Summer Movie Report: Wonder Woman Beats Mummy Going Away

Herewith a quick take on my two most recent summer-movie visits: Wonder Woman is very, very good — and manages to be so by mostly being a World War I movie rather than a superhero movie.  I am, of course, much too young to have living memories of the WWI period, but one of my …

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Ashland 2016: The Winter’s Tale

Winter’s Tale has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.  I look at its peculiar structure as a challenge rather than an obstacle, and when it’s well-executed, the finale involving Hermione’s “statue” strikes me as one of the most dramatically satisfying scenes in all Shakespeare.  And of course there’s that famous stage direction…. I’ve …

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Ashland 2016: Twelfth Night

Ninety-nine percent of this year’s production of Twelfth Night at OSF is sheer genius.  The set design for its nominal 1930s Hollywood transposition is clever in all the right ways, nearly all the performances are exceptional, and the comic swordfight between Sir Andrew and Viola-as-Cesario gets the single funniest execution I’ve seen in the 40+ …

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Ashland 2016: Yeomen of the Guard

If you are a Gilbert & Sullivan purist, you may want to steer clear of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s current incarnation of Yeomen of the Guard — it is, I’m advised by the G&S purists in our tour group, a sufficiently free adaptation that they might as well have called it something else.  (Possibly Boys …

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It’s Aliiiive!!! (and reading)

And so, after a much-too-long hiatus, we return — with, I hope, rather more frequent updating in the weeks and months to come.  At the very least, I anticipate regular posts restoring the lyric archive from the old SFF Net site, and I also want to continue gradually importing the considerable file of reviews from …

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Ashland 2015: Shakespeare, Sweat, and Singing

Five plays in three days — that’s the schedule for my annual visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, hosted by the Whitman College alumni office (which books the rooms and the tickets) and curated by our designated Whitman English professor (who picks the plays).  This latter job is a perennial challenge, as there are usually …

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Ashland 2014: 3 Bards, a President and a Tesseract

Back from our annual pilgrimage to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival — as usual, well-stuffed with (mostly) very good theater. First up this year was Richard III, a solid traditional production on the Elizabethan outdoor stage, with the bonus that Richard was/is played by fellow Whitman College graduate Dan Donohue. Dan graciously appeared after the performance …

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Better Late Than Never: Disney’s Frozen

I know, I know, I’m one of the last three people in the whole world to have seen Frozen…but at least I caught it a few hours before it picked up its Oscars.  Some thoughts: In general, it’s an impressive film, and it’s definitely in the upper tier of modern-era Disney animated features.  I don’t …

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Review: Spellcast and Spellcrossed (Barbara Ashford)

As at least some of my readership is aware, I have been a theater junkie — if a somewhat undernourished one — ever since junior high school (which is to say, for a scarily long time now).  I have, of course, also been an avid reader of fantasy for even longer than that.  And it’s …

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Role of Books: The Riddle of the Wren

from Dragon Magazine #92 (December 1984) The Riddle of the Wren Charles de Lint Ace Books Someone at Ace Books apparently decided that The Riddle of the Wren was destined for obscurity; I first saw a copy at a local 7-11 store, and the book still hasn’t shown up at most of the bookstores in …

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