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  • Can it be true that the last time we'll see Richard Dreyfuss onstage will be Culture Project's concert reading of Colin Greer's Imagining Heschel?

    The Brooklyn native, absent from Bway since the short-lived revival of Larry Gelbart's Sly Fox and not seen Off Bway since he participated in Christopher Trumbo's powerful play about his screenwriter father, Trumbo: Red, White, and Blacklisted, and in C.P.'s The Exonerated, says that though he never made an official announcement, "because I don't like to make absolute statements, I've retired as an actor. They say never say never, but I stopped being actorcentric. People say, 'I've seen you in this and this,' true. But what you haven't seen is me acting on any type of regular basis. Film and stage is no longer the center of my life. It's only happens when I need to."

    aaaDreyComposite.jpgWhen he used the word "need"and when it comes to the stage, Dreyfuss isn't necessarily speaking of money.

    "When powerful things with fascinating ideas arise, like Imagining Heschel, or Culture Project's The Exonerated, I may be interested."

    He's now very hands-on involved "in the revival and enhancement of practical political power with special programs in civics" from grammar school through graduation in schools across the nation. In addition, he visits religious and ethical organizations and business groups.


    "In 2004, I did something I felt I had to do before I died," Dreyfuss relates, "I made a major choice to walk away and for four years went to Oxford. I wanted to learn what civics was, both as a subject and as a curriculum - and how to teach it. I found that if you shaped the exercises of the intellect based on reason, logic, clarity of thought, and critical analysis that they were applicable to all subjects at all levels."

    ince Imagining Herschel may be the last or one of the last time to catch the Oscar winning [The Goodbye Girl] film vet onstage, rush to the Cherry Lane, where the play will run through November 28.

    Dreyfuss, who's just 63, even though he plays muchhhhhhh older in I.H. where he's actually supposed to be in his 60s, portrays Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel opposite respected writer, opera composer, and director Rinde Eckert as Italian Augustin Cardinal Bea, a confidant to Pope John XXIII. The work is set against private meetings here and in Vatican City [with Bea and the Pope] between 1962 and 1973 when XXIII was exploring a formal declaration to exonerate Jews for the death of Christ, which many believe to be a great source of anti-Semitism.

    What brought him out of "retirement" was the fact that the play "is thick with ideas that would hardly be appropriate for venues like film or TV and it's a work where you can wrap you head around some interesting and ideas." 


    In 1994, after Rabbi Heschel, who in the end could not bring himself to participate in helping Pope John XXIII craft a formal declaration, had died and XXIII had initiated sweeping changes in the Church - including the  exonerating declaration, Dreyfuss, who is Jewish, read excerpts from Leonard Bernstein's Kaddish performed for Pope John Paul II in the first official Vatican commemoration of the Holocaust.

    "It was an incredible day," he recalls. "I went with a friend who's Catholic but who had some political arguments with Pope John Paul. However, she told me that when he put his hand on her check, it was like an electric current shooting through her and she knew him to be a saintly man. Though it was a historic moment, long in coming, not being Catholic, I felt no such mystery, no jolt." 

    Maybe, Dreyfuss is only semi-retired from acting. He's been quite busy on big and little screen. He's just come off of a much-acclaimed and fun role in the thriller comedy Red as billionaire villain Alexander Dunning. He has a recurring role in Showtime's Weeds, opposite Mary Louise Parker.

    There are three movies in the can or in production: Lone Star Trixie, an indie directed, written, and co-starring Laura Cayouette; the screen adaptation of the TV western The Big Valley, which co-stars Lee Majors [who co-starred in the series opposite Barbara Stanwyck and Linda Evans], Jessica Lange, Sara Paxton, and Stephen Moyer as the Barkleys and features Bruce Dern, Aidan Quinn, and John Savage; and Different Kind of Love, of which little is known except it appears to be an indie and Dreyfuss' co-star will be beautiful Selma Blair [Hellboy; Homeland Security; TV's Kath & Kim].

    Regarding, Imagining Heschel, it's an intriguing premise, but comes off more like a series of monologues than a "play." The fact, that for whatever reasons, it's a reading with the actors holding scripts the majority of the time, doesn't help. [Two rumors are circulating: Dreyfuss couldn't commit to extensive rehearsal time; Dreyfuss, it's reported, has memory loss problems as a result of drug probs 30 years ago.] That said, thanks to performances by Dreyfuss and Eckert, there are many poignant moments.

    I take issue with some of the facts Greer presents. I'm certainly no Vatican scholar, but I grew up Roman Catholic [and along side two priests who became Cardinals] and Greer doesn't always have his facts straight. Yes, the German Catholic Church of that time should be condemned for unofficially standing side-by-side the Nazis; and, like even our own President Roosevelt, Popes Pius XI [ascended February 1922 - February 1939] and Pius XII [ascended March 1939 - October 1958] could have done more to publicly outcry the extermination of European Jews, but to claim the papacy condoned it and didn't take steps to protect Jews is ludicrous. Just the opposite is well-documented.  

    Do You Hear Bells?

    Three-time Tony nom and DD nom Kelli O'Hara and Will Chase [currently, Billy Elliot] headline Encores! season opener Bells Are Ringing, with music by Jule Styne and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Remaining performances are tonight at 8, Saturday, at 2 and 8, and Sunday 6:30.
    aBells.jpgTony and DD winner Kathleen Marshall directs/choreographs, with music direction by
     Encores! Rob Berman and the 30 + orchestra. The cast of 30 + includes Dylan Baker, Bobby Cannavale, Tony winner and DD nom Judy Kaye, Tony nom Brad Oscar, David Pittu, Danny Rutigliano, Jeffrey Schecter, and
    John Vennema.

    Among the tunes from the 1956 musical, originally staged by Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, are "Just in Time," "The Party's Over," "I Met a Girl," "Long Before I Knew You," and se. The show won Tonys for its stars Judy Holliday and Sydney Chaplin.

    Bells Are Ringing received support from the Joseph and Diane Steinberg Charitable Trust and Roz and Jerry Meyer; with season support from the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores! American Express, Stacey and Eric Mindich, and the Newman's Own Foundation fund season support.
    Encores! season tkts as well as individual tkts for Bells [$25-$100] are available at the City Center box office, through CityTix, (212) 581-1212, and online at www.NYCityCenter.org.
    The season contines February 3-6 with Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's 1949 Lost in the Stars, based on Alan Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country. Gary Griffin will direct. The season closes March 17-20 with George Abbott and Frank Loesser's 1948 musical romp Where's Charley? John Doyle will direct.

    Arresting Dramas

    There's always interesting theater in NYC. For example, take these two prems:

    aBBlethyn.jpg59E59 Theatres and the 2010 Brits Off Broadway will be hosting the U.S. prem of Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre's production of Edna O'Brien's Haunted , marking the return to the NY stage after a long absence of two-time Oscar nom Brenda Blethyn.

    She plays Mrs. Berry in an interesting triangle, opposite Niall Buggy [Translations] and Beth Cooke, about how her husband's fascination with a young woman causes him to declare her dead and give away her clothes. But, threatening the relationship, Mrs. Berry is very much alive and searches for a reason for her rapidly diminishing wardrobe.

    Blythyn, awarded the O.B.E. in Queen Elizabeth's 2003 New Year's Honours List, received the 1981 Supporting Actress London Critics' Circle Award for her performance in Nell Dunn's Steaming; and was nominated as Actress of the Year for the 1984 Olivier in Michael Frayn's Benefactors.

    She made her Off Bway debut in 1991 at MTC in Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends opposite Gillian Anderson and Peter Frechette. She made her Bway debut in the 2004 revival of 'night Mother, which co-starred Edie Falco.

    As Cynthia Rose Purley in Mike Leigh's Secrets and Lies [1996], opposite Marianne Jean-Baptiste, she received critical acclaim, won the  BAFTA, and, along with Jean-Baptiste, and Oscar nom. She was also nom'd for her performance in Little Voice [1998].

    Haunted plays 59E59 [between Madison and Park Avenues] from December 1- January 2. Tickets are $45 [$31.50, members], during previews; then $60 [$42, members]. To purchase tickets, visit the 59E59 box office, call Ticket Central, (212) 279-4200, or book online at www.59e59.org.  For more information on Brits Off Bway, visit www.britsoffbroadway.com.

    Guy Fredrick Glass' new play The Last Castrato, "a gender-bending tale of musical intrigue," presented by Gap in the Wall Productions at Off Bway's Connelly Theater [220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B in the East Village] tells the fascinating story of Alessandro Moreschi, the last of that unique, almost forgotten group - the castrati [the castrated youth who sang in the Sistine Chapel Choir and later became luminous opera stars in female roles] - who preserves his voice for the newly-invented phonograph. Set amid vast conspiracies and intrigue at, of all places, the Vatican, he battles back-biting bureaucracy, homophobia, and political ambition while grappling with his sexual identity. 

    aCastrato.jpgGlass, who's also a psychiatrist, says he wanted to tell the story "of the final years of an illustrious chapter in music history, exemplified by the exotic creatures who became as famous in the Baroque era as Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson in ours."

    There are excellent performances among the cast of nine. Especially notable are Frank Anderson, 2010 NY Innovative Theatre Outstanding Actor winner for The Return of Peter Grimm, as a long-faded castrato whom a newly-elevated cardinal can't wait to get rid of amid sweeping anti-castrati measures taken by Pope Piux X; Jacob Pinion, as Moreschi, the last catrato, and Doug Kreeger [superb in this year's Fringe Fest hit Veritas] as, well, maybe the second-to-last castrato; Joseph Hill, who's the designated singer of those unbelievably high notes worthy of any Met soprano; and Drama Desk winner Bethe B. Austin [Noises Off, Sly Fox], who delivers a deliciously dizzy performance.

    Nods must also go to costumer Brenda Abbandandolo and director John Henry Davis [TV's Oz]. Theatergoers will also treasure Gap in the Wall's recreation of an early 20th Century program. 

    Tickets are $18. To purchase tickets and more information, log onto www.lastcastrato.com.

    MM Hits Town [Again] [and NJ] Running

    "I love New York," says hit-making recording/multiple award-winning cabaret artist Marilyn Maye, who has just slipped back into town again [it doesn't even seem as if she left]. "I can't get enough of it - the pace, the energy, the music. And, thank God, unlike a lot of places, they really get me here."

    She's speaking of her fans "who have been more than more than loyal" since rediscovering Miss Maye four years ago in such venues as the Metropolitan Room, "my home away from home," and Feinstein's at the Regency.

    After her recent two-week SRO Metro run, Miss Maye did a 10-show engagement in her native Kansas City.

    aMMaye.jpgEven though she's celebrating her 80th, she's back in town to play three more dates at the Metro; and, on Friday at 8 P.M. at Carnegie Hall, to help continue celebrating Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday at what is said to be the last of the celebrations - at least for the year. She joins SS and Steven Reineke and his NY Pops Orchestera.

    Miss Maye, one of the greatest torch singers ever, is noted for her rendition of "I'm Still Here," which she sang in a Dallas production of Follies. Also appearing are Alexand
    er Gemignani, Aaron Lazar, Christiane Noll, and Essential Voices USA.

    The program will include selections from Company, Evening Primrose, Follies, A Funny Thing..., Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, Saturday Night, and Sunday in the Park... The concert opens with the Merrily overture and includes a Sweeney symphonic suite.

    The 80 + strong Pops, with a 40-piece string section, is the U.S.'s largest not-for-profit and indie orchestra. Tickets are $16.50 - $106 and available at the Carnegie Hall box office or online at www.newyorkpops.org/stephen-sondheim-80th-birthday-celebration.


    She makes her New Jersey Performing Arts Center [NJPAC] debut on December 4 with two shows in the Chase Room at 7 and 9:30, Mercer the Maye Way, celebrating the songs of Johnny Mercer. Songs will include "Too Marvelous for Words," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Moon River," and "One for My Baby."


    Tkts are on sale for $48 and $68 and are available by telephone at (888) 466-5722, at the NJPAC Box Office at One Center Street in downtown Newark, or at www.njpac.org.

    Miss Maye's back at the Metro
    December 5, 6, and 7 "by popular demand" at 7 P.M., reviving Her Own Kind of Broadway, which garnered packed-houses and rave reviews. The show is a retrospective of the roster of Bway tunes she recorded for RCA.

    Highlights include her brassy renditions of "Cabaret," Bacharach and David's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" from Promises, Promises; Bernstein and Leigh's "Step to the Rear" from How Now, Dow Jones; a Frank Loesser tribute with songs from Guys and Dolls; and Sondheim's "I'm Still Here," which she sang in a San Diego Follies, and "Losing My Mind."

    Admission is $30, with a two-drink minimum. To reserve, call (212) 206-0440, or log onto www.metropolitanroom.com. For more on Miss Maye, visit www.MarilynMaye.com.

    Miss Maye, who has the distinction of 76 appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, is a recipient of the 2009 and 2010 MAC Artist of the Year Award. She was recently honored with the NY Cabaret Convention's Mabel Mercer Award, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award. Her recording of "Too Late Now" is  included in the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection.


    Chita Will Sing Them All

    aCRivera10.jpgChita - and there's only one! - will help ring in the holiday season with a return to Birdland for four shows November 26 and 27, at 8:30 and 11:30.  The Presidential Medal of Freedom and Kennedy Center Honor honoree, and  multi-Tony-winning star with the unstoppable legs will perform songs from her memorable shows: Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink, Chicago, Sweet Charity, Bye, Bye Birdie, WSS, and The Visit.  Michael Croiter and trio will accompany

    She's taking a little break from her world tour of Chita Rivera: My Broadway and her annual weeks-long tradition of decorating her Rockland County home for the holidays. And Now I Sing, Chita's solo CD, produced by M.D. Croiter, is on the Yellow Sound label.

    For Birdland reservations, call (212) 581-3080, book or online at www.birdlandjazz.com.


    Peter Will Sign Them All

    Peter Filichia's Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit & the Biggest Flop of the Season, 1959 to 2009 [Applause Books; 277 pages; trade softcover; SRP $20] is a must for theater lovers and a perfect holiday gift.

    aaBroadway.jpgFilichia will be signing books on November 30 at 7:30 P.M. at Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Square. In quite the turnabout, Filicia, who is always the interviewer, will interviewed - and you'll never guess by whom. OK, I'll tell you:

    the sensational raconteur and DD-winner Jim Brochu [Zero Hour].

    On December 2, Filichia will be signing at the Drama Book Shop [ 250 West 40th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues], where he'll be interviewed by none other than Ken Bloom, author of  The 101 Greatest Musicals of All Time.


    Filichia chronicles what he calls the "extreme cases" from a half-century of shows that went from torturous out-of-town tryouts to Broadway previews and which, in a majority of cases, actually opened. Both categories have award winning composers, bookwriters, lyricists, producers, and A-List stars.


    You may not always agree with his Hit and Flop selections, but you'll still enjoy the indefatigable research and the way Filichia breezes through the decades with commentary from theater insiders, behind-the-scenes  trials and tribulations, and the joy and despair of opening  nights. He's often blunt and unforgiving [yet in a kind way], and not always about the flops.


    Saving the Temple
    Artists from Bway, Off Bway, cabaret star in A Salute the Actors Temple, a musical celebration to benefit the historic Actors Temple [339 West 47th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues] Sunday at 7:30 P.M.

    aaLCariou.jpgHeadliners include Len Cariou, Eric Comstock, Jamie deRoy, Beth Fowler, Anita Gillette, Jackie Hoffman, George S. Irving, Kurt Peterson, Steve Ross, Martin Vidnovic, and Sal Viviano. Dennis Buck music directs. Randie Levine-Miller is producing. 

    "There's so much history at the Actors Temple," says Levine-Miller, "but it's not the well- heeled or solvent organization it used to be. Legendary members include Jack Benny, Sophie Tucker, Eddie Cantor, Joey Adams, Al Jolson, Milton Berle, and Red Buttons."

    Temple rabbi Jill Hausman, "It's wonderful so many talented people of different faiths are coming together to lend their talents in support of the synagogue, which is also a part of the Broadway community's history. The temple has always been a place of acceptance for all. With this event, we're building on that legacy and bringing the synagogue into a new era so we can continue to be a place of service, creativity, connection, and spiritual growth."

    Tkts, all tax-deductible, are $100-$500. An after-party follows at Tony's Di Napoli [147 West 43rd Street, just off Broadway]. To RSVP, phone (212) 362-3616 or contact Ms. Levine-Miller at [email protected].  

    Sondheim Celebration on PBS and DVD


    PBS will broadcast Sonhheim! The Birthday Concert on Great Performances on November 24. Shot March 15 and 16 at Avery Fisher Hall, it includes 24 numbers from the Sondheim canon - many rarely heard. Several are performed by original cast members of his shows. David Hyde Pierce hosts with SS's longtime collaborator Paul Gemignani conducting the NY Philharmonic. Lonny Price directed.

    aaSondBd.jpgBernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin and Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien reunite, respectively, from Sunday in the Park... and Into the Woods. Patti LuPone, George Hearn, and Michael Cerveris team for Sweeney Todd showstoppers.

    The Follies salute features Hyde Pierce performing "Beautiful Girls"; and Marin Mazzie, Donna Murphy, and LuPone in renditions of "Losing My Mind," "Could I Leave You," and "Ladies Who Lunch" - in additon to  Elaine Stritch's memorable "I'm Still Here."

    The cast also includes Laura Benanti, Matt Cavenaugh, Victoria Clark, Jenn Colella, Jason Danieley Alexander Gemingnani, Nathan Gunn, Audra McDonald, John McMartin, Marin Mazzie, Bernadette Peters, Bobby Steggert, Jim Walton, and dancers from the West Side Story revival. 

    Sonhheim! The Birthday Concert is also available on DVD [Image Entertainment; 116 minutes; SRP $25; Blu-ray, $30].

    Celebrating Puccini

    The Metropolitan Opera will present La Fanciulla del West - The Girl of the Golden West - starring Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani, and Lucio Gallo, December 6 through January 8. Nicola Luisotti will conduct.

    The December 10 performance will be 100 years to the day of the prem with Emmy Destinn, Enrico Caruso, and Pasquale Amato in leading roles. For the anniversary, Simonetta Puccini, the composer's granddaughter, and Walfredo Toscanini, grandson of maestro Arturo Toscanini, who conducted the prem, will attend.


    Often, in opera circles, the librettists are overlooked and unappreciated, but all that beautiful music is sung and in Fanciulla's case, the libretto is by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, who had never set foot in the U.S. much less the "golden West." 

    The final performance on January 8 will telecast to more that 1,500 movie theaters e worldwide as part of the Met's Live in HD series and broadcast over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.


    On December 3 at NY's Italian Cultural Institute, an e-conference site, www.fanciulla100.org, will be launched to celebrate Fanciulla's centennial performances. It will feature video interviews with performers, archival photos and footage, and scholarly opera essays premiere.


    On December 6, a symposium, Fanciulla 100: Celebrating Puccini, will be held at Boston University in collaboration with the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. It will feature an exhibition of original archival material entitled The Girl of the Golden West: Chronicling Puccini's Fanciulla, showcasing material from the Toscanini family, and from collections held at the Center and including the papers of Sarah Caldwell, Tito Gobbi, Dorothy Kirsten, Rise Stevens, Deborah Voigt and others.


    Deemed one of the most spectacular events in Met history, Fanciulla takes place during the California Gold Rush and was based on the hit Broadway play by American dramatist David Belasco, The Girl of the Golden West.

    New to CD

    Ervin Drake's 1964 musical What Makes Sammy Run?, with book by Stuart and Budd Schulberg and based on the latter's classic, biting Hollywood novel, is available on CD from Sony Masterworks for the first time as DLs through digital service providers and as a disc-on-demand, from Arkivmusic.com, which will include original cover art and liner notes.

    The musical, starred Tony nom'd Steve Lawrence, Sally Ann Howes and Robert Alda. It played 540 performances at the long-gone 54th Street Theatre, which was at Seventh Avenue. The Grammy-nominated score includes "Maybe Some Other Time," "A Room Without Windows," My Hometown," and "Something to Live For." The director was the legendary George Abbott.


    Transport Group's December 6 Gimme a Break! gala, beginning at 6:30 P.M. at the Asia Society and Museum [725 Park Avenue at East 70th Street], in addition to cocktails, hors d'oevres, and silent auction, will be hosted by Julie Halston and feature performances by Kate Baldwin, Charles Busch, Emily Skinner, Bobby Steggert, and Mary Testa. Tickets start at $250. For tkts, contact Michelle Ellis, [email protected]. For more information, go to www.transportgroup.org.

    Pottering Coming to an End

    J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 [Warner Bros., Heyday Films] begins the last chapter of the most successful motion picture franchise of all time. David Yates [H.P. and the Order of the Phoenix, H.P. and the Half-Blood Prince] directs.

    This, the seventh and final adventure in the Potter series, will finale Summer 2011 with Part 2. The films have come a long way, seguing from very child-friendly fare and all the fun and misadventure at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to this, probably the deepest and darkest. However, more than before, having an intimate knowledge of H.P. 7's predecessors will infinitely add to following the proceedings, which often whiz by faster than a speeding owl.

    That it still manages to be a winner without all the comical trappings of the early entries is thanks to David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films who again assembles a stellar team - topped by cinematographer, Oscar nom Eduardo Serra; editor Mark Day; production designer, Oscar winner Stuart Craig; and special effects designer, Oscar nom Tim Burke.

    aaaHarryRadEmma.jpgAt two hours and 26 minutes, without the fun of so many of the colorful students and villains we first met back in 2001 in Sorcereer's Stone, it has long, bleak dry patches. However, when things start popping, flying, and exploding, it's very much in your face. This is one film that should have been made in 3-D. [It has been digitally re-mastered to experience on IMAX screens and with ultra-enchanced sound.]

    No doubt, the love affair with Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson, portraying Hermione Granger, will continue as they shine in other work. Each has great screen presence. Radcliffe seems destined to be onscreen, with three films either in the can or in post-production in addition to 2, and onstage. He made a major Bway splash choosing to debut here opposite his Harry co-star Richard Griffiths in the 2009 Equus revival of [Drama Desk nom, but amazingly overlooked for a Tony nod] is returning to Bway this season as J. Pierrepont Finch in the revival of How to Succeed...and he'll be singing.

    Regarding his matinee idol status, Radcliffe quite modestly states, "Whoever had been cast as Harry would have received the attention. You have to realize that it's not becuase it's you. We've all done well in terms of not believeing the hype, and by getting on with our jobs and appreciating we're very lucky to be there."

    Some of the characters we became fond of have returned - Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, Brendan Gleeson as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, and, unless you blink, Griffiths as and Julie Waters as Mrs. Weasley. The cast also features Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy, Fiona Shaw, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, and the most welcome return of the voice of Toby Jones as Dobby, a most welcome return [for the first time since Chamber of Secrets, and one of the film's highlights and scenestealers.

    The villains have gotten uglier and, more than ever, eat every piece of scenery that's not tied down. Some of the treasured ones, such as the enigmatic Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape, don't have much to do here; but surely will open the gates of Hell in 2. That's not the case for Ralph Finnes as the all-evil Lord Voldemort, though you may have a time recognizing him; and Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange [it would've been fantastic to have another half hour of her histronics].

    In the beginning of the end, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on a mission to destroy the Horcruxes, which to the uninitiated are the keys to Voldemort's; however, for the first time, "dark forces" threaten to destroy an indestructible friendship.

    It seems the entire wizarding world is more dangerous than ever for enemies of Voldemort. The Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and terrorize/arrest/or worse the Hogwarts. "The Chosen One," H.P., is hunted down. His only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. As he clings to freedom against all but insurmountable odds, Harry uncovers the legend of the Deathly Hallows, which if true, could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks.

    The kids are grown now, with all the expectant harmones. Rated PG-13, H.P. 7, in addition to sequences of intense violence and frightening images [especially Voldemort's bloodcurdling sequences; the Seven Potters chase and the Snatchers; and Bellatrix's channeling Oz's Wicked Witch of the West's psycho-sadism] that aren't suitable for very young audiences.

    Water Tower Music has released the original motion picture soundtrack - recorded with the London Symphony, with over 70 minutes of music by Oscar and Grammy nom and Golden Globe winner Alexandre Desplat [Twilight Saga: New Moon, ...Benjamin Button].


    Ellis Nassour is an international media journalist, and author of Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline, which he has adapted into a musical for the stage. Visit www.patsyclinehta.com.

    He can be reached at [email protected]

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