Media Morsels 12.3.10


  • American Idiot

    St Billie, Redux
    Billie Joe Armstrong will return to the acclaimed Broadway production of American Idiot this winter for a limited 50-performance run. Armstrong, you will remember, previously made his Broadway acting debut with the show in September, when he played the role of St Jimmy for one week while Tony Vincent was on vacation. This week, producers announced that Armstrong will be back January and February 2011 (usually the toughest months during which to sell tickets to any show), which is sure to inject some life into the show’s box office. Vincent will complete his run as St Jimmy on December 30. Armstrong will then take the stage as St Jimmy for several interrupted weeks. You can catch Billie Joe January 1-9; January 18-30; and February 10-27. No word just yet as to who will permanently take over the role of St Jimmy. My guess is that during Armstrong’s off weeks, Andrew Call and Joshua Kobak, the current St Jimmy understudies, will cover the role. After that… well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Visit americanidiotonbroadway.com for more information and to purchase tickets.


    Grammy News
    Usually I don’t pay too much attention to the Grammy awards since most of what I listen to isn’t nominated (or even in the running: Led Zeppelin IV can’t be nominated every year!) But, there is one race in which I always have a horse: Best Musical Show Album. And this year, the beautiful and talented Idiots are nominated! The original American Idiot record won Grammys for Best Rock Album and Record of the Year (for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”), and the cast sounds so good on this, I think it’s not entirely ridiculous to think that they’ll win. (On a side note: The Spring Awakening album won this award a few years ago. If American Idiot wins, this would be the second Grammy-winning record to which Johnny contributed. Rock on!) View the complete list of Grammy nominations (including several for John Legend and the Roots) at grammy.com.

  • Bloody Bloody Bits

    Closing notice be damned, President Sexypants (that would be Benjamin Walker as Andrew Jackson) and Bloody Bloody’s writer and director sexyhair Alex Timbers can currently be seen in dashing tuxedoes in the December issue of Esquire magazine. They appear in a spread along with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance and Carlos star Edgar Ramirez. The issue is on newsstands now, but thanks to Broadway.com, you can check out the photo below:



    Just hours after Bloody Bloody announced its closing, it was announced that the (semi)star packed revival of the play That Championship Season would take over the Jacobs theatre (POTUS’s current Hermitage) just a month later. Bloody Bloody closes on January 2 and Season will begin previews on February 9. The timing of all this (the announcement and the actual dates) leads me to think that maybe, had there not been another show looking for a home nipping at Jackson’s heels, the caustic musical might have been able to run a little longer, at least long enough to enjoy a box office jump after Tony nominations in May. Instead, with a new tenant waiting in the wings, Bloody Bloody was prematurely evicted. What do you think? Were the politics of theatre at play?
    I wrote my Bloody Bloody eulogy on Wednesday; New York Magazine’s Vulture also offered their reflections on the premature closing of this terrific show.
    And now a couple of Bloody Bloody videos: Ben Walker, as interviewed on ABC; and the Bloody Bloody cast performing on Imus

  • No More Boys
    Seems the minstrel show isn’t back in fashion. The Scottsboro Boys, the new Kander and Ebb musical, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman and starring linebacker American Idiot alumnus Joshua Henry, will close on Broadway on December 12. When it closes, the Broadway version will have played 29 previews and 49 regular performances. Visit scottsboromusical.com to purchase tickets to the show, which will continue to play at the Lyceum Theatre until the 12th.

  • Time Stands Still a Little Longer
    The cast – not the play itself – of Donald Margulies’s Time Stands Still, will end their run with this Broadway return engagement on January 30, 2011. On that day, Brian d’Arcy James, Laura Linney, Eric Bogosian and Christina Ricci will play their final performance of the play, currently running at the Cort Theatre. In the Playbill.com announcement, a spokesman for the play notes that this is not a closing notice; the play will continue with a yet-to-be-announced cast after the current cast leaves. This is a great, thought provoking play, definitely worth seeing with this cast or another.

  • Award Season Update
    The nominations for the Film Independent Spirit Awards (which will be simultaneously handed out and broadcast (on IFC) the Saturday before the Oscars) were announced this week. Read the write up Playbill.com for a complete list of nominees. Here are some nominations I’m excited about:
    • Best Feature: 127 Hours; The Kids Are All Right (Black Swan is also nominated; I’m sure after I see the film this weekend I’ll be excited about that nomination, too)
    • Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan (just based on the trailer and his previous work –without having seen the movie yet – I stand behind this nod); Danny Boyle, 127 Hours; Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
    • Best Screenplay: Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
    • Best Female Lead: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
    • Best Male Lead: James Franco, 127 Hours
    • Best Supporting Female: Allison Janney, Life During Wartime (I haven’t seen this but I love AJ, the way CJ loves dry rub!); Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jack Goes Boating (I haven’t seen this either – and there’s a “very long wait” for it on Netflix, but DRV was the original Mimi in Rent!)
    • Best Supporting Male: Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right (he and the food in his garden looked so damn delicious in this movie!)

    In other award news, The National Board of Review announced its winners this week. Topping the list? Why it was The Social Network, of course. The perfect picture was named Best Film, and Aaron Sorkin, David Fincher and Jesse Eisenberg all received honors for their respective contributions. Status update: Awesome!

  • Normal on Tour (and Celluloid?)
    The Next to Normal tour kicked off Thanksgiving weekend and this week made a high profile stop in Los Angeles, and lots of starry guests came out for the opening night of the LA stint, celebrating with the cast (including Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushier) and creatives (Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey and Michael Greif). From a Modern Family to the Goodman family, Modern Family cast members Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sarah Hyland; Billie Joe Armstrong (no doubt on hand to support his American Idiot collaborator, the incomparable Tom Kitt); cutie Adam Brody; Sarah Silverman; Glee’s Darren Criss and Jenna Ushkowitz; funny guy Rob Corddry; Jena Malone; and Rent alumni Adam Pascal and Tracie Thoms, among others. (Check out pictures here.) The Goodmans (and Dr. Fine/Madden and Henry) will stay in LA through January 2, 2011.

    In other Next to Normal news, director Rob Reiner (whose father is one of the funniest men ever) recently said in an interview that he’s “dying to make” Next to Normal into a film. Of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning musical, Reiner says, “It is a completely and utterly unique project... It’s done brilliantly and it’s very uplifting.” Agreed! I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any updates.

  • Glee Scoop
    So… What did you think of New Directions and The Warblers at sectionals? I really liked this episode (“Special Education”) because it actually had a story to it. It played more like the show-within-a-show musical it is (complete with plot and character development) and not just a themed revue (like the maybe titillating if totally unnecessary Britney Spears episode). And aren’t you just loving Darren Criss’s Blaine, Kurt's Warbler buddy? He’s as cute as a basket full of puppies, if you ask me.

    And that’s probably good news for Ryan Murphy, who this week told an Aussie website that the McKinley High misfits would eventually graduate and Mr. Schuester would welcome freshmen and fresh faces to New Directions. Murphy mentioned that the current class may be the class of 2012; that would be Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and their classmates’ senior year and during that same season, newcomers would start integrating themselves into the club. Murphy says as sad as he’ll be to let go of some of these original talents, he wants to keep the show as true to life as possible and thus, Rachel, et al., will graduate. What do you think? Will you watch Glee: The New Class or will you stop watching once Quinn, Finn, Artie and Mercedes graduate?

    Glee also received a couple of Grammy nominations (way to go, guys and gals!) and on Thursday, Lea Michele received the first ever Triple Threat award from Billboard’s Women in Music Event. Read about the honor and Michele’s reaction on Broadway.com.

    Katie Couric is coming to Glee! The cheery news anchor will appear in the February 6th Super Bowl episode. In addition to appearing on Glee, Couric recently interviewed Glee dreamboat Matthew Morrison; that interview will air on CBS Sunday Morning this Sunday, December 5.

  • Boardwalk Empire
    The season finale of this incredible new HBO show airs this Sunday night. To get ready, check out this interview with the spectacular Michael Shannon, who plays the spooky Agent Van Alden. And visit hbo.com/boardwalk-empire for online-exclusive video and to learn more about the show.

  • The Spring Standards
    Check out this latest video from my beloved Spring Standards for their song, “The Hush.” And, take a look at this interview with one-third of The Spring Standards, Heather Robb, with Paste Magazine.

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