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Archive for December 13th, 2021

by Sam Juliano

Paradise Atop the Hudson is now a publishing reality after the manuscript and art was surrendered to Amazon on Thursday morning.  It was a long journey, one that Valerie Clark shared with me almost daily, but there are so many to thank.  There were some formatting issues that have been resolved, but the first batch of books that went out exhibit a few blemishes and a title page snafu that some are saying didn’t look bad at all.  The week though has been most exciting!  As per Valerie’s polite urging, I should take a short respite and then work diligently to complete Irish Jesus in Fairview.

I have stated many times at Film Forums that “West Side Story” is my favorite musical film of all-time. Its soaring operatic score is for my taste, the greatest ever written for a musical show or film, and the 1961 film is a masterpiece that 60 years later holds its ground. Friday night I saw Steven Spielberg’s electrifying update, and despite my initial disdain at the temerity of the project, I can safely assert that Mr. S has done it again. It does not eclipse the 1961 film, but it is still a spectacular achievement and absolutely my #1 film of 2021. I won’t say much more as to do so would mean spoilers.

Electrifying “Caroline or Change” at Studio 54!

Lucille, Bill Kamberger and I attended the 8:00 P.M. musical “Caroline or Change” at Studio 54 last night. The acclaimed production, set in 1963, and focusing on an African-American maid working in a Jewish household, was directed by Michael Longhurst and written by Tony Kushner, and was staged superbly. The show, with a wide array of musical styles, featured a show-stopping performance by Sharon D. Clarke (as Caroline Thibodeux) and young newcomer Adam Makke as the 8 year-old Noah, who is smitten by Carolyn, and with whom some domestic decisions he makes in regards to her greatly impacts the plot.
The music was by female composer extraordinaire Jeanine Tesori, and overall I would have to label “Caroline or Change” as a masterpiece.

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