March 25, 2012 |
"Imagine a fish out of water," instructs choreographer Alexei Ratmansky to the American Ballet Theatre dancers portraying the 13 captive maidens in his new production of Stravinsky's "The Firebird. " Mesmerized by Kaschei, the evil sorcerer, they flop around as he zaps them with his wicked energy. Speaking in a hushed voice with a soft Russian accent, Ratmansky, working in one of ABT's no-frills Manhattan studios, conjures up traffic patterns for the corps de ballet, who promptly obey directions.
October 14, 2011 |
As long as kids want to dance and Hollywood wants to profit from that passion, as long as daughters pout when fathers proclaim, "I don't want you to see that boy," "Footloose" will endure. And be remade. The new version of the 1984 favorite that costarred Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer as the fastest feet in a town that bans youthful dancing is not so much a remake as a renovation. In the great tradition of Los Angeles real estate, a venerable property has been modernized, refurbished and tweaked when necessary to bring it in line with the demands of today's market.
September 23, 2011
Give Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg points for ambition. The company is rolling out a new version of its popular social network that seeks to be the hub of everything its users do online. If Zuckerberg's gambit succeeds, Facebook would attain an even more dominant position among social networks. It would also amass a storehouse of knowledge about its users large enough to rival Google's. The implications for users and media companies, however, are not so promising. Launched to help college students connect to one another, Facebook has evolved into a place where up to half a billion people gather each day, often for hours at a time, to share pictures, links and commentary.
September 19, 2011 |
A 3-D version of "The Lion King," which first bowed two dimensionally in theaters 17 years ago, took the box-office crown this weekend. Audiences were apparently nostalgic for the animated movie, which collected a surprisingly strong $29.3 million domestically, according to an estimate from Walt Disney Pictures. The reformatted version is slated to play a limited, two-week engagement in theaters. The updated rendering of the 1994 picture sold far more tickets than any of the other new films that debuted Friday.
August 1, 2011 |
The literary leviathan known as "Moby-Dick" swims once again into the dangerous waters of dramatic adaptation Monday night. The last sighting, some 13 years ago, found Patrick Stewart donning the peg leg to play crazy Capt. Ahab for the USA Network; this time William Hurt steers the Pequod in search of the white whale, under the flag of the premium movie-rerun channel Encore, which is edging into original programming. Both miniseries were produced by companies run by producers Robert Halmi and/or son Robert Halmi Jr., who have never met a work of classic literature they didn't want to adapt for television.
April 8, 2011 |
Commodore 64, the hottest-selling personal computer in the 1980s, is back — with the same bulky breadbox look but updated with the latest technology. Appealing to nostalgic computer buffs, a Florida company re-created the PC and began selling it Tuesday. The company, Commodore USA, said it sold out the first batch in 24 hours. It declined to say how many units that was. The company licensed the rights to the Commodore trademark last September. "It looks just like the original Commodore 64, with even the old-style keyboard," said Barry Altman, Commodore USA's chief executive.
January 15, 2011 |
Is pie the new cupcake? Cupcakes became so popular over the last few years that upscale bakeries sprang up across the nation to offer them in red velvet, mocha and chai latte. A fan site featured pictures of cupcake tattoos on aficionados. But new versions of the all-American favorite ? pie ? are increasingly popping up at bakeries and restaurants. Pie has replaced cake at some weddings. There are pie happy hours and pie shooters served in shot glasses. "Pie is hot," said Andrew Freeman, a restaurant industry consultant who predicts pie will be the top food trend for 2011.
October 28, 2010 |
Looking to get people to spend more time on its website, Yahoo has redesigned its free e-mail service, calling it the biggest overhaul in five years. Yahoo says the new version that began rolling out Wednesday will run twice as fast and include several new features. One of those features is the ability to connect e-mail accounts to Twitter, making it possible to see new Twitter updates and to post to Twitter directly from e-mail. Yahoo already has that feature with Facebook.
October 21, 2010 |
Apple Inc. unveiled updates to its Macintosh operating system Wednesday, as well as a new version of its lightest laptop, the MacBook Air. The look of the hyper-thin computer and the tablet-like feel of the new operating system underscored how the company's computers are taking on characteristics of its popular line of iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Chief Executive Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air by saying that company engineers mused, "What would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up?"
September 12, 2010 |
I was all prepared to hate Seymour Chwast's graphic novel of Dante's "Divine Comedy. " Even though we're talking about Chwast here — colleague of Milton Glaser and Edward Sorel's, cofounder of Push Pin Studios, premiere American illustrator and designer of all things, whether magazine covers, typefaces or postage stamps — I couldn't help it. You're going to turn the great 13th century masterpiece of Catholic theology, Italian history and...