Stage director Michael Shell, conductor Ryan McAdams, and the cast of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' "Barber of Seville" can all congratulate themselves on a job well done. Kelley Rourke's translation/adaptation of the original libretto and Mr. Shell's visual concepts take a few liberties as they move the action up to (roughly) the mid-1960s, but I felt that none of them violated the intentions of either the original opera or, for that matter, the Beaumarchais play that started it all. The result it a loopy, slightly surreal, and highly engaging take this comic opera classic.
In several of his films, Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar indulges a riotous zaniness, including "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" and "Volver." His newest "I'm So Excited" only periodically achieves the heights I expect from Almodóvar, though this much slighter film still delivers a few wonderfully zany moments.
Film lovers applaud Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar's entertaining playfulness uniquely combined with a social commentary. His newest film, The Skin I Live In/La Piel Que Habito, will reinforce his reputation for offbeat humor and inspired art direction in his strangest story yet. It combines the Frankenstenian, mad-scientist tradition with the Spanish telenovela-type melodrama complete with heightened emotional twists and turns.