Media Morsels 3.5.10

  • American Idiot: Approved!
    As reported last week, Green Day was recently the recipient of the USA Character Approved award. The cast of American Idiot performed at the ceremony. Word is they tore the roof off. (Naturally!) While we await March 24, please enjoy these photos from the red carpet and this video of the performance! (A note about the video: Watch Johnny. Whenever he is performing while not in a show and without a guitar, he never knows what to do with his hands. Look at him folding his arms – it’s like he has no idea what they’re meant for when he’s not holding a guitar or in character. I love it!)

  • Glee Scoop
    It’s official – Glee is touring, making stops in four cities. The McKinley High misfits (just the students – no Mr. Schuester, Emma or Sue) will touch down in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City (at Radio City Music Hall!) I’m gleeking out over this. Glee is great and Glee live on stage is even greater. Tickets will go on sale through an American Express presale on March 5 (today) with public on sale dates of March 12 and 13. Better get on that quickly – tickets are sure to sell out in just minutes.

    Neil Patrick Harris vs. Matthew Morrison
    As previously reported, NPH is confirmed for an episode of Glee, which comes back on April 13. EW is reporting that Harris’s character will be a former rival of Morrison’s Mr. Shuester, and that their rivalry will manifest itself in a climactic sing-off. I. Can’t. Wait.

  • Ballet on Film
    Members of New York City Ballet have been working to translate to film the brilliance of Jerome Robbins’s NY Export: Opus Jazz. I love this piece. It was actually the first piece I saw NYC Ballet perform. It was 2006 on Oscar day and I went to the Kennedy Center in DC to catch the visiting company perform; among the pieces was NY Export: Opus Jazz. I’ve since seen it at the State Theatre and it’s definitely one of my favorite pieces. It’s bold and vibrant and the dance moves pop as much as the pop art colors the dancers, clad in Keds for kicks, are wearing. This is not to be missed in person and if the trailer for the film adaptation of the ballet (performed in different areas around New York City) is any indication, the film version is not to be missed, either! It airs on PBS on March 24 which means that I’ll have to DVR it since the 24th is a holiday – the first preview of American Idiot!

  • Casting News
    Billy Crudup – who’s always great to watch, especially as Russell Hammond in Almost Famous – will grace the off-Broadway stage in Adam Rapp’s The Metal Children, which will have its world premiere at the Vineyard Theatre this spring. (The exact dates keep changing – check the Vineyard website for up to the minute information.) I was already excited to see The Metal Children, which finds an author defending his book after it’s been banned by a local school board, because I’m a fan of Rapp’s work but now that Crudup is starring I’m even more excited!

    In other casting news, Marin Mazzie has been cast in the forthcoming Broadway bow of Enron, which you’ll remember will feature the fantastic Norbert Leo Butz. I had the pleasure of seeing, with my mom and aunts, Marin Mazzie play her final performance in Kiss Me Kate (I think this was almost ten years ago) and she was great so her casting is a little more incentive to go see this British import.

    Meanwhile, in the film world, James McAvoy (who is rather underrated – he was great in the BBC series State of Play and Shameless as well as the film The Last King of Scotland) had to drop out of the title-still-in-progress I’m With Cancer, in which he was supposed to have co-starred with Freaks and Geeks fave Seth Rogen. But, never fear because the very talented (and also slightly underrated) Joseph Gordon-Levitt is taking over the role. Gordon-Levitt is a great actor and will no doubt be a good straight man for Rogen’s goofy antics. (Gordon-Levitt’s pretty funny himself, though, so we could get some terrific Pineapple Express James Franco-Seth Rogen-ish magic happening here.)

    Bad Teacher, Good Cast: Justin Timberlake has recently joined the cast of the upcoming movie Bad Teacher. (Remember: He just wrapped the David Finch helmed Facebook movie, penned by Aaron Sorkin!) Despite Cameron Diaz being a cast member, the rest of the pedigree is pretty good: JTims joins Jason Segel, Molly Shannon and Eric Stonestreet (who’s hilarious on Modern Family); the movie is written by The Office producers and writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky; and it will be directed by Freaks and Geeks directing alum Jake Kasdan. The movie is set to begin production this month so check back in the late summer or fall for a trailer.

    Not quite casting news, but related nonetheless: The Broadway aimed musical adaptation of the movie Sleepless in Seattle now has its musical creative team together. Michelle Citrin, Michael Garin and Josh Nelson will collaborate to write the score and lyrics. What’s noteworthy about this, from my perspective, is that a colleague broke the news to me before the theatre sites did. See, Citrin and Nelson have worked in the Jewish musical world for a number of years, and most recently they provided much of the musical entertainment at the Union for Reform Judaism’s North American Biennial, a huge conference held every two years. This adds some interest and intrigue to a musical adaptation that otherwise makes me want to Nod-off in New York!

  • W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N, baby, DC!
    Good news for readers in Washington DC – the Kennedy Center announced its 2010-2011 season, and it includes productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, which I saw in its New York premiere last year at The Atlantic Theatre. (It’s terrific and typical McDonagh.) Beltway dwellers will also get to see touring companies of Hair and Next to Normal.

  • Just Another Day
    Next to Normal star Kyle Dean Massey once again brings us behind the scenes at the hit musical (which I just saw for a fourth time on Broadway (sixth time including Second Stage) – this time with my mother, who loved it!) In this week’s webisode, Kyle Dean and his castmates, including a refreshingly candid Alice Ripley, share their warming up secrets, which basically are nothing. These talents don’t do much to warm up their voices before the show, except for J. Robert Spencer who apparently goes through a 30-minute plus routine. I do love the adorable Adam Chanler-Berat treating us to his rendition of what had been one of my favorite tongue-twisting vocal warm-ups: What a to-do to die today at a minute or two to two… Enjoy!

  • Miscast
    Every year, the off-Broadway theatre company MCC hold a benefit they call Miscast, in which performers cover their favorite Broadway songs – but there’s a catch: The performers sing songs usually sung or written for the opposite sex. So, for example, Memphis powerhouse Montego Glover, a woman, sang her rendition of the Fiddler on the Roof classic, “If I Were a Rich Man.” Tickets are expensive (this is a benefit, after all,) so I’ve not yet had the pleasure of seeing this live, but here are some pictures from the gala event, including pics of special honoree Julianna Margulies and her The Good Wife costars Matt Czuchry and Josh Charles. And, thanks to NY1, you can view snippets of performances!

  • It’s Oscar Time!
    Yay – the Oscars are here! This Sunday night, the 82nd Annual Academy Awards will be presented live in Los Angeles. (It will be broadcast on ABC, beginning at 8 EST. Red carpet coverage begins on E! at 6 and Joan Rivers’s fashion review airs at 10pm on E! on Monday.) As readers know by now, I love award show season and for the film world, the Oscars is the motherload. My routine includes a plate of freshly made baked ziti, a bottle of wine and my phone nearby, so my mother and I can gossip during commercials. (Share your award show rituals in the comments section below!) In preparation for the Oscars, here are a few last minute media morsels:
    • Newsweek details what happens to the actual ballots

    • The Wrap explains the preferential voting system used for the Best Picture race

    • Jeff Bridges (who is nominated for Best Leading Actor) is profiled in the New York Times

    • Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers offered his should win/will win predictions in the last issue of Rolling Stone (the one with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck – actual musicians! – on the cover). While full coverage of his predictions isn’t online, you can visit for his musings, including “Travers vs. Travers: Should Indies or Blockbusters Win at the 2010 Oscars?” One piece of brilliance from the issue that I’d like to share with you comes from the snubbed for a best picture nomination section: “Where the Wild Things Are, The Messenger, In the Loop [terrific!], A Single Man, Moon and hits such as Star Trek, The Hangover and (500) Days of Summer get the shaft, and for what? The Blind Side, a football-themed Hallmark card disguised as a movie. WTF!” Well said, Mr. Travers. (Travers apparently loved (500) Days of Summer (why wouldn’t anyone?) because he mentioned it, its actors and screenwriters in the “snubbed” section of almost every category.)

    • Fun Fact: If Avatar wins Best Picture, it will be the only movie to win this award without being nominated for either best screenplay (original or otherwise) or any of the acting categories. If Kathryn Bigelow wins for Best Director, she will be the first female to do so. Break that ceiling, Kathryn!

    Enjoy the show!