A recap/review of The Office’s Lotto (Season 8, Episode 3)
Lauren Lovette, in particular, is fascinating to watch in this piece: she almost passively lets the music and choreography move through her body, and yet imbues all of her movements with quiet conviction. With her light touch, she makes even the most artificially passionate steps – as when she collapses at the waist and her fingers thread down her face as if weeping – seem natural.
The revealed mystery of “those across the river,” how they came to be and what they want, is a delightfully genre-bending juxtaposition of supernatural horror and gothic drama. Buehlman blends these surprising elements in a novel that is simultaneously poetically spare and defiantly eclectic.
At root, the novel seems to rest on a misapprehension: that the world of Jane Austen would be more exciting if it had vampires in it. During it, we discover that in the first draft of Mansfield Park, Fanny was, in fact, one of said bloodthirsty beasties. Did anyone ever read Mansfield Park and think “Not bad, but it could do with more of the undead”?
I loved the opening of this episode, with the steam train running through the Gherkin and traffic jams of cars hanging from hot air balloons. It was beautifully fantastic, as was much of the episode. The plot, indeed, was equally fanciful, but somewhat less satisfying than the visuals.
What do you call a two-hour movie with forty-five minutes of wholesome, inspirational tearjerking and a buck-fifteen of dead weight? No, not The Blind Side. This year, you may call it Machine Gun Preacher.
But as Ocean’s Kingdom joins a growing pile of choreographic train wrecks (a drab revival of Seven Deadly Sins and the vapid For the Love of Duke were last years’ attempts to bring in new audiences), it seems NYCB is more concerned with ticket sales than artistic integrity. There are certainly many composers and choreographers, young and established, who are doing exciting work, and looking for work. Why not give them, and the audience, a chance?