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August 14 & 15 & 16
City of Ghosts(2017)
Ends Thursday, 8/17 - City of Ghosts follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”— a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With astonishing, deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday writes "“City of Ghosts” provides a grim reminder of what journalism should look like, and why its stakes are literally life and death." 100% Fresh (RottenTomatoes) "City of Ghosts takes a hard-hitting, ground-level look at atrocities in a part of the world that may seem foreign to many viewers, but whose impact will be no less devastating." (subtitled)
August 14 & 15 & 16
Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story(2017)
Ends Thursday, 8/17 - Movie fans know the work of Harold and Lillian Michelson, even if they don't recognize the names. Working largely uncredited in the Hollywood system, storyboard artist Harold and film researcher Lillian left an indelible mark on classics by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski and many more. Through an engaging mix of love letters, film clips and candid conversations with Harold and Lillian, Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and others, this deeply engaging documentary from Academy Award (R)-nominated director Daniel Raim offers both a moving portrait of a marriage and a celebration of the unknown talents that help shape the films we love. 100% FRESH (RottenTomatoes.com)
National Theatre Live: Angels in America Part One - Millennium Approaches(2017)
America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. Andrew Garfield (Silence, Hacksaw Ridge) plays Prior Walter along with a cast including Denise Gough (People, Places and Things), Nathan Lane (The Producers), James McArdle (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Russell Tovey (The Pass). This new staging of Tony Kushner’s multi-award winning two-part play, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, is directed by Olivier and Tony award winning director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse).
Blue Hawaii (1961)(2017)
Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His snooty mother (Angela Lansbury) wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad lands a job with a tourist agency instead, and finds time to dally with such lovelies as Joan Blackman and Nancy Walters.
King Creole (1958)(2017)
Elvis Presley delivers one of his finest early performances in King Creole. Elvis plays a teenager named Danny Fisher, who is forced to drop out of school to help support his ineffective father (Dean Jagger). Drawn to trouble like a magnet, Danny is saved from a jail term by New Orleans salloonkeeper Charlie Le Grand (Paul Stewart), who gives the boy a job as a singer. It isn't long, however, before local gang boss Maxie Fields (Walter Matthau), a shadowy figure from Danny's criminal past, puts the muscle on the boy, insisting that Danny sing at his establishment. To lure Danny to his side of the fence, Maxie relies upon the seductive charms of his gun moll Ronnie (Carolyn Jones), while Danny's true love Nellie (Dolores Hart) suffers on the sidelines. In addition to the expected musical numbers (which are cleverly integrated into the storyline), the film's highlight is a brief exchange of fisticuffs between Elvis and Walter Matthau. Together with Jailhouse Rock, King Creole is one of the best filmed examples of the untamed, pre-army Elvis Presley. The picture was adapted from Harold Robbins' novel A Stone for Danny Fisher. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
August 19 & 23
National Theatre Live: Angels in America Part Two - Perestroika(2017)
America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. Andrew Garfield (Silence, Hacksaw Ridge) plays Prior Walter along with a cast including Denise Gough (People, Places and Things), Nathan Lane (The Producers), James McArdle (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Russell Tovey (The Pass). This new staging of Tony Kushner’s multi-award winning two-part play, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, is directed by Olivier and Tony award winning director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse). Part One: Millennium Approaches was first performed at the National Theatre in 1992 and was followed by Part Two: Perestroika the following year.
August 25 & 26 & 27
Soul on a String(2017)
A compassionate Buddhist embarks on a mystical quest through Tibet, pursued by black-traders and a man hell-bent on vengeance. Along the way they encounter mysterious travelers, among them a loyal elf, a lovestruck woman, and a mute psychic. Dense forests, jagged rocks, rolling hills, and scorching sands are the backdrop for this mystical western set in Tibet. After a close call with a lightning bolt, a dead deer, and a compassionate Buddhist, ex-con Tabei embarks on a quest to deliver a sacred stone to the top of a fabled mountain. Once he completes this task, all his many sins will be forgiven. What he doesn't know is that Guori, a man hell-bent on avenging his father's death by a killer also called Tabei, is on the hunt slaying anyone of that name. Before their paths cross, each traveler attracts several quirky and mysterious followers, among them a loyal elf, a love-struck woman, and a mute psychic. This tale of parallel journeys dips its toes into several genres, blending aspects of the classic Western with epic fantasy, all the while paying homage to Tibetan folklore. Soul on a String shows its characters battling the harsh physical elements of nature as well as their own spiritual demons, constructing a portrait of vengeance and redemption as lush and sprawling as its surroundings.
August 25 & 26 & 27
The Midwife (Sage femme)(2017)
Two of French cinema’s biggest stars shine in this bittersweet drama about the unlikely friendship that develops between Claire (Catherine Frot), a talented but tightly wound midwife, and Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the estranged, free-spirited mistress of Claire’s late father. Though polar opposites in almost every way, the two come to rely on each other as they cope with the unusual circumstance that brought them together in this sharp character study from the César-award winning director Martin Provost (Séraphine).
August 26 & 30
Extraordinary: Stan Lee(2017)
Join Stan Lee and some of the biggest names in comics and entertainment for a once in a lifetime tribute to the world’s most celebrated and iconic comic creator. Extraordinary: Stan Lee will feature an evening of honors from leading creative and big screen talent, comic contemporaries and a number of surprise guests, all coming together to pay homage to a living legend and the co-creator of many of Marvel’s biggest characters.
September 1 & 2 & 3
Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 3D(2017)
Arnold Schwarzenegger's famed line from "The Terminator" is coming true as the hit actioner TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY from 1991 returns to cinemas this fall fully restored in presented in 3D. ‘T2’ has stood the test of time and is still hailed by critics as one of the best sci-fi movies in film history, now, the newly restored version of the classic will take the already extraordinary special effects to a new level, giving fans a newly immersive experience of a legendary film, as well as introduce the blockbuster to a new generation.” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” also starred Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, and Joe Morton. It was a sequel to the 1984 film “The Terminator,” and followed Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and her 10-year-old son John (Furlong) as they are pursued by an advanced shapeshifting Terminator being sent back in time to kill John Connor. Schwarzenegger’s less advanced Terminator is also sent back in time to protect John. Due to the extensive visual effects, “Terminator 2” had a $102 million production budget, making it the most expensive movie ever at the time. The film was a box office success with more than $500 million in worldwide grosses. “Terminator 2” also won Academy Awards for best sound, best sound effects editing, best visual effects, and best makeup. “The 4K 3D restoration and conversion of the film looks stunning, and after 26 years the film hasn’t aged one little bit,” said François Scippa-Kohn of Distrib Films US. (Excerpt from Variety)
Slipknot: Day of the Gusano(2017)
"Day Of The Gusano" documents not only a historic Knotfest Mexico City performance of Slipknot, one of the most exciting live bands on the planet, but delves deeply into the lives of the band's fans as well. Slipknot's fans, better known as "maggots", are essential to the band's legacy. This highly anticipated show captures the chaos, excitement and community that has been cultivated over the past 20+ years.
September 10 & 11
Man in Red Bandana(2017)
This is a story of how the courageous and selfless actions of one man can touch and inspire thousands. A documentary about Welles Remy Crowther, who saved at least ten people on September 11, 2001 at the cost of his own life. He may have looked the part of an investment banker, but there was one unorthodox piece to his personal dress code, not visible at first. It was a constant, tucked in the back right pocket of every set of trousers and every pair of suit pants. It was a red bandanna his father had given him when he was a boy. President Obama told stories about the man in a red bandana. Bewildered and frightened, the people huddled in the smoke and darkness that day on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center's south tower heard a voice, clear and calm, leading them to the stairs and to safety. Their guide was a young man holding a red handkerchief over his face. Having helped them, he then went back up the stairs to help others."They didn't know his name. They didn't know where he came from. But they knew their lives had been saved by the man in the red bandana."
David Gilmour: Live At Pompeii(2017)
45 years after Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour filmed ‘Live At Pompeii’ in the legendary Roman Amphitheatre there, he returned for two spectacular shows, part of his year-long tour in support of his No.1 album ‘Rattle That Lock’. The performances were the first-ever rock concerts for an audience in the stone Roman amphitheatre, and, for two nights only, the 2,600 strong crowd stood exactly where gladiators would have fought in the first century AD. ‘David Gilmour Live At Pompeii’ is an audio-visual spectacle, featuring lasers, pyrotechnics and a huge circular screen on which specially-created films complement selected songs, but paramount above all is the astonishing music and stellar performances from an all-star band. The show includes songs from throughout David's career, as well as many Pink Floyd classics, including 'One Of These Days', the only song that was also performed at the band’s 1971 show. Both concerts also saw very special performances of 'The Great Gig In The Sky' from 'The Dark Side Of The Moon', which David rarely plays as a solo artist. This concert performance film includes highlights from both shows, filmed in 4k by director Gavin Elder. ‘David Gilmour Live At Pompeii’ shows an artist at the top of his artistic game, performing incredible material with his world-class band, in a unique setting, on one very special occasion. Songs include the title tracks of his two most recent No. 1 solo albums: Rattle That Lock and On An Island, as well as other solo and Pink Floyd classics, including Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb.
September 15 & 16
Pink Floyd: The Wall(2017)
Who doesn’t like staying out late, munching on popcorn, washing it down with a brew and watching the unfolding of insanity in a disturbed rock star? The Liberty Theatre is presenting the 35th-anniversary screening of the 1982 cult classic 'Pink Floyd — The Wall.' For you first-timers, Pink Floyd — The Wall is the story of rock star Floyd “Pink” Pinkerton, who is driven to madness by early life events. The musician constructs a metaphorical and physical wall around him to protect his fragile psyche. The film has caused controversy through scenes of schoolchildren falling into a meat grinder and neo-Nazi imagery. It's a mashup of genres: part music video, part psychological horror, part live action, part animation. But don’t expect much talking: The film, whose script was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters, is driven by music and symbolic imagery. The soundtrack includes all but two songs of the eponymous original album and is presented in surround 5.1.
Royal Shakespeare Company: Titus Andronicus(2017)
The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare's most bloody play. Titus is a ruler exhausted by war and loss, who relinquishes power but leaves Rome in disorder. Rape, cannibalism, and severed body parts fill the moral void at the heart of this corrupt society.
September 23 & 27
National Theatre Live: Yerma(2017)
The incredible Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) returns in her award-winning role. A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold out at the Young Vic and critics call it ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times) and ‘stunning, searing, unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). Billie Piper’s lead performance is described as ‘spellbinding’ (The Evening Standard), ‘astonishing’ (iNews) and ‘devastatingly powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph). Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties desperate to conceive builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking climax. Please note that this broadcast does not have an interval.
Black Sabbath: The End Of The End(2017)
The End of The End chronicles the final tour from the band who forged the sound of metal - Black Sabbath. On 4th February, 2017, the band took to the stage in Birmingham, the city where it all began, to play the 81st and final gig of The End tour - bringing down the curtain on a career that spanned almost half a century. The sold out show marked the culmination of a tour that had seen them play to well over a million fans in arenas across the globe. Since their beginnings in 1968, they created a sound that would form the basis of heavy metal, going on to influence bands all over the world – an influence which is still felt to this day. The End of The End is the story of that final, emotionally-charged concert. Fans are taken into the heart of the action, up close and personal with the band on stage as they perform genre-defining hits, from Iron Man to Paranoid to War Pigs, amongst others. Sabbath also took the opportunity to spend some time in the studio, delivering a unique performance of some of their favourite songs. This film gives fans an intimate glimpse into the band’s relationships and their banter with each other, with both individual and group recollections from Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. The band’s loyal following spans generations and this is the opportunity for fans, young and old, to come together and see the boys from Birmingham doing what they do best, almost 50 years after they started. This is the final word from the greatest metal band of all time.
John le Carré - An Evening with George Smiley(2017)
In aid of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders (MSF) Captures live at London's Royal Festival Hall, join us for a celebration of one of the world’s greatest writers as he shares the secrets behind the creation of his most beloved character. From his extraordinary Cold War novels – such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – to his powerful descriptions of the arms trade in The Night Manager, and the War on Terror in A Most Wanted Man, the writing of John le Carré has come to define the last half century. In this one-off event, the author discusses the full breadth of his career, and reflects on the continuing story of his most famous creation, the tubby, bespectacled spy, George Smiley. Coinciding with the publication date of his new novel, A Legacy of Spies, the event will include readings from the book by the author. The novel sees the return of some of le Carré’s most iconic Cold War characters, including George Smiley and his trusted lieutenant, Peter Guillam, as their past comes back to claim them in the present. With a rare question and answer session, this will be an unmissable opportunity to experience one of the foremost chroniclers of our age, direct and in his own words. In support of MSF, the leading emergency medical humanitarian aid organisation, John le Carré is donating his speaker’s fee, and the producers of the live cinema broadcast, The Ink Factory, are donating their share of the profits to the charity.
Royal Opera House: The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöt(2017)
Julia Jones conducts The Royal Opera’s spell-binding production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute with a wonderful cast including Roderick Williams as Papageno. Prince Tamino promises the Queen of the Night that he will rescue her daughter Pamina from the enchanter Sarastro. He begins his quest, accompanied by the bird-catcher Papageno – but all is not as it seems… Mozart wrote Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) for a suburban theatre in Vienna, the Theater auf der Wieden. He drew on the magical spectacle and earthy comedy of popular Viennese theatre. As well as being a comedy, The Magic Flute is an expression of Mozart’s profound spiritual beliefs: Enlightenment concerns with the search for wisdom and virtue are at the heart of this enchanting tale. The Magic Flute was an instant success with audiences and Mozart’s supposed rival Salieri described it as an ‘operone’ – a great opera.
Royal Shakespeare Company: Coriolanus(2017)
The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare’s bloodiest play. Blanche McIntyre (The Two Noble Kinsmen) returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare’s brutal revenge tragedy. Titus is a ruler exhausted by war and loss. He relinquishes power, but leaves Rome in disorder. Rape, cannibalism and mutilation fill the moral void at the heart of this corrupt society. Shakespeare presents us with murder as entertainment and, as the body count rises, poses questions about sexuality, family, class and society.
Bolshoi Ballet: Le Corsaire(2017)
Amidst a bustling Turkish market, the pirate Conrad falls in love at first sight with beautiful Medora, the ward of the slave merchant Lankedem’s bazaar. Conrad kidnaps Medora when Lankedem decides to sell her to the Pasha. Inspired by Lord Byron’s epic poem and reworked by Alexei Ratmansky from Petipa’s exotic 19th century classic, this miracle of the repertoire is one of the Bolshoi’s most lavish productions. Complete with a magnificent awe-inspiring shipwreck and dramatic scenery, this grand romance allows enough dancing for nearly the entire company and made especially for those who seek miracles in theatre.
The Royal Opera House: La Boheme(2017)
Antonio Pappano conducts a superb young cast including Nicole Car, Michael Fabiano and Mariusz Kwiecień in Richard Jones’s new production of Puccini’s passionate opera. When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall instantly in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill. Acclaimed director Richard Jones (Boris Godunov, Il trittico) directs a new production of Puccini’s La bohème. Irresistible in its witty, passionate blend of comedy and tragedy, the opera focusses on the lives of a group of young artists as they eke out an existence on the bohemian fringes of Paris. Jones brings his characteristically acute insight to this much-loved classic, visualized in Stewart Laing’s spectacular, stylized designs. Puccini’s romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with wonderful music and a love story drawn from everyday life, has captivated audiences around the world, making La bohème one of the best-loved of all operas. It was first performed in Covent Garden in 1897 and has had more than five hundred performances here since.
Bolshoi Ballet: The Taming of the Shrew(2017)
Baptista struggles to marry off his tempestuous daughter Katharina, a shrew who denies that any man could possibly be her match. However, when she meets Petruchio, who is as ill-tempered as she, the two forces of nature ignite an unexpected and explosive encounter. Acclaimed choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot brings out the wit, fast-paced athleticism and vibrancy from the Bolshoi Ballet dancers in Shakespeare’s rowdy comedy. Principals Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov clash, challenge and eventually give themselves to one another.
November 26 & 29
Exhibition On Screen: Canaletto and the Art of Ven(2017)
EXHIBITION ON SCREEN opens its fifth season with Canaletto and the Art of Venice, an immersive journey into the life and art of Venice’s famous painter. No artist better captures the essence and allure of Venice than Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. The remarkable group of over 200 paintings, drawings and prints on display offer unparalleled insight into the artistry of Canaletto and his contemporaries, and the city he became a master at capturing. The film also offers the chance to step inside two official royal residences – Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – to learn more about the artist, and Joseph Smith, the man who introduced Canaletto to Britain. Cinema-goers will embark on their very own 21st century Grand Tour, visiting the sites enjoyed by their 18th century counterparts and immortalised in Canaletto’s views – from the Rialto Bridge to the Piazza San Marco, and the Palazzo Ducale to the Church of Santi Giovannie Paolo. Guided by Royal Collection Trust curators and the world’s leading experts in Venetian history, the film is not only a wonderful way to see the exhibition, but an opportunity to get closer to Canaletto and the city that inspired him.
December 2 & 6
National Theatre Live: Follies(2017)
Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (The Comedy of Errors). Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work includes A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.
Royal Ballet: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Th(2017)
Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s exuberant ballet, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved book. At a garden party on a sunny afternoon, Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend Lewis Carroll transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole events become curiouser and curiouser. Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of colour, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real. Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary and instantly recognizable characters, from the highly strung Queen of Hearts – who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beauty’s famous Rose Adage – to a playing card corps de ballet, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll’s story: a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and the unhinged tea party are all here in vivid detail. The delicious result shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment.
Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker(2017)
As the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, Marie’s wooden nutcracker doll comes to life and transforms into a prince. Soon joined by her other toys that have also come to life, Marie and her prince embark on a dreamy, unforgettable adventure. A holiday tradition for the whole family, The Nutcracker sweeps the Bolshoi stage for two hours of enchantment and magic. Along with Tchaikovsky’s cherished score and some of the Bolshoi’s greatest artists, The Nutcracker remains a timeless treasure not to be missed.
The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker(2017)
It is Christmas Eve and Drosselmeyer the magician sweeps young Clara away on a fantasy adventure in which time is suspended, the family living room becomes a great battlefield, and a magical journey takes them through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets.
January 6 & 10
National Theatre Live: Young Marx(2018)
Rory Kinnear (The Threepenny Opera, Penny Dreadful, Othello) is Marx and Oliver Chris (Twelfth Night, Green Wing) is Engels, in this new comedy written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, the production is directed by Nicholas Hytner and reunites the creative team behind Broadway and West End hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors. 1850, and Europe’s most feared terrorist is hiding in Dean Street, Soho. Broke, restless and horny, the thirty-two-year-old revolutionary is a frothing combination of intellectual brilliance, invective, satiric wit, and child-like emotional illiteracy. Creditors, spies, rival revolutionary factions and prospective seducers of his beautiful wife all circle like vultures. His writing blocked, his marriage dying, his friend Engels in despair at his wasted genius, his only hope is a job on the railway. But there’s still no one in the capital who can show you a better night on the piss than Karl Heinrich Marx.
January 28 & 31
Exhibition On Screen: David Hockney at the Royal A(2018)
Widely considered Britain’s most popular artist, David Hockney is a global sensation with exhibitions in London, New York, Paris and beyond, attracting millions of visitors worldwide. Now entering his 9th decade, Hockney shows absolutely no evidence of slowing down or losing his trademark boldness. Featuring intimate and in-depth interviews with Hockney, this revealing film focuses on two blockbuster exhibitions held in 2012 and 2016 at the Royal Academy of Art in London. Director Phil Grabsky secured privileged access to craft this cinematic celebration of a 21st century master of creativity.
Bolshoi Ballet: Romeo and Juliet(2018)
In Verona, Romeo and Juliet fall madly in love while their respective families, the Montagues and the Capulets, are caught in a bitter rivalry ending in heart-wrenching tragedy. Alexei Ratmansky, former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, stages the company’s premiere of his production with dramatic urgency and a fresh retelling of Shakespeare’s beloved classic. His brilliant and detailed adaptation set to Prokofiev’s romantic and cinematic score reignites the story of literature’s most celebrated star-crossed lovers like no other classical ballet choreographer today.
The Royal Opera House: Rigoletto(2018)
Alexander Joel conducts two excellent casts led by Dimitri Platanias in David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Verdi’s potent and tragic opera. Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect… Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas. David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.
Bolshoi Ballet: The Lady of the Camellias(2018)
At a theatre performance of ‘Manon Lescaut,’ the young and naive Armand is utterly captivated after meeting the ravishing and most desirable courtesan Marguerite Gautier. Their encounter gives birth to a passionate yet doomed love. Alexandre Dumas fils’s novel comes to life on the Bolshoi stage, with prima Svetlana Zakharova as the ailing Marguerite seeking love and redemption from her life as a courtesan. The Bolshoi brings choreographer John Neumeier’s work of rare beauty and tragic depth to new emotional heights, accompanied by Chopin’s romantic piano score
March 10 & 14
National Theatre Live: Hamlet ENCORE(2018)
Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game) takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy. Directed by Lyndsey Turner (Posh, Chimerica) and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, the original 2015 broadcast was experienced by over half a million people worldwide. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.
The Royal Opera House: Tosca(2018)
Drama, passion and fabulous music – Puccini’s operatic thriller is one of the great opera experiences. Dan Ettinger conducts a star cast led by Adrianne Pieczonka, Joseph Calleja and Gerald Finley. The painter Mario Cavaradossi helps a fugitive escape – and so attracts the attention of Scarpia, the sadistic Chief of Police. Scarpia captures Cavaradossi and has him tortured within earshot of his lover, the singer Tosca. From its strident opening chords, Tosca conjures up a world of political instability and menace. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias, including ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was a hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas – and with its gripping plot and glorious music, it’s easy to see why. A candle-lit church, Scarpia’s gloomy study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of a Roman dawn: Jonathan Kent’s handsome production throws into relief the ruthlessly taut drama, as the tension is wound up towards its fateful conclusion. Puccini’s meticulously researched score is infused with the same authentic detail, from distant cannon fire during the Act I Te Deum to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.
Bolshoi Ballet: The Flames of Paris (Les Flammes d(2018)
In the era of the French Revolution, Jeanne and her brother Jérôme leave Marseille for Paris in support the revolutionary effort that is taking over the capital. While fighting for freedom, they both encounter love along the way. Very few ballets can properly depict the Bolshoi’s overflowing energy and fiery passion as can Alexei Ratmansky’s captivating revival of Vasily Vainonen’s “The Flames of Paris.” With powerful virtuosity and some of the most stunning pas de deux, the Bolshoi Ballet displays an exuberance almost too enormous for the Moscow stage
The Royal Ballet: The Winter's Tale(2018)
Shakespeare’s tale of love and loss becomes compelling dance drama in Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet adaptation, with music by Joby Talbot. King Leontes, possessed by a mad jealousy, believes his pregnant wife Hermione to be having an affair with his childhood friend King Polixenes. His actions tear their families apart. Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic. The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.
April 7 & 11
National Theatre Live : Julius Caesar(2018)
Ben Whishaw (The Danish Girl, Skyfall, Hamlet) and Michelle Fairley (Fortitude, Game of Thrones) play Brutus and Cassius, David Calder (The Lost City of Z, The Hatton Garden Job) plays Caesar and David Morrissey (The Missing, Hangmen, The Walking Dead) is Mark Antony. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London. Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital. Nicholas Hytner’s production will thrust the audience into the street party that greets Caesar’s return, the congress that witnesses his murder, the rally that assembles for his funeral and the chaos that explodes in its wake.
Bolshoi Ballet: Giselle(2018)
When Giselle learns that her beloved Albrecht is promised to another woman, she dies of a broken heart in his arms. While Albrecht grieves, she returns from the dead as a Wili, a vengeful spirit meant to make unfaithful men dance until death. Prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova personifies this ultimate ballerina role in the classical repertoire, alongside the sensational Sergei Polunin as Albrecht, in this chilling, yet luminous ballet that continues to captivate audiences for more than 150 years at the Bolshoi.
April 15 & 18
Exhibition on Screen: Cézanne Portraits of a Life(2018)
EOS is thrilled to present one of the most talked about exhibitions of the year. Dedicated to the portrait work of Paul Cézanne, the exhibition opens in Paris before traveling to London and Washington. One can’t appreciate 20th century art without understanding the significance and genius of Paul Cézanne. Featuring interviews with curators and experts from the National Portrait Gallery London, MoMA New York, National Gallery of Art Washington, and Musée d’Orsay Paris, and correspondence from the artist himself, the film takes audiences beyond the exhibition to the places Cézanne lived and worked and sheds light on an artist who is perhaps the least known of all the impressionists – until now. Filmed in Paris, London, Washington and the south of France.
Royal Opera House: Carmen(2018)
Bizet’s classic French opera stars Anna Goryachova in Barrie Kosky’s intense production. The young soldier Don José intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village. But when he meets the sensual and fiercely independent Carmen, he sacrifices everything to be with her. Carmen is the best-known work by French composer Georges Bizet, and one of the most famous operas in the entire art form – numbers such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song have permeated the popular consciousness as little else has. The opera’s heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage, and it was a critical failure on its 1875 premiere. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success his Carmen would achieve: the opera has been performed more than five hundred times at Covent Garden alone.
The Royal Opera House: Macbeth(2018)
Antonio Pappano conducts Verdi’s opera based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, with a magnificent cast including Anna Netrebko and Anna Pirozzi, Željko Lučić and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. The warrior Macbeth fights on the side of the King of Scotland – but when a coven of witches prophesy that he shall become king himself, a ruthless ambition drives Macbeth and his wife to horrific acts. Verdi’s life-long love affair with Shakespeare’s works began with Macbeth, a play he considered to be ‘one of the greatest creations of man’. With his librettist Francesco Maria Piave Verdi set out to create ‘something out of the ordinary’. Their success is borne out in every bar of a score that sees Verdi at his most theatrical: it bristles with demonic energy. Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 production for The Royal Opera is richly hued, shot through with black, red and gold. The witches – imagined by designer Anthony Ward as strange, scarlet-turbaned creatures – are ever-present agents of fate. Lloyd depicts the Macbeths’ childlessness as the dark sadness lurking behind their terrible deeds. The Royal Opera’s production uses Verdi’s 1865 Paris revision of the opera, which includes Lady Macbeth’s riveting aria ‘La luce langue’.
The Royal Ballet: Manon(2018)
Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece of modern ballet is revived this Season as part of continuing celebrations of MacMillan’s profound impact on British ballet, to mark the 25th anniversary of his death. Manon’s brother Lescaut is offering her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she can’t resist. Kenneth MacMillan’s source for Manon was the 18th-century French novel by Abbé Prévost, already adapted for opera by Massenet and Puccini. Renowned dance musician Leighton Lucas and his assistant Hilda Gaunt provided a score drawn from across Massenet’s music, including his famous yearning Elégie as the theme for the lovers. The premiere was given on 7 March 1974, with the lead roles of Manon and Des Grieux danced by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The ballet quickly became a staple of The Royal Ballet’s repertory, and a touchstone of adult, dramatic dance. MacMillan found new sympathy with the capricious Manon and her struggle to escape poverty. Designs by his regular collaborator Nicholas Georgiadis reflect this, depicting a world of lavish splendour polluted by miserable destitution. MacMillan’s spectacular ensemble scenes for the whole Company create vivid, complex portraits of the distinct societies of Paris and New Orleans. But it is Manon and Des Grieux’s impassioned pas de deux – recalling the intensity of MacMillan’s earlier Romeo and Juliet – that drive this tragic story, and make Manon one of MacMillan’s most powerful dramas.
Bolshoi Ballet: Coppélia(2018)
Swanhilda notices her fiancé Franz is infatuated with the beautiful Coppélia who sits reading on her balcony each day. Nearly breaking up the two sweethearts, Coppélia is not what she seems, and Swanhilda decides to teach Franz a lesson. The Bolshoi’s unique version of Coppélia exhibits a fascinating reconstruction of the original 19th century choreography of this ebullient comedy involving a feisty heroine, a boyish fiancé with a wandering eye, and an old dollmaker. The company’s stunning corps de ballet shines in the divertissements and famous “dance of the hours,” and its principals abound in youthful energy and irresistible humor in this effervescent production.