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Writer-director Mike Cahill discusses his new film “I Origins”

Writer-director Mike Cahill’s sophomore film, “I Origins,” opened on Friday and will continue to play in South Bay cinemas this week. The film centers around Ian (Michael Pitt) and Karen (Brit Marling), both of whom are biology Ph.D. students who study the evolution of the human eye. Ian sees the world in a very rational, scientific way, and the film explores how he opens himself up to and pushes up against spirituality. The film, which explores the debate between science and spirituality, and also very accurately depicts how scientists behave, won the Alfred P. Sloan award for outstanding depiction of science at the Sundance Film Festival. The Daily caught up with Cahill to discuss the science in the film, its characters and how Cahill approaches both writing and directing.

Spotlight on NYC Theatre: Sam Mendes’ brilliant and chilling “Cabaret” is back

In a recent appearance on “Charlie Rose,” director Sam Mendes was asked why he keeps revisiting the 1950s’ Kander and Ebb musical “Cabaret”; he first revived it at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 1993, then on Broadway in 1997, and now he’s mounted it again at Studio 54 in New York.Mendes explained that it’s one of the great 21st-century plays, and probably the best play to explain how the rise of Nazism could have happened.”Cabaret” is the story of two couples in love – the young Sally Bowles and her American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, and the older Fraülein Schneider and her Jewish beau, Herr Schultz – who, because of the Nazis, can’t be together. They’re all so caught up in the party going on in Berlin, and the harsh realities of getting by on a day-to-day basis, that nobody notices the Nazis are gaining a scary amount of power.

Spotlight on NYC Theater: a great revival of “The Cripple of Inishmaan” starring Daniel Radcliffe

  Don’t be fooled by the title and the posters featuring Daniel Radcliffe’s handsome face: Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” recently revived by the Michael Grandage Company at the Cort Theatre in New York, is an ensemble piece, although much of the action centers around the mysteries of Cripple Billy (Daniel Radcliffe). Set in…

Theater Review: “As You Like It” soars at Santa Cruz Shakespeare

There’s something magical about being in an actual forest when “As You Like It” takes us to the Forest of Arden. Making excellent use of its rustic setting is something at which Santa Cruz Shakespeare (formerly Shakespeare Santa Cruz) excels: last year’s “Henry V” brought us to a highly realistic army camp when night had fallen in Santa Cruz, and the wilderness we found ourselves in perfectly mirrored that which our heroes were in.

Spotlight on NYC Theater: the immersive “Sleep No More” has you follow the actors through the McKittrick Hotel

Chances are, you’ll leave “Sleep No More” at least a little dissatisfied and frustrated — it’s designed that way, to get you to come back — but it would be hard to deny that it’s anything but intoxicating. Part immersive theater, part installation art, this Off-Broadway production produced by the British company, Punchdrunk, began its run in New York in 2011, and it’s still running, often to sold-out shows. Spanning six stories of the complex called the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, you spend about three hours — or less, if you’re as unlucky as I was to be pulled out of it too soon — exploring an extremely elaborate set and following actors, racing from one room to the next, as they act out a story very loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Upon arriving at the McKittrick, and after checking all coats and bags, you’re sent down a twisting, barely lit hallway, until you reach the lounge where drinks are served and several bands will eventually play. From there, you’re handed a white mask and ushered into an elevator to be taken up to the top floor of the complex — that is, of course, assuming you aren’t the last one into the elevator, for that person is first deposited, alone, on a lower floor. The rules are laid out by a flirtatious guide: you’re free to explore, but you are not to utter a sound while you do it. Then, it begins.

Spotlight on NYC Theater: Broadway is where musicals like “Kinky Boots” and “After Midnight” thrive

If there’s one thing Broadway still does better than anywhere else, it’s the musical. Some of them are so good and so popular that they run for years. As part of my special on the New York City theater scene, running this week, I caught the open run “Kinky Boots” at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and “After Midnight,” the Tony Award winner for Best Choreography, which just closed at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Although “Kinky Boots” — a musical based on the British film — has only been running for a little over a year, it’s so much fun and so well-executed, I could see it running for many more. This is a flawless production of a deeply flawed and already dated play: it looks and seems like progressive thinking, but it’s actually a troubling portrait of masculinity, cross-dressing and even race. Nevertheless, it’s quite something to see so many talented men dancing in flashy six-inch heels without ever wobbling.