Media Morsels 12.24.10

  • Dancing Through Vanity Fair
    On the heels (or pointe shoes) of the recent Robbie Fairchild/Chase Finlay profile in the current issue of Vanity Fair, the magazine posted to its website a photo pictorial of dancers featured in VF over the years. The look back begins with the photo of City Ballet’s Fairchild and Finlay and ends with an in-motion Gregory Hines. The pictorial also features a photo of dancer/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon (Estancia), along with a link to a 2007 article and slide show, featuring Wheeldon wearing a Giants jersey!

  • Spider-Man Update
    The seemingly cursed new musical spectacular, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which announced last week it would delay its official opening until February, suffered another set back this week: Actor/stunt-man Christopher Tierney fell from a raised set piece meant to pose as the Brooklyn Bridge (“The Boy Falls From the Sky” now seems tragically ironic) and into a pit below the stage. The actor, who is making his Broadway debut, is currently in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital. According to a hospital spokeswoman who spoke to, the actor “suffered broken ribs and internal bleeding.” (Actors’ Equity has concluded that his fall was due to human error.) This comes after Arachne actress Natalie Mendoza had to miss several performances after being concussed by a rigging device, and two other stunt doubles sustained broken bones during tech. (Late in the week, the Department of Labor explained the new safety protocols put in place to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.)

    Accidents happen. It’s entirely possible—though Thespis forbid—that a hook could come undone during the aerial ballet in American Idiot and the Extraordinary Girl and Tunny could fall and hurt themselves. It’s entirely possible that the chandelier in Phantom could malfunction and come crashing down on the actors or audience. It’s entirely possible that one of the Jersey boys could slip on stage and break an ankle. I don’t wish for any of this to happen or mean to downplay the seriousness of Tierney’s injury. I only mean to point out that there is risk involved in everything we do; just because there have been multiple accidents in Spider-Man doesn’t mean the show is not looking out for its cast. Director Julie Taymor said in a statement, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our Spider-Man family, and we’ll continue to do everything in our power to protect the cast and crew.” I believe Taymor. And I also mean to point out that the injuries are not indicative of the show’s quality. (It’s lame excuse for a book is, but that’s apparently being worked on.) For now, please think lovely thoughts for Tierney and the rest of the Spider-Man cast and crew. (Tierney is on the mend, according to the latest report.)

  • Pee-wee on Your Tee-vee
    The Pee-wee Herman Show, currently treading the boards at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, will be filmed after it closes on January 2 and will be broadcast on HBO sometime in 2011. (You may have noticed that Carrie Fisher’s Broadway show from last season, Wishful Drinking, is currently on HBO; you may also remember that this was done for Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America.) No specific broadcast date has been announced at this time. For more Pee-wee news, check out this first person account by director Alex Timbers (yep, the dude with the great hair who wrote and directed Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) on what it was like to bring Pee-wee to life.

  • Extensions and Openings
    The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino as Shylock, will extend its run through February. The production, originally scheduled to close on January 9, will take a brief hiatus after the performance on the 9th and return for another three weeks, February 1-20. Tickets for this three week extension go on sale next week.

    The rumors are confirmed: Jerusalem, a new play by Jez Butterworth and starring the always terrific Mark Rylance, will bow on Broadway (at Rylance's current home, the Music Box Theatre) for a limited 16-week engagement. The play will begin previews on April 2 in anticipation of an April 21 opening. Rylance will be reprising his critically acclaimed turn (in the West End’s Royal Court Theatre production) as Johnny “Rooster” Byron, and will be joined by Mackenzie Crook and much of the Royal Court cast. If Mark Rylance is on a stage, you know I’ll be there. Check back in the spring for a review!

    Driving Miss Daisy, starring James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave and Boyd Gaines, will extend its run through April 9, 2011 with its three stars in tact. The play was originally to have closed on January 29. Likely reason for the extension? The box office, obviously. More specifically? The fact that the show has recouped its initial $2.6 million investment – the first show of this season (and perhaps the only way, the way things are going) to do so.

  • Glee Scoop
    Can’t wait until February for Glee? Well, Glee, Season Two: Volume 1 will be available for purchase on January 25, 2011. Volume 2 and the complete second season will be available in fall 2011, likely just weeks before the third season premieres.

  • Bloody Bloody Ben
    BBAJ’s star, sexypants Benjamin Walker, stopped by to answer fan questions. The hunky leading man has (and sometimes still does) performed stand-up comedy so some of his answers are laugh-out-loud funny. Head over to the site to find out what Walker thinks makes someone sexypants, what his political slogan would be (it’s quite catchy) and his eyeliner tips.

  • TV Premieres
    As this year winds down, E! Online is looking forward to next year and the return or premiere of some great shows. Visit for the full winter premiere calendar. Here are some dates I’m putting on my calendar (in order of premiere date): How I Met Your Mother, January 3; Parenthood, January 4; Modern Family, January 5; The Good Wife, January 11; White Collar, January 18; 30 Rock, Community, The Office, Parks & Recreation and Royal Pains, January 20; Glee, February 6 (this will air on Sunday immediately after Super Bowl XLV); and Mr. Sunshine, February 9 (a new show starring Matthew Perry and Allison Janney).

  • Under the Boardwalk
    E! Online reports that Jack Huston’s Boardwalk Empire character Richard Harrow (you know, the Phantom of the Boardwalk) will return for the show’s second season… as a cast regular. Great news! For a Boardwalk Empire fix while the show is on hiatus, head on down to the Barrow Street Theatre where Michael Shannon is starring – to critical acclaim – in Mistakes Were Made (I’m trying to get a ticket for early next year); and head over to the (gross corporate sponsorship alert) Red Bull theatre to catch Michael Stuhlbarg in a reading of A Spanish Tragedy on December 28.

  • Theatre Year in Review listed what their editors felt were the top theatre stories of 2010. Included on the list is Next to Normal’s Pulitzer Prize win, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (and other risky subjects) on the Great White Way, Spider-Man (duh!) and, much to my delight, American Idiot, Michael Mayer’s incredible vision and Billie Joe’s Broadway debut.

  • Big Bucks for Big Stars
    Forbes announced its list of Hollywood’s Highest Grossing Actors this week. Can you guess who topped the list? No, it wasn’t some inane teeny-bopper. It was my man, Leonardo DiCaprio! Forbes reports that the combined global box office for his two films, Shutter Island and Inception, neither of which used 3-D, mind you, is a whopping $1.1 billion. (Forbes also reports that Leo struck a back-end deal on Inception, which means he gets a cut of the profits. Not too shabby, huh?) Next is youngster Mia Wasikowska, due in large part to her role as Alice in Alice in Wonderland. (Though, her performance in The Kids Are All Right is more note worthy.) Mia shares the number two spot with her Wonderland co-star, Johnny Depp. For the full list of high-grossing actors, visit

  • More Foo for You
    Dear readers, you know by now that Foo Fighters have been in the studio recording their seventh full-length studio album. You also know that Krist Novoselic (Dave Grohl’s Nirvana bandmate) was in the studio with Dave, Taylor, Chris and Nate. What you may not know is that they played a surprise show in California this week, during which Novoselic joined the rest of the Foos on stage! has a full report, including Dave’s mention of a possible title for the forthcoming album (Back + Forth) and a full set list. Turn it up to 11, baby!