Media Morsels 10.29.10

  • American Idiot Rocks On
    It was announced this week that American Idiot is now selling tickets through May 1, 2011. Until this point, tickets had only been on sale through January, making this uber-fan incredibly scared that the incredible musical would close in January, along with several other shows. But, at least at the moment, that seems to not be the case. Hooray!
  • Bloody Bloody Bits
    Jon Meacham, who won a Pulitzer in 2009 for his biography of President Andrew Jackson, American Lion, wrote for the NY Times theatre section this week. I found this quote to be especially resonant as we approach the midterm election on November 2: “As a politician, Jackson is at once inspiring and cautionary, particularly in a season of discontent in which charismatic but not especially subtle leaders dominate the field.” VOTE!!!

    This week on, Kristine Nielsen, who plays the Storyteller in Bloody Bloody, wrote about her experience with the show, how rewarding it is to see young people in a Broadway house – and connecting to the material – and what it’s like to give Old Hickory (well, really Benjamin Walker) a nice little love tap on the ass!
  • Mark Rylance on La Bete
    The terrific Tony winning actor Mark Rylance recently spoke to about his role in La Bete. He spoke of just how much fun he has on stage each night with his fellow performers. In addition, he sang the praises of on of his favorite collaborators (and one of my favorites), director Matthew Warchus. The two have worked together on several productions in addition to La Bete, including Boeing, Boeing, for which Rylance won his Tony.
  • Speaking in Quotes
    I love quoting. Movies, shows, TV, songs – it’s sometimes difficult for me to speak (or write) without, in someway, referencing or directly quoting something. Quite often, it’s something Aaron Sorkin wrote, but I also can go line-for-line on My Cousin Vinny, or The Princess Bride or Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (I’m right on top of that, Rose!). So I read with interest the recent NY Times article bemoaning the lack of quotable lines in movies in the aughts. (I should note that the article’s author, Michael Cieply, was remiss in talking about great lines and Aaron Sorkin without mentioning his classic, “I want the truth!” “You can’t handle the truth” exchange from A Few Good Men.) Personally, I think Cieply has jumped the gun a bit. He mentions that Casablanca (one of the few “classic” movies that I think still holds up and is enjoyable these days) takes up six slots in the American Film Institute’s top 100 movie quotations. But I have to wonder: Did all those lines (like, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”) insert themselves fully into the zeitgeist when the film was released in 1942, or is it only now, with years of hindsight and with plenty of time for nearly everyone to see it (and therefore enough time for everyone to quote it) that “Here’s looking at you, kid” was able to make its way to the number five spot? Looking at the list, it’s not until number 21 that a quote comes from a 90s movie. (It’s from Silence of the Lambs and involves fava beans and a nice Chianti! Oh, and don’t worry, “You can’t handle the truth” is number 29. Respectable.) Did movies in the 90s and the 00s not have memorable lines? I don’t think so. I think it’s a timing thing. (Granted, there are a few lines from late 90s movies on the list and there is one from 2002’s Lord of the Rings – but I’ve never quoted it!) I also think that there are so many more movies being made these days and our collective tastes aren’t collective at all – there are rarely movies, these days, which everyone sees. It’s kind of hard to have a catch phrase when only a fraction of speaking people knows the phrase exists. (This is why, when I start quoting Safe Men, people look at me like I’m from another planet!) What are some of your favorite movie (or TV or show or song) quotes? Where do they fall on AFI’s list? Leave your comments below! (And check out more of AFI’s “top” and “best of” lists.)
  • Allergic to Sesame Street?
    Lots of celebs know how to get to Sesame Street. This week, Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs stopped by to help the gang teach kids about allergies. Check out their lively explanation below:
  • In Treatment
    The HBO series In Treatment is back for its third season. The show, adapted from an Israeli series, lets us be flies on the wall of psychiatrist Paul Weston’s office as he sees patients. This season, In Treatment boasts lots of theatre notables. (Not that the series wanted for good actors before: Josh Charles was in the first season and was excellent.) For starters, one of my favorite playwrights, Adam Rapp, wrote the season premiere and will continue to write and produce the “Sunil” episodes. (These are the episodes in which Paul sees his new patient, Sunil.) Amy Ryan, a versatile Tony and Oscar nominee, will appear each week in the Adele episodes, playing Paul’s new therapist. And Dane DeHaan, who was so wonderful off-Broadway in The Aliens, will appear all season long as Jesse, a gay teen seeking Paul’s help. Tune in for this well-credentialed season!
  • Glee Scoop
    Did you watch The Rocky Horror Glee Show? Kind of awesome, right? I liked that for this themed episode, unlike some others (I’m looking at you, Britney Spears music video episode) this actually had a story line and added to character development. Also, I loved Brittany’s priceless and hilarious response to Kurt asking what she’s dressing up as for Halloween: “I’m going as a peanut allergy.”

    And I’d like to take a moment to remind you that in 2000, Broadway welcomed a revival of The Rocky Horror Show, starring Raul Esparza as Riff Raff, Alice Ripley as (Damn It,) Janet and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Magenta. Check out this clip unearthed. It’s time to Time Warp!
  • Muppet News
    I love the Muppets, that should come as no surprise; Jason Segel (adorable and fun in just about everything from Freak and Geeks to I Love You, Man) also loves the Muppets and lucky for us, he is writing (with Forgetting Sarah Marshall collaborator Nick Stoller) a brand spanking new Muppet movie! This we’ve known. So what’s the latest Muppet morsel? Apparently Zach Galifianakis may make an appearance in the movie, which will star Segel, (probably) Amy Adams (!) and a new Muppet named Walter, according to unconfirmed reports from EW. Good news, don’t you think? I may have asked this of you before, dear readers, but who do you think should make a cameo in this latest Muppet movie? Who’d fit right in with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem? Who could be “moving right along” with Kermit? Post your answers below in the comments section. (And thanks to Melissa for pointing out this article!)

  • Comings and Goings
    Coming: A Harry Houdini musical with a book written by Aaron Sorkin! Superstar and Broadway vet Hugh Jackman spoke to this week at the opening of Driving Miss Daisy and said that he’ll participate in a workshop of the fledgling musical this January, and mentioned the great creative team: Sorkin, composer Danny Elfman and director Jack O’Brien. (This must be the musical Sorkin vaguely mentioned in the NY Magazine article last month.) No timetable for a full Broadway run but since Aaron Sorkin’s involved, you know I’ll keep you posted!

    Going: In the Heights will shutter on Broadway January 9, 2011. Original star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will return for the final two weeks of the show. When it closes, Heights will have played 29 previews and 1, 185 regular performances.
  • NYC Ballet Dancer Profile
    Check out this interview with Jonathan Stafford, City Ballet principle dancer. In it, he talks about growing up and dancing in Carlisle, PA, and growing with City Ballet. Consider this just a little treat to tide you over until the winter season begins in January.
  • Farragut North Update
    News came this week about the movie adaptation of Farragut North: Houston, we have a name change. The film will be called The Ides of March. I don’t really like this change; Farragut North conjures up a very specific milieu – the exact right one for the subject matter. But I guess it’s a little obscure for people not “in-the-know.” And, based on the casting announcement, it seems like there’s a change in characters or relationships. In the play, wunderkind Stephen (John Gallagher, Jr., at the Atlantic) had a mentor (Chris Noth on stage in NY and LA) with whom he was working on the campaign. This announcement doesn’t mention anything about such a character, but does place George Clooney as the president Stephen’s trying to put in office. Ryan Gosling will play Stephen; Marisa Tomei will play a NY Times reporter (my ideal casting was Allison Janney but I’m plenty happy with Tomei); Paul Giamatti will play a rival campaign manager (Isaiah Thomas played this role on stage); and Evan Rachel Wood will play an intern who, in the play, becomes entangled with Stephen and his mentor. (Olivia Thirlby played the role on stage; she’d be great on screen but then again, most anyone would be great instead of Wood.) Filming is set to begin in February. (Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, is a producing partner. Leo’s long been associated with the project and early on, there were rumblings he’d play Stephen. But he’s a little long in the tooth – as is Gosling for that matter. But, Gosling’s a great actor and Clooney’s a good director so it’ll probably turn out a-okay.)
  • Things to Ruin
    Dear readers, I cannot stop listening to Things to Ruin, the two-disc cast recording of the Joe Iconis show which played at Second Stage last year. This music rocks so hard, it hurts. (Literally. I keep dancing and whipping my hair around – particularly to my favorite song, "Honey" – which has left me with a bit of an ache in my neck.) But it hurts so good. These songs are full of passion – both in their lyrics and performance. Congratulations to Iconis and his fantastic theatre-family for capturing raw, honest (and funny!) emotion on a record!!! Visit to order your copy.
  • Jon Stewart for President!
    Well, maybe not president but he should definitely remain on the air pretty much forever. The readers of agree: They voted Stewart number one on the list of the most influential men in America in 2010. And remember, dear readers, this Saturday is Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. I’ll be back next week with my first-hand account.
  • Go Vote!
    The midterm election is on Tuesday, November 2. Make your voice heard: Show up at your polling place and cast your vote. We can make a difference if we promise not to be complacent and speak our mind, via our vote. As they said on The West Wing: “Decisions are made by people who show up.” So show up, America!