As Good as It Gets

As Good As It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks, who co-wrote it with Mark Andrus; the film stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic and obsessive-compulsive novelist, Helen Hunt as a single mother with a chronically ill son, Greg Kinnear as a gay artist. The paintings were created for the film by New York artist Billy Sullivan. Nicholson and Hunt won the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Actress making As Good As It Gets the most recent film to win both of the lead acting awards, the first since 1991's The Silence of the Lambs, it is ranked 140th on Empire magazine's "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list. Melvin Udall is a misanthropic best-selling romance novelist in New York City, whose obsessive–compulsive disorder has him avoiding stepping on sidewalk cracks while walking through the city, eating breakfast at the same table in the same restaurant every day, he takes an interest in his waitress, Carol Connelly, the only server at the restaurant who can tolerate his uncouth behavior.

One day, Simon Bishop, is nearly killed during a robbery. Melvin is intimidated by Simon's agent, Frank Sachs, into caring for Simon's dog, while Simon is hospitalized. Although he does not enjoy caring for the dog, Melvin becomes attached to it, he receives more attention from Carol. When Simon is released from the hospital, Melvin is unable to cope with returning the dog. Melvin's life is further altered when Carol decides to work closer to her home in Brooklyn so she can care for her acutely asthmatic son Spence. Unable to adjust to another waitress, Melvin arranges through his publisher to pay for her son's considerable medical expenses as long as Carol agrees to return to work, she is overwhelmed at his generosity. Meanwhile, Simon's assault and rehabilitation, coupled with Verdell's preference for Melvin, causes Simon to lose his creative muse. Simon is approaching bankruptcy due to his medical bills. Frank persuades him to go to Baltimore to ask his estranged parents for money; because Frank is too busy to take injured Simon to Baltimore himself, Melvin reluctantly agrees to do so.

Melvin invites Carol to accompany them on the trip to lessen the awkwardness. She reluctantly accepts the invitation, relationships among the three develop. Once in Baltimore, Carol persuades Melvin to take her out to have dinner. Melvin's comments during the dinner flatter—and subsequently upset—Carol, she abruptly leaves. Upon seeing Carol, frustrated, Simon begins to sketch her, semi-nude, in his hotel room, which rekindles his creativity, he once more feels a desire to paint, he reconnects with his parents, but is able to tell them that he will be fine. After returning to New York, Carol tells Melvin, she regrets her statement and calls to apologize. The relationship between Melvin and Carol remains complicated, until Simon persuades Melvin to declare his love for her. Melvin goes to see Carol, hesitant, but agrees to try and establish a relationship with him; the film ends with Carol walking together. As he opens the door at an early morning pastry shop for Carol, he realizes that he has stepped on a crack in the pavement, but does not seem to mind.

In 1996, James L. Brooks flew Geoffrey Rush from Sydney to Los Angeles to audition for the part of Simon Bishop, offered him the role, but Rush declined it. Owen Wilson served as one of his first jobs in Hollywood; the soundtrack features instrumental pieces composed by songs by various artists. Zimmer's work was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score -- Comedy; as Good as It Gets was a box office hit, opening at number three at the box office with $12.6 million, earning over $148 million domestically and $314 million worldwide. It is Jack Nicholson's second highest earning film, behind Batman. Chicago Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote that what director James Brooks "manages to do with as they struggle mightily to connect with one another is funny, painful and truthful—a triumph for everyone involved."Praise for the film was not uniform among critics. While Roger Ebert gave the film three stars, he called the film a "compromise, a film that forces a smile onto material that doesn't wear one easily," writing that the film drew "back to story formulas," but had good dialogue and performances.

The Washington Post critic Desson Howe gave a negative review of the film, writing that it "gets bogged down in sentimentality, while its wheels spin futilely in life-solving overdrive."Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 85% of professional critics gave the film a positive review based on 78 reviews, with its consensus stating: "James L. Brooks and Jack Nicholson, doing what they do best, combine smart dialogue and flawless acting to squeeze fresh entertainment value out of the romantic-comedy genre." Metacritic gave the film a score of 67 out of 100, based on reviews from 30 critics, indicating favorable reviews. The film was nominated for and received many film awards, including Best Actor and Best Actress awards for Nicholson and Hunt at the 70th Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Award ceremony, it won Best Picture -- Music or Comedy at the Golden Globes. As Good as It Gets on IMDb As Good as It Gets at the TCM Movie Database As Good as It Gets at AllMovie As

Lady Demon Diamond

Lady Demon Diamond is the home stadium for the Northwestern State Lady Demons softball team. Located across the street from Prather Coliseum on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, the stadium features seating for 1,000 fans. Included in the 1,000 seat capacity is a combination of covered chairback and bleacher seats; the Outfield Club, located outside of the left field fence, provides additional bleacher seating. The stadium has field lighting, dugouts, a press box; the stadium has benefited from numerous renovations over its life. The period from 2007-2012 saw a series of improvements including the addition of Outfield Club seating. In 2012, a new covered grandstand with new chair back seating was part of a $466,000 renovation. New concession stands and press box were part of the 2012 improvements; the stadium has been the home of the Southland Conference Softball Tournament 10 times. The stadium has been the home field for the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission Lady Demon Classic for several years.

The 2015 tournament featured Baylor, Jackson State, Northwestern State. Lady Demons Softball Official Website

Krigwa Players

The Krigwa Players was one of the most prominent and popular theatre groups based out of Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. Though it only lasted for three years, The Krigwa Players' impact was felt throughout Harlem and the cities it spawned offshoot projects into, these cities being Cleveland, Washington, D. C. and Philadelphia. It was founded in 1925 by W. E. B. Du Bois and Regina Anderson, with Du Bois serving as the chairman of the theater group entirely; the theatre was converted from the basement of the 135th street Harlem Library. The goal of the company was focusing on creating, nurturing and promoting new writers, directors and actors within the black community. W. E. B. Du Bois published a statement concerning the objective of the Krigwa Players in the NAACP magazine The Crisis The plays of a real Negro theatre must be: 1. "about us." That is, they must have plays which reveal Negro life as it is. 2. "By us." That is, they must be written by Negro authors who understand from birth and continued association just what it means to be a Negro today.

3. "For us." That is, the theatre must cater to Negro audiences and be supported and sustained by their entertainment and approval. 4. "Near us." The theatre must be in a Negro neighborhood near the mass of ordinary Negro peoples." Starting in 1924, Amy Spingarn established an annual literary contest in The Crisis. Accepting submissions for fiction, essays and plays, this contest became the major source of new work for the Krigwa Players; the Krigwa Players' first official season was performed at the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library in May 1926, consisted of two one-acts plays selected as winners of the literary contest in The Crisis, The Broken Banjo by Willis Richardson and The Church Fight by Ruth Ada Gaines-Shelton, a third one-act by Richardson "Compromise". It played to full houses, with an average of 200 patrons per night; the entire production cost $165 and made back $240 in ticket sales, netting the company a modest profit. With the second annual Crisis awards in 1926, one of the winning plays was selected to be part of the three one-acts.

The other two were a second play by Spence entitled Her and Mandy by W. J. Jefferson; this season introduced a new interpretive dance and dialogue by J. Gord Arnold entitled Pandora's Box. None of the scripts for this season have survived over the years preventing analysis of the works; the company's biggest success came after entering Eulalie Spence's Fool's Errand into the Fifth Annual National Theatre Tournament. The production won the Samuel French for Best Unpublished Play and garnered the company a prize of $200. A huge success considering that this was the company's first time entering such a tournament; the company became split after the tournament. W. E. B. Du Bois used the prize money to pay for the cost of the production and entering the tournament with no money going towards the performers. After this the company went their separate ways. According to Eulalie Spence, the last official production of the Krigwa Players was Fool's Errand. Another group using the name Krigwa Players name emerged in 1928, but they were not affiliated with The Crisis or the original Krigwa Players.

The legacy of the theater lead to subsequent groups filling the space after its closure, with some being the Negro Experimental Players, the Harlem Players, the American Negro Theater, which lasted 9 years, ran the longest out of all the former theater companies