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J LHLS Archives: February 2005
Saturday, February 5, 2005
Fiddler on the Roof
200 West 45th Street
New York, NY
Opening 26 Feb 2004
Reviewed by Janine Fennick
My parents actually saw the original production of this play twice although never with Zero Mostel, sadly. The first time he was out sick and was understudied by Harry Goz (yes, all you Sealab 2021 fans, THAT Harry Goz). The second time, he'd left and Harry Goz had actually taken over the role as his own. I've only seen amateur productions of it. And we had much better seats that I thought we would get. Anyway: the show was very good. Harvey Fierstein was an amazing Tevye and I liked Andrea Martin as Golde too. The guy playing Motel (John Cariani) was a little over the top, the guy playing Perchik (Robert Petkoff) was both adorable (in an odd Danny Masterson sort of way) and had a GORGEOUS tenor -- probably the best voice in the show and all of the girls playing the daughters were really good. [more]
Posted by Janine Fennick @ 10:37 PM PST [Link]
Friday, February 4, 2005
The Martian War
by Gabriel Mesta
Publisher Pocket Books
Release date: May 2005
Review by Chad Denton
Full disclosure: I'm actually not too knowledgeable on the works of H.G. Wells, beyond what everyone else tends to know: the Morlocks, Martian invaders dying from the common cold, and the man that went around the world in 80 days (oops, wrong science-fiction pioneer...). And unfortunately I know even less about the man's biography. Gabriel Mesta's "The Martian War" is, above all, a homage to not only Wells and his body of works, but to the man itself, so it reads like an odd but easy mix of fiction and biography. Here we find a young H.G. Wells, whose career is just beginning, is drawn into a secret British agency experimenting with 'high-concept' science, such as anti-gravity alloys and an invisibility formula. After it's revealed that a newly discovered alien civilization on Mars is planning an invasion of Earth in order to take a fresh stock of slaves to work on maintaining Mars' dying ecosystem, Wells, his fiancÚ Jane, and his old teacher Professor Huxley are accidentally sent to the Moon and later to Mars, where they find themselves given the impossible task of thwarting an entire civilization.
The basic concept is like Alan Moore's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," except real-life figures as well as fictional characters are thrown in the mix. Further the setting is in our world and the narrative posits that Wells received his inspiration from the eccentric characters he meets and bizarre adventures he has, so we have Wells meet a Dr. Griffen, find a society where the high caste has become utterly dependent on a mass slave class, running into a real-life Dr. Moreau, and so on. The book's actions are split between the adventures of our Victorian trio and between a diary describing an early encounter between Dr. Moreau and Percival Lowell (a late nineteenth century astronomer who promoted the theory that there were artificial canals visible on Mars) and a Martian scout, whom the two hubristic scientists mistake for an ambassador. [more]
Posted by Chad Denton @ 08:07 AM PST [Link]
Thursday, February 3, 2005
Rurouni Kenshin, vol. 10
by Nobuhiro Watsuki
The title of this manga means "Wandering Kenshin," and "Kenshin" is the main character's name. In Japanese his name is written with the character ken meaning "sword" and the character shin meaning "heart/mind/will." So the title also alludes to the idea of a wandering swordsman. And when written with a different set of characters, the word "kenshin" can also mean "devotion."
Though Kenshin is not technically a samurai, the plot resembles that of a typical samurai story, except that it is set in the Meiji period, a time when Japan was becoming Westernized and the era of the samurai was ending. The story is fictional, but the surrounding events are based on real Japanese history. If this sounds a lot like Vagabond, it is actually quite different. Where Vagabond is dark, gritty, and realistic, Rurouni Kenshin has a more playful feel, with a romantic sub-plot, some fantasy elements, and many humorous interludes. [more]
Posted by Tom Good @ 08:39 PM PST [Link]
Monday, January 31, 2005
Hana Yori Dango - Boys over Flowers
Story and Art by: Yoko Kamio
Published by: VIZ
Review by Kathy LaFollett
The title alone carries a story for the Shojo fan.
Some say Yoko Kamio created a pun from the Japanese proverb "Sweets over Flowers", which suggests choosing the practical (food) over the ethereal (flowers). Changing the kanji of "dango" changed the pronunciation to read boys instead of sweets.
An alternative interpretation in Japan suggests that Hana Yori Dango is used as a joke in reference to the Hana-mi festival in Japan celebrating the annual arrival of cherry-blossoms. During the festival, people gather outside, and picnic under full, blossoming, sakura trees not bothering to pay attention to the flowers themselves. Leaving the proverb that people pay more attention to everyday things (the "dango") rather than cherish the beauty of the cherry-blossoms (the "hana"). [more]
Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 07:35 PM PST [Link]
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Shaman King 5
by Hiroyuki Takei
Published by VIZ
Yoh Asakura, a young Japanese shaman, has entered the "Shaman Fight," a tournament to decide who will be the next Shaman King. The tournament showcases shamans from many different cultures. First Yoh matches up against the Ainu shaman Horohoro, who uses snow and ice magic and even rides a snowboard while fighting. Then Yoh must battle Faust VIII, a necromancer descended from the original Dr. Faust.
Silva, one of the tournament supervisors, thinks Yoh should forfeit this match rather than risk his life against Faust, who has already killed another shaman during a match. But Anna, Yoh's tough young fiancee, will not hear of it. In a very entertaining sequence, she refers to Faust as a "corpse jockey" and insists that Yoh must fight him. [more]
Posted by Tom Good @ 07:36 PM PST [Link]
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