Jacquemus Plays by His Own Rules

PARIS — Simon Porte Jacquemus is no stranger to taking a gamble.
He kick-started his career by staging a happening in front of a Dior show during Paris Fashion Week, complete with models brandishing “Jacquemus on Strike” signs. Vogue Paris editor in chief Emmanuelle Alt stopped to see what the fuss was about, and a year later, his work was featured in the magazine.
Since then, Jacquemus has gained a reputation as one of the most talented young designers on the Paris scene, whose name is regularly put forward in the ongoing game of designer musical chairs at major houses. Yet the 27-year-old self-described “son of farmers” continues to play by his own rules.
When Dior decided this season to move forward its show to the first day of Paris Fashion Week, which also featured Saint Laurent, Jacquemus was faced with the prospect of being sandwiched between two powerhouses.
He decided to go double or nothing and stage his display the night before, on the closing day of Milan Fashion Week, when many fashion editors are traditionally in transit — or simply not in the mood for an evening show.
The gamble paid off, as it usually does for the plucky designer, who launched his

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Kate Middleton Plays Tennis With Kids After Announcing Her Third Pregnancy

Practice makes perfect!
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Fiction: In ‘Forest Dark,’ Nicole Krauss Plays With Divided Selves

Two New Yorkers — an aging lawyer and a young writer — make their way, separately, to Tel Aviv.
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Sarah Paulson, Dorinda Medley, Elisabeth Moss, Watch What Happens LiveForget Nurse Ratched, Marcia Clark, Lana Winters–forget them all!–Sarah Paulson finally played the role of a lifetime: Dorinda Medley.
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Global Streaming Giant Netflix Plays Catch-up in Asia

Global streaming giant, Netflix this week signed a deal to acquire some 600 hours of scripted and unscripted TV shows from South Korea’s JTBC. The agreement was unveiled at the Asia-Pacific Video Operators Summit (APOS) where the streaming giant was a constant topic of conversation. But the high-powered convention also made it clear that Netflix… Read more »

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New Plays by Stephen Belber, Michael Tucker, Martyna Majok Set for 2017 O’Neill Playwrights Conference

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference has set its 2017 lineup of eight plays to be developed during the center’s summer season, including new works by Stephen Belber (“Tape”), actor-turned-writer Michael Tucker (“L.A. Law”) and Martyna Majok, whose play “The Cost of Living” will soon bow Off Broadway. The longrunning playwrights conference, one… Read more »

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Sheryl Crow Checks the Mirror, and Plays What She Sees

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Florida guard Chris Chiozza hits a game-winning 3-pointer against Wisconsin. (AP)

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Omar Sy Plays Sleeping Beau

SHOE BUSINESS: With feminist fairy tales and equality all the rage, J.M. Weston has cast French actor Omar Sy in the role of Sleeping Beau for his latest short film.
In the entertaining clip, Sy plays a suited and barefoot Prince Charming who falls into a coma-like slumber from which nothing can wake him — not even a cardiac massage and kiss from a princess (played by young actress and classically trained dancer Alexia Giordano). It is only when she slips a pink suede calfskin Moc’ Weston loafer on his foot that he awakes.

The film — which boasts a soundtrack co-produced by rapper Oxmo Puccino and Edouard Ardan, and a décor by artist and designer Mathias Kiss — will premiere today at the Gaumont Ambassade cinema on Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Elysées, where the brand has set up a pop-up shop, before rolling out on its digital platforms.
The pink Moc’ will go on sale in J.M. Weston stores and concessions internationally from March 15. Created three years ago, the shoe is a variation on the brand’s iconic 180 loafer.
The house’s previous forays into film include Cédric Klapisch’s “La Chose Sûre” (“For Certain” in English) in 2013; a Moc’ Weston-inspired work by photographer and

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Cara Delevingne Plays Class Clown at Rihanna’s Detention-Themed Show

DETENTION SQUAD: Rihanna’s not the only bad gal in town. At the singer’s detention-themed runway show for her Fenty Puma collection, held at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Cara Delevingne played the class clown.
“Is that a real book?” she asked her neighbors, Nick and Joe Jonas, thumping her fists on one of the long library tables that doubled as the catwalk. Her hair newly chopped into a striking platinum bob, half hidden under a gray hoodie, she posed next to Salma Hayek as François-Henri Pinault, the chairman and chief executive officer of Puma parent company Kering, snapped the action.
Delevingne appears in the German sporting goods maker’s “Do You” campaign. Meanwhile, M. Pokora, who was also sporting bleached hair, stars in a clip promoting the Ignite Limitless shoe. “I’m on tour since last week,” said the French singer, who is set to play 70 dates between now and the end of the year.
Rihanna had also handed out a detention card, which doubled as a show invitation, to film director Luc Besson. The Barbadian singer will appear alongside Delevingne in his upcoming sci-fi movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”
In the center of the room, French model Noemie Lenoir was

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Patriots needed all these plays to go right (Yahoo Sports)

Patriots needed all these plays to go right

New England’s miraculous comeback wouldn’t have been possible if even one of these plays went awry.



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FedEx Plays Hardball With Retailers as Profits Get Squeezed

FedEx is playing hardball with some e-commerce shippers as the package delivery giant strains to manage the surge in holiday shopping packages.
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Jessica Chastain Plays A Lobbyist In ‘Miss Sloane,’ But You Can’t Lobby Her To Watch ‘The Tree Of Life’

In “Miss Sloane,” Jessica Chastain plays a no-frills Washington lobbyist who’d sooner burn everyone in her path than fail. A fan of black power suits and pill-popping, Elizabeth Sloane is brash and intimidating ― the exact opposite of Chastain, whose 12-year career has lent her a reputation as one of the nice ones in Hollywood. 

Opening in limited release this weekend, “Miss Sloane” once again places Chastain in the middle of a congested Best Actress race. It would mark her third Oscar nomination, after “The Help” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” I sat down with Chastain last month to discuss the movie, women’s roles in the lobbying world, preparing to play Tammy Wynette and why she can’t watch “The Tree of Life.”

Elizabeth Sloane is like Olivia Pope from “Scandal” meets Carrie Mathieson from “Homeland.”

[Laughs] That’s a really interesting parallel to make. For me, “Sloane” is a story about addiction because she’s addicted to the win. I think Carrie is like that in “Homeland.” But also, too, it’s the example of the woman who is over-prepared, one step ahead of everyone else, which probably is the “Scandal” parallel. In our society, we sometimes have difficulty relating to women that are over-prepared and ambitious. I was really excited to explore playing a character like that.

It’s easy to determine that her urge to succeed stems from needing to work harder than her male counterparts to prove herself.

Exactly. Less than 10 percent of lobbyists in D.C. are women.

What did this role make you think of lobbyists who go against their own political interests in the name of big money?

It’s interesting because the film surrounds the gun debate, right? But actually, it could be around any issue. It could be about climate change or immigration right now because it’s an example of, “When you have a public majority that wants something, why is it so difficult to get a bill passed?”

I didn’t realize until I went to D.C. and did research on what was going on there. I had not realized that senators and congressmen, in many cases, go to three fundraisers a day. And then how can your priority be representing the people when your focus is on raising money to keep your seat in office? That means you’re being bought by whoever is giving you money. I think that is the situation we need to look at.

You’ve played a few characters with ties to political issues of the moment, particularly Maya in “Zero Dark Thirty.” Do you ever feel the need to assess what that does for you as a public figure, knowing performers are sometimes inextricably identified by their characters?

My goal is to create a discussion. I’m not here to tell people how to live their lives. I’m not here to lecture. I am nowhere near a perfect person and I don’t want to judge anyone else and I don’t want anyone to judge me. I’m very “live and let live.” But a few years ago I had this moment where I just thought, “What am I doing? How am I contributing in this world? I have the best job. I’m so lucky, I’m so grateful. But it’s like eating cake every day. I want to share the cake.” Now I’m trying to participate in projects that I’m acting in, and also the ones with my production company that I’m making but not even going to act in. What an incredible industry where we can inspire conversation.

What led you to that moment?

Well, I’ve had the moment before, but I can tell you what created action in me. I was at the Critics’ Choice Awards and I gave a speech about diversity. I’d won an award that was for a body of work instead of just one film, so I was like, “What do I talk about?” It was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, so I thought, “I’m going to talk about diversity and the fact that we need it in the industry.” This was a few years ago, and then the next week I went to England to do some press on “A Most Violent Year,” and they said, “We loved your speech, but what are you going to do now?” And you’re like, “Oh, god, what am I going to do now? You’re right!”

It’s not enough to talk. We have to be accountable. If you are part of the industry, you’re part of the problem. If you’re part of society and there are people who are disenfranchised, you’re part of the problem because we’re all connected. I just looked at that and I said, “OK, I’m starting a production company.” I just started being active with more than just the roles I choose. I started asking what opportunities I could create for others.

Does ambition make you feel like you must always keep going, like Elizabeth?

Yeah, except I guess the difference that I don’t relate to at all in Sloane is about the kill, the win, the competition. I am the least competitive. I don’t play sports games. I like motocross and jet-skiing, but that’s when you’re by yourself. Even when we’re all together on Christmas and people say “let’s play a board game,” they make me very uncomfortable because I find that people’s feeling get hurt. I’m not like, “I won! I’m kicking your butt!” That’s not interesting to me. Even when I watch the World Series or the World Cup, I feel terrible for the team at the end that’s crying on the field. Oh god, my heart is breaking.

Another watershed for “Miss Sloane” is that you get to make a bad boy out of Jake Lacy, who plays an escort. 

Fine with me!

After “Obvious Child” and “Carol,” he was the eternal nice guy.

And “Girls.” I remember walking into that first scene, with him lying there with his shirt off, like, “Really? Are you kidding me?” My job is so funny. And he’s great in the movie. Thank God for those scenes because that’s when you really get to see her when she’s not working. It’s her only form of a relationship.

Tell me about developing Elizabeth’s look with John Madden, who also directed you in another political thriller, “The Debt.”

When I first read the script, I always assumed she’d look a certain way. I assumed she’d hardly have any makeup on and she’d be looking tired all the time. And then I went to D.C. and I met with all these lobbyists with black nail polish. I couldn’t believe what I saw and how they, working in an industry that’s all men, used their outfits as their uniform.

She can’t afford to look tired or checked out.

No, exactly. And when I came back and I was telling John about it and we did the camera test, it was so different from how we had discussed the character. It was this hair that looks like a shark’s tooth, and it’s a red that’s stronger than my natural color and eye makeup with suits was such a strong, aggressive look. I know to John it was like, “What is going on here?” But I said, “Please trust me. You just gotta trust me. I really feel like this is the way in.” And he did. 

What’s been the movie where your character most came to life after slipping on the costume?

Celia Foote [from “The Help”].

I knew that would be your answer. There’s so much in the essence of how she presents herself.

Right, and also people would relate to me differently. It changes your energy completely. I’ve never experienced this, but the entire crew ― you know, 100 people, mostly men, in films ― the way they would look at me when I was dressed as Celia Foote, and the energy that I would feel from them, and then I would go into the makeup trailer and take off the wig and take off the makeup and put on my sweats and walk out, and immediately there was this, “Huh.”

Were they more sympathetic to you as Celia?

As Celia, they were just more interested. More people were looking at me. They weren’t being mean to me when I wasn’t dressed, but you could see the power in that sexuality.

That’s interesting, considering Celia is someone who just wants to be liked by the other women in town.

Think of all of my characters. Think of Lucille from “Crimson Peak.” There’s definitely something about the way she dresses. You put it on and you go, [snaps her fingers] “OK.” The exterior is informed by what’s going on in the interior.

Celia Foote, her favorite actress is Marilyn Monroe. It says it in the book. I think someone, when she was a little girl, told her she looked like Marilyn Monroe, so she then wanted to project this. And Lucille, there’s a restraint to her. It’s almost like she’s in a straitjacket. She’s got this rage inside and this loneliness and this fear. You can see her being held back, but then at the end of the movie when she’s wearing her nightgown and there’s this freedom, she is batshit crazy. To me, it all goes hand in hand.

You’re good at playing people who have odd disconnects from others, either by choice or by an inability to see themselves for who they are. I’m picturing you unravelling in “Miss Julie.”

Yeah, it’s a long night for Miss Julie. That’s interesting. Recently someone asked me how many movies I’ve been in and I didn’t know, so I went to IMDb and I counted, just feature films in the cinema. It’s 27 films that I’ve done, which is shocking. If you think of Lucille, or Maya from “Zero Dark Thirty,” there are definitely characters who have difficulty being vulnerable with another person or connecting emotionally. But then I also have the characters that are the opposite. If you think of Celia Foote, she is just one ginormous beating heart.

She wants to connect with everyone, but she can’t quite figure out how.

But she just throws herself in. Minnie, Octavia Spencer’s character, is just like, “Girl, you need to play hard to get. You’re just throwing yourself right out there.” Or “Tree of Life,” where the character is just this angel of love. I think, for me, I want to play all different kinds of women. Or “Take Shelter.”

Oh yes, in “Take Shelter,” she’s desperate to connect with her husband.

And she’s all about love and compassion. Wait till you see “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” I love this movie so much. She has a huge heart too. She’s so loving, so gentle. She’s someone who works with animals. It’s a true story. You have to be very calm and grounded to be able to work with animals.

Have you gotten to see “Voyage of Time,” Terrence Malick’s documentary that uses footage from “The Tree of Life”?

I would be really happy to. From the very beginning, Terry had said “Voyage of Time” was supposed to come out at the same time as “Tree of Life,” so we were all prepared for that movie. I’ve been shooting in Santa Fe and I haven’t had an opportunity to see that movie, but “Tree of Life” is one of my favorite films. I haven’t been able to watch it since it came out because it’s so emotional for me. It was the high point of my life.

Because you were so young in your career?

That, and also I was playing a character who was the embodiment of love, so every day was just filled with so much joy. I was meditating on expanding my heart space and living with an open heart. Of course it affects you and how you treat other people. I loved those little boys so much, and I loved Terry so much. Watching the movie and seeing Mrs. O’Brien running through the streets with those little boys, I remember how wonderful it was. I’m heartsick for it.

You’re playing Tammy Wynette in a biopic soon. How are you preparing?

Oh, my god, I love Tammy Wynette. Well, there’s going to be some preparation in terms of music.

Are you singing?

Yeah.

Have we seen you sing before?

In “Crimson Peak,” I sing a really disturbing lullaby. But that’s not very earthy. Listen, I’m an actor who sings. I’m never going to go and open a band. I’m terrified about it. We’ll see how it goes when I go and start prep. Who knows? I may not sing. I’m leaving every option open. I read the daughter’s book, The Three of Us, which I found so interesting, and of course I’m watching a lot of videos. I’m just super excited to work with Josh Brolin. I can’t imagine anyone else playing George Jones. He’s so right for that. I don’t know if you’ve read the script, but it’s so dynamic and so exciting and sexy. They’re like the Sid and Nancy of the country scene.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length. “Miss Sloane” expands to wide release Dec. 9.

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Jennifer Lawrence Plays The ‘Trainwreck’ In Her Upcoming Comedy With Amy Schumer

After seeing this summer’s “Trainwreck,” Jennifer Lawrence knew that she and Schumer were meant to be friends forever. So she sent off a quick email, one thing led to another, and now they’re writing a movie together. But this time, Amy Schumer is the normal one.

Lawrence revealed some more details about the plot of the film — in which she and the comedian play sisters – to Entertainment Tonight, confirming the script is ”dirty” and “real.”

“Amy, in this movie, she has it very together,” Lawrence said. “It’s her lifelong dream to be a flight attendant. She works at the airport. And I’m a mess.

The project came together so quickly, the Oscar winner explained, because both women feel comfortable sharing their blunt, honest opinions with each other. “We both have very similar senses of humor, obviously, and aren’t afraid,” she said. “Which is a good and bad thing, because I don’t know what our movie will be rated.”

Whatever the case, Lawrence put off any idea that she might involve any of her “Hunger Games” co-stars (and friends!) Liam Hemsworth or Josh Hutcherson in the project.

“No, no, no, no, no. There’s not really boys in it,” she said. 

Bechdel test, check.

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“Jeux:” New York City Ballet Plays the Game of Love

2015-10-19-1445287598-4203070-SaraMearnsandCompanyinKimBrandstrupsJeux.PhotocreditPaulKolnik.jpg


Sara Mearns and Company in Kim Brandstrup’s Jeux. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik

Black, white and grey. An imposing opaqueness consumes the David H. Koch Theater, like in an old-fashioned film. Every twist of the palm seems shrouded in darkness and contrast, a silhouetted semblance of reality. The lone gold light adds warmth to the scene, a splash of color in the void. Romance masks emotion so that nothing feels so intimidatingly honest. Like when Audrey Hepburn appeared onscreen, the stage is a mirage, a nostalgic, glamorous, gorgeous rendering of what the world will never be: simply lovely.

And yet it is this simplicity that feels too safe in Kim Brandstrup’s premiere for New York City Ballet. Jeux reminds you of Kurt Vonnegut’s iconic line: “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” But sometimes you crave that ache, that immediacy. Sometimes you want to feel something — sweet, cruel, fresh, haunting, anything — just to know that you’re alive. Brandstrup won’t offer that kind of narrative; as a former film student at the University of Copenhagen, he’s more invested in a story’s intrigue than its subtext.

On its own, Jeux sparkles, entrenched in a ’50s imagination reminiscent of Gigi and An American in Paris. But on a program beside the season’s other commissions by Myles Thatcher, Robert Binet, Troy Schumacher and Justin Peck, the action seems drained, almost exhausted. There’s none of the novelty of Thatcher’s gender obfuscation, or Binet’s use of space, or Schumacher’s intricate patterning or Peck’s avant-garde vitality. Brandstrup’s piece is a ballet, amidst other ballets, bland in its generality. You can glue your eyes to it for twenty minutes and claim its pleasure. But it probably won’t make you smile from enthusiasm or whimsy.

The curtain opens to a promising image: Sara Mearns standing in a spotlight, a heap of bodies hiding behind her. Amar Ramasar ties a blindfold around her temples, and the game begins. Unlike Vaslav Nijinsky’s original Jeux from 1913, nobody’s really playing tennis; this is a love sport. Mearns is infatuated with Ramasar, who in turn falls mutually for Sterling Hyltin. Adrian Danchig-Waring likes Mearns, who doesn’t notice his affection because she’s obsessed with Ramasar. If anyone hurts, scorned by a partner, it doesn’t feel so urgent. Claude Debussy’s score swells too often and too richly for pain to matter, and you know you’re in a universe where the plot will sort itself out neatly in the end. If Brandstrup intended for Jeux to have any dab of authenticity, he should have chosen a less majestic, dreamy composer.

2015-10-19-1445287871-4535954-SaraMearnsandAdrianDanchigWaringinKimBrandstrupsJeux.PhotocreditPaulKolnik.jpg

Sara Mearns and Adrian Danchig-Waring in Kim Brandstrup’s Jeux.Photo credit: Paul Kolnik.

The work isn’t insignificant — every moment is articulate and stunning, and a few gel so nicely that you can’t distinguish motion from music. When Mearns cascades backwards into awaiting arms, faint, weak, her body hinged at the hips as she’s rotated 360 degrees. When Hyltin seamlessly wanders into a triple piqué turn, her arms plopped in a sassy “V.” When the corps waltzes across the floor and under the moon, popping into lifts in passé, their reflections dancing like phantoms on a scrim. In fact, these shadows are the most interesting part… man-made projections crafted by the human body, distorted and elongated.

Still, when Mearns removes the blindfold from her face and throws it onto Danchig-Waring — the next victim of blinding lust — the symbolism feels empty. Were you supposed to sympathize with Mearns? Was Jeux anything more than a game? What were you — was I — meant to feel? Mearns tumbles into Danchig-Waring, pressed above, slowly melting to lie over him on the ground. She has snatched him as prey, like Ramasar did to her, like your lover did to you and like you’ve probably done to an innocent someone.

… And so what?

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Small Talk: Eight Short Plays

Small Talk: Eight Short Plays


This collection of eight 10 minute plays include: PERFECT WEATHER (2m) – When a strange man interrupts Jims meditative morning ritual, what begins with small talk about the weather, soon devolves into a bizarre interrogation. THE MERRY-GO-ROUND (1 m, 1f) – After a vigorous morning of work, two porn actors get lost in a circular conversation. COMMUNION (1m, 2f) – When a dying mans request for a strawberry milkshake is denied by his long-suffering wife, the couple descend into a battle that could be their last. THE MONSTER (2m) – A motorcycle salesman uses all the usual tricks to lure his customer in, but a strange and violent story prevents him from closing the deal. BASIC PLUMBING (2m) – A small town library is the setting for a stand-off between an up-tight librarian and the local madman. THE DRIVING RANGE (1 m, 1f) – While an instructor leads a woman through the basics of the golf swing, an underlying tension threatens to throw them both off their game. BEHIND THE WHEEL (2m) – A man begs his brother to save him from despair by letting his father-in-law die. THE INCLUSION (1m, 1f) – When a woman invites an old friend to her jewelry store to help him find the best diamond for his fiance, it eventually becomes clear that he wants more than her advice. *Author: Fallen, Eric *Binding Type: Paperback *Number of Pages: 78 *Publication Date: 2010/12/20 *Language: English *Dimensions: 5.00 x 8.00 x 0.16 inches

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FACE IT: New Plays. New Voices

One of the most heartening and potentially exciting things in reporting on theatre is discovering new voices. Everyone laments–fairly–that there are too few new plays and writers whose work make it to Broadway. Which is why a show like HAND TO GOD was important. Even though it didn’t ultimately win the Tony as best play, most audiences clearly enjoy the highly original work by Robert Askins….a fresh name for many of us.

Granted, few shows of ANY kind ever make it to Broadway or remain there for long. Those that do tend to come from well known names who understandably make investors and producers feel more secure. Off-Broadway–as well as in many venues around the country–are where we see and hear new works. Even when they are not always fully formed, you sense that you are listening to something raw and often special.

This past week I saw several plays in New York written by folks we will definitely be hearing from for years to come. Branden jacobs-Jenkins is just 30 years old and he’s already won off- Broadway awards for his shows Appropriate and An Octoroon. And now his latest one, Gloria, has just had its run extended at the Vineyard on E. 15th street

While far from perfect, Gloria shows a real talent at work. This is a two and a half act piece, and progresses chronologically. The first takes place inside a magazine office in 2010, where an assortment of six characters gossip, snipe at one another, and bemoan their profession: (“No one reads magazines for the truth”) and reveal their ambitions and insecurities. (“I’ll die if I’m 30 and still in a cubicle.” “Now I have to fact check the fact checkers!”) “And about those unpaid interns, one character muses, “they’re too entitled to do any real work.”

It’s fair to call Gloria a biting sitcom in the first act, until an unexpected and violent outburst occurs, shocking characters and audiences alike. I won’t disclose anymore, though suffice to say it seems eerily prescient. The second act takes place eight months later, as three of the magazine’s former staffers find themselves at a Starbucks, where they testily compare the books they are writing about the incident. For the final addendum, we are in the present time at a Hollywood production office where the same subject matter is now fodder for potential television series.

The playwright’s ideas are compelling and highly contemporary: how we quickly turn grief and loss into material to be packaged, sold and viewed; How the victims of a terrible tragedy choose what they remember; how they play with the facts; How odd heroes are made. (“Why does dying make someone interesting”?) “Have you considered turning this into something”? is the recurring question for characters trying to capitalize on a tragedy they may have been only tangentially part of.

Good ideas all, though the script could have gone through another draft or two, made sharper and run deeper. Branden Jacobs-jenkins is understandably hot, and non- profit companies like the Vineyard must be thrilled to get one of his works as quickly as it comes off the press. However, words can be smart on the page but come off as less than organic on stage. Still, his career is taking off and there will be much ahead.

The same can be said of Joshua Harmon, who is 32 and whose new play Significant Other is now at the Laura Pels, produced by the ever resourceful Roundabout Company. Harmon is previously known for Bad Jews, which started off -Broadway and is now doing exceedingly well across the country. Significant Other might be called Sad Gays, but in fact it is much more than that. This one is about four best friends in their late twenties (Think Sex and the City with one of the quartet being a man.) The character of Jordan Berman watches as, over a few years, his three gal pals hook up and head to the altar. As the playwright said after the show, this piece is not really about one’s gender, as much as it is about what it feels like to be the last single standing as one heads into his or her 30s.

This is fine writing…very funny, painful and touching. There are countless memorable lines: “I have found my soul mate. I know that sounds funny since we have nothing to talk about.” “Last night I went out with a guy who says while he’s personally not into cannibalism, he can understand people who are.” “Do you think it’s weird that I want to have kids just so I can discipline them?”

The play is totally contemporary, taking place in New York City today and dealing with a millenial’s various crushes and dating mishaps. But mostly it’s about friendship and the challenges of keeping them intact as the participants find their significant others. While it is not explicitly about being gay, it can be seen as the perfect play to follow the Supreme Court decision last week. Yes, everyone might now have the right to love and marry who they choose. But that also may mean more pressure on the gay community to find the right partners, make the full commitments, and even play new roles in others’ weddings. “How can you be a bridesmaid?” asks one of the young women to Jordan, her best friend. “You can do anything now,” he answers, badly hurt in the play’s most searing confrontation.

Playwright Joshua Harmon says this is a personal if not autobiographical play. Whatever it is, the character of Jordan rings very true. Part of this is due to the sensational performance of Gideon Glick. I can’t believe he won’t be racking up awards. He runs the gamut of emotions and when he wails, “I’m 29 and no one has ever said they love me”–well, that will hit home for folks of all stripes. Glick is a great physical actor: he does a long bit on whether to press the send button on an email to a man crush: “My brain knows I shouldn’t do it but my finger keeps crawling over,” he says in a desperate, unanswered phone call. While there are no explicitly bad Jews in this one, there are plenty of good jokes that will resonate on that score. When Jordan dates a Jewish guy, he notes a kind of shorthand “It just means we can talk about our mothers without it being a buzz kill.”

The show is beautifully directed by Trip Cullman and the actors are impeccable, even when they play seemingly cliché roles: the pushy narcissist; the overweight supportive one; the dour wry one. Lindsay Mendez, Sas Goldberg and Carra Patterson are those girlfriends, who hit every mark and go beyond type. And Barbara Barrie is splendid as always as Jordan’s grandmother. “Don’t die young–but don’t get old” she warns him.

Most these playwrights are emerging for us, but they have obviously been plying their trade for years, and have resumes filled with all kinds of written material, and shows that started in fringe festivals and multiple workshops. Tom Jacobson has one of those resumes though his show The Twentieth Century Way is his first to make it into New York. It’s playing through July 19 at the Rattlesnake theatre. Like Significant Other, The Twentieth Century Way is catching a moment. It is playing smack in the middle of the West Village, a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn–and I saw it on the night of the Supreme Court decision. Not only were the streets outside overflowing with celebrants, the spirit even infused the experience of this play—which dramatizes the actual story of a vice squad in Long Beach, California in 1914, that specifically targeted homosexuals and gay bars.

This is a two character piece, but in fact you get to know at least a dozen. Theoretically, these are two actors who meet before auditioning for some movie project. But they quickly morph into police officers, important long beach figures who were caught in compromising situations, newspaper reporters and editors, and more. There are many metaphorical lines–a few too many: “the heart of improvisation is solving a problem,” “you don’t have to feel, just act like you feel,” “this might not be an audition….this might be an arrest,” “everyone is acting..all the time,” “I don’t exist– I belong in the mind of the audience.” We get it.

A lot of the obvious could be eliminated. There is enough strong material here, including the very fact of this little known attack on, and exposure of, gays in what was considered to be one of the most morally upright and religious of communities. The performances by Will Bradley and Robert Mammana are nothing less than tour de forces. I try not to call actors brave simply because they eventually take all their clothes off. And even though I wish they didn’t have to say the words “naked truth–” it really does make sense here. I hope The Twentieth Century Way picks up traction….especially at this moment in time. The big battles have been won, but it’s always good to recall the little ones fought and lost along the way.

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David Guetta hits 2bn plays and 15m Spotify fans

Spotify can today confirm that David Guetta has smashed the 2 billion plays milestone on Spotify, making him only the third artist* in Spotify history to do so.
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Hozier plays intimate London charity gig

Tonight Music-News.com saw Hozier perform a special gig at The Garage in North London to raise money for Global’s Make Some Noise with XFM.
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5 Fairytale-Princess Wedding Hairstyle Ideas on the Actress Who Plays Cinderella

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Winnie Plays Ball: Brand New Readers

Winnie Plays Ball: Brand New Readers


Visit www.brandnewreaders.com to learn more about this unique series — and to try one on-line!Based on what experts know about how children learn to read, BRAND NEW READERS are short, funny stories with words and pictures that help children reading for the very first time succeed—and have fun!BRAND NEW READERS are for children who are just cracking the reading code. Readers ages four to seven can master BRAND NEW READERS immediately—even the first time through. BRAND NEW READERS are funny and appealing stories, irresistibly packaged, and just right for first-time readers. Each title in this unique series includes four high-quality, full-color, eight-page paperback books in a sturdy slipcase. Kids will want to collect them all!Visit www.brandnewreaders.com to learn more about this unique new series!
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Winnie Plays Ball: Brand New Readers [With 4 – 8 Page Books in Slipcase]

Winnie Plays Ball: Brand New Readers [With 4 – 8 Page Books in Slipcase]


Visit www.brandnewreaders.com to learn more about this unique series — and to try one on-line Based on what experts know about how children learn to read, BRAND NEW READERS are short, funny stories with words and pictures that help children reading for the very first time succeed–and have fun BRAND NEW READERS are for children who are just cracking the reading code. Readers ages four to seven can master BRAND NEW READERS immediately–even the first time through. BRAND NEW READERS are funny and appealing stories, irresistibly packaged, and just right for first-time readers. Each title in this unique series includes four high-quality, full-color, eight-page paperback books in a sturdy slipcase. Kids will want to collect them all Visit www.brandnewreaders.com to learn more about this unique new series
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Darlene Love plays final Christmas on Letterman

Darlene Love has sung for Christmas classic ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ for David Letterman for the last time.
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Power Plays by Robert Dekkers for Post:Ballet

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Like a René Magritte painting come to life, Robert Dekkers’ latest assault on the conventions of theatrical dance piles up one absurd image on another in precise, deliberate fashion, leading us rapidly from a vision of tranquil domesticity into hell and chaos, in concert with Anna Meredith’s seductive electronic score – gamely executed by The Living Earth Show, a guitar and percussion duo who wore lampshades over their faces the entire time.

Tassel recalls Dekkers’ surreal and somewhat grisly reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood at the West Wave Dance Festival on the same stage at San Francisco’s Z Space a year ago, except this time the underlying narrative is not an iconic fairy tale … Or is it? As the temperature rises, and the five dancers start shedding their somber black, white and grey clothing, stripping down to neon-bright jockey shorts and bras, flinging garments, luggage and furniture around the stage, echoes of the destruction of an ancient temple ring in our ears, along with wailing rock chords from Travis Andrew’s electric guitar. The lights, which started flickering halfway through the piece, extinguish on a final tableau anchored by Raychel Diane Weiner who, having been in mysterious communion with the musicians upstage center, slowly revolves to reveal herself bare-breasted, shoulders weighted down with discarded garments, lamp shade over her face. This outlandish goddess stretches one arm out to us hopefully, and we are reminded of the light that burned miraculously for eight days from a single vial of lamp oil, after the Maccabees retook their temple and purified it.

Those who reject the notion of any religious overtone to this piece may instead find thoughts of class warfare and revolution creeping into their brains.

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Tassel was introduced by a virtuosic tantrum, courtesy of Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson who together make up The Living Earth Show. This musical interlude (or unmusical interlude, as the gentleman behind me grumbled) led us down the garden path with a little bluegrass-y vibe before unleashing the full artillery of Damon Waitkus’ North Pacific Garbage Patch. The loudly creaking seats at Z Space and the sound of a backstage door slamming introduced an element of improvisation into this taut, exacting conversation between guitarist and drummer.

The evening opened on a more restrained note, with a reprise of Dekkers’ very first piece of choreography dating back to 2010: Flutter, performed to Steve Reich’s playful Clapping Music and the wistful, stately Sarabande from Bach’s Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor. Andrews and Meyerson (sans lamp shades) stood downstage left, clapping the syncopated rhythm in a shifting canon, later to be relieved by violinist Kevin Rogers, while Jeremy Bannon-Neches, Christian Squires and Vanessa Thiessen, seated in classic Martha Graham spirals, propelled themselves with sweeping leg motions across the black marley floor as if swimming in an ink-black sea, then skittered across on tip-toe like sea birds at the water’s edge. Delicate movements ripple through their torsos to head and fingers, and while the vocabulary remains essentially the same throughout, the contrast between the percussive clapping and the long drawn out breaths of the baroque Sarabande, with a slightly draggy feel to its ¾ metre, evokes a broad range of mood and emotion within this short piece. Such is the intimacy between musicians and dancers that we can no longer tell whether the music is driving the movement or the dancers are spinning the music like spiders spin their webs.

Another revival followed. Sixes and Seven is a Philip Glass-guided exercise in futility, an obsession with trying to count the uncountable: grains of sand on the beach, teaspoons of water in the ocean, stars in the sky, and exactly how much a guy named John loves his girlfriend. Counting is a dancer’s way of organizing the world, and the title of the piece appears to be a joke on dancers – who are accustomed to counting steps in 4’s and 8’s, rarely in 6’s or 7’s.

The exquisite Tetyana Martyanova debuted in this solo on Thursday night, and Ballet to the People was struck by how different the work feels not just on different dancers (the piece has been performed by men and women) but in different spaces. Scale matters critically in dance: the human versus the scale of the stage and set. At Z Space the stage is smaller, the lighting apparatus less intrusive, and the audience closer than at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where Ballet to the People last witnessed its performance by Jessica Collado, who appeared tiny, fragile and vulnerable as she negotiated the enormous space. Martyanova in contrast appeared more serene, and more in command of her environment, as she hopped and glided and shuddered and balanced perilously in various twisted single-leg squats, plucking invisible stars from the sky and sea anemones from intertidal reefs.

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Dekkers’ other new piece on this program, entitled Yours is Mine and premiered by Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi troupe this past summer, is set to Bodega, an electrifying industrial soundscape by Jonathan Pfeffer, influenced by the duress experienced by war veterans and street kids in the rougher neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Underpinned by a throbbing syncopation, the minimalist, paroxysmal score shares a bloodline with Flutter‘s Clapping Music. The tentative, gossamery explorations of space in Flutter and Sixes and Seven, however, give way in this piece to a hyper-aggressive vernacular in which space is conquered by diving into it, kicking, leaping, thrusting the chest forward, head butting the air.

Three terrific male dancers (Jeremy Bannon-Neches, Aidan DeYoung and Christian Squires) strut and swagger, staking out their territory on the mean streets, members of the 21st century Jets and Sharks. Every encounter is hostile, threatening and the occasional hint of sexual aggression distills to a matter of power and turf. There are acrobatic lifts and throws, and elements of stylized wrestling and street-fighting, but also flashes of humor (like a swift series of pop-ups into the air with little hip wiggles.) Once Raychel Diane Weiner enters, however, we realize that (program notes be damned) this is one gang, not two at war with each other, and Weiner is not there to taunt them, to add some female sexual tenson or pit them against each other: she is their ringleader, their Capo. The men jointly parade her overhead and toss her heroically from one to another, in the style of George Balanchine’s seminal Agon – but like the central female figure in Agon, she calls the shots.

Yours is Mine is a handsome and physically daring piece, but also the least original of the works on this program. Today, adventurous dance companies including DV8 Physical Theatre, the BalletBoyz, Ritmos Family, BirdGang Dance, Kidd Pivot, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and others sculpt elements of ballet, modern, hip hop, capoeira, contact improv, and flamenco into highly athletic metaphors for alienation and violence. Fusion of styles alone doesn’t make this kind of work memorable, although it improves the odds. Dekkers’ impeccable musicality raises this piece above the competition, but it does not push the envelope the way the other three pieces on this program do.

Photos courtesy Post:Ballet:

1. Jeremy Bannon-Neches, Raychel Diane Weiner and The Living Earth Show (lamp shades on heads) in Robert Dekkers’ Tassel (Photo: Natalia Perez)
2. Artists of Post:Ballet in Robert Dekkers’ Tassel (Photo: Tricia Cronin)
3. Raychel Diane Weiner and Jeremy Bannon-Neches in Robert Dekkers’ Yours is Mine (Photo: Natalia Perez)
4. Christian Squires, Raychel Diane Weiner and Jeremy Bannon-Neches in Robert Dekkers’ Yours is Mine (Photo: Natalia Perez)
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The Life And Works Of Charles Lamb – Poems, Plays & Miscellaneous Essays

The Life And Works Of Charles Lamb – Poems, Plays & Miscellaneous Essays


THE LIFE AND WORKS OF CHARLES LAMB – DEMOCRITUS – Junior have put my finishing pen to a tractate De Melancholia, this day, December 5, 1620. First, I blesse the Trinity, which hath given me health to prosecute my worthlesse studies thus far, and make supplication with a Laus Deo, if in any case these my poor labours may be found instrumental to weede out black melancholy, carking cares, harte-grief, from the mind of man. Sed hoc magis volo quam expecto. I tun now to my book, i nunc liber, goe forth, my braveAnatorny, child of my brain-sweat, and yee, candidi lectores, lo here I give him up to you, even do with him what you please, my masters. Some, I suppose, will applaud, commend, cry him up these are my friends hee is ajos rarus, forsooth, a nonesuch, a Phcenix concerning whom see Plinius and Mandeuille, though Fienus de monstris doubteth at large of such a bird, whom Montaltus confuting argueth to have been a man male scrupulositatis, of a weak and cowardlie faith Christopherus a Yega is with him in this. Others again will blame, hiss, reprehende in many things, cry down altogether, my collections, for crude, inept, putid, post caenanz scripta, Coryate could write better upon a full nzeal, verbose, inerudite, and not sufficiently abounding in authorities, dognzata, sentences, of learneder writers which have been before me, when as that first named sort clean otherwise judge of my labours to bee nothing else but a messe of opinions, a vortex attracting indiscriminate, gold, pearls, hay, straw, wood, excrement, an exchange, tavern, marte, for foreigners to congregate, Danes, Swedes, Hollanders, Lombards, so many strange faces, dresses, salutations, languages, all which WoLfius beheldewith great contente upon the Venetian Rialto, as he describes diffusedly in his book the worlds Epitome, which Sannaxar so bepraiseth, e contra our Polydore can see nothing in it they call me singular, a pedant, fantastic, words of reproach in this age, which is all too neoteric an …

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Animal Photos Of The Week: German Shepherd Puppy Plays In The Snow

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