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Showing posts from February, 2017

Drew Droege Delights in “Die, Mommie, Die!”

Comic actor (and personal acquaintance) Drew Droege may be known across the interwebs for his consistent (and hilarious) work as a consummate Chloe Sevigny impersonator (for proof, just watch), but he’s also spreading his wings to conquer the big screen (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) cable television (Logo’s Cocktails & Classics), and the New York theater scene (the critically-acclaimed Bright Colors and Bold Patterns). And now, he’s bringing his fabulous stage presence back to Los Angeles in writer Charles Busch‘s camptastic Hollywood satire Die, Mommie, Die! (Remember the 2003 cult film adaptation? Now you can revisit it — live — at L.A.’s Celebration Theatre at the Lex now through March 26.)

Wonderfully directed by Ryan Bergmann, Mommie is set in 1967 and stars Droege as aging Hollywood starlet Angela Arden, trapped in a hateful marriage to sleazy film producer Sol (a perfectly gruff Pat Towne). And it’s only aggravated by the presence of their nosy maid Bootsie (Gina T…

Oscars 2017: The Thing About 'La La Land' and the Increasing Irrelevance of Award Shows

I admit: when I caught La La Land three months ago with a handful of people while it was playing in two theaters in L.A. (four in the entire country when you count New York City), I was blown away by its ambitious opening number that takes place on a traffic-clogged freeway ramp overlooking the epic expanse of the City of Angels. I was in genuine awe. I smiled for four straight minutes.

Shortly after walking out of the theater and processing what I had just witnessed, I immediately had a thought: the love and adoration for this film is going to catch on quick...just as fast as its inevitable backlash. And the more I learned about the complaints and criticisms surrounding Damien Chazelle's romantic ode to Hollywood musicals (Starswho can't sing!Whiteguysavesjazz!), the more I understood where they were coming from. Some of the luster wore off, especially when compared to the devastatingly gorgeous Moonlight, a film that ultimately received the well-deserved Oscar for Best Pict…

#TBT: The Soundtrack to My Awkward Years

Most people have gone through those "awkward years," that pre-adolescent time when you're figuring things out for the first time, when you're just starting to identify your likes, your dislikes, and your passions. (If you happen to be one of those lucky individuals who breezed past this phase, then screw you. Just kidding. Maybe.)

Many of us have the photos and numerous #TBT postings to prove it. As for me, I also have the soundtrack to prove just how awesome I was from the ages of 11 to 15 -- please note how the italics imply sarcasm.

Those who know me well know that, if I didn't have my nose stuck in the pages of a paperback novel written by Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, or R.L. Stine in the early 90s, I was rocking out to the Adult Contemporary hits of the era. While kids my age were blaring Nirvana, Dr. Dre, or Naughty by Nature, yours truly was appreciating the orchestral strings in Annie Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass," the soothing harmonies in…

Pop Culture Read of the Week: Being Woke in 2017

A few brief thoughts on these past two weeks...

Simply put: Enough is enough.

We are not putting up with this shit. We see right through you. We know what's going on. We will not be distracted by bait. Our eyes are open. Our ears are listening.

We are woke.

First of all, ELIZABETH WARREN will not be silenced. And Jeff Sessions will be unmasked for the corrupt bigot he is:


We know THE BACHELOR's tears are fake as shit. Dude, don't cry because you have to send three women home. You still got a bevy of babes to take advantage of with your flaming douchebaggery.

Donnie, watching your CABINET assemble is like watching an origin story -- not of a band of superheroes but of team of supervillains. This group is overflowing with greed, ignorance, and deafening hypocrisy. All I see is a bunch of overprivileged white folks sitting on top of piles of cash, smoking cigars, and laughing maniacally into the air...Air that's been made more toxic thanks to their climate change denials …

Dear Evan Hansen's "You Will Be Found" is the Anthem We Need Right Now

Dear Evan Hansen, which officially opened in New York City just two months ago, is becoming the kind of Broadway musical that not only speaks to a generation -- it's a salve for all theater nerds -- it's poised to become the next phenomenon that resonates across all walks of life.

It tells the tale of a socially awkward teen (brilliantly played by Pitch Perfect's Ben Platt, who is, well...pitch perfect) who finds himself caught in a web of lies shortly after a fellow classmate commits suicide, sending ripples throughout their school and the homes of two families.

I had the absolute pleasure of attending a matinee back in December, and the fantastic, piano-pop-rock soundtrack immediately and firmly planted itself in my head, particularly "You Will Be Found," the centerpiece showstopper that will undoubtedly become the theme for anyone who's ever felt like an outsider. All thanks to Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's music and lyrics.

While the message is somewha…

Prepare for March 15: #TheIdesOfTrump

On March 15th, each one of us will mail Donald Trump a postcard that publicly expresses our opposition to him.

And we, in vast numbers, from all corners of the world, will overwhelm the man with his unpopularity and failure. We will show the media and the politicians what standing with him (and against us) means. And most importantly, we will bury the White House post office in pink slips, all informing Donnie that he’s fired.

Each of us — every protester from every march, each Congress-calling citizen, every boycotter, volunteer, donor, and petition signer — if each of us writes even a single postcard and we put them all in the mail on the same day, March 15th, well...you do the math. No alternative fact or Russian translation will explain away our record-breaking, officially-verifiable, warehouse-filling flood of fury.

Hank Aaron currently holds the record for fan mail, having received 900,000 pieces in a year. We’re setting a new record: over a million pieces in a day, with not a …

Is Donald Trump The Long-Lost Son of Mama Fratelli from 'The Goonies'?

That resting bitchface...

The perpetual air of grumpiness...

Um, can we get a DNA test up in here?

@TheFirstEcho

Songs of the Month: February 2017

London Grammar's "Big Picture" is the kind of near-ethereal tune you'll probably hear in a movie trailer for some sweeping, modestly budgeted drama about life's many mysteries and nuances. It belongs on a soundtrack for those moments of reflection, when you're going through an existential crisis and questioning your purpose on this planet.

It's hypnotic and beautiful, although I would have preferred a more climactic payoff. But still, enjoy:


Then there's Martin Garrix's "Scared to be Lonely," featuring the fantastic Dua Lipa and posing the question "Do we need somebody just to feel all right?" It's one of those EDM-light semi-ballads that are all the rage now (thanks Chainsmokers). And it works:


@TheFirstEcho

#TBT: Because You Need The Escape, Here Are 30 Movies Turning 30 This Year

Buckle up for some nostalgia overload...

Masters of the Universe - I was a He-Man fan. Therefore I saw this in the theater when I was little. And now I thank my parents for sacrificing their time to sit through this piece of schlock.


Baby Boom - Diane Keaton + a Nancy Meyers production = A Boomer anthem of a movie.


Adventures in Babysitting - One of my favorite 80s flicks. And no, "Thor's not a homo."


A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors - Possibly the best sequel of the franchise. Starring future Oscar winner Patricia Arquette!


Moonstruck - The movie my parents dragged me to see because they couldn't find a babysitter. My #1 memory from this film: cracking up over Olympia Dukakis shouting, "You're life is going down the toilet!" Because #pottyhumor.


The Lost Boys - This movie made me fall in love with vampire flicks. From here on out I consumed a number of movies featuring Reagan-era bloodsuckers: Once Bitten, My Best Friend is a Vampire, Fright Nigh…