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Charles Foster
Charles Foster

Biggie Unbelievable PORTABLE

"Unbelievable" by The Notorious B.I.G. is an anthem of pride and superiority. The lyrics explore how Notorious B.I.G. presents himself as an unbeatable force, making enemies and rivals sound weak and outmatched. Rapping with tongue in cheek, Notorious B.I.G. makes references to violence, guns, and a wild lifestyle, juxtaposed with the breezy phrase "your life is played out like Kwame". In the song, he asserts himself as the best rapper and emphasizes the strength of his flow and lyrical skill. The chorus of the song is the most memorable line because it encapsulates Notorious B.I.G.'s unstoppable attitude: "it's unbelievable, Biggie Smalls is the illest". This phrase describes how Notorious B.I.G. proclaims himself as the GOAT and his talent is so immense that it's "unbelievable"--almost no one can match him.

Biggie Unbelievable


So Emotional: Miley got pretty emo when she took to the stage, ditched all the candy costumes and blow-up scenery and got country for her new single "Malibu." We got to see Miley for who she is, an unbelievable talent with pipes you'd die for.[[423609864, C]]

Theatre Review by Matthew MurrayKate Burton and Bobby Steggert.Photo by Joan Marcus. Theatre stars may be ephemeral, but legends last forever. And whenthe two coincide - especially without the help of plentiful film ortelevision evidence - you have the makings of a story too big, toomagical, and too unbelievable for any medium other than the stage.There's no doubt that A.R. Gurney intended his new play about star andlegend nonpareil Katharine Cornell, The Grand Manner, to function asjust such a work. But, as shown in Mark Lamos's production at LincolnCenter's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, the legend seems to have missedher entrance.The play's title says it all about how Cornell was perceived bycritics and audiences during her five-decade career. Splashing intothe New York scene in the 1920s, she was an early pioneer ofarticulate yet affected emotionalism that depicted not reality, buttheatrical reality: a sense of life, the universe, and everything thatcould split the bricks at the back wall of the theater, but wasunlikely to be mistaken for the humanity outside. With herhusband-director-producer Guthrie McClintic, she produced and appearedin dozens of plays on Broadway and elsewhere that perpetuated thisstyle well past its sell-by date.In 1948, when Gurney's play is set, Cornell was already facingimpossible competition from the Method-devoted Marlon Brando (who'srecently opened in A Streetcar Named Desire) and the forward-thinkingTennessee Williams, whose daring dramas made Cornell's belovedrepertoire of Shakespeare, Shaw, and The Barretts of Wimpole Streetlook mighty dusty indeed. Her project at that point, for example, wasa revival of Antony and Cleopatra, which New York Times critic BrooksAtkinson described as "on the formal side and not without pedantry."Those words are eerily appropriate for The Grand Manner itself, whichattempts to fuse Cornell's old-world know-how with Williams' uniquebrand of "dream play" adventurousness, and only partly succeeds.Gurney did indeed visit Cornell backstage at the Martin Beck duringAntony and Cleopatra, just as his stand-in here (named Pete, andplayed by Bobby Steggert) does, but he only spoke to her for a fewminutes about their shared Buffalo upbringing, and left with herautograph and little fuss. But this wasn't exciting enough for Pete,who becomes determined to weave a more wrenching tale from these wispythreads.In Pete's "corrected" version, Cornell (Kate Burton) is pureneuroticism, consumed by the belief that she and her production aren'tgood enough, and relying on both her "great and good friend" Gert Macy(Brenda Wehle) and her husband Guthrie (Boyd Gaines) to help hersurvive the run and a rapidly changing world. There's a lot more sex,too, with Pete hot for a girl who's waiting for him at a youth "wateringhole," Guthrie hot for Pete, and Cornell and Gertrude hot for eachother - relationships that, back then we're told, were only allowed toflourish in the eternally permissive theatre.Pete's fantasy is unquestionably more elaborate. But by reducingCornell to a bundle of contemporary nerves, Gurney diminishes thelight of the "luminous" star he's trying to celebrate. This may makeCornell more psychologically real (and vulnerable) to us today, but itoffers no glimpse of what codified her greatness at the time. That'sthe real story screaming to be told, and Gurney ignores it almostentirely in favor of a shallower and simpler slice of apparently atoo-vanilla life. Film and TV can bring down to earth, but theatremust elevate to make its mark - here, it doesn't.That's Lamos's most significant misstep, but it's a biggie - theproduction's alternating leaping and lurching through the story of howPete met Kit are more distracting than damaging. But in this staging,you never understand the overarching point: John Arnone's setsuggests a clash of temporal cultures, Ann Hould-Ward's deceptivelystraightforward costumes the warring of appearance and actuality.Such themes should suffuse everything else, as well, but typicallyfeel far more ornamental than elemental.You don't get a clearer perspective from the two central cast members. Steggert is delightful to watch, and cuts a sunnily energeticattitude during the show, but conveys no weight whatsoever - even ofthe made-up kind so common to 18-year-old boys who want to prove theyknow more than every adult in the room. It's a difficult role - moresymbolic of an evolving America than representing a person worthknowing - and not one that caters to Steggert's chief strength ofembracing confliction head on (as he demonstrated last season in theOff-Broadway musical Yank!).Burton is only slightly more advanced: Her urban-Everywoman air leadsto the sort of downplaying that can make her a magnetic fixture ofsome roles, but probably shouldn't be anywhere near any play with theword "grand" in the title. There's nothing grand about her, which ispartially the point - the Cornell we knew wasn't just a creature ofthe theatre, but a creation of it - but doesn't sell the centralpremise of a woman who etched her every appearance onto your memory.She comes across as an eager aunt wanting to tell you of the fun shehad on her latest singles cruise, not a personality too expansive foranything but the stage to contain.Gaines, on the other hand, communicates exactly that quality in thefiery, foul-mouthed McClintic, sweeping with his every step andthreatening to crumple the Newhouse in his hand whenever rage ordisappointment overtake him. He feels like a true man of the theatre,in the classical - almost stereotypical - sense. (Any chance we mightget a play with him as, say, Edwin Booth?) Wehle presents anunflagging picture of devotion, and she makes Gert both stern andlovable as the keeper to Cornell's gate, doing her utmost to guaranteethe star will only be remembered the way Gert wants her to be.Eventually, however, even the staunchest caretakers must step asideand let time, history, and luck run their courses. The three seldomwork to impenetrable advantage here, ensuring that you forever viewthis as a lightweight rumination rather than a soul-filled tribute toa now-dead artistry. That's enough for the play to succeed asentertainment, but hardly as a profound examination of what makesstars different from the galaxy surrounding them. For that, you'dneed at least a telescope. Good intentions aside, The Grand Mannerisn't much more than a magnifying glass.The Grand MannerThrough August 1Mitzi E. NewhouseTheatre at Lincoln Center, 150 West 65th Street (Between Broadway and Amsterdam)Tickets online and current Performance Schedule: Telecharge Share: 041b061a72


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