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Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary

A fantastic celebration of a great show
Every performance was impeccable. Many of the performers rival and in some cases surpass those of the 10th Anniversary Dreamcast. Seeing the show on the big screen with a bigger sound system really make the nuances of the genius score come to life. What is so great is the way they made use of soft split screens to be able to watch multiple performers' reactions and "dialog."

Norm Lewis, whose subtle facial expressions and genuine passion commanded the stage/screen, sang Javert with such power and depth that I actually, for the first time, empathized with his character. Alife Boe's Val Jean was brilliant, with an operatic quality. Samantha Barks shined as Eponine with a stunning vocal performance. Ramin Karimloo was a standout with his brilliant portrayal of Enjolras. I didn't quite understand the decision of casting Nick Jonas as Marius. He really gave it his all and had some nice moments in the sweeter songs, but lacked the vocal fullness and attack for the more powerful songs. It was adequate but uncomfortably contrasted by his much stronger, seasoned cast mates.

The occasional cut to various instrumental highlights was a wonderful addition and seamlessly included the orchestra as an important part of the ensemble. The encores with the original cast, backed by a chorus of hundreds was breathtaking. If you're a Les Mis fan, this movie is a must.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Seriously, "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille." "Elvis (or fill in the blank with another person's name) has left the building." Wow! (forced applause and a shrill "woo-hoo") How clever!!! Did you just think that up on the spot? Come on (girlfriend). Just about every gay person I know (myself included) is more witty and original than having to resort to the stock lines and clichés they overuse. It isn't funny. It's actually quite irritating. I keep waiting to hear the BADUMBUMP of the drums after each trite and corny platitude. The point is what, exactly? ... To confirm the stereotypes so that straight viewers aren't put off or intimidated?? Heaven help us if middle-America gets the impression that gay people often see the irony in everything? Seriously, help me out here.


The show got off to a weak start. As a huge fan of Stephanie March and Eric Balfour, I hung in and I am really glad I did. The episodes became increasingly more interesting and I began caring about the characters by mid-season. What I need to say is - the season finale surpassed any by far that I've seen in a long time. I am addicted to SVU, Desperate Housewives and Close to Home had a great finale this year, but Conviction's 180.8 episode absolutely blew me away. The emotion, sense of panic and urgency, as well as the poignancy of what people mean to us in times of tragedy had me on the edge of my seat in shock, horror and tears for it's entirety. I cannot wait for next season!

Starting Over

Life Coaches
I agree that Iyanla can be a bit opinionated, but that other one --Rhonda--

Could she possibly be more self-righteous? Meanwhile, she never really listens to what anyone is saying. Did she take a Learning Annex class in "5 Steps to Being a Good Listener"? Maybe it was a prerequisite course to "You Too Can Be an Analyst" She asks clearly scripted questions, nods with a furrowed brow during the girls responses and follows it with a "ya" and a quote directly off one of those motivational posters.

Example: In the last episode ... Rhonda starts using all the clichés and textbook inspirational quotes to this one woman who was really going through it badly. She takes her through this ridiculous word association thing to arrive at the conclusion that her father is the cause of all her woes (which had already been established anyway, by the woman herself). Rhonda gives an understanding "Ya" and sits all self-satisfied that she broke her. Then Iyanla proceeds to rip the girl apart, saying that she is lying and covering up the real issue and makes her come to terms with the fact that her mother is really at the root of it all but she never could face or admit to herself. After 10 minutes of Iyanla tearing down layer after layer, lie after lie, the girl is obviously a wreck and then Rhonda chimes in with this pearl: "Its OK for your mother to not always be right" smiling smugly as though she knew the mother was the real issue all along. Iyanla looked like 'is she kidding with this'???

Rhonda seems to feel that she and Iyanla simply have different styles of therapy --- yea qualified and not qualified is the difference. She looks like a soap actress wannabe who never quite got her break but decided to put this show together and trying to act like a therapist. A bad one.


It really tries
As have I. I really like Freddie but I just can't get into it. His comedy is very forced and unnatural. He seems awkward. He is best in his scenes with Brian Austin Green (who is hilarious all on his own). The sister is a bad actress delivering dumb lines. The blonde lush is pretty funny but one-dimensional. They should give her and Green the show and let them lead. Freddie's grandmother is just painful. Whether you understand Spanish or not, she obviously understands English as she responds accurately to the other characters, but can't seem to speak a word. Odd. Basically, if Freddie loosened up, expands the Chris and Allison roles and dumps the rest of them for a stronger group, it might stand a chance. Freddie and Brian might want to throw on a pair of flip-flops and a tanktop now and then for some eye-candy. But as it is now ... suffice it to say that good comedy should seem effortless and "Freddie" seems anything but.

Mysterious Skin

Wow all I can say. I saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "10 Things I Hate …" (due to my huge crush on Heath) and was impressed with his acting and cuteness factor. I always thought he was hilarious on "3rd Rock…" After seeing this for the first time tonight, I am literally in awe of his performance. Maybe because my life parallels the character's in so many ways and recognized the authenticity in what he said, did and in the way in which he reacted … and didn't; an authenticity that usually comes only from one's own imagination when reading a book. Gordon-Levitt totally nailed the character. I'm seeing the truth to the opinion that some of the best dramatic actors are comedians. To effectively perform comedy requires such a delicate balance of timing and delivery ... to bring that instinct and raw emotion to this complex role was indescribable to watch.

It always impresses me when a non-erotic film somehow succeeds in sexually exciting me (a gay adult video actor and producer), while at the same time emotionally impacting me so deeply that I am forced to deal with many of my long-repressed demons. Demons which continue inspire my work, my humor and life-choices, yet continue to disturb and haunt my psyche.

What a brave move depicting an 8 year old as a love-starved sexual predator desiring and encouraging the pedophilia in his coach, craving his affection and the honor of being his prize … his "true love." How politically incorrect, yet how shockingly, unspeakably true in so many more cases than we care to believe. Bravo Joseph! Bravo Gregg Araki! ! Bravo Scott Heim!

Jake in Progress

Revamp worked
They just brought the show back after a few month long hiatus. It seems like the producers surveyed the show and what was wrong with it and suddenly it is enjoyable and entertaining. Stamos has a great comedic timing, I just wish they would go for stronger comedy writing than relying on forced quick banter. Wendie Malick is great as usual. Ian Gomez is fun. I could live without Rick Hoffman as Patrick. The character is supposed to be annoying to Jake but lovable to us (?). He's not; He's just annoying.

At least this time around, Stamos appears in a tank top and barefoot (hot upper body and perfect feet!)often enough to make for eye candy worthy of watching!


Having seen the Broadway show about 20 times, I am an admitted purist. I was excited to see the show but a bit concerned that it would not live up to its theatrical counterpart. Perhaps due to the brilliant casting of most of the original Broadway actors, RENT lived up to, and in some cases, surpassed it. I missed a lot of the omitted songs but I understand that it was decided to shave a few in lieu of dialog which fleshed out the characters and story a bit more. But, Goodbye Love, Christmas Bells and Happy New Year were great songs that are sorely missed. Rosario and Tracie were were brilliant as newcomers, but Adam, Idina, Wilson, Jesse, Anthony and Taye brought the passion and fire to the roles they created with a magic that is seldom captured anywhere other than live theatre. Bravo!!!


Love it, but Kelly Rutherford has to go
So I just finished watching my first episode of E-Ring. Honestly I love Benjamin Bratt as an actor and he is so incredibly sexy in his roll of Maj. Jim Tisnewski without coming off as overly macho or cocky. OK my hormones aside, the show is well written and extremely well acted (for the most part). I was riveted to the story from beginning to end and actually was as emotionally caught up as I would be in a good movie.

HOWEVER, Kelly Rutherford is so unbelievably bad that its jarring. Every scene she appeared in, I was immediately shot back to reality ... "Oh right, they're acting, it's only a TV show." She was awful in Melrose Place, but, since this roll requires less emotional depth since her character is a pragmatic professional, I watched objectively. The dialog written for her character of Samantha Liston is awesome. Long, arduous-sounding words with a rapid-fire delivery that a Diane March (A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot, Law & Order: SVU 2000-2003) type (or preferably, Ms. March herself) would have sailed through beautifully.

The rest of the cast is fantastic and overall it is an excellent show. Definitely give it a look.

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