The Walkout

Vera Farmiga in “Higher Ground (L), Lily Rabe & Josh Hamliton in “A Doll’s House,” (R)

“The Walkout:” It’s a perfect 11 o’clock moment, the instant your hero shouts, “Enough!” then marches out the door, leaving the familiar behind for the unknown.

A film and a play recently made Grade A hay out of this device. The former, Vera Farmiga’s “Higher Ground,” examines one woman’s journey in and out of faith; the second, “A Doll’s House” (which I saw in revival at Williamstown), presents a wife on the verge of implosion. Each woman makes a dramatic exit, and each gives a wrenching, climactic address explaining why she’s leaving and what she clings to as – click click – her heels take her into uncertainty and solitude.

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Catch Me in the Country

A high point of Broadway’s “Catch Me if You Can” is the sweet, catchy tune “Seven Wonders.” Aaron Tveit and Kerry Butler are tangled in hospital sheets, and Tveit woos Butler with this jet-setting ballad (jump to 1:50):

Did you catch Tveit’s little intro? “It’s kind of a country tune, if you can imagine that.” There’s a bit of swing, some softhearted lyrics, and a sturdy home fixation. (Beautifully accompanied onstage at the Neil Simon, “Seven Wonders” has even more of that percussive, catchy twang than this tiny YouTube clip.)

We shouldn’t be so surprised: showtunes and country music have a lot in common. For one, they’re scorned cousins of pop music, often mocked for their emotional, narrative content. Also, and unlike contemporary club music, they wear their hearts on their sleeves. (Katy Perry can smirk her way through “California Girls,” but that contempt would quickly wheeze and die in a theater or country song.)

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