Ed Rampell: The Gang’s version of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is psychologically and politically troubling; in other words, it is great, thought-provoking theatre, spearheaded by Finney’s bravura performance.
Ed Rampell: As great as Bennett’s live numbers performed during the nightclub scenes are — and her singing and hoofing is worthy of Garland in all her glory — End of the Rainbow is a cautionary tale. Fame is no substitute for a rewarding personal life offstage and offscreen, with loving family, friends, lovers/spouses.
Ed Rampell: We often label and lump the turmoil that swept America and the world with a series of assassinations, Civil Rights, the antiwar movement, Black Power, China’s Red Guard, the Prague Spring, feminism and so on under the broad rubric of “the ’60s.” Auteur Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air sets the record straight, showing that the era’s radical fervor continued well into the 1970s.
Ed Rampell: Every once in a while there’s an uplifting work of art that makes one feel glad to be alive. L.A. Opera’s exuberant production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 1786 The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), conducted by none other than Placido Domingo himself, is one of those rare artistic experiences that enable audiences to walk on air and be grateful to be living, if only so they can experience such a rapturous, joyous vision and affirmation of life.