October 2008


All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 9

By Zack Smith

In the penultimate section of our look back at All Star Superman, we examine some of the religious underpinnings of the series.  Many have compared Superman to Christ, but how does Grant Morrison really see him – or religion in general? 

Boy, we’re really milking this, aren’t we?

All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 8

By Zack Smith

As we head into the home stretch of our look back at All Star Superman with Grant Morrison, we take a look at where Superman came from – both on and off the page. In this section, Morrison discusses how the Superman stories of the past influenced his miniseries – and how he interprets Superman’s homeworld of Krypton.

Read the full interview here!

Reprinted from the Indpendent Weekly

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Hoof ‘n’ Horns @ Duke University
Through Nov. 2

Just in time for Halloween comes Duke’s Department of Theatre Studies and Hoof ‘n’ Horn’s production of perhaps the most Goth musical ever, Stephen Sondheim’s classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Those who felt underserved by the Tim Burton/ Johnny Depp film adaptation last year (they cut the prologue!) will be thoroughly entertained by this version, which emphasizes the dark comedy of Sondheim’s adaptation.

Sweeney Todd is the tale of the barber exiled to prison by a lecherous judge in love with his wife, who returns home to a soot-choked London for vengeance. When he’s not after the judge or his daughter, Johanna (Claire Florian), he strikes up a relationship with Mrs. Lovett, whose meat pies he improves through a special ingredient.

It’s odd that a play involving rampant bloodletting and perverse relationships has become a cornerstone of modern musical theater, but this production has an almost classical feel, stripping down much of the fog effects and layered makeup from recent productions to put the emphasis on the performers. Jayme Mellema’s scene design combines crooked sets with rear-projection to create the sense of a London gone askew, while director John Clum, in his last directorial effort at Duke, does an excellent job of handling the complex, fast-paced production.

This show alternates the major roles; Scott Cruikshank played the role of Todd on the night I attended, and reprises the role on Nov. 1. Todd is played by Nate Jones during the other performances, while Cruikshank takes over as Judge Turpin from Michael Bergen. Itohan Aghayere played Mrs. Lovett on the night I attended; she alternates with Becky Swern. Cruikshank and Aghayere did fine the night I saw them, though Cruikshank’s deep voice makes him a good choice for the lecherous Turpin, and I’m curious to see him in that role. Among the ensemble, a standout is Kousha Navidar as the ludicrous huckster Pirelli; his exuberance in the role gives his scenes a particular comic energy.

Pun intended, you should definitely attend the tale of Sweeney Todd—especially on Halloween, when there’s a special “Come in Costume” performance. —Zack Smith

All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 7

By Zack Smith

In the seventh part of our 10-part look back at All-Star Superman with Grant Morrison, we find out what went into making the “ultimate” Superman story, some insights into the nature of Morrison’s collaboration with artist Frank Quitely, and why writing this series wasn’t like his gigs on Batman and Final Crisis.

Read the full interview here!

All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 6

By Zack Smith

Welcome to the second half of our 10-part look back at All Star Superman with Grant Morrison. In this part, we’ll find out more about the themes of the series, and how Morrison views the power of stories.

Read the full interview here!

All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 5

By Zack Smith
Our conversation with Grant Morrison about his and Frank Quitely’s recently concluded run on All-Star Superman continues with a look at Superman’s supporting cast, along with his arch-enemy Lex Luthor.

Read the full interview here!

All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 4

By Zack Smith
posted: 2008-10-24 12:06:00 ET

We also learn how he revamped an obscure Supergirl antagonist for fan-favorite nasty, and find out how Samson and Atlas were influenced by a British comic you’ll have to see to believe.

Read the full interview here!

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