Friday, April 26, 2013

No Place on Earth" a Survival test


No Place on Earth” a Place to Survive

“No Place on Earth” is as serious as “Big Wedding” is silly. This is a true story of surviving the Holocaust in a remote corner of western Ukraine, underground, for a year and a half..
In 1942, when Germany invaded Russia, the Ukraine was part of the USSR. Esther Stermer was a mother determined to survive with her children at any cost. She and fellow Ukrainian Jews discovered the passageway to a large cave, and it was there they hid for a year and a half while war raged above.
The cave was rediscovered by an American spelunker and amateur detective Chris Nicola, who discovered clothes, shoes, pottery and other evidences of human habitation in the vast cave system. Nicola’s investigation uncovered the amazing story of the survival of 38 men, women and children from late 1942 until liberation in March, 1944.
The story is recounted in a memoir titled “We Fight to Survive,” by Esther Stermer.
Nicola and film writer-director Janet Tobias found survivors of the Stermer and Dodyk families in New York and Montreal and offered them the opportunity to revisit the dark refuge they had left 67 years ago.
Tobias recorded remembrances by Saul and Sam Stermer and Sonia and Simia Dodyk. All were children then, but are elderly now. Combined with Nicola’s detective tale and dramatic recreations by actors, the tale of survival is dramatized. “No Place” is literally dark. The interviews are barely lit, perhaps to simulate the darkness of the cave.
“No Place” is not as exciting or heart-wrenching as many Holocaust stories, but it is a remarkable account of the human spirit in a lesson one must never forget.

Talking Dirty and Acting Naughty for Fun & Profit


Big Stars Get Naughty in “The Big Wedding”

By Skip Sheffield

“The Big Wedding” offers some big-name movie stars the chance to talk dirty, act naughty and get paid well for it.
Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro play a divorced couple who are asked to pretend they are still married at the wedding of their adopted son.
Those of you who are divorced will surely know what a terrible idea this is, but it is the hook cooked up by writer-director Justin Zackham. Zackham is a bright young NYU Film School graduate who wrote the screen play for “The Bucket List.”
Both “The Bucket List’ and “Big Wedding’ deal in black humor, but the latter is more a sex farce.
This is clear at the outset when we see Ellie (Diane Keaton) find the hidden key to a big, beautiful lakefront estate in Connecticut to let herself in unannounced. Though Ellie has been divorced ten years from sculptor Don (Robert De Niro), she still has affection for the guy who cheated on her with her former best friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon).
Ellie picks a particularly embarrassing moment to barge in on Don and Bebe. This sets the tone for embarrassment galore to come.
Bebe has been living with Don ever since Ellie left and has been acting as a step mother to offspring Lyla (Katherine Heigl), Jared (Topher Grace) and adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes). Lyla is married but separated. Jared is a doctor and a prime catch for all the females in his vicinity, but he has vowed to remain a virgin until true love comes along. Jared is almost 30 and still waiting.
Alejando is engaged to be married to Missy (Amanda Seyfried), the lovely daughter of Don’s snobby, insufferable neighbors Muffy (Christine Ebersole) and Barry (David Rasche). Alejandro’s real mother is Madonna (Patricia Rae) a very pious Catholic woman who lives in Columbia. Madonna has never before come to the USA, but to be at her son’s side she decides to visit, with her nubile daughter Nuria (Ana Ayora) in tow.
Did we mention Don is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober three years, or that Bebe has been asked to bear gracefully the humiliation of Ellie masquerading in her role? Oh, and how about the fact Nuria takes an instant shine to Jared, despite the fact he is technically her half-brother?
Throw Robin Williams in as a boozy priest, and you have the recipe for chaos. To the credit of all involved, “Big Wedding” is very funny, though the laughs may feel guilty.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Priscilla Does West Palm Beach


“Priscilla” Struts His or Her Stuff at Kravis Center

By Skip Sheffield

The extremely colorful, disco-flavored, drag musical comedy “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” continues its merry run through Sunday, April 28 at Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” is one of the few movies I have never seen, but I do know it has an ardent cult following. I thought you had to be a fan of drag shows to enjoy “Priscilla,” but I was wrong. This is a spectacularly visual show for any sexual or political persuasion.
Both the 1994 MGM movie and the stage musical by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott are specifically set in Australia, with all the accents and details that entails. Australia is a rugged place with tough characters and a forbidding Outback, which makes staging a flouncy female impersonator show in the middle of nowhere all the more absurd.
Wade McCollum, Scott Willis and Bryan West are Tick (Mitzi), Bernadette and Adam (Felicia), the three stars of a costume drag show in Sydney, Australia. When the fellows (girls) get a booking way out in the desert town of Alice Springs, Tick sees it as a chance to have a reunion with his long ago-liaison Marion (Christy Faber) and the six-year-old son Benji (Shane Davis, Will B.) he has never met.
The nominal plot is the least important part of “Priscilla.” Far more important are the incredible costumes by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner; the magic, color-changing bus called Priscilla, designed by Bryan Thomson, and the thumping, thundering 1970s and 1980s greatest-hit disco songs by the likes of Madonna, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Dianne Warwick, Gloria Gaynor and even John Denver.
Adding to the spectacle are three airborne Divas: Emily Afton, Bre Jackson and Brit West, each a powerhouse in her own right.
Yes, there are real woman such as the Divas, a transsexual Bernadette, a gay-friendly mechanic named Bob (Joe Hart) and assorted cross-dressing gay and straight men.
It’s a heady, disorienting brew punctuated by one showcase song number after the other.
The mood is set with “It’s Raining Men” and continues with an amazing Tina Turner impersonation by a character known as Miss Understanding (Nik Alexzander) and the funniest rendition of the sappy ballad “MacArthur Park” you will ever see or hear.
Funny? Check. Tuneful? Check. Colorful? Double-check. Meaningful? Well sort of, if you feel in an ideal world even the most dramatically-opposed characters can get along.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Tickets are $35 and up. Call 800-572-8471 or go to

Polo Wraps in Wellington, Hits Miami Beach


Polo Wraps in Wellington, Opens in Miami Beach

By Skip Sheffield

Once upon a time, high-goal polo was played in Boca Raton at Royal Palm Polo Grounds.
Polo is still played at Royal Palm under the direction of Joey Casey, but it is no longer high-goal, high stakes international competition.
For that you have to go to the International Polo Club of Palm Beach in Wellington way out west on Lake Worth Boulevard.
Boca Raton Tribune columnist and photographer Mike Gora and I took the trip Sunday, April 21 to see the 109th Maserati U.S. Open Final. This is where the best of the finest polo players and horses face off for ultimate bragging rights and is the culmination of the 10th anniversary season.
The final two teams were Valiente, which beat Zacara 13-9 in the USPA Piaget Gold Cup finals a few weeks ago.
Players are rated by goals, 10 being the highest rating. Valiente has two 10-goal players, Pelon Stirling and Adolfo Cambiaso. Zacara has one 10-goal player, Facundo Pieres; an 8-goal player Magoo LaPrida and 7-goal player Mike Azzaro.
Almost all the players are from South America with the exception of Mike Azzaro, who is from the USA.
The USA spirit was set by singer-songwriter Lee Greenwood who sang his signature tune “God Bless the USA” for the first time ever at a polo match.
The competition was fast and furious with both teams rated at 26 goals. Polo is very combative both for humans and horses, and penalties were plentiful. The score was tied eight times in the hard-fought action. Ultimately Zacara triumphed over Valiente 16-13. Facundo Pieres lead all players with an incredible 12 goals, 9 by penalty, earning him Most Valuable Player. This was Zacara’s second U.S. Open Championship.
A player is only as good as his or her horse. Valiente team patron Bob Jornayvaz’s horse Medallion was voted Best Playing Pony. Concha, a 7-year old American Thoroughbred, was named Horse of the Year.
High-goal polo is over for now at International Polo Club of Palm Beach, but this weekend there will be polo of a different sort in Miami Beach.
Miami Beach Polo World Cup 2013 runs April 25-28 on the beach between 21st and 22nd Streets in Miami Beach. The action starts Thursday with a South Beach Women’s Polo Cup V Kick-Off Party and continues Friday with Miami Beach Polo Cup IX, Saturday with more World Cup IX plus La Martina Fashion Show and Sunday with Miami Beach Polo World Cup Final Play-Offs and Farewell Party.
See for more information. Palm Beach Polo’s web site is at 561-282-5334.

Monday, April 15, 2013

An Admirable, Not Lovable "Sweeney Todd"


“Sweeney Todd” An Admirable Production of a Difficult Show

By Skip Sheffield

“Sweeney Todd” is a show to be admired, if not embraced with love. The challenging Stephen Sondheim musical in its entirety is on the boards just through Sunday, April 21 at West Boca High School Performing Arts Theatre.
It is hard to love a character who vengefully slits the throats of people who have done him wrong- and sometimes does the same to complete strangers.
Director-choreographer Patrick Fitzwater has chosen to present an unabridged version of Sondheim’s 1979 musical. While this is admirable, it means this production of “Sweeney” is longer than most of us have seen. Fitzwater even warned us it is two hours, 35 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission.
Starring as the “Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is Slow Burn Theatre’s co-founder Matthew Korinko.
Korinko has a strong, pleasant baritone voice befitting his character, and he even went to the effort of growing real muttonchop sideburns to look like a 19th century London swashbuckler.
Korinko also accentuates the underlying heartbreak of his character, who has just emerged from prison and assumed a new name. Sweeney is no random crazy guy. He mourns the death of his wife and the absence of his beloved daughter Joanna (Kaela Antolino) whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years.
By stroke of fate Sweeney meets Mrs. Lovett (Karen Chandler) maker of “The Worst Pies in London,” one of the score’s funniest songs.
Mrs. Lovett is a widow who has designs upon handsome Sweeney. She allows him to set up his new barbershop in a spare room. To drum up business, Sweeney challenges the vain, foppish Pirelli (Rick Pena) to a duel of skills. In that time barbers not only shaved and cut hair, but pulled teeth.
The talented Pena is also the company’s costume designer. He has made some minor miracles in his time with Slow Burn and this show is now exception.
Little Bruno Vida plays the orphan boy Tobias, who befriends Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett. His high tenor voice is one of the loveliest in the cast. Also in fine voice is Christian Vandepas, who plays Johanna’s callow boyfriend, Anthony.
Shawn Wayne King makes a properly dastardly villain, Judge Turpin, who eyes his ward Johanna with bad intent. When she rebukes him it will get worse for the innocent lass, making the viewer sympathize with Sweeney all the more.
A special note to Ann Marie Olson for her mysterious beggar woman for both her singing and acting.
The opera-like musical score and tongue-twisting lyrics are devilishly complex, but this cast of non-union and professional actors execute it well with the help of musical director Manny Schvartzman and a small but precise combo, which includes a churchy organ.
This is not “Some Enchanted Evening” in the romantic sense, but it is funny, lively entertainment with a nod to history. Thankfully Fitzwater has not elected to go all gory with fake blood as I’ve seen in some other productions. The story is nasty enough in pantomime without special effects pantomime.
Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors and $20 students. Call 866-811-4111 or go to

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Something is Rotten in Schectady


The Seamy Side of Schenectady

If you are entirely too cheerful right now, “A Place Beyond the Pines” will alter that in the course of two and a half hours.
Writer-director Derek Cianfrance seems preoccupied with the seamy side of life.
Most recently his “Blue Valentine” was a searing story of a marriage going wrong. That movie starred Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a blue collar couple trying to keep love alive, but failing.
Gosling is back as another blue collar kind of guy named Luke Blanton, who is a professional daredevil stunt motorcycle rider with a traveling carnival. We see Luke woozily acknowledge the command “Show Time,” fire up another cigarette, wade through the crowd to his dirt bike, and fire it up to ride into a steel mesh ball with two other riders who speed like maniacs in every direction, missing each other by inches.
After the show Luke stops by to see Romina (Eva Mendes), a woman he had a one-night stand with the last time he passed through.
Ro, as he calls her is none too happy to see him. She has an infant son, Luke’s, and a new boyfriend (Mahershala Ali) who allows Ro, her son Jason and her mother to live in his house.
When Luke is unable to seduce Ro back into his arms, Luke impulsively quits the carnival and falls in with another low-life. Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) runs a small car repair shop and has a trailer where Luke can bunk. When Luke complains about not making enough money working as part-time mechanic, Robin tells him he used to rob banks, and was pretty good at it.
It doesn’t take great imagination to see where this is going. Granted, “A Place” has plenty of thrills and chills, but you know it is heading for a bad place. The story is actually in three acts. The first is about Luke, Ro and their baby. In act two Schenectady Police Officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) makes his entrance for a first and final confrontation with Luke.
Cross becomes a big-deal police hero, and he uses his status to his advantage.
There is something rotten in Schenectady (Mohawk for “A Place Beyond the Pines”) and it centers in the Police Department, which includes the ever-reliable Ray Liotta as the menacing, smiling special investigation cop Deluca.
The sins of the father are visited to the sons it says in the Old Testament and Shakespeare. Chapter three concerns Jason (Dane DeHaan), the son of the late Luke, and AJ Cross (Emery Cohen), son of Avery Cross. Let’s just say they have not turned out very well.
There is a certain sense of satisfaction, resolution and redemption in these tawdry intertwining tales, and it may haunt you for awhile. Fair warning: feel-good it is not.

"The Sapphires" Inspires, and You Can Dance To It


Feel Good with “The Sapphires”

“The Sapphires” is a tale of racial prejudice on the other side of the world, in Australia. Like “42” it is based on the true story of the first-ever Aboriginal girl singing group. Because the girls sing Motown classics on a tour of Vietnam, you have a great musical soundtrack, sung by four very talented women.
Like African-Americans, the native Aborigines of Australia and New Zealand were mistreated, segregated and scorned by the Caucasian immigrants to the remote British outpost. The worst part was they were not granted equal rights until 1967.
“The Sapphires’ begins in 1958 with the Sapphires as little girls. Three of the girls sing at amateur competitions and show natural talent, despite prejudices against Aborigines.
The film flashes forward to 1968 with the girls in their teens. A fourth member, Kay (Shari Sebbens) is reunited with her darker-skinned cousins after having been forcefully removed from her family and relocated to Sydney to be raised as a white person.
Eldest Gail (Deborah Mailman) is the natural leader of the group, but her younger sister Julie (Jessica Mauboy) has a better voice than Gail or her sister Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell). Talent scout Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd) realizes this hard fact instantly and insists Julie sing lead.
Dave Lovelace is a lovable drunk and a bit of a screw-up but he knows talent and he knows how to land a gig. He gets a booking with the U.S. Armed Forces for lonely, entertainment-starved GIs on the battlefront.
“The Sapphires” is a highly fictionalized story based on real Aboriginal sisters who did tour Vietnam in 1968. The script is by Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs. Briggs created a stage play before the movie, which is directed by Wayne Blair.
While there are some stock dramatic contrivances and romantic detours, “The Sapphires” is basically a feel-good story of triumph over adversity, with a great soundtrack you can dance to.

"42" a Fitting Tribute to Jackie Robinson, American Hero

Inspiration and Despair Can be Found in This Week’s Films

By Skip Sheffield

If you need inspiration, there are two fine candidates opening in area theaters. If you are entirely too joyful, Hollywood has something that will bring you right down.
First, the bright side: “42” is the number of the Brooklyn Dodgers jersey worn by the late Jackie Robinson. It is also the story of Robinson’s courageous fight to break the “color barrier” in major league baseball back in 1947.
Robinson did not face the challenges of hateful bigotry alone. It was Dodgers owner Branch Rickey who really put his money and his reputation where his mouth was. Robinson had a strong, supportive (and in the movie quite beautiful) wife Rachel (Nicole Beharie). He was cheered on by pioneering black sports journalist, Wendell Smith (Andre Holland).
Branch Rickey is played with great conviction by Harrison Ford, who obviously admires his character. Jackie Robinson is played by charismatic newcomer Chadwick Boseman; an exceedingly handsome young man with a certain star quality, like the character he played.
The screenplay is by Brian Helgeland who is making his directorial debut. Helgeland’s impressive writing credits include “Mystic River” and “L.A. Confidential.” Here he carefully establishes the character of Jackie Robinson, a man with great pride, a hot temper and undeniable natural gifts.
It was Branch Rickey who hand-picked Robinson from the Negro League Kansas City Monarchs in 1946. The story follows Robinson through a kind of apprenticeship in Montreal and thence to a Sanford, Florida training camp, where Robinson confronted the ugly, violent and cruel face of racism. The characters don’t mince words to get their point across. We watch Robinson boil over and at one point explode over pointed insults.
Branch Rickey was a devout Christian of the Methodist faith. So was Jackie Robinson.
Rickey appealed to Robinson to follow the example of Jesus and turn his cheek, no matter what the provocation.
Cynics will find “42” a little tool sanctimonious and rah-rah, but the point is this stuff really happened. Talent and character won out over bigotry and hatred. Robinson went on to become one of the finest players in baseball history. This film is a fitting tribute to his memory and legacy.

Ah, Those Studly Canadians


“Starbuck” is a Stud, Literally

By Skip Sheffield

Canadians, especially those from the Province of Quebec, are more sophisticated about sex than typical Americans.
This thought sprang to mind after seeing “Starbuck,” a French-Canadian romantic comedy about artificial insemination and its ramifications.
Written by Ken Scott with Martin Petit and directed by Scott, “Starbuck” was shot in 2011 but is only just now making it to area theaters.
The title is a sly reference to a prize Holstein bull that sired thousands of offspring.
The “bull” is this story is an otherwise unremarkable middle-aged man named David Wozniak (Patrick Huard). David, 42, has a menial job working as delivery boy at his Polish immigrant father’s (Igor Ovadis) butcher shop. As a young man in 1988 David was more on his own. He lived above a fertility clinic. Due to his unusually potent sperm, he made easy cash on a regular basis by donating.
Now David has a lovely girlfriend named Valerie (Julie Breton) who has revealed she is pregnant. David is willing to marry Valerie, but she would rather be a single mom because she thinks he is too irresponsible and immature.
Valerie is right. David’s bad decisions have run him $80,000 in debt, with loan sharks hot on his trail.
In the midst of this mess, a lawyer from the sperm bank pays a surprise visit and informs David he fathered 533 children over a two-year period. One hundred forty-three of those children have entered into a class action suit to find out who their father is. The clinic does not like this.
David consults his best friend Antoine (David Michael), also a lawyer, for advice. Antoine furnishes bios on each of the plaintiffs in the suit, and David vows to visit each one.
Meanwhile David’s dad is attacked by the same thugs who are harassing David. This serves as a wakeup call. David had been planning to identify himself as the mystery father, but Antoine persuades him to sue the clinic for damages in exchange for remaining anonymous.
This is all a lot funnier than the telling. Patrick Huard is a gifted comedian with everyman appeal. Writers Ken Scott and Martin Petit are members of a French-Canadian comedy troupe called “Les Bizarroides,” and they have a way with clever word play.
I am still fluent enough in French to understand the dialogue without subtitles. It is a kick to see subtle differences in literal translation.
“Starbuck” was the most popular Canadian film of 2011, and its appeal is not restricted to French speakers. An English version produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Vince Vaughn is in the works. Here is your chance to see the real deal.

Monday, April 8, 2013

An Heroic "An Iliad"

Not “The” Iliad but “An Iliad”

By Skip Sheffield

“An Iliad” for our time?
Yeah baby; as long as people fight wars, Homer’s 3,000-year-old poem sadly will never go out of style.
“An Iliad” is a one-man show (with plenty of technical support) starring the gifted actor writer and comedian Avi Hoffman. It runs through April 21 in the black box theater of Mizner Arts Cultural Center in Boca Raton.
“An Iliad” is a vindication for Outre Theatre Company, which had a less than sterling debut with “A Wild Party” last year. “An Iliad” is as focused and spare as “Wild Party” was overstuffed, sprawling and disjointed.
Avi Hoffman is a lifetime theater professional best known for his humorous “Too Jewish” series of shows. In this Iliad, he is dressed in contemporary battle garb on a set the looks like it could be anywhere in the Middle East.
The Iliad is an epic poem attributed to the Greek poet Homer, who lived sometime in the eighth century B.C.  “The Iliad” tells the epic story of the bitter, destructive ten-year Trojan War between the Trojans of Ilium or Troy and the invading Greeks. The main characters are King Agamemnon of Greece and Achilles, the fierce warrior of Troy. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, has offered a large reward for the return of his abducted daughter Chryseis, but Agamemnon has stubbornly refused, ensuring the conflict will continue.
“The Iliad” is nearly 16,000 lines. “An Iliad” lasts only 90 minutes, without intermission. Few but the most serious scholars have read the entire Iliad. This translation by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson cuts to the chase. Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman said it most succinctly: “War is Hell.”
A knowledge of Greek gods and goddesses is useful but not mandatory. In the poet’s telling we pretty much know who is who. Thanks to Hoffman’s artistry the various characters male, female, animal and divine are all distinct and easy to understand. Lighting and sound cues are used to indicate time and scene changes and mood, such as the recurring blood-red filter. Screen projections depict ancient Greece and Troy.
Wars are caused by base emotions: greed, jealousy, coveting, overweening pride and malicious lies.
You will find all in evidence in this sometimes funny, often somber parade of human folly. This may not be “The” Iliad but as “An Iliad,” it drives home its points with impressive accuracy.
Tickets are $40 adults, $35 seniors and $30 students. Call 954-300-2149 or go to

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Old Jews Got Talent" Show in Deerfield Beach April 10

Pictured: Ron Goldfarb


“Old Jews Got Talent” According to Rabbi Mike

By Skip Sheffield

Jewish people are nothing if not resilient. How else could they have survived and endured more than 5,000 years against all odds?
There is no single answer, but “Rabbi Mike” Stern has an important clue.
“Jews have a very strong sense of humor,” Stern declares. “If you think about it, more than half of the most popular classic comedians are Jewish. Humor is how we cope with all the transitions.”
Rabbi Mike is a man of action who puts his theories to practice. A year ago he put on an evening of Jewish humor at the Levis JCC in west Boca Raton. It was so popular Stern decided to take the concept on the road in a secular setting. A month ago Stern produced a show he dubbed “Old Jews Got Talent” at the Paragon Deerfield 8 movie theater in Deerfield Beach. By popular demand the event will be repeated from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 at the same location.
“The Borscht Belt school of Catskills comedy is dying out,” Stern asserts. “This is our small effort to keep the tradition alive.”
Some of the “Old Jew” comics are professionals. Most are not.
Ron Goldfarb made a name for himself in the New York Bar Association before retiring, moving to Florida and taking up painting. Goldfarb auditioned and was chosen for the first Old Jews Got Talent show. Now he is back with a new batch of jokes.
“When you think about it, there is a similarity between layers and stand-up comics,” muses Goldfarb. “We both use words to make a living, and we have to think on our feet. I find the sound of laughter gratifying, just as I would defining a tough case.”
Rabbi Mike runs a one-man, non-profit ministry called Rabbi Without Walls. For shut-ins or people who can’t afford temple memberships or simply need reassurance, Stern travels to them.
“I started Rabbi Without Walls in Philadelphia and ran it eight years there, and I still hear from people there” Stern reveals. “I decided to try it here when my wife and I moved to Florida two years ago. You could call Old Jews Got Talent an outreach of that program. A temple or a church is not defined by its walls, but by people who believe.”
Tickets for Old Jews Got Talent are $20, $22.50 and $26.50. Call 414-573-9608 or go to for more information.

The Road Goes on Forever


Kerouac’s “On The Road” in the Theater

“On the Road” was a ground-breaking novel by Jack Kerouac that defined what would become known as the Beat Generation. Opening April 5 at FAU’s Living Room Theater, “On the Road” is a cinematic treatment of the rambling book by Walter Salles, director of “The Motorcycle Diaries.” The central character of Sal Paradise, played by Sam Riley in the movie, is a fictionalized version of Kerouac. Similarily, Dean Moriarity (Garrett Hedlund) a stand-in for Kerouac’s best friend, Neal Cassady. Some of the characters are real fellow writers. Others are thinly-disguised.
Finished in 1951 but not published until 1957, mostly due to censorship issues, “On the Road” was a rambling, spontaneous, improvised interior monologue, famously typed on a 120-foot roll of paper with no punctuation or paragraph breaks.
The movie resembles the book rather self-consciously, as some of the actors are well known. A case in point is Marylou, played by “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart, who sheds her teen image along with her clothes for the amoral character. Also playing against type are Kirsten Dunst as Camille and Amy Adams as Jane. If you are looking for titillating thrills, you will not find them here. In fact “On the Road” with all its hetero and homosexual sex, smoking, drinking, drugging and carousing, becomes a bit dull. Sadly, Kerouac reached his own dead end in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1969. He died from internal bleeding as a result of his alcoholism. He was 47.

On a cheerier note...

Delray Beach Has a 3-Day “Affair”

The 51st Delray Affair is this weekend, April 5-7 along East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. As always the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored art, entertainment and food festival is free and open to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 561-278-0424 or go to for more information.