Forgive my absence from the blog this week—I was, as Patrick O’Brian would say, overpressed with sail, and I needed some time to myself to get caught up. I’m now ready at last to resume regular postings.Longtime readers of “About Last Night” will remember my friend Laura Demanski, who used to co-blog with me under the pseudonym “Our Girl in Chicago” once upon a time. Laura and I are still the closest of friends, and I’ve been mourning the recent death of her mother Lucile, about whom you can read more here. Laura wrote her obituary, and did so with elegant simplicity. My heart goes out to Laura, and to Greg Demanski, her father. It is, as I know all too well, a devastating thing to lose either a parent or a spouse. May your thoughts be with Laura and Greg in their time of trial.
Archives for November 5, 2021
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Turning a perfect movie into a stage musical is almost always a fool’s game. The only way the results are guaranteed to work is if you add a perfect score, as Stephen Sondheim did with “A Little Night Music” and David Yazbek did with “The Band’s Visit.” Otherwise, the resulting show rarely makes an impression sufficiently strong enough to be memorable in its own right.
“The Visitor,” the Public Theater’s new stage version of Tom McCarthy’s poignant 2007 film about a depressed widower whose parched soul is refreshed by an unexpected encounter with three illegal immigrants, doesn’t quite fill the bill: The score, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, is no better than fair. But the show works anyway, both because the book, by Mr. Yorkey and Kwame Kwei-Armah, is so faithful to Mr. McCarthy’s original screenplay and because the production, directed by Daniel Sullivan and starring David Hyde Pierce, is superlative. Everything good about the film is reproduced on stage so precisely that the comparative weakness of the score largely ceases to be an issue….
* * *Read the whole thing here.
Thomas Beecham and the Chicago Symphony perform Delius’ “On the River” (from the Florida Suite) on TV in 1960:
(This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
“The whole point of music is that it should sound well. Never mind what it signifies. Music should have wings and float and give delight.”
Thomas Beecham, in conversation with Neville Cardus