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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2011
There's a restaurant scene partway through Act 2 of "La Cage aux Folles" that spotlights Christopher Sieber, playing Albin, the reigning drag queen of Saint-Tropez in the propulsive and entertaining production at the Hippodrome this week. Albin, decked out like an overstuffed Margaret Thatcher and still hurt by perceived slights from the most important people in his life, is called upon to sing a little something. Sieber's whole body subtly softens and seems to glow as he sings in gentle, conversational tones: "Hold this moment fast, and live and love as hard as you know; make this moment last, because the best of times is now. " No great shakes as a lyric or a tune, but Sieber's nuanced singing sells it so affectingly that you'd swear it was the most divinely inspired song in the Broadway canon, a bittersweet anthem as much for those in love as for those who feel threatened.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2011
There's a restaurant scene partway through Act 2 of "La Cage aux Folles" that spotlights Christopher Sieber, playing Albin, the reigning drag queen of Saint-Tropez in the propulsive and entertaining production at the Hippodrome this week. Albin, decked out like an overstuffed Margaret Thatcher and still hurt by perceived slights from the most important people in his life, is called upon to sing a little something. Sieber's whole body subtly softens and seems to glow as he sings in gentle, conversational tones: "Hold this moment fast, and live and love as hard as you know; make this moment last, because the best of times is now. " No great shakes as a lyric or a tune, but Sieber's nuanced singing sells it so affectingly that you'd swear it was the most divinely inspired song in the Broadway canon, a bittersweet anthem as much for those in love as for those who feel threatened.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 29, 2011
George Hamilton just wants a cup of coffee, that's all. But a small obstacle confounds the handsome, supernaturally tanned actor in his Tulsa, Okla., hotel room — the coffee maker. "This is a whole new experience for me," he says by phone. "I'm 72 years old. It's about time I learned how to do this. Hold on a minute. " Vague clanking sounds can be heard, for more than a minute. "It doesn't look like coffee," Hamilton says when he gets back on the line. "It's just sugar and milk and warm water.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 29, 2011
George Hamilton just wants a cup of coffee, that's all. But a small obstacle confounds the handsome, supernaturally tanned actor in his Tulsa, Okla., hotel room — the coffee maker. "This is a whole new experience for me," he says by phone. "I'm 72 years old. It's about time I learned how to do this. Hold on a minute. " Vague clanking sounds can be heard, for more than a minute. "It doesn't look like coffee," Hamilton says when he gets back on the line. "It's just sugar and milk and warm water.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2011
When "South Pacific" opened on Broadway in 1949, it galvanized the public and the press. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical went on to run for five years, chalking up more than 1,900 performances. And when "South Pacific" received its first full-fledged Broadway revival nearly six decades later, the reaction was virtually the same. The 2008 production played to packed houses for 1,000 performances. Such success might not seem like a big deal in the age of "Phantom of the Opera," which is pushing 10,000 performances and may simply refuse to close - ever.
NEWS
March 21, 1992
The Rev. Paul M. Abels, the nation's first openly gay pastor with a congregation in a major Christian denomination, died March 12 of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He was 54. Mr. Abels was pastor of the Washington Square United Methodist Church in Manhattan's Greenwich Village from 1973 to 1984. He publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in 1977 and began performing "covenant ceremonies" for gay couples unable to marry legally.Connie Lee, an educator who advised the Pentagon on military issues affecting women, died March 13 of cancer.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 13, 2001
The 1998 comedy hit In and Out fell apart when the high school teacher played by Kevin Kline discovered he was gay. It would have been more subversive if a man who loved musical comedy and Barbra Streisand in particular - and knew how to shake his booty - turned out to be straight. Instead, the movie became genial propaganda about the charm and sheer niceness of homosexuals. Francis Veber's spiffy new comedy The Closet touches on a lot of the same issues yet is more satisfying and droll than In and Out. Its drier wit plays better for a quick 82 minutes.
FEATURES
By Winifred Walsh and Winifred Walsh,Evening Sun Staff | April 17, 1991
Elaina Noel Wahl, a graduate of the Baltimore Actors Conservatory, a performing arts high school, has achieved a measure of success as an ensemble player in the current production of the musical extravaganza "Ziegfeld" at the Mechanic Theatre.Wahl and a chorus of other attractive young women represent the perfect "Ziegfeld Girl" in the show. They glide down the gold and black runway in glittering costumes in time to the Irving Berlin song, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" and other favorite nostalgic tunes.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | January 6, 2006
Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain has been hailed as a breakthrough film because of its tragic depiction of homosexual lovers. Chalk that acclaim up to its ranch-hand iconoclasm. If it didn't smash the traditional heterosexual imagery of the rugged Westerner, would it be considered a milestone at all? For decades, other mainstream moviemakers have been depicting gay life with sympathy equal to Brokeback Mountain's - and, for my money, a lot more entertainment value. For example, in 1979, La Cage Aux Folles won over gay and straight audiences alike with its loving depiction of middle-class domesticity - in drag.
FEATURES
By STEPHEN HUNTER and STEPHEN HUNTER,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 8, 1996
"The Birdcage" seems unstuck in time.Though flashily acted by Robin Williams and particularly the flamboyant Nathan Lane, the movie tells us more about 1978, when its original source "La Cage Aux Folles" was made, than it does about the '90s, when it purportedly takes place. It's a case of deja vu all over again -- the second time around. Actually, it feels like the 10th time around. The small, wicked French comedy became a musical stage hit on Broadway for many years, featuring among other lost stars Gene Barry and Ricardo Montalban, that famous "Corinthian leather" TV huckster.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2011
When "South Pacific" opened on Broadway in 1949, it galvanized the public and the press. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical went on to run for five years, chalking up more than 1,900 performances. And when "South Pacific" received its first full-fledged Broadway revival nearly six decades later, the reaction was virtually the same. The 2008 production played to packed houses for 1,000 performances. Such success might not seem like a big deal in the age of "Phantom of the Opera," which is pushing 10,000 performances and may simply refuse to close - ever.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | January 6, 2006
Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain has been hailed as a breakthrough film because of its tragic depiction of homosexual lovers. Chalk that acclaim up to its ranch-hand iconoclasm. If it didn't smash the traditional heterosexual imagery of the rugged Westerner, would it be considered a milestone at all? For decades, other mainstream moviemakers have been depicting gay life with sympathy equal to Brokeback Mountain's - and, for my money, a lot more entertainment value. For example, in 1979, La Cage Aux Folles won over gay and straight audiences alike with its loving depiction of middle-class domesticity - in drag.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 13, 2001
The 1998 comedy hit In and Out fell apart when the high school teacher played by Kevin Kline discovered he was gay. It would have been more subversive if a man who loved musical comedy and Barbra Streisand in particular - and knew how to shake his booty - turned out to be straight. Instead, the movie became genial propaganda about the charm and sheer niceness of homosexuals. Francis Veber's spiffy new comedy The Closet touches on a lot of the same issues yet is more satisfying and droll than In and Out. Its drier wit plays better for a quick 82 minutes.
FEATURES
By STEPHEN HUNTER and STEPHEN HUNTER,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 8, 1996
"The Birdcage" seems unstuck in time.Though flashily acted by Robin Williams and particularly the flamboyant Nathan Lane, the movie tells us more about 1978, when its original source "La Cage Aux Folles" was made, than it does about the '90s, when it purportedly takes place. It's a case of deja vu all over again -- the second time around. Actually, it feels like the 10th time around. The small, wicked French comedy became a musical stage hit on Broadway for many years, featuring among other lost stars Gene Barry and Ricardo Montalban, that famous "Corinthian leather" TV huckster.
NEWS
March 21, 1992
The Rev. Paul M. Abels, the nation's first openly gay pastor with a congregation in a major Christian denomination, died March 12 of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He was 54. Mr. Abels was pastor of the Washington Square United Methodist Church in Manhattan's Greenwich Village from 1973 to 1984. He publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in 1977 and began performing "covenant ceremonies" for gay couples unable to marry legally.Connie Lee, an educator who advised the Pentagon on military issues affecting women, died March 13 of cancer.
FEATURES
By Winifred Walsh and Winifred Walsh,Evening Sun Staff | April 17, 1991
Elaina Noel Wahl, a graduate of the Baltimore Actors Conservatory, a performing arts high school, has achieved a measure of success as an ensemble player in the current production of the musical extravaganza "Ziegfeld" at the Mechanic Theatre.Wahl and a chorus of other attractive young women represent the perfect "Ziegfeld Girl" in the show. They glide down the gold and black runway in glittering costumes in time to the Irving Berlin song, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" and other favorite nostalgic tunes.
NEWS
By The Washington Post | December 12, 2009
GENE BARRY, 90 'Bat Masterson' star Gene Barry, a debonair leading man who was best known as the sharply dressed lawman of the television series "Bat Masterson" and "Burke's Law," and then earned a Tony Award nomination as a gay nightclub owner raising a son in "La Cage aux Folles," died Dec. 9 at an assisted-living home in Woodland Hills, Calif. Family members said they did not know the cause of death. After an early stage career that included acting opposite Mae West in a Broadway comedy, Mr. Barry went to Hollywood and starred in a series of films that included the 1953 alien-invasion movie "The War of the Worlds."
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | June 1, 2007
There's pleasure to be had in seeing a valet parker try to trump a billionaire in the French comedy The Valet. Daniel Auteuil plays a married captain of industry who thinks the only way he can hang on to his business position and his super-model mistress is to have her pose as the live-in lover of a fellow who parks cars at a restaurant. Improbable? Perhaps, but one of writer-director Francis Veber's gifts as a farceur is to make the unlikely both credible and amusing. As he showed in The Closet and The Dinner Game and the script to the original La Cage Aux Folles, Veber is a master of economy.
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