Media Morsels 10.1.10
- American Idiot
You know why I love living in New York? Because when it was announced that Billie Joe Armstrong himself would be appearing as St. Jimmy for this one week while Tony Vincent is on leave I didn’t have to ponder train tickets or pine over not being able to go. I just bought a ticket and had the wonderful fortune of experiencing Armstrong making his Broadway debut in a show he wrote and among actors who look up to him. (Check out video of the encore here and photo coverage of the curtain call here.) Mel Brooks said “It’s good to be the king”. I say it’s good to be a New Yorker!
And if you have the good fortune of making it to New York and seeing American Idiot, make sure you log on to the show’s website after the performance: The producers are now offering a free download of the encore, during which the entire cast – decked out in guitars – treats the audience to a rendition of Green Day’s Nimrod hit, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. All you have to do is type in the date of the show you attended and you can download the live recording of the performance. I’ve already listened to my recording from Tuesday night about 100 times!
- The Good Wife
In honor of The Good Wife’s second season premiere, Broadway.com featured a photo essay of the cast’s theatre roots. All the principal players have appeared on stage and I’ve seen three of them! (I saw Christine Baranski in Boeing, Boeing a couple seasons ago; Chris Noth in Farragut North in 2008 (when he appeared opposite some guy named John Gallagher, Jr.); and Graham Phillips in Jason Robert Brown’s short-lived coming of age musical, 13.) I tried to go see Josh Charles (my beloved Dan Rydell) on stage back in late 2007 but just couldn’t get my act together. And while I haven’t seen Mary Beth Peil on stage yet, I will get a chance to see the theatre veteran this fall in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, a musical stage adaptation of the Pedro Almodovar film, starring divas Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott and Brian Stokes Mitchell.
- Glee Scoop
Kurt may be getting a boyfriend! Reports surfaced this week saying that actor Darren Criss will join the cast as a gay student at a rival high school. Other reports have said that Criss’s character will only have a platonic relationship with Kurt. Tune in to find out what happens.
- Fall TV
As the fall TV season kicks into full gear, Slate.com writers discussed which characters they’re most eager to welcome back, ranging from Kalinda on The Good Wife to Abed on Community to Stacy London on What Not to Wear (I gladly welcome all characters back, though London isn’t so much a character as a person with quite a bit of character). I’d also like to welcome Coach Sue Sylvester (Glee – duh!) and George Christopher (Ted Danson’s character on Bored to Death). Who are you glad to welcome back to primetime?
And by the way, SNL was back this week and it was pretty funny. But the sad part about Amy Poehler’s monologue and all the guest appearances by old favorites like Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Maya Rudolph and JTims is that it seemed to highlight how funny the show had been and how inconsistent it is these days. Hopefully this good start is a sign of things to come this season.
- The Social Network
Facebook in Sorkinese comes out this weekend! You can expect my review next week. In the meantime, check out this profile of star Jesse Eisenberg from the LA Times. Plus, everyone was making the rounds on the talk shows this week. JTims showed up on The Daily Show (and Jimmy Fallon, where he gave us a history of rap!); Jesse Eisenberg headed over to Letterman; and genius Aaron Sorkin chatted with the ladies from The View. My favorite quip: “Social networking is to socializing as reality TV is to reality.” I love this man. Watch the full clip of his appearance below.
- Jason Bateman’s Alphabet Story
Watch funny man Jason Bateman tell Elmo an alphabet story. It’s kind of adorable!
I caught Howl this week. In the film, James Franco plays renowned poet Allen Ginsberg. “Interview” clips are interspersed with flash backs of Ginsberg as a teen and then writing Howl and with scenes from the obscenity trial that ensued after Howl was published. All this was peppered with Franco as Ginsberg reading the poem. I liked that when the poem was being read, we watched animated drawings, allowing us to let the images fade into the background and really focus on the words. I also loved the argument being had over what constitutes art. This movie, and before it the actual trial, asked: What is art? What has literary merit? And who is anyone to decide for anyone else? In these themes I was reminded of Red, Collected Stories, Is He Dead and The Metal Children, and that last one particularly when Ginsberg talked about writing something now while fully anticipating that it could mean something else 100 years later. With the cutting between the trial, interview and poem, this 90 minute film flew by and is a must see for any lover of language, literature and art. (Bonus: Check out this clip from New York Magazine of Franco (as Ginsberg) reading Howl.)
- Catch Me Finds a Home
The stage musical adaptation Catch Me if You Can, based on the movie of the same name, has found a home. The show will play at the Neil Simon Theatre, where the show’s collaborators were previously represented with the long-running Hairspray.
- Modern Family
Reason number 417 you should be watching Modern Family:
Claire: (while rummaging through a mess of Tupperware-like bottoms and lids) How come we don’t have the same number of containers and lids? Why would they ever get separated?
Phil: Built up resentment. Money issues. Met a younger lid. (after a brief exchange with the children, he comes up with one final zinger) He blew his lid when she tried to contain him.
Watch Modern Family!
- Casting News
- The Hair tour has officially announced its cast. As I mentioned last week, my high school classmate Mike Evariste will be part of the tour, as a Tribe member. Joining him on the road will be original revival cast members Paris Remillard (as Claude), Steel Burkhardt (as Berger), Kacie Sheik (Jeanie, as on Broadway), and Darius Nichols (Hud, as on Broadway). The tour officially kicks off in DC at the end of the month.
- Julia Roberts(!) and Meryl Streep(!!) are rumored to be in the running to star in a film adaptation of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County. That’ll be a great combination and tasty Oscar bait.
- Ryan Gosling, the always fantastic Academy Award nominee (for Half Nelson, though he was most swoon-worthy in The Notebook and utterly terrifying yet compelling in The Believer), is now in talks to star as Stephen in George Clooney’s film adaptation of Farragut North. Readers may remember that a few weeks ago Chris Pine was set to star in the film, reprising the role he played in LA, even though Delaware’s own John Gallagher, Jr. did an amazing job at originating the role in New York. I’m a little skeptical of this announcement given the previous rumors, and while Gosling is just a few years too old for the role, I know he’ll do a great job. I’ll keep you posted on any official announcements.
- Joel Grey will join the fantastic Sutton Foster this spring in Roundabout’s revival of the Cole Porter classic Anything Goes. Grey will return to the stage in the role of Moonface Martin, public enemy #13. I’ve always pictured Moonface younger, but maybe that’s just because all the times I’ve seen Anything Goes, he’s been portrayed by a younger guy (like my cousin during his senior year in high school!). Nevertheless, Grey is sure to do a great job in this fun, comedic role opposite the perfectly cast Foster as Reno Sweeney.
- Ben Stiller will join Edie Falco when he returns to Broadway (after a 25 year absence) this spring in a revival of House of Blue Leaves. The play is supposedly set to inhabit the Walter Kerr theatre this spring, but that means that A Little Night Music, currently enjoying a run with Bernadette Peters sending in the clown, will have to close first.