“Anything Goes” with a spectacular, jazzy Sutton Foster is “The Top”

Sutton Foster’s performance in Cole Porter’s frivolous, sophisticated “Anything Goes” glitters as much as the gold sequins on her clothes. She is one of the great musical actresses of our day, and she has a field day showing it in this 1934 musical, featuring a scintillating score with, in addition to the title song, numbers such as “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “Easy to Love,” and “It’s De-lovely.” Porter’s music and lyrics are still unmatched for invoking the spirit of light-hearted romance.

“Private Lives” is Coward’s clever, sexy, charming take on the impossibility of love

Cynical and romantic, Noël Coward manages to be both in this charming pas de quatre about the impossibility of love. And this was in 1930!

Two couples find their honeymoons in the south of France held hostage to the marriage that one of each duo had with the other five years before. Might not be a problem, except the sparks that ignited the earlier romance have not been quenched. In fact, it doesn’t take much for the smoldering embers to ignite.

How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch

How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch

The New York Times, Dec 3, 2011

An increasingly cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals is making students — a captive market — fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. At a time of fiscal austerity, these companies are seducing school administrators with promises to cut costs through privatization. Parents who want healthier meals, meanwhile, are outgunned.

Each day, 32 million children in the United States get lunch at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, which uses agricultural surplus to feed children. About 21 million of these students eat free or reduced-price meals, a number that has surged since the recession. The program, which also provides breakfast, costs $13.3 billion a year.

“Queen of the Mist” is a powerful musical about a gutsy woman

Mary Testa is thrilling in Michael John LaChiusa’s cantata about the true-life Anna Edson Taylor, a gutsy, idiosyncratic woman who in 1901 went over Niagara Falls in an oak barrel she had designed. She was 63, had an overwhelming sense of self and saw this as the defining moment to prove there was “greatness” in her.