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Joe Randazzo (left), formerly of Penacook, leans in for a "kiss" with Johnny Depp in costume as Donald Trump. Depp plays Trump in Funny or Die's "The Art of the Deal."

Ray Duckler: Joe Randazzo razzes Trump, and everyone else, for that matter

Friday, February 12, 2016

For someone like Merrimack Valley High School graduate Joe Randazzo, Donald Trump is pure gold. Randazzo is a satirist who holds up a mirror to show us how dumb we are, or can be. Last Wednesday, a Trump-roasting mockumentary, written by Randazzo and shown on the humor website Funny or Die, appeared online the day after our first-in-the-nation primary. Called The Art of the Deal: The Movie, and based on Trump’s 1987 business-guide book, it stars Johnny Depp as The Donald and also includes Ron Howard as the narrator; Henry Winkler as former New York City mayor Ed Koch; Michaela Watkins as Ivana Trump; and …

A few theater numbers worth checking out

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

There are a few theater productions of note this weekend (and next), from high school to community level. If you’re looking for a romantic evening on the town or some fun for the whole family this weekend, you may find what you’re looking for with these: 1. First, the Community Players of Concord’s …

At 25, Deadpool’s greatest power isn’t what you think it is

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Perhaps even more impressive than mutant regenerative abilities or ninja-level skills with katana blades, Deadpool has one super-power that now seems to stand above the rest: The “Merc With a Mouth” somehow survived the ’90s. This from a character who is so connected to one of that decade’s best moments: His co-creator, Rob …

‘Degrassi,’ now on Netflix, is still the realest show about teens

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The first episode of Degrassi: Next Class opens with a Drake reference. Yes, the rapper got his start on the Canadian teen drama, but the nod is more than just a cheeky shout-out. Drake is what the kids …

Actor David McCallum pens entertaining debut novel

Sunday, January 17, 2016

David McCallum – yes, actor David McCallum of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and NCIS fame – confidently embarks on a second career in his highly entertaining debut that mixes the espionage novel with the mystery thriller. McCallum, 82, …

‘Olive Kitteridge’ author publishes new novel with peculiar voice

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The narrator of My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout’s new novel, has a peculiar voice for a twice-married, successful writer and mother of two grown daughters. She sounds like a little girl. Indeed, readers may wonder at …

Children’s books on class and Winnie the Pooh win prizes

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Matt de la Pena’s and Christian Robinson’s Last Stop on Market Street nearly made history twice Monday. The illustrated exploration of race and class through the eyes of a boy and his grandmother won the Newbery Medal for …

Surreal novel ‘Beatlebone’ blends reality, fantasy surrounding John Lennon

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This extraordinary book is at once so brilliant and so deeply flawed that it presents an enjoyably knotty conundrum for a reviewer. Kevin Barry’s Beatlebone is a strange, intense and slightly incoherent extended fantasy about two months that …

‘Red Icon’ plays with theme of faith vs. skepticism

Sunday, January 17, 2016

As the cold nights of winter close in, Sam Eastland’s Red Icon is one of the best thrillers a fan can pick up from the bedside table. Comforter drawn up, the reader follows Inspector Pekkala, “the Emerald Eye,” …

2016 Oscar nominations: The snubs and the surprises

Saturday, January 16, 2016

You can’t talk about awards nominations without getting up in arms about who got shafted and which contenders no one saw coming. So let’s get down to business. Snub: “Carol” Todd Haynes’s movie got six nominations, so it’s …

Alan Rickman, star of stage and ‘Harry Potter,’ dies at 69

Thursday, January 14, 2016

British actor Alan Rickman, a classically trained stage star and sensual screen villain in the Harry Potter saga and other films, has died. He was 69. Rickman’s family said the actor died early Thursday in London after a …

PHOTOS: Artist-in-residence at Henniker Community School

Thursday, January 14, 2016

As part of an artist-in-residence program, sixth-grade students at Henniker Community School worked with area artists while learning about India. Jasmine Shah of the Aangikam Dance Academy in Nashua taught different dance styles from India. Storyteller Simon Brooks …

Once again, lack of diversity bemoaned in Oscar slate

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A year after host Neil Patrick Harris quipped that the Oscars were honoring Hollywood’s “best and whitest,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled yet another all-white slate of acting nominees Thursday, prompting a dismayed revival …