Lost, Truckers, Into The Woods

“Lost” returns this Thursday — can somebody give me an Amen! With the exception of “Pushing Daisies” it’s been a pretty lean television season so far. Of course the ongoing writers strike has a lot to do with it. Most current shows have run out of new episodes, “Lost” has a few in the can so we can all take an Island vacation in February. Pray for a strike settlement though, or a Sopranos-esque hiatus may kill any momentum the new season builds up.

I know “Lost” has totally left my system when I stop calling people “brother” — a la Desmond — all the time. He’s still my favorite character on the show, the romantic with a self-destructive streak. Desmond can be exasperating, but his yearning for Penny — his lost love — is keenly felt. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Locke have more complex and contemporary backstories — Desmond is like a medieval knight on quest for redemption.

http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index?pn=index

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Let’s stick with redemption as a theme, because the Drive-By Truckers have just released a new CD. This one’s called “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark” and though the guitar assault has been toned down, the passion for hard scrabble country rock has not. Patterson Hood is still the keeper of the Trucker’s southern rock flame. His songs have the most grit and authenticity — but he’s willing to share the spotlight with bandmates Mike Cooley and Shonna Tucker. Over the course of 19 tracks you get a whole lot of different styles and textures. It doesn’t all work, but on songs like “Daddy Needs A Drink”, “The Opening Act”, and “The Man I Shot” the power of the Truckers comes through — full throttle.

http://www.drivebytruckers.com/

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Finally, a shout out to everyone in the town of Westford who gives their time, talent and devotion to Westford Academy Theatre Arts. The high school is currently in mid-run of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into The Woods.” You don’t tackle Sondheim at this level unless you are blessed with talent of an exceptional nature — talent that flourishes in these “Woods.” The cast beautifully handles a show that demands wide-eyed innocence at one moment — hard-boiled reality the next. It’s demanding, witty, dynamic stuff and nailing a performance of ITW is no small feat. These young performers do it masterfully.

You’ve got three more chances to check it out for yourself, there’s a show Friday night (February 1) at 7:30 PM — a matinee and an evening performance on Saturday (February 2). There’s a link below for tickets.

http://www.mktix.com/mktixrun/shared/mknporun?dir=mvedc.MKT-24&page=mkeventlistfrm.jsp&DisplayType=detail&Parent=WATA-E8410

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