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  • 12th and Clairmount Movie Review

    Film Review: '12th and Clairmount'

    It’s always fascinating to encounter a documentary about a historical event after you’ve seen the meticulously staged Hollywood version. Your hunger to take in the subject is probably ramped up a notch or two — but beyond that, there’s now an added point of interest, since a good documentary will shed powerful light on a [...]

  • I Am Elizabeth Smart

    TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth Smart’

    “Do you want it to stop?” Elizabeth Smart asks. She is facing the camera directly, making eye contact. We are listening to the sound of her being raped for the first time — in Lifetime’s dramatization of her 9-month abduction, starring Alana Boden as Smart and Skeet Ulrich as kidnapper and rapist Brian David Mitchell. [...]

  • Sharon Jones Mavis Staples

    Album Review: Sharon Jones' 'Soul of a Woman' and Mavis Staples' 'If All I Was Was Black'

    MAVIS STAPLES“If All I Was Was Black”(Anti-) SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS“Soul of a Woman”(Daptones) Keith Richards once dismissed the popular notion that the Rolling Stones deserved their oft-given nickname, declaring that “on any given night, it’s a different band that’s the greatest rock & roll band in the world.” The term “Queen of Soul” [...]

  • School Girls, or the African Mean

    Off Broadway Review: 'School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play'

    Teenaged girls in Ghana prove they can be just as nasty– and as needy – as their international sisters everywhere. Delightful ensemble work from a cast of girlish thesps performing in “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,” captures both the humor and the pathos of a senior class of schoolgirls competing for the [...]

  • Escape to Margaritaville review

    Pre-Broadway Review: Jimmy Buffett Musical 'Escape to Margaritaville'

    You know what you’re ordering with a musical comedy based on the music of Jimmy Buffett, an artist whose beach bum persona and preference for Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops contribute as much to his success as his formidable songwriting skills. “Escape to Margaritaville,” now in Chicago as the last stop on a pre-Broadway mini-tour, successfully [...]

  • She's Gotta Have It Review

    TV Review: ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ From Spike Lee

    Thirty-one years later, the Brooklyn of Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” is unrecognizable. In the film, which is almost entirely shot in black and white, Fort Greene is poised on the edge of a gentrification boom that would turn an impoverished, black neighborhood of Brooklyn into one of the epicenters of post-millennium yuppie Brooklyn. [...]

  • 'The Star' Review

    Film Review: 'The Star'

    Though it probably could have gone without saying, “The Star” ends with a politely worded note to the effect that, while having fun and taking artist license, its creators strived to maintain the spirit and values of the greatest story ever told. Sure enough, “The Star” offers a playful retelling of Jesus’ nativity, as seen [...]

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