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David Byrne’s American Utopia review – Spike Lee’s thrilling treat for fans | Film

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Spike Lee has made a filmed record of David Byrne’s Broadway stage-show version of his solo album American Utopia, a live reimagining of the record in which a lavish selection of his classic tracks with Talking Heads is also performed. So many, in fact, that it almost feels like a greatest hits extravaganza. Psycho Killer is excluded, but there are plenty of absolute bangers from yesteryear, and from an early stage in the proceedings, you can see members of the Broadway audience in the front row standing up and rocking out: people who have perhaps grown old with the great man himself and allowed their own hair to become as snowy as his. (Byrne looks more like Jim Jarmusch with each passing year.)

Byrne affects a conventional grey suit on stage, and his backing band of singers and dancers wear the same thing, perhaps to create a cloning effect. Inevitably, it will remind Byrne fans of the “big suit” he wore for the Stop Making Sense concert movie directed by Jonathan Demme in 1984 and there are similarities, although this show, like the suit, is consciously a more scaled-down, intimate affair.

There is one overt eccentricity or informality: no shoes. (I found myself thinking of the lyric from Houses in Motion: “Wearing shoes without socks / In cold weather …” although it’s an inexact comparison.) Byrne and his band look as if the stage has somehow been accidentally flooded and they are making the best of it. But it’s amazing how quickly you accustom yourself to his quirks.

The choreography by Annie-B Parson is absolutely right for Byrne’s angular, noodling, wacky dance style, and his supporting cast rather cleverly project the air of people who are basically musicians called upon to perform a well-drilled dance routine, without any special pizzazz, but everything is brought off with perfect synchronicity and charm.

And the hits keep coming: Don’t Worry About the Government (a song about an old person that now has an added piquancy), This Must Be the Place, Once in a Lifetime, Glass, Concrete and Stone, I Zimbra, Born Under Punches and many more. In addition, Byrne is concerned that his music and this show is not just a matter of white people’s art-rock. There is a tribute to the NFL star and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick, and Byrne also does a tremendous cover verson of Janelle Monáe’s Hell You Talmabout, in which the singer demands the audience say the names of the black people who have been killed after a confrontation with the authorities.

Byrne maintains his even-tempered enigma: with his little headset-mic, he does short Ted-talk-type monologues between the tracks, and these are diverting enough but of course the music itself is what we’ve come for. Afterwards, Lee’s camera follows Byrne off the stage out into the wings and to the dressing room where he hugs and high-fives his colleagues – no star liggers backstage, though, sadly. And then we see him get on his bike and cycle home, exactly as Alan Bennett used to do after a hard night’s performing at the National Theatre in London. There is no moment where Byrne dramatically opens up, either on stage or off, but perhaps that’s not the point. It’s a treat for Byrne fans, and could well make converts.

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The Wedding Planner Cast 20 Years Ago Vs. Now

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It’s officially been 20 years today since rom-com classic The Wedding Planner came out.

So in honor of the film’s anniversary, I have compiled a list of all the actors then and now!

1.

Jennifer Lopez as Mary


Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection, Emma McIntyre /AMA2020 / Getty Images for dcp

At age 51, J.Lo is still killing the game. In 2019, she generated Oscar buzz after an amazing performance in Hustlers, and in 2020, she performed with Shakira at the Super Bowl. Most recently, you probably saw her perform a flawless “This Land is Your Land/Let’s Get Loud” mashup at the Inauguration.

2.

Matthew McConaughey as Steve


Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection, Noam Galai / Getty Images for HISTORY

Since The Wedding Planner, McConaughey has appeared in numerous films, including Dallas Buyers Club, for which he won an Oscar. Currently, he’s working on reprising his role as Buster Moon in the Sing sequel.

3.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras as Fran


Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection, Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Following a busy career in the ’90s, Wilson-Sampras stopped appearing in films altogether in 2008. However, it looks like she returned to performing to voice Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat 11!

4.

Judy Greer as Penny


Columbia Pictures, Araya Diaz / Getty Images

Greer, queen of the rom-com, has about a million projects in the works, including two more installments in the Halloween franchise. She’s also voiced characters on Family Guy and Archer for over a decade, and she recently acted in Jim Carrey’s series Kidding and the film Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

5.

Justin Chambers as Massimo


Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection, Leon Bennett / Getty Images

You probably know Chambers best from Grey’s Anatomy, on which he portrayed Alex Karev for 15 years — though last year, he decided to leave the show.

6.

Alex Rocco as Salvatore


Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection, Djamilla Rosa Cochran / WireImage

After a long, illustrious career in which Rocco appeared in The Godfather and shows such as Mad About You, The Simpsons, and Episodes, he passed away in 2015 at the age of 79.

7.

Joanna Gleason as Mrs. Donolly


Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection, Walter McBride / Getty Images

Gleason is a Tony Award winning actress and singer who most recently appeared in Sofa Shakespeare and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

8.

Charles Kimbrough as Mr. Donolly


Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection, Desiree Navarro / WireImage

Perhaps best known for playing Jim Dial on Murphy Brown, Kimbrough reprised his role in the 2018 revival. He also voiced one of the gargoyles (Victor) in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

9.

Kathy Najimy as Geri


Columbia / courtesy Everett Collection, John Lamparski / Getty Images

Possibly most loved for playing Mary Sanderson in Hocus Pocus, Najimy is set to appear in the sequel. She’s also appeared in a ton of TV series and films in the last few years, including Veep and Dumplin’.

10.

Frances Bay as Dottie


Columbia Pictures / ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Ever, Mitch Haddad/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Before Bay died in 2011, she appeared in so many classics, including The Karate Kid, Happy Gilmore, and Inspector Gadget. Prior to her death, she was playing Ginny Freehold on The Middle.

11.

Kevin Pollak as Dr. John Dojny


Steve Granitz / WireImage via Getty Images

Pollak has had recent recurring roles on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Mom, and Billions. Back in the day, he appeared in famous films such as The Whole Nine Yards, The Usual Suspects, and A Few Good Men.

12.

Fred Willard as Basil St. Mosely


Columbia Pictures, Richard Cartwright / ABC via Getty Images

Willard was a comedy staple for decades, appearing in films such as This Is Spinal Tap, Anchorman, and Best In Show. Before his death last May, he had a recurring role on Modern Family (above) and Space Force.

13.

And finally, Lou Myers as Burt


Luke Hartley/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Myers passed away in 2013 at the age of 76. His last role (pictured above) was in Dreams, following a role in It’s Kind of A Funny Story, but you might remember him as Vernon Gaines from A Different World.

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Which Killing Eve Character Are You Vacation Quiz

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Villanelle’s outfits >>>>> everything else

Pick your first country to visit

Pick your next country

Pick your next country

Pick your next country

Pick your next country

Pick your last country to visit

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Age Gaps Of Teen Actors And Their Love Interest Actor

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We recently asked the members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what age gap between a teen actor and the actor who played their love interest surprised them. Here are some of their eye-opening responses:

1.

Hilary Duff was 15 when she filmed A Cinderella Story with Chad Michael Murray, who was 22.

2.

In High School Musical, Corbin Bleu (Chad) was 16 during the filming of the first movie, but Monique Coleman (Taylor) was 25.

3.

Shay Mitchell was 22 and Sasha Pieterse was 14 when they started filming Pretty Little Liars.

4.

Sasha Pieterse was also 14 when her character had a fling with 26-year-old Ryan Merriman on Pretty Little Liars.

5.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Devi) was 17 while filming Never Have I Ever, and Darren Barnet (Paxton) was 28.

6.

In Shameless, Cameron Monaghan was 17 when he was cast as Ian, and Noel Fisher was 26 when he was cast as Mickey.

7.

Also in Shameless, even though there was supposed to be an age gap between the characters, Cameron Monaghan was only 17 when his onscreen love interest, Pej Vahdat, was nearly 30.

8.

Chloë Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley are six years apart and played love interests in If I Stay. She was 16 and he was 22.

9.

Keira Knightley was 18 when Love Actually was filmed and she had two much older men in love with her.

10.

Keira Knightley was 17 and Orlando Bloom was 25 when filming Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.


Buena Vista Pictures

“That one surprised me because I thought they were the same age until recently!”

rachelc43

11.

Jared Leto and Claire Danes were on My So-Called Life. He is eight years older and would have been around 22 when the show was on, while she was around 15.

12.

Emmy Rossum was only 17 in Phantom of the Opera, while Gerard Butler was 33 and Patrick Wilson was 30.


Warner Bros. Pictures

“I love that movie, but when I learned that, I was grossed out.”

Th3FatPanth3r

13.

Madison Reyes from Julie and the Phantoms is only 16, while Charles Gillespie is 22.

14.

In Starstruck, Danielle Campbell was around 15 years old and Sterling Knight was around 20 years old.

15.

Melissa Gilbert was 15 and Dean Butler was 23 in Little House on the Prairie when the show first introduced his character Almanzo.


NBC

“I know the real Laura and Almanzo had a big age gap, but if there was ever a time to take liberties with the facts, that was it!”

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16.

And in Everything Sucks, Sydney Sweeney was nearly 20 and she made out with Peyton Kennedy, who was 13.

What’s an age gap that surprised you between a teen actor and the actor playing their love interest? Let us know in the comments!

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