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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

Oscars, ‘trotters and “Menopause”

January 22, 2008
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Some unrelated thoughts on a catch-up Tuesday: 

The Academy Award nominations are out  and it’s interesting to note that “Transformers” (3) received more nominations than “Norbit” (1).

Seriously, though, for those of us who watch the Oscars the way others watch the World Cup, it will be interesting to see how this plays out since there is no clear front runner. For me, the category to watch is Best Supporting Actor. Nominees Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Charlie Wilson’s War”), Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) and Hal Holbrook (“Into the Wild”) were all outstanding in very different ways. Haven’t yet seen the other two nominations but expect when I do I’ll have an even tougher time making a choice (not that my choice matters).

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I caught the Harlem Globetrotters at Conseco Fieldhouse yesterday and before you question what sports matters are doing in an A&E blog, consider this: The ‘trotters were combining athleticism with performance art long before Cirque du Soleil set up shop. Seeing the show on MLK day got me thinking about how the team was perceived during the ‘60s. I know there was controversy, with some seeing the group as catering—and even “Uncle Tom-ing”—to white audiences. And that may well be legitimate criticism. From my own narrow perspective as a white kid growing up in that era, though, not only were these amazing men athletic and funny—they were also in control. Nobody—not an opposing coach, not a whistle-blowing ref—could one-up these guys. Watching the Globetrotters, it was impossible for me to imagine the word “inferior” applying to anything about these men. Quite the contrary.

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I’ve been getting you-go-guy feedback about my review of “Menopause: The Musical” (you can find the review here). Have you seen this popular musical review, which just returned to the American Cabaret Theatre? What are your thoughts?
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