Smart Pick of the Week/Forever:

Mad Men

Thank you, Matthew Weiner.

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And the 69th Annual Tony Award Nominees Are…

As you can tell, I’ve been too busy to update this blog!!!!! RAAAAAAR!

*smashes computer*

*smashes buildings*

*sits panting, admiring the wreckage, contemplating life*

But here’s why:

Fun Home

‘Fun Home’ is the greatest piece of musical theater in decades

I’m going to do a quick rundown of all the shows I’ve covered in some way for Backstage, which double as my NYC theater recommendations. If you can, do yourself a favor and check out some of this year’s extraordinary shows, many of which were just nominated for Tony Awards.

Hand to God: If you miss it, you’re committing blasphemy. Playwright Rob Askins and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel are geniuses, check out my interview with them. The show deserves all the awards.

Fun Home: I cried so much during this musical, I was dehydrated. Possibly the most affecting, cathartic, brilliant, gorgeous, and wondrously personal show anyone could see. A lot has been written about its creators Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, here’s my humble addition to that.

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Elisabeth Moss Finds Her 10

Even the briefest skim of my Mad Men coverage on this blog will reveal my undying love for all things Peggy Olson. You can imagine my delight at being able to sit with the actress who plays her and chat about The Heidi Chronicles, a thoughtful Broadway revival of a thought-provoking feminist play. Assuage your grief over the imminent end of Mad Men by checking out my Backstage cover story featuring Elisabeth Moss! She’s just the best.

Elisabeth Moss

Photo Source: Chad Griffith

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Smart Pick of the Day: Ellen DeGeneres and Kristen Wiig Singing “Let It Go”

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE COMEDY EVENT OF THE DECADE:

As we all know, women are funnier than men. And these two made the list a year ago (in fact, that needs a part 2 doesn’t it?) because they are both geniuses. Seeing them be effortlessly funny together almost made my brain explode. They can do no wrong.

I don’t know what’s going on, but there is an influx of eerily Jack-specific culture coming in at the moment. Things are really lookin good for people with my particular taste in music, comedy, movies – did I mention seeing Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy meant I can officially die happy?

What’s next, amiright? Next you’re going to tell me, I don’t know, like, Elisabeth Moss is coming to Broadway.

….

WHAT??

Smart Mad Men Recap: S7E6, “The Strategy”

SPOILER ALERT: “You can’t tell people what they want. It has to be what you want.”

Mad Men

The closing scene from this week’s episode of Not The Sopranos

If you’re someone who has never seen an episode of Mad Men (ya poor soul) and wanted to watch just one to see what it’s all about, “The Strategy” might be it. In many ways it seemed to revisit well-trodden ground – Women struggling for respect in the workplace! The dissolution of the American family! – but the penultimate installment in this penultimate set of episodes offers some of the most wonderfully layered writing in the show’s history, as well as the slightest suggestion of evolution. That is, if the central question of Mad Men is “Can people change?”, it’s now maybe potentially conceivably sort of perchance kinda possible that the answer could be… yes.

Because although Peggy being coerced into not delivering her own Burger Chef pitch is another exhausting example of the glass ceiling, this time Don decidedly isn’t standing in her way. Continue reading

Smart Mad Men Recap: S7E5, “The Runaways”

SPOILER ALERT: A teeny bit of blood goes a long way on Mad Men.

AMC's Mad Men

“A belated Valentine’s Day present! xoxo” – Ginsberg

Everything you need to know about this episode of Mad Men can be summed up by the look on Don Draper’s face as his wife leans in to kiss another woman. Or maybe it’s the look on Jim Cutler’s face when Don marches into a meeting with Commander Cigarettes he wasn’t supposed to know about. Or poor Peggy, reacting with horror and revulsion to what is surely this show’s most disturbing twist. It’s the same face I wore for the majority of “The Runaways,” a face perhaps best described as:

The fuck??

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Smart Mad Men Recap: S7E3, “Field Trip” & S7E4, “The Monolith”

SPOILER ALERT: It’s getting real on Mad Men. And like Don getting his shit together, recaps are better late than never.

Mad Men

“OMG Don you look so great, how was your vacay??” said no one at this meeting

“I wish it was yesterday.” Tell me about it, Bobby Draper. Welcome to the real world.

So much happened in the third episode of Mad Men’s final season, turns out I needed a whole week to process it. (For this week’s episode, click on!) Between the almost certain demise of Don’s marriage to his reentry into the agency – to say nothing of Betty drinking fresh milk from a pail! – this installment could have easily passed as a season finale knockout. With only four episodes to go in the (half-)season, it’s hard not to wonder if each will include quite as much defecation hitting the fan.

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