Podcast: Here's Why Fox's Empire Rules

Categories: Film and TV

Chuck Hodes/FOX
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Empire.
There are five reasons why Fox's Empire has become a breakout hit, and on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we run down why the show, introduced as a mid-season replacement, has surged to nearly 14 million viewers an episode by its eighth week. Joining Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl are Voice TV columnist Inkoo Kang, Brooklyn bon vivant Meave Gallagher, and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson.

We also ask why Focus, the Will Smith-Margot Robbie vehicle, flopped at the box office, and wrap up by recommending three mighty little TV shows Mike Tyson Mysteries on Adult Swim, RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, You're the Worst on FXX, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at www.citypages.com/movies.

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Leah's Train Marks Co-production Between 20% Theatre and Sabes JCC

Categories: Theater
Thumbnail image for TrainWheels-037.jpg
Paul Costanza
Starting this weekend, 20% Theatre Company is joining up with Sabes JCC for a production of Leah's Train, a play by Karen Hartman. The story follows a young woman, Ruth, who must confront her relationship with her mother in the wake of the death of her grandmother.

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Five Excellent Movies Featuring Singers-Turned-Actors Streaming Online

Categories: Art, Internet
Some say that every singer wants to be an actor, and every actor wants to be a singer. If the singer in question is rich enough, someone will usually put up the money to indulge them. The results? Generally dismal: Think Paul McCartney's star turn in Give my Regards to Broad Street (1984) or Britney Spears in Crossroads (2002) (or maybe don't). But in a few cases, the ambitious singers-turned-actors actually make movies worth seeing.

Here are five examples of the best films of some notable singers-turned-actors.

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Greta Oglesby Takes on the Witch in Into the Woods

Categories: Theater

Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp
Greta Oglesby.
Greta Oglesby is thrilled to be playing the Witch in Stephen Sondheim's beloved Into the Woods -- even if it means stepping into some big shoes.

"I've seen it several times and I've seen the movie with Meryl Streep. The role is way harder than I ever thought," she says.

See also:
Oliver!: The Clanking Heart of Darkness

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Pillsbury House Explores the End of Life in Death Tax

Categories: Theater

Photo by Travis Anderson
Tracey Maloney, Regina Marie Williams, and Wendy Lehr
After director Hayley Finn saw Lucas Hnath's Death Tax, she knew she wanted to bring the show to Minneapolis and have it produced at Pillsbury House Theatre.

"I couldn't stop thinking about it afterwards. I wanted to go to every person who had seen it and talk, and tell everyone who hadn't seen it to see it," she says. "It raised so many ethical questions from so many vantage points. It made me question things about money and how money affects relationships. I wanted to engage in these conversations."

See Also:
Characters at Heart of Health-Care Crisis Play
Mercy Killers

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Wendy Liebman on the Monkees, SNL's 40th

Categories: Comedy
Image courtesy the standup
When Wendy Liebman was young, she was limited to one hour of TV watching per day. "I would beg my mom to let me stay up and watch The Monkees," she says.

Like many young girls of that era, including Marcia Brady, she developed a crush on Davy Jones.

"I was six or seven, and my mom bought me the Davy Jones costume to wear on Halloween," she recalls. "I remember saying, 'I don't want to be Davy Jones, I want to be with Davy Jones.' I have managed to meet two of the Monkees since then."

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Three Free Things to Do This Week

Categories: Free Stuff
This week in free things to do we have drag parties, free food sampling, and a happy hour offering vinyl, wine, and booze. Come take a look and plan your week.

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Leonard Nimoy Represented the Best of Humanity

Categories: Film and TV

Nimoy in a publicity still for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock .
Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83. Both on camera and off, he exemplified the best of what Star Trek, and thus humanity, could represent.

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Best Of Dressing Room: February 23-27

Categories: Weekly Wrap-up
Folks in the Twin Cities are always up to something exciting. Here are some of Dressing Room's top stories from this week:

-- Mall Rats is turning 20 this year. Kevin Smith wants to make a sequel. But will it be filmed at Eden Prairie Center?

-- Minnesota Opera announced this week that it will be turning The Shining into a production. We'd love to see the Overlook twins sing an aria.

-- We captured the beautiful puppet lanterns featured at last weekend's Lantern Fest in downtown Minneapolis.

-- According to Thrillest, Minneapolis has one of the hippest neighborhoods in the U.S.

-- We chatted with Tom Arnold on the possibility of taking David Carr's memoir to the big screen.

Gamut Gallery Starts a Revolution

Categories: Art
Christopher Alday
This Saturday, Gamut Gallery opens "REVOLUTION NOW: Portraits of Contemporary Female Revolutionaries," an exhibition of work that celebrates women who create change locally and globally. Fourteen artists will be working in a variety of print media, with each honoring their female heroes. 

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