The last day of the year was spent like January 1, 2017: in a movie theater. This time the topic was Winston Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister of Great Britain, a most worthy subject.
Mr. Churchill is quite a character who overcame much and showed leadership at a critical time despite lapses of cooperation and strong opposition (not just from Hitler). Those aspects are captured without moving outside its knitting into typical Hollywood fare (unnecessary explosions, chases, etc.). I appreciated that. Continue reading The Darkest Hour
“The Quartet” by Joseph Ellis
- DougInNC book report – – – “More than a Review”
“four men made history happen in a series of political decisions and actions that … have no equal in American history.”
“When in the course of human events” it becomes you to rediscover roots formed in the 1700s that, of necessity, must hold firmly to be the foundation of these United States, this book is to be examined.
Historian and writer Joseph Ellis finds a comfortable place employing more drama than a typical professor and factual stickiness when a playwright or screenwriter might come unglued. He leverages his own prior work as well as “standing on the shoulders of giants” that have traipsed this historical period. His story builds strength, then gushes with maximum content and consequence as chapter five covers the drama of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and particularly the orchestration around that event by James Madison. Continue reading Book Report: “The Quartet”
Maggie’s Dream – by Leslie Tall Manning
Author Manning quickly and crisply sets the stage, establishing the view from inside the title character’s head. Scene setting is terrific, with the writer clearly and consistently establishing who, what, when, and where. Her prose hearkens the time period using images of life in 1940s Baltimore and oft-forgotten brand names.
The confused Maggie of Chapter 3 faces uncertainty, saying, “It’s hard to know what I want when I haven’t had it yet.” The path to finding that core desire captivates the reader until she declares for “A life filled with magic and wonder.” Maggie lives before any Disneyworld dream, but Manning magically marshals vibrant visions in the heroine’s head. Continue reading Book Review: “Maggie’s Dream”
Look Homeward, Angel– by Thomas Wolfe
Look Homeward, Angel is considered a great work of American literature. Yet, paraphrasing the author to describe this novel and the days I spent in it:
- “A book, not brief, a bore. … Time lost, O’ Lost!”
I usually enjoy descriptive prose and creative turn of phrase, but a novel ought to have a sufficient story to which those elements are attached. I did not find that story in this introspective on the author’s youth.
Continue reading Book Review: “Look Homeward, Angel”
Why see it:
-Soaring music with whispers of “Phantom of the Opera”
-A set that is bigger-than-life and full of moving parts
-The voice of Meghan Picerno as Christine
-Not necessary to be a fan of “Phantom”
Summary and thoughts:
This sequel is set ten years after “The Phantom of the Opera” musical ends. The Phantom now keys a sideshow named “Phantasm.” But rather than living in the sewers below the Paris opera house, our beloved, feared, sartorial, oratorical, organ-playing, full-of-angst villain/hero has become established in a Coney Island, NY, establishment.
He is the hidden face behind a circus-like vaudevillian effort with characters big and small, oddities, monsters, and his featured performer. She is Meg Giry, daughter of Madame Giry, who engineered the post-opera escape from France for this trio to stay together. Meg wants nothing more than to please the one still known to her as “Master.”
Continue reading Love Never Dies -Musical
The Road from Courain – by Jill Ker Conway
- DougInNC book report
- “More than a Review”
Summary: “Cursed be my intellect, affluence, and robust life experiences because there may never be someone so exceptional as to live up to my image of myself.”
Continue reading Book Report: “The Road from Courain”
Pretending to Dance, by Diane Chamberlain
- DougInNC book report
- “More than a Review”
“Good golly, Miss Molly.” That quote from my years growing up predates the years of our main character Molly. Another mismatch is that I am not the target audience for this novel. Neither of those aspects kept me from appreciating the work.
Good golly, Molly has issues; make that ISSUES. The antagonist of this story is Molly’s past, or as she clearly says, “My past is in my way, … a roadblock, holding me back, keeping me from moving forward. I have no idea how to make it go away.” Continue reading Book Report: “Pretending to Dance”
Watching “The Help” for a second time was well worth the hours. I’m usually captivated by historical perspectives and stories about writers. This film covered the former fine, but did not adequately characterize the efforts and angst of the author for my taste; that’s okay, it was about “The Help.” For a movie with excellent coverage of the author, see “Genius.”
The acting was good on all sides, including featured roles for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, seen on the 2017 big screen in “Fences” and “Hidden Figures,” respectively.
Would the book be better than the movie for this story? Perhaps I should read Kathryn Stockett’s novel.
“Hamilton An American Musical” was not something I “had to see” but became the thing I was compelled to see a second and third time. Is it over for me? “Not yet.” It’s terrific.
My thoughts will inevitably compare New York and Chicago performances, having seen them both. My essential impression is this:
“the show is the show.” Continue reading Hamilton 1 – Love at First Lyrics
Nothing plain about Hamilton, except for the printed ticket.
Note: Ticket PRICE not shown actual size … if you know what I mean!
Why was “Hamilton An American Musical” something I had to see a second time in May 2016? Because I “heard” and “felt” far more than I saw that first time in 2015 (Hamilton 1 – Love at First Lyrics). My mental “vision” was obscured by the fun of processing all those delightful words that enamored me while I embraced them. Continue reading Hamilton 2 – May I have 20,000 words with you?