Sondheim’s final musical gets its cast and date
The late, great Stephen Sondheim’s final musical, “Here We Are,” has set an off-Broadway launch date: Sept. 28. Its director is Tony Award winner for both “Take Me Out” and “Assassins,” Joe Mantello, and the book by David Ives (“The Metromaniacs”) is based on legendary filmmaker Luis Buñuel’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “The Exterminating Angel,” two stories of middle-class people having a collection of increasingly surreal dining troubles. And to do justice to the Sondheim legacy, the cast of theater pros is a roster of Tony, Obie and Drama Desk award nominees and winners: Bobby Cannavale (“The Motherfucker with the Hat”), David Hyde Pierce (“Hello, Dolly!”), Denis O’Hare (“Take Me Out”), Jin Ha (“Hamilton”), Rachel Bay Jones (“Dear Evan Hansen”), Tracie Bennett (“End of the Rainbow”), Francois Battiste (“Epiphany”), Micaela Diamond (“Parade”), Amber Gray (“Hadestown”), Steven Pasquale (“Guys & Dolls”) and Jeremy Shamos (“Clybourne Park”). Get yourself to New York for this historical moment, and don’t go to the theater hungry.
In ‘Perpetrator,’ high school is a horror show
High school is often a terrifying experience, and writer-director Jennifer Reeder delivers real horror with her upcoming adolescent nightmare, “Perpetrator.” Kiah McKirnan (“Mare of Easttown”) stars as Jonny, a rebellious teenager sent to live with her aunt (Alicia Silverstone) while attending a rich-kid private school. Cue the monster-in-the-making vibes as a secret family spell begins to change Jonny in darkly funny, escalating and frightening ways. And then her classmates begin to go missing. Not to get too “Heathers” about it but it seems like someone’s teen angst involves a body count in this pitch black (and gory red) coming-of-age horror film. “Perpetrator” already made the rounds of horror and genre festivals, and now you’ll get to experience it at home in September when it drops on Shudder.
‘Rotting in The Sun’ goes all the way there.
The dark aesthetic of Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva has won him a devoted arthouse audience with films like “The Maid” and the Kristen Wiig-starring comedy “Nasty Baby.” Now he’s teamed with comic-writer-actor Jordan Firstman for his next film, “Rotting in The Sun,” and you probably haven’t seen anything quite like it in a while. Firstman is known for his work on “Search Party” and also for his viral videos that have been known to sharply divide audiences, and in this dark comedy about class, privilege and self-hating gay men, Firstman plays a version of himself — as does Silva — while trying to work his connections to the filmmaker to get a TV series off the ground. Co-starring Catalina Saavedra (“The Maid,” “Los Espookys”), the heavy-meta movie is already notorious on the film festival circuit for its unsimulated sex scenes and copious male frontal nudity. In fact, it’s already leaned into its reputation as “the one with all the dicks in it” and audiences ready for that level of naked comedy are encouraged to hit the arthouse in September when it opens on big screens, right before it streams on Mubi later in the month.
Check out the history-making nudes of George Platt Lynes
In the 1930s and 40s, photographer George Platt Lynes was one of the first people to become known for his commercial and editorial work with celebrities. His photos of the famous made him famous, too. But at the same time, his more private work involved a celebration of the male nude, and that work was not only erotic, taboo-breaking and illegal to show in public, but aesthetically forward, very much ahead of its time. Now, in the documentary “Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes,” filmmaker Sam Shahid — who previously worked as an art director on the Bruce Weber documentaries “Let’s Get Lost” and “Broken Noses” — showcases this rich body of work from a pioneering gay artist, while also exploring the photographer’s connections to Gertrude Stein, Alfred Kinsey and others. This vital historical work is currently moving around film festivals, so be on the lookout for it to screen or stream near you.
Romeo San Vicente supports SAG/AFTRA and the WGA.
Photo by Debby Wong