Ben Brantley says the new revival of Willliam Inge's Picnic on Broadway is a disconnected "billboard for prettiness" with a male torso as its star:
Of course the torso belongs to a person, the actor Sebastian Stan. But it has been given the kind of lavish individual attention that would seem to warrant above-the-title billing.
As impeccably chiseled and hairless as a marble statue by Praxiteles, this leading body part is not merely decorative. It’s the catalyst that sets the plot a-boiling in Sam Gold’s stultifying interpretation of Inge’s time-yellowed 1953 drama of a lusty, dusty Labor Day in a small Kansas town. (The show runs through Feb. 24 at the American Airlines Theater.)
Presented au naturel or in a tight shirt ripped at the chest by an admirer (leaving a strategic view of a nipple), it’s a sight that arouses dangerous longings in lonely bosoms. From the moment it makes its first entrance, this is a torso named Trouble.
Watch a preview, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via kenneth in the 212)
There's another clip on the NYT website.
Yesterday I posted about Richmond General District Court Judge Tracy Thorne-Begland, who was appointed to the bench by Circuit Court judges last June on an interim basis after he was rejected by Virginia's Republican-controlled House. Thorne-Begland was set to appear before a joint House and Senate panel for an interview to make his appointment permanent.
The panel voted unanimously to send his nomination to the full floor for a vote, the Washington Post reports:
Republicans have largely dropped their opposition.
At a joint meeting of House and Senate judicial panels Monday, several House members who had opposed him last year said they would vote for him now.
“I look forward to voting for you,” said Del. Richard L. Morris (R-Isle of Wight), a Navy veteran and military lawyer who abstained in May.
Most opponents said last year that they objected to Thorne-Begland not because of his sexual orientation but because of his outspokenness on the subject of gay rights.
UPDATE: The Virginia House of Delegates has voted 66-28 to confirm Thorne-Begland, with one abstention.
Schumer, Boxer Get Behind Hagel Nomination, Cite His 'Sensitivity and Understanding' of Gay Military Issues
New York Senator Charles Schumer and California Senator Barbara Boxer are getting behind the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary.
Politico reports that Boxer has been swayed by a persuasive letter and "extensive" phone conversations:
“First and foremost, he has pledged without reservation to support President Obama’s polices — policies that I believe have made our world safer and our alliances stronger,” Boxer said in a Monday night statement.
“I asked him about a number of issues — including America’s special relationship with Israel, the threats posed by Iran to the world and the treatment of women and gay and lesbian members of our military — and his answers were reassuring and show a sensitivity and understanding of these issues.”
Boxer added Hagel would meet with her about the Pentagon’s efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, presuming he’s confirmed by the Senate.
The outreach shows how the White House has placed a premium in wooing key Democrats early in the confirmation process — even ones like Boxer, who does not serve on the Armed Services Committee.
And Schumer says he's now on board too, saying, in part:
On issues related to female and LGBT service members, Senator Hagel provided key assurances as well. He said he is committed to implementing the Shaheen amendment to improve the reproductive health of military women. He also supports the full repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
In general, I believe any President deserves latitude in selecting his own advisors. While the Senate confirmation process must be allowed to run its course, it is my hope that Senator Hagel’s thorough explanations will remove any lingering controversy regarding his nomination.
Read Schumer's full statement here.
Read Hagel's letter to Boxer, AFTER THE JUMP...077de45569b88bc64e_t3m6bq86a
Ellen DeGeneres paid a visit to Jimmy Kimmel last night and showed off her fantasy child Cheryl Ann, the child that she would have talked about had she any children.
Watch DeGeneres' visit, in four parts, AFTER THE JUMP...
I don't have enough acne to require Proactiv, but if I have to watch the commercials, Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker is certainly an easy-on-the-eyes spokesperson, AFTER THE JUMP...
Sportrait: Eric Decker [tlrd]
A Swedish woman stole a commuter train and rammed it into the side of a building in a Stockholm suburb, injuring only herself in the process, the AP reports:
The motives of the woman, who worked for a company contracted to carry out cleaning for the train operator, were not immediately clear.
"We have only heard good things about her. We're investigating how this could happen, and why she did what she did," Hedenius said.
He said it's unclear how she got the keys to the train, but added that driving it is not that complicated.
Video of the aftermath, AFTER THE JUMP...