High school stages "Alien: The Play"

The drama club at New Jersey's North Bergen High School brought the classic sci-fi/horror story Alien to the stage for Alien: The Play. From Quartz:

A student playing a xenomorph expertly creeped about on stage and in the audience in the style of the titular alien. The student wore a costume made from donated foam, a plastic skeleton from the clearance aisle, and other materials, Entertainment Weekly reported. Other characters were photographed wearing spacesuits. And the sets were reportedly crafted from donated and recycled items, including old egg-carton boxes to create a computer lab.

A Reddit thread started by North Bergen High School student Justin Pierson, 17, who was part of the sound crew, said the play flows almost exactly like the film. But these students put together their production on a relatively shoestring budget.

"A US High School’s Crafty Production of “Alien” Is Going Viral" (Thanks, Mark Dery!)

(images here) Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda and his Hamilton colleagues just bought a bookstore

Composer and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and three of his collaborators on the massively successful musical have saved a famed 100-year-old specialty theater bookstore in New York City from going out of business. Facing unaffordable rent in Times Square, the Drama Book Shop was on death's door even as it sought a new location. According to the New York Times, the city has committed to help identify a new location in Midtown Manhattan. From the New York Times:

The new owners of the store are Mr. Miranda; Thomas Kail, the director of “Hamilton”; Jeffrey Seller, the lead producer; and James L. Nederlander, the president of the Nederlander Organization, which operates the theater in which the show’s Broadway production is running. They purchased the store from Rozanne Seelen, whose husband, Arthur Seelen, had bought it in 1958. (He died in 2000.) Ms. Seelen said she sold it for the cost of the remaining inventory, some rent support in the store’s final weeks, and a pledge to retain her as a consultant.

“It’s the chronic problem — the rents were just too high, and I’m 84 years old — I just didn’t have the drive to find a new space and make another move,” she said. “Lin-Manuel and Tommy are my white knights...”

“When I was in high school I would go to the old location and sit on the floor and read plays — I didn’t have the money to buy them,” Mr. Miranda said...

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Great movies to watch: 'The Naked Kiss' (1964, Samuel Fuller)

In the course of my work as a documentary filmmaker, I sometimes find hidden gems. Samuel Fuller’s “The Naked Kiss” is one of them. Read the rest

What English-language courtroom dramas sounds like to Swedes

It's not quite "Gibberish rock song written by Italian composer to sound like English", as it is in English. Sort of. It's the Englishiness of it all that makes it so good. Who put the ram in the ramalangadingdong? Warning: blackface.

Here's part 2:

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After autotune accusation, singer Adele tells producer Tony Visconti to "suck my dick"

Producer Tony Visconi insinuated that British singer Adele, whose voice has sold more than 100m records, used digital trickery to hit the hard notes. Read the rest

A fan's animated homage to HBO's 'The Wire'

“I designed and animated this piece as an homage to my favorite show of all time, HBO’s The Wire,” says animator Elliot Lim.

What an absolutely stunning piece this is. One of my new year's resolutions is to watch the entire series, start to finish, in one big binge.

[Laughing Squid, animation stills via elliot-lim.com]

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Thrust/parry/counter: the history of Web authentication

A beautiful piece of writing by Schabse presents the history of Web authentication as a series of conversational gambits and ripostes between someone who wants to let users prove their identity online, and someone who wants to impersonate those users. It's a great way to present a subject that's both esoteric and vital, and I've never seen it before. Read the rest

True Detective barrels into the darkness of new cross-genre territory. TV recap: 'The Secret Fate of All Life,' S1 Ep. 5

Kevin McFarland reviews episode 5 in season 1 of HBO's crime drama "True Detective," starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. If you're new to the show, start with our introduction here. This post contains spoilers.

A masterful long take brings True Detective to its midpoint [Recap: “Who Goes There,” S1 Ep4]

Kevin McFarland reviews the fourth episode of HBO's crime drama "True Detective," starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Contains spoilers. If you're new to the show, start with our introduction here.

Here’s what you’ve been missing on HBO’s True Detective

What separates HBO's crime drama True Detective from other series that obsessively catalogue dead female bodies or attempt to find the human side of serial killers is the show's ambition in style and scope.

Intensely dramatic commercial for city council show on public access cable

The Whitehorse City Council meeting will be the most dramatic, tension-filled television you'll experience all week. It airs every Monday evening on Whitehorse Community Cable in Yukon, Canada. (Thanks, FP!) Read the rest

Horror/sf play by a four-year-old

Rachel Bublitz's four year old Audrey wrote her first play:

Characters: Scare People, F, very tall, wears a mask, growls, 18 years old. She goes to scare people school. She is an octopus monster with wings.

Audrey, F, 11 years old. Wears monkey pajamas.

Synopsis: Audrey tries to get Scare People out of her house.

AUDREY SCARE PEOPLE PLAY

(Thanks, Ashley!) Read the rest

TV anchors quit on-air

Two local ABC news anchors, Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio, "shocked viewers and colleagues" by quitting on-air Tuesday. No reasons were given for their sudden departure beyond Consiglio saying "some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take."

Their boss, however, was less mysterious: "Sometimes people leave before they're officially told to leave." Read the rest

Comics Rack: The Hypo, Snake Oil #7, Drama and Turtie Needs Work

Happy Read Comics in Public month! In honor of the world's fourth favorite made-up geek holiday (August 28th -- happy early birthday, Jack Kirby!) here are some picks to help you get started on your outdoor sequential art consuming skills. This time out, we've got something for the history buffs, something for the kids, something for the metal heads and, of course, something for the unemployed turtles.

The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln By Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics Books

That’s short for “hypomania,” Lincoln’s self-prescribed melancholy, a lifelong battle with depression that hit like a ton of bricks in the young lawyer’s mid-20s. For those who have had some trouble accessing one of the most mythologized figures in American history (a category I'd imagine applies to most of us), Noah Van Sciver offers a pretty good place to start -- a young Lincoln moving to a new city, confused and awkward in love and life, given to bouts of darkness and moody poetry. It’s a short small snapshot of the future president’s life -- and it’s in this limited scope that the book finds its success, not beholden to the birth to death summations that often entrap graphic biographers. Instead, The Hypo's relatively limited scope afford the cartoonist the ability to approach the historical giant as a human, offering an empathetic examination of a troubled individual destined for greatness. Read the rest

Dramatica drama down under

Encyclopedia Dramatica, a bizarro-world Wikipedia that aims to amuse and offend, has few peers in the internet outrage game. With almost nothing off-limits, the content runs from parody to ax-grinding, and anyone can join in. No surprise, then, that it's at the top of authoritarian governments' censorship hit lists: accused of being a laundering shop for libel, racism, homophobia and other shitcockery, its moderator explains the idea. Says owner Joseph Evers: "Here's to the hidden costs of freedom." [Ninemsn. Thanks, Weev] Read the rest