fantasy

“Matilda: The Musical” brings rebellion and magic to Raleigh!

Matilda_BroadwayThis past week, the Tony Award-winning musical Matilda: the Musical played the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC and the cast and crew filled the room with rebellion and magic. With a book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Jaime Maclean, at my performance), a young, smart, book-obsessed girl raised by abusive parents who is sent to a school, run by the evil Ms. Trunchball (Dan Chameroy), and discovers she possesses magical powers. Based on the classic novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda: the Musical aims to remind us all that sometimes we have to be a little bit naughty in life, and that’s okay!  (Note: pictures may not be from the current tour; I had to make do with what I could find. (more…)

The Merger of the Gods (American Gods S01E05 – “Lemon Scented You” REVIEW)

lemonscent 1What do you get when you put the leaders of two warring factions of gods together in the same room? Perhaps it would be something like what happens in Lemon Scented You, the latest episode in STARZ’s hit adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods. After the backstory-heavy episode last week, Lemon Scented You kicks things up a notch when the leader of the New Gods, Mr. World (Crispin Glover), finally meets with the leader of the Old Gods, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). Written by David Graziano (teleplay) and Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (head writers/showrunners) and directed by Vincenzo Natali, Lemon Scented You picks up from where the past two episodes have left off: Shadow (Ricky Whittle) walks into his motel room and finds his dead wife, Laura (Emily Browning), waiting for him on his bed – very much not dead. Shadow’s emotional reunion with his wife is interrupted when he and Wednesday are arrested and kidnapped by the New Gods, led by the mysterious Mr. World. (Spoilers ahead!)  (more…)

REVIEW: American Gods S01E04 – “Git Gone”

2560x1440It’s early Sunday morning, which means another episode of STARZ’s American Gods has been uploaded, which means it’s time for another review of American Gods. We’re halfway through the series now, which is very exciting! But also sad, because that means we’ve only got four weeks left of this incredible show. But, let’s not focus on the sad things, but the happy things! And this episode is definitely a happy thing. I mean, it’s not really a happy episode, but it’s a great one, and that should make all of us happy! This week’s episode was entitled Git Gone and was written by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and directed by Craig Zobel. This week’s episode was a bit unique in terms of the usual format for this show; in this episode, we alternate between the past and the present as Laura’s (Emily Browning) life and death are explored – how she met Shadow (Ricky Whittle), how she died, and how exactly she came to be sitting on the edge of his motel room bed. As always, this review won’t be spoiler-free, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you might wanna wait to read this review until you’ve watched it! (more…)

REVIEW: “Doctor Who: The Shining Man” by Cavan Scott

shiningSo, I finally managed to finish a Doctor Who book that didn’t involve the War Doctor. And I enjoyed the heck out of it! Doctor Who: The Shining Man is one of the three most recent Doctor Who novels published by the BBC recently. It is written by Cavan Scott and involves the Doctor and Bill investigating strange events that have been happening in a small British town.

The Shining Men are everywhere. You spot them out of the corner of your eye. Abnormally tall, with long lank hair, blank faces, and blazing eyes. If they catch you, they’ll drag you away to who knows where. No one is safe. They’re on every street corner. Waiting. Watching. Shining bright. Of course, it’s a hoax. It has to be, right? It started as a joke, a prank for Halloween. Then it went viral. Idiots dressing up as monsters. Giving folk a scare. Silly masks and fright wigs. No one gets hurt. Because bogeymen aren’t real. Until people start going missing and lights burn in the darkness. Burning like eyes. But help is on its way, in the form of a strange man called the Doctor and his friend, Bill. The Doctor will keep us safe. The Doctor will stop the monsters. Unless the monsters stop the Doctor first… (Courtesy of the BBC summary)

(more…)

REVIEW: American Gods S01E02 – “The Secret of Spoons”

american gods10The second episode of STARZ’s new show American Gods has been uploaded to their website, and I have just watched it, so, it’s time to review it! This week’s episode was written by Michael Green and Bryan Fuller and was directed by David Slade. (It’s worth noting that this week’s Coming to America segment was directed by Guillermo Navaro.) In The Secret of Spoons, Shadow (Ricky Whittle) experiences a number of odd events as he and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) begin their quest to recruit the Old Gods for the coming battle. He and Shadow travel to Chicago where Shadow agrees to a very high-stakes game of chess with the old Slavic god, Czernobog (Peter Stormare). This review will contain spoilers, so if you’ve yet to see the episode, don’t read the review! The short and sweet of it is: it’s a really good episode. It builds on everything that made the first episode good and pushes the show forward. Now, if you continue reading this, I’m assuming you’ve seen the episode. Last chance to turn back! (more…)

REVIEW: Doctor Who S10E04 “Knock Knock”

doctor-who-knock-knock-promo-pics-11The fourth episode of the tenth series of Doctor Who has just aired, so it’s time to review it! This week’s episode of Doctor Who was entitled Knock Knock and was written by Mark Bartlett and directed by Bill Anderson. In this episode, Bill (Pearl Mackie) and several of her friends move into a creepy old house owned by a mysterious Landlord (David Suchet). As the house starts making noises, Bill’s friends begin to disappear. What is causing these noises and disappearances, and can Bill and the Doctor put a stop to it before it’s too late? As always, this review will have spoilers for the episode – so, stop reading now if you haven’t seen it!  (more…)

REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

51izuxor7hlWelcome to Night Vale: A Novel is the first novel in the Night Vale series (based off the popular podcast of the same name) written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel expands the universe of the podcast as we follow two women, Diane Crayton and Jackie Fierro, whose (already weird) lives get turned upside down when a man in a tan suit with a deerskin briefcase gives them both a piece of paper with the words “KING CITY” written on it. Their individual quests for answers will lead them on a journey that will change how they look at themselves, and at their families. (more…)

REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale (season 4) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Standing and Breathing

Fan art I made using the poster for “Ghost Stories”

As script books have only been released for the first two seasons of Welcome to Night Vale, all further reviews of the podcast itself will be based solely on the content of the podcast and the plots therein. In season four of Welcome to Night Vale, Night Vale faces a threat so terrifying that there seems to be nothing they can do to defeat it: a terribly cute beagle puppy and his army of tall, faceless strangers who only stand and breathe. Hiram McDaniels faces trials for his crimes against Mayor Cardinal, Desert Bluffs and Night Vale become one city, and all of Night Vale is under threat from one cute puppy who may not be all that he seems.

(more…)

REVIEW: American Gods S01E01 – “The Bone Orchard”

shadow_bone_orchard_trailer

Shadow Moon (Whittle) in The Bone Orchard

After years spent in development hell, a television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, American Gods, has finally premiered on STARZ. American Gods tells the story of the battle between the Old Gods of classic mythology and the New Gods of modern America (Media, Technology, etc) for the ultimate control of America’s faith. In this first episode, The Bone Orchard, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is released from prison after the death of his wife, Laura (Emily Browning). He meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and is recruited to be his bodyguard. As Shadow is drawn into this mysterious world, he discovers this may be more than he bargained for. Note: as the episode is already available on the STARZ website, there will be spoilers in this review!  (more…)

REVIEW: Mostly Void, Partially Stars (Welcome to Night Vale, Episodes Volume 1) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

414sdbffdalMostly Void, Partially Stars is a collection of the first year’s worth of scripts (and the script of the first live show Condos) from the podcast Welcome to Night Vale written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. In addition to the scripts, Mostly Void, Partially Stars contains introductions to every episode featuring behind the scenes tidbits such as the inspiration for the episode or how it was put together. In Mostly Void, Partially Stars, readers are introduced to the town of Night Vale and Cecil Palmer, the host of the local community radio station’s news show. As the story begins, a new scientist, named Carlos, arrives into town, sparking interest from Cecil. Coinciding with this event is the discovery of a civilization underneath one of the lanes in the bowling alley. As the year goes on, these plot threads will collide in a major way. This review will be in two parts; the first reviewing the book itself, the second reviewing the content of the scripts and the first year of the podcast as a whole. (more…)