This story is told from the bottom up, so its power builds and feels intensely real. Not only does this make for a great film, it marks the move in French film from art house cinema to competitor with the U.
In "Next to Normal," by Tom Kitt [music] and Brian Yorkey [book and lyrics], middle-aged Diana [Alice Ripley] struggles with the bipolar disorder she has lived with for nearly two decades. The loving support of her husband Dan [J. Robert Spencer] and the complications brought on by teen-aged children Natalie [Jennifer Damiano] and Gabe [Aaron Tvett] combine to confuse Diana's tenuous grasp on reality, which drugs or treatment do not reconcile.
Seldom does an actor get the opportunity to tackle the challenges that the character of Diana offers, and Ripley more than scores.
Her abilities are far from normal. With Diana, Ripley brings a heart-breaking fragility to the woman, ricocheting among demons and loved ones and memories and dreams, landing nowhere for very long. There are no weak performances, but outstanding are Spencer, with the same powerhouse voice that helped win him a Tony Award in "Jersey Boys," and most notably, Tvett.
Still in his teens, and already a 22-step great screenwriting and genre painting of smaller roles ["Wicked," "Hairspray"], Tvett's career takes a giant leap forward here, especially in his kick-ass rendition of the dynamic 'I'm Alive.
Instead, its soft landing forces us back onto generalities and even misconceptions about Diana's troubled condition.
This is indeed a show for grown-ups and their smart teen-agers, but there remains plenty of room to enlighten our perception of this serious demi-world. Altering perceptions was the raison d'etre for the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical "Hair" when it exploded forty-plus years ago [as I can personally attest], barreling up Broadway from the Public Theatre to the Biltmore.
And any quibbles about its structure, its content or its mission fail to account for the times when it shook up every world it was any part of - from the straight press and their cartoon representations of young people in revolt against conventions that muzzled and held down differing opinions to the commercial theatre, which would not believe that a 'rock' musical could make it on the Great White [Right] Way.
But the powerful messages of this musical were unstoppable, given the political climate of the day.
When a major musical event lit up a theatre and its songs seized a nation the way "Hair" did, its place as an iconic cultural phenomenon was assured.
The original production, with book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermott, benefited from the inspired genius of director Tom O'Horgan, who was the only director ever to have four shows on Broadway at the same time [also "Lenny," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Inner City"].
While it's not possible to duplicate that historic original, this version, helmed by Diane Paulus, does recreate a level of enthusiasm and vigor that offers a new generation a valid glimpse into the past.
Among the tribe, stand-outs include Gavin Creel as the tortured Claude and Will Swenson as his liberating soul-mate Berger.
The heavy burden of the Vietnam War ['The War' to anyone whose hair is peppered with grey], and the flagrant prejudices against any expression of personal liberties, punctuated by the blows from the batons of status-guarding cops, made the score of "Hair" a collection of anthems that have survived to today, from "Let the Sun Shine In" and "Good Morning, Starshine" to "What a Piece of Work Is Man," "Aquarius" and the title song.
If you are now living in the 'grey' garden of life, relive that era happily. If you are still in the green years, first check out 'hippie' on Wikipedia to get the real backstory of the alternative lifestyle that "Hair" celebrates. Instead of trying to push out the boundaries of convention and conformity like the twentysomethings of "Hair," their contemporary counterparts in Neil LaBute's "reasons to be pretty" ache to fit into society's molds.
Two blue-collar couples, Greg and Steph [Thomas Sadoski and Marin Ireland] and Kent and Carly [Steven Pasquale and Piper Perabo] jostle with identity issues that break them both up, all stemming from a seemingly inocuous remark that Greg makes about his four-year live-in girlfriend, remarking that her face is "regular-looking.
Greg and Kent work in a bulk goods warehouse, where Kent's pregnant wife shares the night shift as a security guard. Steph works in a shop.
LaBute's writing aims for a lazer-point sting, and it lands, if you believe in the authenticity of the premise and the relationships of the characters.The Film Snob*s Dictionary. Product Description - A whimsical but informative guide to the world of film from the creators of The Rock Snob's Dictionary offers an alphabetically arranged compilation of trivia, little-known facts, and hidden information about all aspects of cinema.
John August (Go, Big Fish) has been blogging about screenwriting since and hosts the Scriptnotes podcast with Craig Mazin (Hangover 2, Identity Thief). John Truby’s Screenwriting Take John Truby has taught his Step Great Screenwriting and Genre classes to over 35, students worldwide.
He has worked as a story consultant and script doctor for Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, FOX, and HBO, among others, and has taught his Step Great Screenwriting and Genre classes to over 20, students worldwide. Gender and zombie genre; Writing a business letter to two people; Improving organizational retention; Essay on guernica painting; Writing and difference jacques derrida pdf to excel; Great debate topics for college; step great screenwriting and genre definition;.
This equates to Truby’s ‘First Revelation and Decision’ step in Truby’s step structure. In his simple structure it is simply THE PLAN (Truby’s step 4), and in stories it seems to be a rule that characters can’t go back on their plans. We’re celebrating the start of the holiday season with Truby's Writers Studio “Black Friday Sale” offering our lowest prices of the year on Blockbuster software and the Genre Classes.