January 2021

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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One Night in Miami

One Night in Miami hits Amazon January 15th (Photo Patti Perret)

One Night in Miami

  • By Nancy Bishop
  • Photo By Patti Perret/Amazon

On the evening of February 25, 1964, a 22-year-old Olympic boxing Gold Medalist from Louisville, Kentucky, and 7-1 underdog, entered the ring at the Convention Center in Miami to take on Sonny Liston, the heavyweight champion of the world. The challenger and victor of that match was Cassius Marcellus Clay who, the next day, announced to the world that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and would henceforth be known as Muhammad Ali. What happened after that historic fight and before Ali’s controversial pronouncement is the subject of “One Night in Miami,” acclaimed thespian and first-time director Regina King’s powerful film adaptation of Kemp Powers’s 2013 stage play of the same name. Make no mistake. Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X, each a titan in his own right, did indeed meet that night in Malcolm’s room at the Hampton House Motel for Colored People. What might have transpired among this quartet of Black super stars is fleshed out in the broader context of what was happening in each of these extraordinary men’s lives at the time. Every element of “ONIM”— the pitch-perfect acting (Kingsley Ben-Adir/Malcolm X; Eli Goree/Ali; Aldis Hodge/Jim Brown; Leslie Odom Jr./Sam Cooke), Powers’s screenplay, Terence Blanchard’s music, King’s hand at the helm — scores a knockout. Amazon Prime January 15 (Regina’s & MLK’s birthday!) Don’t miss it!

Streaming on Amazon Prime January 15th.

The Prom

The Prom is streaming on Netflix (Starring James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, and Meryl Streep)

The Prom

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of Netflix

The Prom, an original American musical comedy (not based on other source material such as a book or a movie) opened on Broadway on November 15, 2018 and ran for 309 performances. Directed and choreographed by the Tony Award-winning Casey Nicholaw, the show has music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and book by Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). In April of 2019, The Prom was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. That same month, prolific producer/director Ryan Murphy announced his plan to adapt the musical to the screen as part of his wide-ranging deal with Netflix. The Prom revolves around the relationship between an Indiana teenager who wants to bring her girlfriend to her school’s prom. Instead, they’re banned from attending, only to see a group of Broadway eccentrics band together to help fight the injustice. “I wish this show was around when I was a kid,” said Murphy, who, like the central character, grew up in Indiana and was banned from bringing his own squeeze to the senior prom. “I protested by wearing six-inch yellow platform boots.”

The cast of the film adaptation includes Meryl Streep, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Kerry Washington, Ariana Debose, Kevin Chamberlin, and making her screen debut, Jo Ellen Pellman. The Prom began streaming on Netflix in December and was the second-most watched film over its first weekend. I highly recommend it!

Watch “The Prom” on Netflix.


Mank is streaming on Netflix (Starring Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman)


  • By Elaine Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Herman Mankiewicz was a drunk and a philanderer. Apparently, this was acceptable behavior for a genuine genius, which he was. Mankiewicz started out as a reporter, film critic, and playwright, but his real claim to fame happened when in 1941 when he co-wrote Citizen Kane with Orson Welles. The making of the film met with opposition from all sides including from the once powerful Louis B. Mayer. As it was known even then, Citizen Kane was a flimsily veiled biography of the famous newspaper publisher and overall tycoon William Randolph Hearst and his mistress Marion Davies. Hearst did everything with his considerable influence to stop the release of the film, but alas he failed — Mankowitz persisted and the film was released. In 1942 Mankowitz won the Oscar for Best Screenplay.  He continued to write, but in 1951 died from conditions caused by his alcoholism.

Directed by Jack Fincher, Mank was shot in glorious black and white. Mankiewicz is played brilliantly by Gary Oldman. Amanda Siegfried and Lily Collins both shine in the supporting cast. The vintage cars and clothes appear to be authentic to the period and are frankly beautiful. Several scenes appear to take place in the massive dining room at San Simeon. In the background there are shots of some of the large zoo animals reportedly kept at the estate. This carefully crafted film brings you back to 1940s Hollywood in grand style.

Watch “Mank” on Netflix.


Pinocchio is now available for download


  • By James Malcolm
  • Photo Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Guillermo del Toro and Netflix present a dark, twisted retelling of Pinocchio based on the famous 1883 fairy tale by Carlo Collodi. It is produced by The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine and co-produced with Necropia Entertainment. Pinocchio is Geppetto’s wooden puppet creation that magically comes to life and dreams of becoming a real boy in 1930s fascist Italy. When Pinocchio comes to life he turns out not to be a nice boy, causing mischief and playing mean tricks. Pinocchio is easily led astray and tumbles from one misadventure to another as he is tricked, kidnapped, and chased by bandits. This is a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations. The film score and original songs are by Alexandre Desplat. This stop-motion animated dark fantasy musical film comes to life by physically manipulating objects in small increments between individually photographed shots. The objects appear to exhibit independent motion when the series of frames is played back. The film stars the voices of Gregory Mann (Pinocchio), Ewan McGregor (Talking Cricket), David Bradley (Geppetto), Tilda Swinton (The Fairy), Christoph Waltz (the Fox and the Cat) and Finn Wolfhard (Lampwick). Additional voice talent includes Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, and Burn Gorman. Pinocchio reminds us that anything is possible, “When you wish upon a star!”

For more details, click here.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher


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