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Shelf Life: Media from Then and Now for Readers in the Sacramento Region

10/29/2015 11:29AM ● Published by Sharon Penny


THEN: The Rocky Horror Show (Original Roxy Cast)

It’s weird on paper, it’s weird on stage and it’s weird on screen, but as any fan will tell you, it’s the weird that makes it beautiful and fantastic. The movie soundtrack is the most readily available, but do yourself a favor and hunt down the Original Roxy Cast recording from 1974; minus the sheen of the movie, it’s a fun flashback. 

NOW: Hamilton: An American Musical (Broadway cast recording)

This modern musical adaptation of the story of Alexander Hamilton and his revolutionary ideas—the musical that blew the roof off its sold-out run at the Public Theater in New York and then laid them in the aisles when it burned up Broadway—is produced by Questlove and Tariq of The Roots, and you’ve never heard anything like it. 


 THEN: Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman

I’m a sucker for police procedurals, and I definitely have a thing for Baltimore (I blame The Wire). Laura Lippman’s gripping tale of child abduction, jealousy and parents who may or may not need a few boundaries is good. Damn good. A page-turner and a half, even. If you call the twist at the end I’ll give you $20: I did NOT see that one coming.  

NOW: The Crossing by Michael Connelly

There has never been a better time to become a Michael Connelly fan. Amazon Prime’s Bosch series starring Titus Welliver is doing some of the best TV detective-ing since Homicide: Life on the Street. Bosch is a hard LAPD detective full of darkness and complexity, and for my money, one of the most compelling detectives in fiction today. 


 THEN: Pride and Prejudice (1995 BBC)

Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, the BBC’s 1995 mini-series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice still stands as delightful and addictive as it was when Colin Firth first strode damply and proudly out of that lake. I’ll confess to re-watching it at least twice this past year alone. Let’s not get into how many times I’ve watched it total. 

NOW: Far From the Madding Crowd 

Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel is not without flaws, but as a strong female character, Bathsheba still stands head and shoulders over any Austen or Bronte. Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts and Michael Sheen are riveting, and farm life has never been more beautifully shot. 

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