Media Morsels 12.10.10

  • American Idiot
    My favorite guy, John Gallagher, Jr., answered fan submitted questions in this latest installment of’s Ask a Star. While my question didn’t make the cut (I asked how Michael Mayer’s vision of American Idiot compared with what Johnny envisioned upon first hearing the record), he did answer several other questions with his usual wit, charm and lovably quirky sensibility. Watch the video today to learn more about this ridiculously talented performer, including tidbits like this: He might one day want to play Mama Rose!

  • Rock Unplugged
    This week, Rolling Stone listed their favorite acoustic covers of cherished rock and roll songs. Included on the list are The Boss reworking “Born to Run,” turning it into something more wistful and powerful than the recorded version, and Sir Paul breaking out the Hard Days Night tune, “And I Love Her” in 1991 for MTV’s Unplugged. View the rest of their list on

  • In Treatment, In Spider-Man
    Irrfan Khan, who was so good as Sunil in the Adam Rapp-penned "Sunil" episodes of In Treatment this season (which just finished), will be seen in multiplexes around the world in 2012. It was recently announced that Khan will star in the latest Spider-Man movie (starring Andrew Garfield as Spidey and Emma Stone as Gwen, and directed by (500) Days of Summer director, Marc Webb) as the villain Nels Van Adder. (He’ll also appear in the 2012 adaptation of Life of Pi.) In a brief interview with the New York Times, Khan talks about his time on the couch and being part of the upcoming 3-D action flick.

  • Kennedy Center Honors
    This past weekend, the Kennedy Center Honors were presented, including the tribute portion during which artists pay homage to the honorees. That portion of the celebration was held on Sunday and will be broadcast on PBS later this month, on December 28. This year’s honorees, you may remember, are Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman, Bill T. Jones, Sir Paul McCartney and Oprah. On hand to honor these celebrated artists were Sutton Foster, Laura Benanti, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Hudson, Edward Albee, Christine Baranski, Angela Lansbury and my favorite Foo, Dave Grohl. (Check out Dreamboat Morrison hamming it up in an impromptu performance of “On the Street Where You Live.”) Visit for coverage of the Honors, including a round up of who attended.

    Take a look at’s photo coverage: rehearsal arrivals; Red carpet, part 1; red carpet, part 2; the honorees

    To kick off the festivities, President Obama addressed the honorees and guests, noting that “the arts have always had the power to challenge and the power to inspire – to help us celebrate in times of joy and find hope in times of trouble.” He continued, “The theater is necessary. Dance is necessary. Song is necessary. The arts are necessary – they are a necessary part of our lives.” Amen, POTUS. Amen.

  • Entertainers of the Year
    Entertainment Weekly just announced their 2010 entertainers of the year. This year’s list includes the Gleeks; Alan Cumming, Josh Charles, Chris Noth, Matt Czuchry, Scott Porter and Michael Ealy (the men of The Good Wife); James Franco; the three talented and easy-on-the-eyes stars of The Social Network, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg; the kids of Modern Family (my favorite being Nolan Gould, who plays the dim-witted Luke Dunphy); and mastermind Christopher Nolan, whose Inception is now out on DVD. Head over to for photos.

  • Next to Robert Downey, Jr.?
    Next to Normal writers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey are reportedly tailoring a movie-musical about songwriters, which they hope will serve as a star vehicle for Robert Downey, Jr. Downey and his wife, Susan, are on board as producers, but there’s been no official acting commitment from the Oscar-nominated actor. Read’s exclusive article to find out more about this movie-musical, plus Next to Normal on film and Kitt and Yorkey’s next Broadway collaboration.

  • Bloody Bloody Backstage was recently invited backstage at the Jacobs theatre, where Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is playing until January 2. Guided by Jeff Hiller, BWW’s camera takes a peek into the cast’s dressing rooms to learn about their pre-show rituals, including how to apply guyliner.

  • Glee Scoop
    Matthew Morrison spoke with news anchor Katie Couric this past Sunday, as Couric gets ready to make an appearance on Glee. Morrison invited Couric into the recording studio, giving Couric (and us) a sneak peek at his upcoming debut album (which he describes as a cross between JTims and Michael Buble), and talked to her about taking requests from The Boss!

    Can’t get enough of Darren Criss, who’s currently guest starring on Glee as Blaine, Kurt’s Warbler friend? Me neither. He’s kind of too adorable. And the talented cutie stopped by Rolling Stone’s offices recently to answer some questions…in song…accompanied by his acoustic guitar. Too cute for words.
  • Awards Update
    The King’s Speech cleaned up nicely last weekend at the British Independent Film Awards. The movie won Best Film, Best Screenplay, and acting awards for its three stars: Colin Firth (leading actor), Geoffrey Rush (supporting actor) and Helena Bonham Carter (supporting actress). Look for all those winners to snag nominations next week, when both the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations are announced. (And speaking of likely nominees, check out this in-depth roundtable discussion among the
    men most insiders say are in contention for Oscar acting nominations.)

    In other award news, the WGA nominations for television writing were announced this week. Modern Family was a nominations leader, earning three nods. Boardwalk Empire, Glee, SNL, The Daily Show and 30 Rock always received nominations. Congratulations to all the nominees. Visit for the full nominations list.

    Tony News
    As you may recall, dear readers, the Tony Awards Administration Committee meets several times each theatre season to determine nomination eligibility. Generally, all eligibility is based on opening nights credits: Any actor listed above the title is eligible as a leading actor; all others as featured actors. Here, some notable rulings: Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys) will both be eligible in the leading actor category; Christine Ricci is the only actor from Time Stands Still to be eligible for nomination (as a featured actress) since the other three actors were eligible last season; Sherie Rene Scott (Women on the Verge…) will be eligible in the leading actress category; and despite her name appearing above the title, given her role, Joanna Lumley will be eligible in the best featured actress category for her performance in La Bete. Visit to read the full list of rulings.

  • Favorite Things
    New York Magazine asked some of 2010’s movers and shakers to name their favorite things. Then they asked those named-favorite things what their favorite things are and so on. Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks’s and Jesse Eisenberg’s favorite thing? Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson! Singer Trey Songz’s (huh? Who?) favorite thing is The Social Network and Aaron Sorkin’s favorite thing is Jon Stewart and his Rally to Restore Sanity. Check out the loopy map of favorite things in New York Magazine, on newsstands now.

    Also in the current issue of New York Magazine is a look at Ryan Gosling and the rest of the "Brainy Bunch" - smarty-pants young actors who represent the new crop of leading men. This bunch is comprised of James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Fassbender - all brainy, talented ...and very handsome!
  • The Power of Good Journalism
    Just a week after a scathing expose about Don Blankenship, the wicked witch of the West Virginia coal industry, was published in Rolling Stone, the
    smug, callous businessgoon has stepped down as CEO at Massey Energy. Industry insiders and environmentalists were surprised that the unscrupulous man would give up such power, but also rejoiced, chiming, “Ding, dong, the witch is dead!” This comes on the heels of General Stanley McChrystal’s exit shortly after a “controversial profile by Rolling Stone.” Congratulations to Rolling Stone (begun as a hip, counter-culture music mag), for being the last bastion of good journalism: Journalists who are investigative, skeptical of their subjects and employ actual critical thinking and analytical skills, rather than simply chowing down on sound bites. “…Rolling Stone/Wanna see my picture on the cover/Rolling Stone/Wanna buy five copies for my mother/Rolling Stone/Wanna see my smiling face/On the cover of the Rolling Stone.”

  • I Love Aaron Sorkin
    In other good journalism news, Aaron Sorkin, not a journalist, responded to Sarah Pain-in-the-ass’s comment that those who eat meat or wear or sit on leather are being hypocritical when they criticize the quitter for killing a Caribou. Since he’s such a great writer, I’ll let him explain. Visit to read his response. Basically, it’s Aaron Sorkin doing what Aaron Sorkin does: Fighting with words. I love this man.

  • All Aboard!
    Roundabout Theatre Company announced the full cast for their spring production of Anything Goes. We already knew that Sutton Foster will play Reno Sweeney and that Joel Grey will play Public Enemy Number 13, Moonface. Joining the Tony winning pair will be Jessica Walters (Lucille Bluth!) as Evangeline Harcourt, Laura Osnes as her daughter Hope, Colin Donnell as Billy and Adam Godley as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh. (Read the announcement on for the full cast list.) Previews being at the newly renamed Stephen Sondheim Theatre on March 10 in anticipation of an official opening on April 7. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets. (And readers 18-35, visit to order your $20 ticket to this or any other Roundabout show!)

    And speaking of Anything Goes, check out’s behind the scenes video of Sutton Foster’s Anything Goes photo shoot.

  • This Film is Not Yet Rated
    Just as Representative Charlie Rangel was censured by the House, the AV Club created a list of the (equally ridiculous) MPAA’s most egregious censors. In this article, they post the 15 films the MPAA rated incorrectly. Their first example, in which a torture-porn movie and a sexless, violence-free love story both received an R rating, pretty much sums up the unpredictability and fickle, thoroughly misguided and subjective nature of the totally
    unnecessary MPAA.

    (Another example of their nuttiness: True Grit, the entire plot of which revolves around a young girl seeking lethal revenge on the man who killed her father, is rated PG-13. The King's Speech, which has absolutely no violence or sex, is rated R because in one scene the king drops several F-bombs. How in the world does that make sense?)

    But there was an MPAA victory this week: At about 1 o’clock Wednesday afternoon (according to Michelle Williams,
    making a guest appearance on The Daily Show), word came that the MPAA “reconsidered” – or something – and changed Blue Valentine’s rating from the prohibitive NC-17 to R, without the filmmakers having to change a single frame. Way to go, Harvey Weinstein!

    (And for more Blue Valentine goodness, read The Wrap’s interview with star Ryan Gosling.)

  • City Ballet in Vanity Fair
    New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild is featured in the current (January) issue of Vanity Fair – the one with a smoldering Johnny Depp on the cover. In the brief feature, Fairchild is pictured with corps de ballet dancer Chase Finlay. (The two, along with Robert’s dancer sister Megan, represent the only three dancers with F surnames. Just an idle observation.) Check out the issue now, and then head over to to book your tickets for City Ballet’s winter 2011 season, which is only a month away!

  • Spider-Man Update
    Julie Taymor told E! News this week that the book for Spider-Man is being worked on. She said, “We have to work on the book and work on getting [the show] to run smoothly every night. It’s like a circus.” Well, yes, it is quite like a circus. In any case, the team still has a little over a month before Spider-Man officially opens (opening night is set for January 11), which is plenty of time for changes – even major ones.

    And just for fun, here's a little winter solstice Spider-Man bonus: The Office's John Krasinski as Spider-Man on Jimmy Kimmel!

  • No More Time
    The thought provoking, Tony nominated play, Time Stands Still, will close on January 30. You may remember that last week it was announced that the four current stars, Laura Linney, Brian d’Arcy James, Eric Bogosian and Christina Ricci, would end their run on the 30th. The play’s producers made a point of noting that the announcement wasn’t a closing notice. But, I guess they looked at the numbers and saw that their meager box office would only diminish with a different cast and so the decision to close the show was made. This play still enjoyed a healthy run for an original play. It played last winter for a limited run, took a summer hiatus and reopened at a different theatre for this commercial run. When this iteration closes, Time Stands Still will have played 16 previews and 126 regular performances.

  • “Three is Company, Safe and Cheery…”
    The New York Times is reporting that the multitalented, sometimes magician Neil Patrick Harris will star as Bobby in a New York Philharmonic production of the Sondheim classic Company this spring. The show will run April 7-9 and will be directed by Lonny Price. No other casting has been announced at this time. (Remember that the last time Company was seen in New York it was the Tony winning revival starring Raul Esparza. (The Tony was for the show, regrettably not for the star. He was robbed!) That production was taped for PBS is available for instant viewing on Netflix.) Tickets go on sale to the public on December 13. Visit for more information.

  • Casting News
    In was announced this week that The Social Network’s Armie Hammer will join Leo in the upcoming biopic J. Edgar, telling the life and times of the FBI director. Leo is set to play the cross-dressing Fed, while Hammer will play Clyde Tolson, an agent who is rumored to have been Hoover’s lover. In addition, the role of Helen Gandy (basically Hoover’s Mrs. Landingham) is rumored to be played by Charlize Theron. J Edgar will be directed by Clint Eastwood (Ravine) and written by Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black. Here’s the kicker: According to Hammer (as per E! Online), he and Leo will be locking lips on screen. Jealous?!?

    Another The Social Network star is ready to make his next move: Jesse Eisenberg will star alongside Jason Ritter, Jess Weixler, Tippie Hedren and stage vet Hallie Pfeiffer in Free Samples, a new indie dramedy currently in production in Los Angeles.

  • Actors Acting
    Sure, we get to watch actors acting all the time, but in this New York Times Magazine video feature, we get to watch the actors (directed by Solve Sundsbo), shot in black and white, act out wordless short scenes, scored by haunting and ephemeral classical music (by Owen Pallett). These actors are so good that with no set up or context, you know the story they’re telling. Watch 14 actors, including Jesse Eisenberg, Tilda Swinton, James Franco and Natalie Portman, act on


  1. Thanks for the link to Aaron Sorkin's rebuttal to Sarah P... That's why I, too, love words!! Unfortunately, he was preaching to the choir. Oh well, it's still good that it's out there.


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