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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:05

Requiem for a knuckleballer

Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield calls it a career
It was a sad day in Boston last week. An era came to an end when knuckleballer Tim Wakefield - the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox - announced his retirement.

We all knew (or at least suspected) that this was coming. The 45-year-old Wakefield's effectiveness has been gradually dwindling over the past few years, and guys simply don't pitch deep into their fifth decade. But there he was, tossing up that beguiling, twisting knuckleball and infuriating all manner of major league hitters.

I'm going to miss him.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:03

An ode to spring training

Sitting within winter's chilly deep-freeze

Our brains cry out for the spring's warming sun.

We search for signs that put our minds at ease

Like the sharp crack of a well-struck home run.

An eager anticipation rises;

Whose legend begins with the year's first pitch?

Which unknown becomes the face of the sport?

This game will not run out of surprises.

It's the time when fans become truly rich;

The time when pitchers and catchers report.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 15:23

A night at the Oscars

Picking the 2012 Academy Awards

It's that time again; time for the Hollywood elite to roll out the red carpet and part themselves on the back. That's right - it's the Academy Awards.

As someone who spends a lot of time at the movies, this is one of my favorite times of the year. Awards such as the Oscars are great because they inspire conversation - who do you think will win, who do you think should win, which movies did you see, which movies did you like, which did you hate - and on and on and on.

So I'm once more putting my prognostication skills on the line. These are my picks for some of the big awards come Sunday night. Again, these aren't necessarily the people and films that I think should win. They're the ones I think will win. Sometimes, they're the same. More often, they're not.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:40

Safe House' worth a stay

Action film elevated by strong lead performances
I imagine that we all have certain actors whose work we particularly enjoy. All movie stars are not created equal - everyone has a favorite, someone who consistently hits home runs in his or her eyes. On the flip side, I (and I'm sure most of you) also have actors - not many, but a few - whose work I simply cannot stand. For whatever reason, their continued popularity not only confuses me, but actively offends me as well. But what happens when a favorite and a not-favorite wind up on screen together?

'Safe House.' That's what happens.

Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds, 'The Change-Up') is a CIA 'housekeeper,' in charge of maintaining a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. He's been at it for a year and is desperate for a promotion to field work. The job is monotonous and utterly boring. Right up until a CIA retrieval team shows up with legendary rogue agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington, 'The Book of Eli') in custody.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:36

Say I don't' to The Vow'

Unlikely love story inoffensive, uninteresting
I have no problem with being emotionally manipulated by a movie. I think those artificial feelings are a huge part of why we go to the movies in the first place. However, when that manipulation becomes too forced and overt, it loses its impact and becomes hollow and false.

It becomes a movie like 'The Vow.'

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:34

Love is in the air - Boeing Boeing'

PTC presents frantic farce

BANGOR - Love is a complicated thing. Finding the time to balance your own needs with the needs of your loved one can be difficult. Trying to balance the needs of three different loved ones? That's when things get crazy.

And hilarious.

Penobscot Theatre is presenting 'Boeing Boeing,' by Marc Camoletti, through Feb. 26 at the Bangor Opera House. It's a debut on multiple levels for PTC newcomer Bari Newport. Not only is this the first show of her tenure as the new artistic director of the theatre, but it's also her directorial debut here in Bangor.

UMaine presents a grown-up puppet musical
ORONO - From childhood, I've had an affinity for puppets. There's a wonderful anarchy that puppets seem to inspire that can result in moments that are engaging and absurd at the same time. Throw in the element of music and the potential for joyful chaos is maximized. It's the chance to create work that tells a story in a very unique way.

'Avenue Q,' the musical by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marz and Jeff Whitty, is that sort of work. A production of the Tony-winning show is currently being mounted by the University of Maine's School of Performing Arts. The show is directed by Sandra Hardy and musically directed by Danny Williams; it is being performed in Hauck Auditorium and runs through Feb. 19.


Original adaptation to appear at inaugural NY Children's Theatre Festival
BANGOR - When I saw Penobscot Theatre Company's production of 'The Velveteen Rabbit' a couple of years ago, I came away very impressed. Playwright Andrew Frodahl - who also happens to be PTC's technical director - had managed to adapt a beloved story respectfully while still making it very much his own. It was a wonderful production of an excellent script. Like I said - impressive.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so. Frodahl's script has been selected for production at the inaugural New York Children's Theatre Festival, one of only three to receive a slot. The show will hit the stage at the end of the festival, running the first weekend in May.

Of course, it took a whole lot of work to get there.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:00

Tower Heist (PG-13)

The staff of a luxury apartment building loses their entire pension fund to the big-deal financial adviser who lives in the penthouse. So they decide to steal it back.
5 out of 5
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:45

Hugo (PG)

That's right Martin Scorcese made a movie for kids. But his haunting Paris landscape combined with a complex, fact-based story and exceptional performances make this a movie that anyone can enjoy.
5 out of 5
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