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Commentaires écrits par
PatrickO "Patrick" (New York, NY United States)

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amazing show, stratospheric Idina Menzel, Dec 20 2003
This review is from: Wicked (Audio CD)
I stepped into the lobby of the Gershwin Theater on the rain-soaked night of November 19, 2003, drenched to the core. My shoes were wet, my friends were a bit late and I was cranky. Even worse, I saw that one of the two main stars, Kristen Chenoweth, would not be appearing (she had a cold, I read later). I was an inch away from turning in my ticket and heading home to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. BOY, am I glad I stayed.
The night proved to be one of the most amazing I have ever had in the theater. The show and Stephen (Pippin) Schwartz"s songs, based on Gregory Maguire's novel, just continued to get better as the night went on. The show involves friendship, betrayal, romance, being different, gutless politicians, balancing ideals against desires, and about a dozen other things. It's genuinely affecting and well-staged without the sugary aspects that can turn a lot of people off to musical theater. The main theme is what's really good and what's really evil? "Wicked" is largely seen from the point of view of Elphaba, the green-skinned "witch" of the east who arrives in the Emerald City full of hope and promise, well before Dorothy blew into town.
Melissa Bell, the woman who was substituting as Glinda, the "good" witch did a very nice job. The rest of the cast, including Norbert Leo Butz as the prince were extremely talented. But nothing prepared me for Idina Menzel, who plays Elphaba the "wicked witch" of the east. I'd heard her before on the "Rent" cast album. But I guess seeing someone live is a different experience. This lady not only has a beautiful voice, she gives a performance that betters almost anything I've ever seen on Broadway. This is a superstar turn that lifts the audience out of its collecive seats. Whether it's a ballad like "I'm not that Girl," or the roof-raising "Defying Gravity" number that closes the first act, Ms. Menzel held the audience in her spell. She spins you between touching moments and thrilling ones, with a lot of help from the show's creators who have wisely created showcase numbers for both stars.
Listening to the wonderfully-performed cast album this week, I finally had a chance to hear Kristen Chenoweth. She sparkles as much as Ms. Menzel in her numbers. The giddy "Popular" where she gives Elphaba a make-over is probably her strongest turn. I've had the chance to see her on stage in NYC (On A Clear Day You Can See Forever). I'm going back to see the show again on Jan. 13th and am looking forward to hearing her crystalline voice (from the back of the theater this time :(
But for me, "Wicked" is always going to remind me of the night I learned about a new and budding superstar - Idina Menzel. Trust me on this. If you're going to be in NYC, get yourself a ticket to this show! If you can't make it to NYC, buy the cast album. If you even remotely like musical theater, you'll enjoy it a lot.
I looked Ms. Menzel's recordings up on Amazon after the show. Aside from the theater, she apparently cut a CD back in 1998. It's out of print now. But you can bet it'll get re-released soon.

American Pie
American Pie
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Prix : CDN$ 20.91
53 used & new from CDN$ 5.46

5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the great albums of the 70s, July 20 2003
This review is from: American Pie (Audio CD)
This remastered version of "American Pie" restores the song to the way McLean intended it to be heard. Gone is the muddy remixing that has marred prior releases (except for the marvelous remastering done a few years ago by Mobile Fidelity Soundlabs.) For me, another McLean song from 1981, Castles in the Air, is his best hit. But "Vincent," "American Pie," and others on this album sound amazing.
In terms of the cardboard casing, who cares? It is fine, looks good, and helped keep the price down... Highly recommended.

Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Prix : CDN$ 27.59
10 used & new from CDN$ 6.95

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amazing. This guy has a beautiful voice, June 15 2003
I caught this presentation on my local NYC PBS station in late 2002 while channel flipping. I was struck by the range, power and enormous passion of his voice and ended up watching the whole concert. Frangoulis was then on my local PBS station providing some live commentary after the broadcast. He seems like a humble person despite his amazing talent.
Frangoulis' duet with Moody Blues vocalist Justin Haywood on "Nights in White Satin" is one of those rare moments in music that is thrilling. There's no other word for it. The fact that this guy isn't a bigger star is a huge failure of Sony's marketing department, in my view. He outshines just about every other male pop and classical vocalist I've ever heard. In terms of talent, he's a male equivalent of someone like Barbra Streisand or Whitney Houston.
So in short, it's hard to imagine anyone not liking this DVD, especially given the beauty of the outdoor ampitheater in Greece where it was staged. Buy it and be amazed.

To Catch a Thief  (Bilingual)
To Catch a Thief (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Cary Grant
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Prix : CDN$ 43.82
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 About as good as it gets.. until the inevitable remake, Nov. 16 2002
This review is from: To Catch a Thief (Bilingual) (DVD)
If the honchos in Hollywood have any sense, they'll remake this classic with George Clooney and Julia Roberts who would be the perfect modern counterparts to this mid-50s film with Grant and Kelly.
The transfer on this DVD is quite good and colors are excellent. Seeing this DVD is like taking a vacation in Monaco :)

Full Circle: Life & Music [Import]
Full Circle: Life & Music [Import]
3 used & new from CDN$ 18.99

5.0 étoiles sur 5 French & Saunders Interview a Legend, Oct. 15 2002
I bought this VHS when it first came out and my only complaint is that the company has not redone it for DVD. The VHS tape has a hissing in some spots that seems to be defects in the tape rather than from source material, which is mostly from the 1960s.
But this tape is worth the purchase. Two pieces of musical footage - Ms. Springfield singing "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" from her 1965 BBC TV series, and her rendition of "A House is Not a Home" from a 1970 Burt Bacharach TV show, make this an essential purchase for her fans. She was literally the greatest singer of the 20th century. But her affectations, such as the beehive hairdo and the heavy eye makeup seemed to detract some viewers from ever looking further at the woman who has been called The White Queen of Soul and who with her Dusty in Memphis classic album produced a work that Rolling Stone ranks among the 10 coolest pop records of all time. This lady was the real thing. Her career cooled off in the mid-70s after she announced her bisexuality and apparently after she may have received a throat injury of some sort. The Pet Shop Boys revived her career with "What Have I Done to Deserve This" I'll always be in their debt for this as it introduced me to Ms. Springfield as something other than the lounge singer I thought she was. Her perfect pitch and beautiful voice have placed her music at the top of my collection. Her other accomplishments include introducing Motown artiists to the UK in the 1960s.

From A Distance: The Very Best Of Nanci Griffith
From A Distance: The Very Best Of Nanci Griffith
Prix : CDN$ 13.48
39 used & new from CDN$ 5.06

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wow! What a Treasure, July 1 2002
I was turned on to Nancy Griffith back in 1988 by a young country western singer attending Manhattan's American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Music. Knowing my interest in music, he convinced me buy "One Fair Summer Evening," which immediately became a seminal part of my music collection.
Now, on one CD you get some of the best songs from that album as well as many other favorites - all beautifully remastered. I compare this lady's musical progression (bear with me here) to Woody Allen's growth as a filmmaker. She is never satisfied to stick with what made her popular. She's always expanding her music to reflect her own personal interests and causes. Sometimes that has led to less than perfect albums. But you have to admire someone who wants to grow as a person and as an artist.
I finally had the privilege of seeing her in concert last December here in NYC (rescheduled from 9/14/01, for obvious reasons). And I repaid a longstanding debt to the guy who connected me with her music so many years ago - I took a lady to the concert who had never heard Nanci's music. In one evening she became a devoted fan.
Do yourself a favor and buy this CD. I'd have to highly recommend "One Fair Summer Evening" also. It includes the song "Red Brick Floor," which is just beautiful. My view is that Ms. Grifffith should be a lot more famous than she is. Her voice and talent are huge. But I have the impression that isn't as important to her as making little pieces of art with her Blue Moon Band.

The Lion in Winter (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
The Lion in Winter (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
DVD ~ Peter O'Toole
Offered by importcds__
Prix : CDN$ 9.59
25 used & new from CDN$ 9.56

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great movie that hopefully will overcome the obstacle of MGM, Jan. 7 2001
This is a fantastic film, possessing a fascinating story and great performances by Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Peter O'Toole. Sadly, it is being released by MGM, who except for their Bond DVDs, generally does a terrible job on less popular releases. Their release this summer of F/X was a prime example. Let's hope there will be a good presentation behind the rather unattractive cover art they are using here. (Odd because the video of a few years ago had a great cover. Guess MGM can't afford to hire an artistic staff.)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 34.00
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Jack Kirby Lives :), Oct. 15 2000
I read in a sidebar accompanying the NY Times review of this book that Chabon was heavily influenced by the art and work of the late Marvel (later DC) comics artist/writer Jack Kirby. Given that fact alone, I'll buy this book.
Kirby was something of a genius in his field, working with Stan Lee of Marvel Comics on some of the biggest titles of the 1960s. I discovered him as a kid when he wrote a series of comics called "The Forever People" for DC.
I will buy and read this book based on that alone. I enjoyed Chabon's first book, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, while in grad school. I missed his next couple, but happened into a Village bookstore in the early 90s here in NYC when he was reading from A Model World, a collection of short stories. He is one of those handful of young American writers whose new books deserve investigation based on his name alone.

Diamonds Are Forever Remix Album
Diamonds Are Forever Remix Album
Offered by langton_distribution
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23 used & new from CDN$ 2.19

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beyond Amazing! This is a great piece of work by all, Sept. 7 2000
This must have been a Propellerheads-inspired venture after their huge club hit with Dame Shirley (Goldfinger) Bassey a year ago, "History Repeating." What a great idea to have some of the top mixers (hey why wasn't Mixmaster Mike of the "Beastie Boys" given a shot here) update a few of Ms. Bassey's classic tunes. The album is nothing short of phenomenal. There is hardly a weak song in this Millenium collection.
"Diamonds are Forever," "Never, Never, Never," "Goldfinger," and "Where Do I Begin," are all covered here.
By the time the album ends you'll be demanding more. A sequel is surely in the works here.

Do the Right Thing (Widescreen)
Do the Right Thing (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Danny Aiello
Prix : CDN$ 29.99
33 used & new from CDN$ 12.27

3.0 étoiles sur 5 Fairly decent story and good acting, Sept. 2 2000
I remember being very excited to see this film after all the press it received when it came out.. However, I was disappointed by it somewhat. A much better movie than "School Daze," it still wasn't as clever in its way as his first film, "She's Gotta Have It." At least Criterion is again attempting to present some contemporary films. Everything they have put out in the last year has been restorations of films from the 30s for some weird reason.

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