Arts, Entertainment, Living

'Hannibal' begins its third course on NBC

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 09:03 AM Written by

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Despite some misgivings about its indulgences in operatic -- and sometimes nonsensical -- violence, I've stuck with NBC's "Hannibal" (10 p.m. Thursday, WPXI) because of the characters and stylish storytelling.

No show on TV looks like "Hannibal," which is good when it induldges in Grand Guignol flourishes but not so good when the show is wantonly obtuse as it is in its early season three episodes.

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The next morning, I was sitting around relishing being in my tent long after the jays had started hollering in the oak tree above me, and my neighbors had packed up and left. My tent is a little fort every bit as awesome as the forts I made when I…

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My review of the new Willie Nelson-Merle Haggard collaboration, released today.

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A stitch in time... won't save 'Stitchers'

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 10:55 AM Written by

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ABC Family's successful shows are all serials, soap operas that range from trashy ("Pretty Little Liars") to earnest ("Switched at Birth") to ground-breaking ("The Fosters").

With "Stitchers" (9 p.m. Tuesday), ABC Family tries on a procedural, and it's an odd choice.

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You’re hot, you’re tired but most of all, you’re hungry. That’s what a long training ride will do to the body. But alas, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. The answer, now that the weather’s cooperating, is something easy on the grill.  This chicken sandwich works post-ride…

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  I had wanted to take a leisurely hike the first day, but as I hiked alone that afternoon, I decided to push to make it to mile 15 to where the trail crossed Hauser Creek, a spot in an oak grove flat enough for several tents. It's a place…

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The Drama Desk Awards ceremony Sunday was a great evening's entertainment on Sunday night (I DVRed "Game of Thrones," of course), with the off-Broadway musical "Hamilton" and the Broadway play "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" walking away as the big winners.

Watching the live stream, courtesy of (you can replay it here), 

Bob Crowley was a winner for the gorgeous and innovative set design of "An American in Paris" and Christopher Wheeldon won for choreography after "Hamilton's" Andy Blankenbuehler received a special award for his work. Robert Fairchild also broke "Hamilton's" streak by taking best actor in a musical.

Fairchild, a ballet dancer making a stunning Broadway debut, an artist and war veteran caught up in the romance of post-WWII Paris, a role originated in the movie version by Hollywood legend and Pittsburgh native Gene Kelly. For his acceptance Sunday, Fairchild began, "Gene Kelly, you are an incredible inspiration and the reason I am a dancer."



When winning "Hamilton" director Thomas Kail came to the podium, he thanked his grandfathers -- including his maternal grandfather in Pittsburgh, who sold scrap metal -- for helping him get there.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," with six Drama Desk Awards including best play, led a British invasion that included Dame Helen Mirren's best actress win for "The Audience." Other lead acting awards went to Alex Sharp for "Curious Incident" and Kristin Chenoweth for "On the Twentieth Century." Top revivals were "The King and I" and "The Elephant Man." Christian Borle won for his supporting role in the musical "Something's Rotten!"

Another winner is one to watch for: Benjamin Scheuer's "The Lion" won best solo performance; it's already on City Theatre's schedule for the 2015-16 season.

For predictors of the Tony Awards, it wasn't a big help in the musical categories. "Hamilton" is not eligible for the Tonys this year; the show begins in previews at the Richard Rodgers Theater on July 13. And "Fun Home," tied with "An American in Paris" with 12 Tony nominations, was a big winner against other competition when it was still off-Broadway last season. 


Watch for the PG's predictions, courtesy of Chris Rawson and yours truly, in Wednesday's Magazine section.

Photos by Getty Images
Top: Robert Fairchild with his "An American in Paris" co-star, Leanne Cope.

Below: "Hamilton" director Thomas Kail (far right), with composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire.


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Unreal premiere

PASADENA, Calif. -- Tonight at 10 Lifetime debuts "Unreal," a scripted drama set behind the scenes of a "Bachelor"-like dating show. (My "Unreal" review published Sunday.)

At the TV critics press tour in January, producers Marti Noxon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (she once worked on "The Bachelor") said "Unreal" isn't supposed to be just a satire, although that is one of the show's tones. They're more interested in exploring the drama.

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