled-up Mustang through the hills of San Francisco.

The first time my father made me watch it, I didn't know what to expect. Then I almost got car sick from all the angles, especially from inside the cars. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. It's a car chase the way car chases were meant to be filmed.

The reason "Bullitt" is topical is because its British filmmaker, Peter Yates, died this week (obituary here) at 81. And not only did Yates make the best car chase scene I've seen in a movie, he made one of the best bike chases, too. And by bike, I mean bicycle.

Of all the great scenes in the 1979 classic "Breaking Away," my favorite is easily this one where the star, Dennis Christopher, tucks in behind a tractor trailer on the highway and drafts behind the hated Cinzano cycling team up to 60 mph. Now that's a chase!

What's your favorite chase scene in a movie, on wheels or on foot?

Trent Reznor scoring 'Dragon Tattoo'

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 10, 2011 01:57 PM

Film Social Network Trent Reznor.jpgTrent Reznor is having a second life as a film composer. The Nine Inch Nails frontman's last score, for "The Social Network," is up for a Golden Globe and will probably secure an Oscar nomination as well. Now he is writing and recording the music for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," based on the best-selling novel by Stieg Larsson.

Reznor and Atticus Ross co-wrote the "Social Network" score, and they're teaming up again for "Dragon Tattoo," according to Billboard magazine. But unlike "Social Network," the new project will rely less on electronics and more on string arrangements, Reznor told the magazine.

"We started recording things in a different way that was all based on performance -- nothing programmed," Reznor said. "That would be my limited skills with stringed instruments... We'd process them in a way that really gave it an interesting, organic feel that felt like something we've never done before."

Working in film is not entirely new to Reznor. He previously worked on the music for "Natural Born Killers" (1994) and "Lost Highway" (1997).

(AP photo)

Newbery, Caldecott awards announced

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 10, 2011 01:32 PM


The most prestigious awards in children's books were announced today. The American Library Association announced that Clare Vanderpool's "Moon Over Manifest" has won the John Newbery Medal for the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children," and "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead, received the Randolph Caldecott Medal for best children's picture book.

The full report from the Associated Press follows:


Pauly D: Britney's new CD is 'amazing'

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 7, 2011 11:36 AM

Boghosian_Pauly D3_LIV.jpgThe country's preeminent music critic -- "Jersey Shore" start Pauly D -- has weighed in on the forthcoming Britney Spears album and proclaims it "amazing."

"Her album is amazing -- like, I can't even believe it," the sometime-DJ with the ridiculous hair and thick silver neckchain told Billboard magazine. "I will be playing her tracks in the club, they're so good. I think this is gonna be one of her greatest albums."

Apparently the managers of Pauly D and Spears know each other, which explains how the MTV reality star has already heard the tracks, which include the single "Hold It Against Me." which is supposed to be released sometime this month. It's not clear when the whole album is coming out.

We wait with baited breath. Now that Pauly D thinks it's awesome, we'll probably pre-order a few dozen copies.

(Globe photo by Aram Boghosian: Pauly D DJs at Royale in Boston in September.)

Flash mob? No, flash wedding

Posted by Doug Most January 6, 2011 12:11 PM
When a crowd spontaneously breaks into song, in this case "Ain't no mountain high enough," which became a hit in the late 1960s when Marvin Gaye recorded it, it's got to be one of those flash mobs that seem to be happening more often these days, right?

Well, that's what happened at the Prudential Center a few weeks ago, except this was no ordinary flash mob. It was a flash wedding (and a Jewish wedding, as you'll note when they break the traditional glass at the end). And when bride and groom suddenly take off their regular clothes to reveal their wedding get-ups, the gig is up. And everyone realizes what's happening.

It's cute. Just hope their honeymoon wasn't at the food court.

Another adaptation for Pattinson

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 6, 2011 11:46 AM

pattinson1611.jpgRobert Pattinson is becoming one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood -- especially for film adaptations of popular novels. Not only does the "Twilight" star get top billing in the forthcoming "Water for Elephants," based on Sara Gruen's book, but now The Hollywood Reporter says he has signed on to star in "Cosmopolis," David Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel. Pattison will play a 28-year-old billionaire who rides around Manhattan in a limo, trying to get to a hair salon while absurd events unfold around him.

Eminem's 'Recovery' was best-selling CD of 2010

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 6, 2011 11:26 AM

eminemrecovery.jpgThe sales have been counted, and the tallies are in: The best-selling CD of 2010 was Eminem's "Recovery." Nielsen SoundScan says the rapper's seventh album, released in June, sold 3.4 million copies. No. 2 was Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (3.1 million), and No. 3 was Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" (3 million). Globe music critic James Reed sure didn't think "Recovery" was the best album of 2010. Check out his review of the record.

A trip down memory lane for 'Jersey Boys' co-author

Posted by Don Aucoin January 5, 2011 03:18 PM


When ''Jersey Boys'' coauthor Rick Elice read in the Globe yesterday that his show had broken a weekly box-office record at the Colonial Theatre, pulling in $1.1 million for the week that ended Sunday, he got very excited _ and not just for the financial reasons you'd expect.

It turns out that the Colonial has occupied a rather substantial place in Elice's heart for decades.

"The Colonial is a theater that, for me, is one of the great places in the world,'' Elice said today in a telephone interview. "It's a beautiful, beautiful theater. I never dreamed that 'Jersey Boys' would play there, so I was very happy to hear that it broke the record.''

In the early 1970s, when he was a stage-struck teenager and Boston was still a significant tryout town for productions on their way to Broadway, Elice used to take the train from New York to catch shows at the Colonial. He remembers seeing Stephen Sondheim's "Follies'' there in 1971, and Sondheim's "A Little Night Music'' a couple of years later.

By 1980, Elice had become an actor, joining Robert Brustein's brand-new American Repertory Theatre. He played Lysander in the ART's inaugural production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream,'' directed by Alvin Epstein, with a cast that included Cherry Jones and Tony Shalhoub.

After its ART run, Elice says, the "Dream'' production moved to the Wilbur Theater, which gave him a chance to walk up to Boylston Street and take frequent peeks at the Colonial. He recalls a production of "Sugar Babies,'' starring Carol Channing, at the Colonial at the time. 

He left the ART in 1981 to embark on a career in advertising, serving as creative director at a New York ad agency until 1999, then spent a decade as a creative consultant at Walt Disney Studios. One of his poker buddies was Marshall Brickman, a renowned comedy writer (Brickman co-wrote "Annie Hall,'' "Sleeper,'' and "Manhattan'' with Woody Allen). Eventually, Elice and Brickman teamed up to write "Jersey Boys.''

Next month, "Peter and the Starcatcher,'' Elice's adaptation of an adventure novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, will open in New  York.

But today, Elice had Boston on his mind. He noted that "Jersey Boys'' also enjoyed a solid run last year at the Shubert Theatre, saying "Boston has been very good to us.'' He added: "Whatever show is in the Colonial is somehow better because it's at the Colonial. The show seems like the icing on a very beautiful cake that's there all the time.''

It's been two decades since he was last inside the Colonial (for a production of the musical adaptation of "Grand Hotel.''). But he plans to rectify that soon. "I'm going to Boston before the end of the month to see my 'Boys,'  ''  said Elice.

The new word on 'Huck Finn'

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 4, 2011 01:57 PM

huck.jpg"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has been controversial almost since its publication in 1885, when the Boston Transcript reported that a Concord library official had derided Mark Twain's novel as "trash." Over the years the book has been banned from various public and school libraries, and occasionally it ignites another controversy, usually over its portrayal of African-Americans and its repeated use of a certain racial slur. (According to Publishers Weekly, that word appears in the book 219 times.)

Now comes a new edition from Alan Gribben, a Twain scholar at Auburn University in Alabama, that eliminates the offending word, replacing it with the word "slave." Due next month from NewSouth Books, the revised novel is sure to generate just as much debate, presumably over whether it is appropriate to sanitize a classic work of literature.

"This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind," Gribben told Publishers Weekly. "Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century. ... I'm hoping that people will welcome this new option, but I suspect that textual purists will be horrified. Already, one professor told me that he is very disappointed that I was involved in this."

What's your opinion? Is the new edition a good idea?

'Jersey Boys' breaks record at Colonial

Posted by Don Aucoin January 3, 2011 04:28 PM

marcus_16things1_g.jpgAt the finale of "Jersey Boys,'' the musical biography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the entire company delivers a rousing rendition of "Who Loves You?'' 

Evidently the answer is: Boston audiences.

The current production of "Jersey Boys'' has broken the weekly box-office record at the Colonial Theatre, pulling in a whopping $1,127,032 for the week that ended Sunday, according to Broadway Across America.

That puts "Jersey Boys'' ahead of "The Producers,'' which previously held the record at the Colonial with a one-week gross of $1,115, 241 in 2003.

"Jersey Boys'' still has a few weeks to try to break its own record: The show runs through Jan. 30.

 (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Online critics: 'Social Network' best of '10

Posted by Steve Greenlee January 3, 2011 02:36 PM

socialnetwork1211.jpgIf you've been wondering which film would be named best picture this year by the Online Film Critics Society -- and who hasn't? -- you can stop wondering. The society -- a group for writers who publish their movie reviews online -- has decided that "The Social Network," Aaron Sorkin's pic about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, was the best film of 2010. Colin Firth was named best actor for his portrayal of King George VI in "The King's Speech," and Natalie Portman was named best actress for her role as a troubled ballerina in "The Black Swan." Best animated feature? "Toy Story 3," say the online critics. "How to Train Your Dragon" was robbed, we say! Robbed! You can find the full list of winners here and the complete list of nominees here.

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