Category Archives: NTL

National Theatre Live features ‘Follies’ beginning tonight

From 2007–2010, Imelda Staunton struck terror into the hearts of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter movie series in which she played Dolores Jane Umbridge.

Tonight you can catch her in select theaters around the country making people happy in Stephen Sondheim‘s “Follies”  as Sally Durant Plummer, a former dancer who meets up with a former friend and an old flame.  Nostalgia vs. aging.

From left, Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton and Zizi Strallen in "Follies" at the Olivier Awards.
From left, Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton and Zizi Strallen in “Follies” at the Olivier Awards.

The smash-hit National Theatre production is being broadcast live to international movie theaters  with repeat screenings during the coming weeks. To find a theater near you and more about the production, click here. 

Staunton, a theater icon in England and West End regular in plays and musicals, winning four Olivier Awards, three of which were for Best Actress in a Musical as the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” (1991), Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” (2013) and Mama Rose in “Gypsy” (2016). She also won Best Supporting Performance for both “A Chorus of Disapproval” (1985) and “The Corn is Green” (1985).

Read the Playbill review here.

Read Variety’s review here.

Read the Associated Press review here.

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‘Frankenstein’ returns for Halloween; National Theatre Live schedules Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart


Very smart programming for National Theatre Live to re-release Frankenstein,” directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller,” in time for Halloween.

It certainly is creepy, especially when you can see the  “Monster’s” eyes (Johnny Lee Miller) in closeups when he realizes  he can think and act independently, which you would totally miss in a theater.

Really ugly, but sensitive and emotional, the Monster tries to fit into human society, but is shunned, which leads him to seek revenge against his creator. But he is rejected, essentially, for being different.    And that’s scary, given how people who are different, unattractive, physically disabled or had “massive weight gain” are talked about by Presidential candidate Trump who seems to be a role model for many people.  It returns to movie theaters beginning Oct. 25.

Cumberbatch also returns in the title role of “Hamlet,” beginning Nov. 15. The Encore Series closes with the international hit “War Horse,”  from Dec. 6. The play is much more theatrical and visceral on stage than is the 2011 movie because of the remarkable Handspring Puppet Co., the genius behind “War Horse.” Learn about it in this TED Talk video.

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