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These Days: Monday, April 10th, 2017

The Olivier Awards: Last night in the UK, “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” walked off with nine out of eleven awards, and it deserved all eleven. I went to London to see it last September and consider it the finest theatrical experience of my life my review here). If reading the play put you off, don’t let it, it is a completely brilliant update of the Potter story, 20 years after “Deadly Hollows” and the most complete Potter there is. The published play doesn’t begin to do it justice. Coming to the Lyric, Spring 2018, if I could fit it in I would go again. “Cursed Child” won best new play, and honors for the actors playing Harry, Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius. That Scorpius, by Belfast boy wonder Anthony Boyle, will live on in West End lore long after he has left the play. Personally, I wouldn’t mind making a dash over to London to watch it again before next year.

New Music: The new Frank Ocean single, “Biking” with Jay Z sounding almost like Jay Z and Tyler The Creator almost like a grown up, is an r&b ballad about the cycle of life (geddit) and is better than anything on Blonde or Endless, both of which I loved. The bass hook throbs in the background and the three voices play off each other in ways that are quite surprising, and very lovely. Grade: A-

Oldies:  Is there a worse covered Beatles song. The pivot line isn’t “something In the way she moves me”, it Is”stick around now it may show”. Think of the George Harrison who wrote”Old Brown Shoe”… “Something” is offhanded to strengthen the love it explores because the love is incomplete and everybody, even Presley, over sings it: a subtly deep new love song becomes a sledgehammer that crashes and burns time after time (ps still working on my Aloha review)

The State Budget: A big win for Cuomo, New York State Senate passes $153.1B budget nine days after deadline. However, despite being completely wrong about both Obama and Trump, I am ready to bet Cuomo doesn’t run for President.

Sports: Helped no end by ELEVEN walks, and by CC closing down the birds after giving up 2 runs early, the Yanks win and are now 2 – 4. Thor wins, blister or no blister and the Mets are currently in a FOUR WAY TIE FOR FIRST PLACE! Sergio Garcia wins his first masters on his 74th attempt.

Television: I am as sick of Alec Baldwin’s increasingly unamusing Trump as I ever have been of anything. However, his Bill O’Reilly, all unctuous smiles and creepy hypocrisy, is aces. Better was the Chainsmokers, coming off their terrific new album released last Friday,  Memories… Do Not Open, are figuring out how to perform live after a bad performance at Jingle Ball 2016. Andrew Taggart is a star in waiting..

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