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Articles by Theda Kleinhans Reichman

This year marks the centennial of playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005). He, like his main characters in "The Price," Victor and Walter Franz, was born into an affluent Manhattan family. Circumstances changed for Miller and his fictional brothers when the stock market crashed in 1929. The effects of the Great Depression influenced Miller's life and were a major influence on his greatest works as well.
 

For Geffen Playhouse artistic director, Randall Arney, this marks the third time he has directed a Conor McPherson play.  The first was “The Weir” in 2000, then “The Seafarer” in 2008 and now “The Night Alive.” 

This Sunday, Feb. 22, is a big day for film fans. It's Oscar Sunday. Eight films are in contention for the golden statuette and this category leaves me guessing. However I feel more secure in predicting who I thinks will win in the top acting categories. I base my predictions not only on my hunches, but on the actors who have already won top awards from critics, unions and guilds.

“Paddington,” from the producer of “Harry Potter,” is a movie for the little kid in all of us.  Based on the children’s books by Michael Bond, the film tells the story of a little Peruvian bear who comes to London in search of a new home.  He is told by his Uncle and Aunt that the people in London are very friendly and will welcome him upon his arrival.

 

There is nothing like a dame according to a "South Pacific" song lyric. And there is nothing quite like Dame Edna Everage, the brainchild of Barry Humphries who first brought his alter ego Dame Edna to life on the British stage at the Fortune Theater in 1969. While Humphries studied law, philosophy and fine art, he found his true calling in the theatre.

“Boyhood” was created over a 12-year time span at a cost of a mere $4 million. And look what’s happened since “Boyhood” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival—it’s earned 6 Oscar nominations for best picture, best director, best actors in a supporting role (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) and best screenplay. It has also garnered countless prizes from critics and the coveted Golden Globe for best drama. Will it win the Oscar? We’ll find out on Feb. 22.

The Golden Globes are often a precursor to what films will be nominated in the Best Picture category, and this year's selections were particularly prophetic. The big Golden Globe winners were "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (best comedy) and "Boyhood" (best drama). Both of these films then made the Director's Guild top five list and the Oscar eight best films list. Another interesting observation, three of the top contenders have the letter B featured prominently in their title—"Birdman," "Boyhood" and The Grand Budapest Hotel."

It is said that the month of January is named after the two-faced Roman god Janus, with one face looking back at the old year while the other face gazes into the future.  In that spirit, for this column, I will take a look back and forward at the wonderful world of entertainment here in Southern California as we begin 2015.

The Hollywood musical, once a staple on the silver screen, has been absent for quite awhile, replaced by Marvel-ous movie scenarios and comic book heroes and villains. But on Christmas day things changed with the release of the sumptuous Disney musical “Into the Woods,” based on the enduring and endearing Broadway hit by composer Stephen Sondhein and librettist James Lapine.