DOUBLE DOUBLE - PDF Document

Presentation Transcript

  1. LNP | LANCASTER, PA B3 SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2020 Entertainment THEATER KEVIN STAIRIKER UNSCRIPTED Randy Newman a legend, with or without Oscars T own dumb opinions online, as they are wont to do. This column isn’t about how Adam Sandler should have been nominated for “Uncut Gems” (he should have) or the lack of people of color nominated for just about everything (Lupita Nyong’o in “Us”! Awk- wafi na and Zhao Shuzhen in “The Fare- well”!). No, it’s about the most multifaceted performer of the whole bunch, nominated for not just one “Story,” but two. That would be the legendary Randy New- man, nominated in the best original score category for “Marriage Story” and in best original song for “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4.” If you have seen both of these fi lms, you know just how dif erent they are — one is about the psychological damage that comes with knowing that it’s time to leave a loved one, and the other is “Marriage Story.” It speaks to the breadth of Newman’s musicality that “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” isn’t even the best song in “Toy Story 4.” That honor, in my opinion, would go to “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy.” In a little under two minutes, Newman manages to honor the full spirit of Woody the cowboy. The version that plays over the credits is sung by country superstar Chris Stapleton, a person I wouldn’t have ex- pected to sound so natural singing a Randy Newman song. Then again, maybe people said the same thing 50 years ago when Nina Simone covered the immortal “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today.” As a person who was of exactly the right age when the fi rst “Toy Story” came out, it feels like Newman is fully defi ned by his musical role in the now-tetralogical fi lm series. To this point, Disney even of ers a greatest hits album called “Toy Story Fa- vorites,” which features the Oscar-winning “We Belong Together,” Sarah McLachlan’s instant-tear-inducing read of “When She Loved Me” and, of course, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” It’s not necessarily that Newman’s work with Disney isn’t great — in fact, his 11-picture (and counting) run should be treasured far beyond just “Toy Story” to include music from the perpetually under- rated “James and the Giant Peach” and “The Princess and the Frog.” The prob- lem is that Newman’s solo, nonfi lm work deserves to be appreciated as some of the greatest lyricism of the 20th century. For proof of concept, look no further than Newman’s 1971 masterpiece “Sail Away.” I might sound like the character Stefan from “Saturday Night Live,” but it’s got every- thing — New Orleans-style jazz (“Lonely at the Top”), introspective-yet-goofy slices of life (“Memo to My Son”), fever dream show tunes (“Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear”), and so much more. A lot of people could almost reenact the exact moments when they fell in love with a song or an artist. Here’s my Randy New- man story: Like many, I knew Newman as the guy with the charmingly clunky voice who did Pixar movies and “Short People.” By way of a run through the discography of Harry Nilsson, I came across an album called “Nilsson Sings Newman,” which found the former belting out songs by the latter. Feeling utterly gobsmacked by the beauty and creativity of that album, I took a chance on Newman’s “Sail Away.” I was attending Temple University at the time and remember walking around the campus listening to the album, impressed more and more by each successive song un- til I came to the album closer, “God’s Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind).” If you’re not familiar with the tune, it’s a slow, ominous song written from the perspective of a winking God talking to the people of the world. Regardless of your denomination, it’s a powerful statement on the concept of faith — and those who have it — all wrapped up in the length of a pop song. There’s a good chance that Randy New- man won’t get his fl owers while he’s still around, that those who are unfamiliar with his nonfi lm songwriting will only fi nd these gems when he departs this world. As the man once said, “Music should be the last thing you don’t have an open mind about.” he 2020 Academy Awards nomina- tions were released last week, and a lot of smart people of ered their SHERI NIVEN PHOTOGRAPHY / EPHRATA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER PHOTOS Jordon Ross Weinhold stands outside the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, where he acts and does orchestrations for musicals. DOUBLE DOUBLE DUTY Denver native Jordon Ross Weinhold thrives as both actor and orchestrator Jordon Ross Weinhold plays the fi lm comedi- an Banjo in Eph- rata Performing Arts Center’s fall 2019 production of the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” JANE HOLAHAN JHOLAHAN@LNPNEWS.COM Writing a story about Jordon Ross Weinhold is a challenge. Do you begin with his acting resume or his work in musical scores, including orchestration, reductions and compositions? Weinhold’s theater career goes back and forth between the two. In one show, he’s making peo- ple howl with laughter as Black Stache (“Peter and the Star Catcher” at Ephrata Performing Arts Center) and in another, he is the orchestrator for the show (“Annie” at the Cambridge Oper- atic Society in England). Whether he’s acting or working on the score, Weinhold, 28, be- lieves he’s got one job: “Tell the story.” Weinhold, a Cocalico High School grad who grew up in Den- ver, got interested in theater when he was a kid. His parents would take him to see shows at the Ful- ton, and by the time he was 10, he was a toy soldier in a production of “The Nutcracker” ballet. “I wasn’t able to do anything else,” Weinhold says with a laugh. “(Theater) demands every hour clock-out. It’s always with you. I’m not a 9-to-5er.” Weinhold went to Point Park College in Pittsburgh, where he majored in musical theater. That’s where he was intro- duced to the world of orches- tration. “I directed a student-run pro- duction of ‘Sweeney Todd,’ and we had no budget,” he says. “We had a three-piece orchestra written for a minimum of 18. “I was young and dumb and I WEINHOLD, page B4 ?????????????????????????? of your life. There’s no clock-in, ?????????? THEATER REVIEW ‘Sipping Society’ is funny and poignant JANE HOLAHAN JHOLAHAN@LNPNEWS.COM Anyone who is lucky enough to have a tight cir- cle of friends knows how much fun it can be to get together and enjoy each other’s company. That is what “Savan- nah Sipping Society” is all about. The comedy, which is running at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre through Feb. 15, is about four mid- dle-aged women who are each experiencing a crisis in their lives. New to Savannah, Geor- gia, they are lonely and in need of friendship. Which is exactly what they get when three of them meet at a juice bar af- ter giving up on a hot yoga class. Marla Faye Church) is outgoing and always has a good comic comment. She came to Sa- vannah after her husband BLAINE SHAHAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER From left, Marla Faye (Bonner Church), Dot (Nikki Yarnell), Jinx (Molly Samson) and Randa (Kathy Becker) gossip as they guzzle in “Savannah Sipping Society,” now onstage at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. left her for a 23-year-old dental hygienist. Dot (Nikki moved to Savannah with her husband, ready to en- joy their retirement. But her husband died and she is all alone. Randa (Kathy Becker) is an architect who lost her job after freaking out when a 30-year-old man got the promotion she deserved. A restraining order was put out against her. Randa has no friends, and she has a nasty family. Her whole life has been her job. At the juice bar, Marla REVIEW, page B4 (Bonner Yarnell) n Kevin Stairiker is an LNP staf writer. “Unscript- ed” is a weekly entertainment column produced by a rotating team of writers. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????

  2. ENTERTAINMENT B4 LNP | LANCASTER, PA SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2020 MUSIC REVIEW Mac Miller fans greet final album with tears, joy Late hip-hop artist’s release ‘Circles’ around themes of fame, love, life, death SCOTT MERVIS PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE Since it was announced just over a week ago, hip- hop fans looked forward to staying up for or wak- ing up Friday morning to a new Mac Miller album. In the midst of that, Eminem, certainly one of Mac’s early influ- ences, threw in his own surprise, dropping the jarringly titled “Music to be Murdered By.” As music experiences, they couldn’t be any more dif- ferent. Eminem’s record, liv- ing up to the title, is a veritable feast of rage: hard, fast and aggres- sive, harping on his usual themes of jealousy, vio- lence and betrayal, piled high with hip-hop brag- gadocio. Miller was in a com- pletely different mode and mood in his final days, as we gleaned from 2018’s “Swimming” and now “Circles,” which his family has released as his “sixth and final studio al- bum.” “Circles,” a “sister” album to “Swimming,” was completed, with lov- ing care, by co-producer Jon Brion, whose cred- its include Fiona Apple, Kanye West and Aimee Mann. Fans were tweeting right away that “Circles” has them crying on this Friday morning. Just hearing his voice on new material would probably do that. In this case, it’s a tearful mix of sadness and joy. The 12-song “Circles” is wonderful, from start to finish. It doesn’t sound in the least like it was slapped together just to give fans something, anything, for closure. Miller — having be- come tabloid fodder for his Ariana Grande break- up and DUI — seemed to have bunkered down in his Los Angeles home studio in the spring and summer of 2018. He was in a mellow, kind of druggy mood, reflecting on fame, love, life, death and what it takes to get through the day. “Circles” begins with a Motown-style bassline slowed down to a crawl, a hopeful, airy synth and Miller slurring in with “Well, this is what it look like right before you fall.” We learn that the cir- cles he’s talking about is the clock on the wall ticking through the days, and he’s just watching it go by like a weary ob- server wanting to keep a little distance. Things are complicated, he’s tired, in his head and with no energy to jump into the fray like Emi- nem. In fact, there’s only one up-tempo hip-hop track on “Circles” and that’s “Blue World,” which be- gins with an old doo-wop sample that’s magically filtered through a jittery vocoder effect before Mac comes in with “Well, this mad world has made me crazy.” But, “I’m here to make it all better with a little music for you” he tells us in a rare glimpse of the young Malcolm. If by chance you have a boomer relative who never understood the appeal of Mac Miller, ASSOCIATED PRESS In this 2017 file photo, Malcolm James McCormick, aka Mac Miller, performs at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. play them “Everybody,” his cover of Arthur Lee’s “Everybody’s Live,” which, by switch- ing out the guitar for a piano, he’s made into what sounds like a long lost John Lennon song. Weathering the ups and downs of the fame that his talent delivered him, Miller spends “Cir- cles” looking for comfort in simple things. “Once A Day,” what could be the last song on an official Mac Miller studio re- lease, is centered around the refrain of “Once a day I rise/ once a day I fall asleep with you/ Once a day I try/ but I can’t find a single word.” I expected Brion to tack on a big synth-pho- nic outro, but “Circles” just ends abruptly, and artfully, on that note. Gotta Weinhold: A dual threat STREAMING excellent production of “The Crucible.” He was a hilarious Corky Collins in EPAC’s “Hairspray” and works regularly at theaters in Pittsburgh. “You do the exact same thing as an actor, from Banjo to Rev. Hale,” he says. “You are really there to listen, you can’t be self- ish on stage.” He comes to a role well- prepared and knowing his lines. “I value the rehearsal process so much, but I am a nervous wreck because I want to get it right,” he says. “You are going to be on full display.” Weinhold is one of those actors who can excel at every role. The word chameleon comes to mind. He thinks about the roles he auditions for, and while he loves com- edy, he doesn’t want to be typecast. That’s why he took on “The Crucible.” “You’ve got to know your strengths and your type — know how people see you,” Weinhold says. And never forget that everyone in the produc- tions, from the orches- trator to the actor, has a story to tell. Soon-to-launch service Peacock has a free option Weinhold he’s done more than 50 orchestrations, ing locally at the Fulton, EPAC and Servant Stage, nationally and interna- tionally at places like Harvard University, Sig- nature Theatre in Wash- ington, D.C. (where he or- chestrated a new musical called “Cloak & Dagger”), Pittsburgh, Scotland and England. He also does reduc- tions, where he takes a piece written for a large orchestra and pares it down to fewer instru- ments, which is what he did with “Sweeney Todd” in college and more re- cently with EPAC’s “West Side Story” and Servant Stage’s “My Fair Lady.” “Nobody can afford to do full orchestration anymore, so it keeps me employed,” he says. “If nobody notices it, you’ve done your job.” He recently worked on the “Oklahoma!” episode of a Disney reality show called “Encore!” with Kristin Bell. And he has been doing more composing. He re- estimates cently began working on “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- time” for EPAC. Weinhold sits in on re- hearsals and sees what the director has in mind as he works on the score. “Every production and every theater deserves its own sound,” Weinhold says. Don’t think that just because Weinhold is so busy orchestrating, re- ducing and composing music that his acting skills aren’t first rate. Weinhold just earned two regional Broadway World awards, for playing Emory in a staged read- ing of “Boys in the Band” and Banjo in “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” both at EPAC. His work as Black Stache in “Peter and the Star Catcher” was strik- ingly funny, and his Banjo in “The Man Who Came to Dinner” was a whirling dervish of physical com- edy. Not long after that pro- duction, he shifted gears and played the Rev. Hale in Susquehanna Stage’s Continued from B3 thought maybe I could whip something up.” What does an orches- trator do? “I take the written music by the composer and I add instrumental color to help further tell the story,” Wein- hold says. His minimal orches- tration turned out to be a hit. So he plunged in. “I began teaching my- self how to use music software and notation,” he says. Weinhold does not play any instruments. His attempts at piano lessons when he was a kid were failures. “But I’ve always had a fascination with mu- sic, and as a kid I loved listening to film scores like ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jaws,’?” he says. “And I always sang.” He does all his work on his laptop. “I don’t know how people found out about includ- TALI ARBEL AP TECHNOLOGY WRITER NEW YORK — NBCU- niversal is launching a new streaming service, Peacock, that will have a large part available for free — an approach it hopes will resonate with people who aren’t inter- ested in traditional TV. Peacock will debut April 15 for customers of Comcast, NBCUni- versal’s parent compa- ny. Everyone else will get it July 15, just before the Olympics. There’s a free version, a $5-a-month version with lots more stuff and a $10 option to remove ads. The prices are in line with what many rival services charge. The $5 version will be free for 24 million households that get TV subscriptions through Cox, or via either TV or internet through Com- cast. Those customers can pay $5 a month to remove ads. NBCUniversal hopes to position Peacock as broader than the other major streaming servic- es already out there. Peacock 15,000 hours of pro- gramming, original content, stuff from the NBC library like “The which leaves Netflix for Peacock in 2021, and shows from other studios, too, including “Two and a Half Men.” Other standout shows and movies include “Jurassic Park,” “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” the “Law & Order” uni- verse and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Not all of Peacock’s videos will be exclu- sive. Original shows will include a series based on a true-crime pod- cast that stars Alec Baldwin and Chris- tian Slater. Peacock also plans to remake sci-fi favorite “Battle- star Galactica.” And Michael Schur, creator of “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Place,” is pro- ducing a comedy called “Rutherford Falls.” For TV shows in their first season, Peacock will let viewers watch episodes for free the day after they air. For shows that have been on longer, viewers will need to pay. The free version also offers only some of the episodes of original shows and classic favorites. Paying subscribers will also get Premier League soccer matches unavailable on TV and late-night shows from Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers a few hours early. The general launch is timed to the Olympics, which start July 24 in Tokyo. NBC televises them in the U.S. Office,” Glasgow, the ?????????????????????????? me, but I rarely have to look for work,” he says. ?????????? Review: Dutch Apple lovely. The humor in “Savan- nah Sipping Society” is often out loud and rich, especially coming from Marla Faye. makes it look easy; she’s got a wonderful comic flair. The other ladies have plenty of humor, too, though they are not writ- ten to be the center of the comedy. The three have issues they are dealing with that gives the show a level of poignancy. You get the sense that these women become real friends. Too often, these kinds of shows are pitched too high, the ac- tors trying too hard for laughs. But director Kel- ly Legarreta trusts the material and her actors. Playwrights Jones, Nicholas Hope and James Wooten, the team that wrote the pop- ular “The Dixie Swim Club,” understand how to get laughs. Sure, there is plenty of silliness and situational comedy that sometimes lacks logic, but for the most part, the laughs are well deserved. If you are a man going to see the show, be pre- pared for some gentle anti-man humor, espe- cially from Marla Faye. These ladies have not only been through tough times, but they are drink- ing a lot of whiskey, so it’s understandable. Bet you laugh, too. Continued from B3 IF YOU GO n What: “Savannah Sipping Society.” n Where: Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, 510 Centerville Road. n When: Runs through Feb. 15. Wednesday to Sunday, various times. n Cost: $25-$60 for show and meal; $22-$45 for show only. n More info: 717-898-1900, dutchapple.com. Faye invites herself and Dot to Randa’s house for drinks. In the Randa has a run-in with a woman at the grocery store who had the au- dacity to bring eight items into the 5-items- or-fewer line. (Seven items were tangerines.) And Dot has met a woman at a beauty shop whom she invites to Randa’s. Guess what? It’s the same woman, Jinx (Molly Samson), Church will have including meantime, who is in Savannah looking after her sister who has Alzheimer’s. The ladies bond, with Jinx serving as their life coach. It’s her job to bring them out of their shells and start enjoying life again. The unit set, designed by Dominic Lau, is Ran- da’s veranda, and it is ? ? ????? ?? ???????? ? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ?????????? Closed for the month of January %off Our Traditional Smorgasbord Jessie 50%off our Traditional Smorgasbord, and 25% off our Soup & Salad Smorgasbord At this time of year, Dinner is served Fri-Sun at11:30am and Mon-Thur at 3pm. Starting March 14, Dinner is served 7 days from 11:30am. Expires Feb 13,2020. Not valid January 19. -Not valid Saturdays - Note that we may close for renovations for a few days during this promotion. Please call 717-687-6621 or go to www.Millers1929.com before visiting. Max of 8 persons in party. One coupon per party. Not valid on alcohol, Menu Dining, or with other offers, special events, special/group rates or Loyalty Card. Accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day and ????????? ???????????? ??? ??????????? ??? ??? ???????? ??? ???? Mother’s Day Teas Have some shipped to you or others for birthdays or special occasions from our Williamsport bakery! ???? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ????????? ?? ??????? ????????? ???? ??? ???????????? ??????? ???? ????????????? Call 570-772-8258. www.mrstickys.net A Tea Affair - <gj Voted Best. - Again. " Reader's Choice & PA ServSafe Award Winner Reservations Recommended • 717-687-6621 • Millers1929.com Route 30 one mile east of Rockvale Outlets • 2811 Lincoln Highway East, Ronks Disc=LancNws50 ? ??????? ???? ??????? ?? ????? ???????? ???????????????????? ???????????? ? ????????????????? ??? ????????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ????????? ???????? ??????????? ??? ???????? ?????? ?????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????