Media Morsels 8.13.10

  • Broadway in Bryant Park
    A New York summer staple is Broadway in Bryant Park, which is pretty much just what it sounds like: Casts from Broadway (and, recently, some off-Broadway) shows take the stage in Bryant Park for an alfresco afternoon performance. This week, the beautiful Idiots took the stage and my friend and I were there to cheer them on. (What a great thing to do in the middle of the work day!) and have photos of the festivities, a fan has video of sound check and has video of the entire American Idiot performance. Enjoy!
  • Spider Man Update
    It appears that the huge musical that everyone thought wouldn’t be is back on track. Producers announced this week that Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark (with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge) will begin previews on November 14 and celebrate its official opening on December 21. In addition, rumors were confirmed when it was announced that Jennifer Damiano would appear in the musical as Peter Parker’s love interest, Mary Jane Watson. Joining Damiano and Reeve Carney (who will play Peter Parker/Spider Man) will be Patrick Page. Page is taking over the role of Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin from Alan Cumming, who was originally slated to play the villain. Cumming had to pull out because (1) it looked like the show wasn’t going anywhere and (2) he signed on as a regular on CBS’s The Good Wife. Tickets are now on sale for American Express cardholders and will go on sale to the general public in September.

  • Financial Non-Reform
    In the latest issue of Rolling Stone (the recent covers of which might be confused with Playboy covers) features the insightful Matt Taibbi once again exposing the dreck on the Hill. “Wall Street’s Big Win” reflects on the recently passed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which is frustratingly toothless. The Act “[pretends] that minus a few bumps in the road that have mostly been smoothed out, the clean-hands capitalism of Adam Smith still rules the day in America”, Taibbi says, rather than “[admitting] that control over the economy in the past decade was ceded to a small group of rapacious criminals who to this day are engaged in a mind-numbing campaign of theft on a global scale”. Taibbi goes on to point out that the deregulation of the aughts that left us in this mess made us, basically, “a nation subsisting on an elaborate check-bouncing scheme.” And the Act does very little to change that.

  • Casting News
    It was reported this week that one of my favorite leading ladies, Reese Witherspoon, will likely portray Miss Peggy Lee in an upcoming biopic to be written and directed by Nora Ephron. Witherspoon is also producing the movie with her Type A production company. (While we’re on the subject of Reese, I’d like to take a moment to publicly say that I love Legally Blonde (the movie, not the horrible stage adaptation). It’s fun and fluffy and totally quotable (“Oh my god, Warner, this is gonna be just like senior year except for funner!”) but mostly I like that Elle is a great female role model. She is both beautiful and smart. And she’s able to go after what she wants, get people to take her seriously and succeed all without giving up either of those qualities. Snaps for Elle!)

  • Legendary Roots
    Listen up! Sexy R&B artist and political activist John Legend is teaming up with the Roots (a.k.a., Jimmy Fallon’s house band) for a “cover album of socially conscious 1960s and 70s soul songs,” according to an item in Rolling Stone magazine. The record, called Wake Up, will hit stores in September.

  • Fela! to Close in January
    The Tony winning dance extravaganza that is Fela! will play its final performance on Broadway on January 2, 2011. The show will live on with overseas productions and tours. Before closing, however, Fela! will welcome a new Funmilayo: Lillias White will leave the production on September 12 and on September 14 the legendary Patti LaBelle will take over the role. Fela! is a wild and wonderful show that teaches us to stand up to would-be oppressors and use our art to express ourselves. I highly recommend you catch the Broadway production before it closes or, if you can’t make it to NY, go see Fela! when it’s in a town near you. Visit for all the details.