Newsday (Nassau Edition) from Hempstead, New York on October 31, 2003 · 96
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Newsday (Nassau Edition) from Hempstead, New York · 96

Hempstead, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, October 31, 2003
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B16 N e (B Q ENDING THAT AUDIENCES ADE TALKING ABOUT “iohm cusacx is MAGNETICS "A THHI11ER WHOSE IHITCOIIIIE is A WALLOPING SURPRISEF '&Xm ‘A MUST-SEE! 10HE OF1HE BEST IBIIIIS OF1HE VEUT 4iMMiiapbwvniHac 'VA FILM THAT GRABS HOLD H OF YOD AND NEVER lETS GOT r 'IOHM CUSACK SIinfESJ Cnn33S237dHG3i: 3233SI‘L s ’Hssa"" SSS&S"" KHSI oiwnaoM LOCWS te— agsr dmdqmi ESE5SS SSlMn OUNDVCWCH mSwi SKImSSf!! wrnirm IlSSSkACN ggarr SHJST" JMNMU SSSSSPoUW IWMMiW D C KSBRS"" SSgcga Homme or KS2S!J53a mud ian mmrnmn is m ss&m amumducm BUHnM HUMaHM crnmiMHi was MORS ‘ss&ssssjl m MMHHMflr Bssnnss iDISCOVERiTHE'COMEDWRITICS'ARE'CHEERinG'AS' cMARTnDiAinflirtfnARinAiviniPrFDFnTi 'ITS HILARIOUS! It's the kind of appetizing movie C- v you wont to shore with othersT " -OvblUtcMl THE NEW YOU TIMES vX' If fr- THE ThetriumphmCnewcomedH ftxmicftwctorlbmllcCM'tDy statiod AGEmT a — — BJ "giwMuuimfumraaniiaar EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENTS1 NOW PLOYING MBBSLi Newly Renovated Rooms in Both Locations featuring JacuzzIsWaterbeds & Mirra Day Rates $9765 From 8am-6pm £am -max With This Ad MtnTfPLlSRcsE' Bewitched Wicked’ WICKED from B2 rial Mere theatergoers might just think the set is dark cluttered and none too pretty Of course we understand that "Wicked” is not just about pretty At least Joe Mantello a gifted director who seems overpowered by his first musical lets us think we undent Winnie Holzman who wrote for TV’s girl-sensitive “My So-Called Life” has a keen sense of the complexities of friendship among teens who happen to grow up to be witches we all know This is lovely But the story is also meant to be a political morality play about a place of bigotry bom green oppression of Mi and most incoherently a plot to cage all animals and stifle their ability to speak Really we are all for content over flufibalL Who wouldn’t love a sorceress who to liberate animals gives up her privilege? Unfortunately the political messages are at war with the cupcake cuteness and worse the motivations for the evil Wizard’s plots are almost impossible to understand That sly pro Joel Grey as the Wizard does blossom toward the end in an all-out vaude-villian number -about moral ambiguity — "a man’s called a traitor 'or liberator a rich man’s a thief or philanthropist is one a crusader or ruthless invader?" Stephen Schwartz responsible for such high-sap hits as “Godspell” and “Pippin” has written an uneven but ambitious score There are Sond-heimesque numbers that have more than a passing suggestion of "Into the Woods” and these don't coexist well with the bushel of creamy generic scream-it-to-the-second-balcony pop ballads Perhaps if the theater were not such a stadium and the amplification weren't smearing the words we might have had a better chance to get the point Did someone say “confusifying”? Let’s get to the good news Chenoweth Broadway’s favorite twisted Kewpie doll is even more expertly dark mid adorable as Glinda who mangles the language until the jokes rub ary She begins as a spoiled princess and actually learns to be good She floats into her first entrance not on a bubble but on a hard metal contraption She is a twinkling contradiction of self-regard and subtext teaching the green witch how to flip her hair and chirping her songs like a demented operetta diva She does a mean baton twirl with her wand and her Evita bit for the masses is inspired But the news is Menzel who was reportedly obscured by Chenoweth’s sparkle in San Francisco No problem now The actress who created the role of Maureen the performance artist in "Rent” makes a radiant soulful idealist as Elphaba the bora-green child a political martyr whose fate is to be the Wicked Witch Elphaba’s formidable presence contrasts wittily with the tiny Glinda just as Menzel’s pungent rock-belter voice contrasts with Chenoweth’s dainty-belting soprano ' Elphaba is an outcast the caregiver to her favored but crippled sister (Michelle Federer) Her green skin also comes with magfeal gifts which makes her the unexpected star pupil at the sorcery school — and this was before Harry Potter Carol Shelley is blissfully nasty as the headmistress Norbert Leo Butz makes the switch from vacant pretty boy to revolutionary with charm and William Youmans is deeply touching as the professor goat who is tor- tured into giving up his voice The running-gag evolution of Glinda’s name is a bore but there is great fun in learning where the black hat came from why the monkeys fly why the Tin Woodsman has no heart etc and why the so-called Wicked Witch is so determined to get those ruby slippers We never see Dorothy but there is an umiwing glimpse of the yellow brick road — along with the sad sense of loss about roads not taken here The Truth Will Be Outed GLASS from B3 man who instinctively understood to temper the art of showmanship with the craft of false humility The main stage of“Shattered Glass" is the office ofThe New Republic a venerable political rag assembled largely by Gen-X staffers whose meager salaries are offset by the proud awareness that they are behind "the in-flight magazine of Air Force One” Not one to rest content with the status quo the feverishly ambitious Glass works overtime cramming for a law degree while leveraging his editor’s position to nab high-visibility freelance ops Effortlessly engaging Glass snows his colleagues with flattery and self-deprecation: He’ll sell an article proposal at a planning meeting with a showy tap dance then calculatedly devalue the idea to undercut any appearance of calculation In this manner he curries the loyalty of his co-editors (embodied in a composite character played by tough-cookie ChloS Sevigny) and a succession of editors in chief: first firebrand Michael Kelly (Hank Azaria) then the alow-burning Chuck Lane (a quietly commanding Peter Sarsgaard) who inherits Kelly’s post to much undisguised resentment from his co-workers Glass trades on boyish charm instantly defusing any potential conflict with a childlike “are you mad at me?" The ruse works until gonzo Internet journalist Adam Penenberg (Steve Zahn) begins to unravel a phony Glass store thread by thread The second half of "Shattered Glass” telescopes this investigation in a breath-bating series of conference calls between Penen-Glass and Lane Glass’ increas-desperate ploys to cover his are contrasted with the agonizing quandary of Lane who is caught between a rock of loyalty to his writer and a hard place of acknowledging his mendacity Ray’s screenplay deftly explicates the machinery of modem journalism and exposes its Achilles heels so adroitly indeed that its insistence upon the redemptive heroism of editors such as Lane feels like an unnecessary palliative The film also leaves us wondering if in the interest of suspense it hasn’t indulged the sort of narrative hocus-pocus of which Glass himself was guilty "Shattered Glass” makes journalism the headline story with such spellbinding elan you may find yourself inclined to allow it a breach of rJS hPdi t ethics or two Mr ' 1 £ -STWfl rt if- r m r-f - — r f 1W- i-r m v A n crnr ri'r 4 1

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