Stories are waves: My daughter insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl and I'm her willing conspirator in updating the classics for our times [more inside]
The ruins of empire: Asia's emergence from western imperialism Moreover, a narcissistic history – one obsessed with western ideals, achievements, failures and challenges – can only retard a useful understanding of the world today. For most people in Europe and America, the history of the present is still largely defined by victories in the second world war and the long standoff with Soviet communism, even though the central event of the modern era, for a majority of the world's population, is the intellectual and political awakening of Asia and its emergence, still incomplete, from the ruins of both Asian and European empires. The much-heralded shift of power from the west to the east may or may not happen. But only neo-imperialist dead-enders will deny that we have edged closer to the cosmopolitan future the first generation of modern Asian thinkers, writers and leaders dreamed of – in which people from different parts of the world meet as equals rather than as masters and slaves, and no one needs to shoot elephants to confirm their supremacy.
It Ain't Necessarily "Porgy". Director Diane Paulus is turning The Gershwins' (and DuBose Heyward's) Porgy & Bess from an opera into a commercial Broadway musical, with a more upbeat ending. Stephen Sondheim takes issue with this bold reinterpretation. [more inside]
Ctrl is an NBC webseries starring Tony Hale (Arrested Development's Buster, Chuck's Emmett Milbarge) as an office drone who suddenly finds that, thus far, CTRL-Z lets him undo recent events in his own life, and CTRL-B emboldens him to stand up to his boss and confess his love to the source of his crush. It was based on a short film, Ctrl-Z, starring Hale's Chuck co-star Zachary Levi as the boss. Not exactly a new concept, but nonetheless well-executed by a fairly good comic team ... [more inside]