Media Morsels 2.18.11

  • This Year in Jerusalem
    Great, fantastic, very exciting news: John Gallagher, Jr., is joining the very talented Mark Rylance in Jerusalem, a new play arriving on Broadway this spring!!! As you know, Johnny is leaving American Idiot at the end of this month (his final performance in February 27 at 7:30pm). When that announcement was made, fans (read: me) were left to speculate as to his next move. Well, he's headed to Jerusalem. This play, which ran to great acclaim in London (that production also featured Rylance) is described by producers as such: "In the woods of South West England, Johnny 'Rooster' Byron (Rylance), former daredevil motorcyclist and modern-day Pied Piper, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants to be taken to the country fair, a stepfather wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of friends wants his ample supply of drugs and alcohol." Johnny will play the role of Lee, though I'm not quite sure who "Lee" is, according to the description. Jerusalem will play a limited 16-week engagement at the Music Box Theatre (where Rylance had been performing in La Bete); it begins previews on April 2 in anticipation of an April 21 opening. Buy your tickets now for you chance to see Mark Rylance and John Gallagher, Jr., two virtuoso actors, on stage together!

  • Broadway Bears
    The annual Broadway Bears fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has kicked off. Bears fashioned after Broadway characters from this season and those past are available in an online auction. Visit the online auction for your chance to contribute to a great cause and get your own Broadway Bear, including ursine versions of our seventh POTUS, as imagined in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, signed by Benjamin Walker, and St Jimmy from American Idiot, signed by original St Jimmy Tony Vincent and subsequent and current St Jimmies Billie Joe Armstrong and Melissa Etheridge.

  • Arcadia
    A revival of the 1995 Tom Stoppard play Arcadia is headed to Broadway. Previews begin February 26 in anticipation of a March 17 opening. You'll remember from previous Morsels that this revival stars original Arcadia cast member Billy Crudup as well as the amazing Raul Esparza. This week, Broadway.com has some videos of interest: First up, a meet and greet with the director and cast, including Crudup and Esparza. Next is an 18-minute sit down interview with Esparza, in which he talks about his Cuban roots, Tonys, and being a penguin. Esparza is delightful and witty and charming, and I can't wait to watch him and Crudup on stage at the Barrymore. (Look for my review in early March.)

  • New Foo for You
    Since they started recording their seventh studio album, Foo Fighters have been teasing us with photos, song snippets and, now, videos. Check out this "homemade" video for the song "White Limo." It feels very old school, "Big Me"-ish and the song definitely hearkens back to a heavier Foo.
  • Matt Taibbi's Mailbag: People's Political IQ
    My favorite journalist, Matt Taibbi, has started a mailbag on his Rolling Stone blog. Here, he answers reader submitted questions. Topics range from politics to sports to journalism and Taibbi always provides thoughtful, researched and often funny answers. He also sometimes echoes Aaron Sorkin. This week, in response to a question about the political campaign process, Taibbi said this: "The myth that the public is too stupid for serious debate is something that is perpetuated by politicians and media figures as a way of keeping the public away from meaningful policy discussion. ...[The] whole point of leadership is that you have to change that dynamic." Taibbi is brilliantly encouraging what Leo proposes in the fantastic The West Wing episode, "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet": "We're going to raise the level of public debate in this country and let THAT be our legacy." [emphasis mine]

    Additionally, Taibbi's Supreme Court of Assholedom has handed down its first ruling. In the case of People vs. Hosni Mubarak, the Court has ruled that Mubarak is an Asshole with a rating of 6,959 (out of 10,000 possible points). Read the full ruling and look forward to more from this important Court.

  • "On the Cover of a Rolling Stone"
    This week, Rolling Stone announced that it's going to let its readers choose the cover! Rolling Stone says, "In our new Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star? contest, 16 unsigned bands will battle for your votes. The winner scores the cover and a contract with Atlantic [record company]." Visit rollingstone.com/choosethecover to "meet" the 16 bands and then vote for your favorite! Remember, decisions are made by people who show up. So show up and help shape tomorrow's music!

    In other Rolling Stone news, over the weekend, readers had the opportunity to choose the top ten albums of the '90s. Their top choice? Nirvana's Nevermind. I would agree that many of the top ten choices are terrific records, particularly Pearl Jam's Ten, but readers, you put two Smashing Pumpkins albums on here? Two??? Dare I say that not even one should have been on here, but two? Blech. What do you think, dear readers? Check out Rolling Stone's readers' picks and then share your picks below. (By the way, it's a little mind-blowing to think that both Nevermind and Ten are twenty years old. Check in at pearljam.com for details on twentieth anniversary shenanigans!)

  • Leo, Marty and the Wolf
    EW.com reports that Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are teaming up again, this time tackling The Wolf of Wall Street, a new film based on Jordan Belfort's memoir chronicling his "debauched, hard-partying rampage in the world of high finance during the go-go '90s." Boardwalk Empire's Terrence Winter has penned the adapted screenplay. Since this will mark the actor and director's fifth project (they've previously teamed up for Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and Shutter Island), EW.com asked its readers to choose their favorite DiCaprio-Scorsese collaboration. Mine is The Departed. What's yours?

  • Awards Update
    The BAFTA Awards were handed out last weekend. The winners didn't all quite echo what's going on stateside but nothing too surprising nonetheless. The King's Speech took home the top honor, winning both Best Film and Outstanding British Film, as did its three stars, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush (beating out Christian Bale) and Helena Bonham Carter (Melissa Leo wasn't nominated in this slate). The Social Network got some love, notably in the Director (David Fincher) and Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin!!!) categories. Not to be left out was Inception, which was honored with a few technical awards. My favorite BAFTA-only category, though, is the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. Nominees included upcoming Spider-Man (on film) paramours Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but the honor went to Inception's Tom Hardy. Visit bafta.org for the full list of winners.

  • The Grammy Awards were handed out on Sunday night. The best win of the night, though not televised, was American Idiot winning for Best Musical Show Album!!! (See their Grammy cake at right.) This is the second Original Cast Recording on which my dear John Gallagher, Jr., as appeared (the first being Spring Awakening) and also the second that's won a Grammy! In the words of American Idiot's Will, I think I'm beginning to notice a pattern here! (The other nominees were Fela!, A Little Night Music, Promises, Promises and Sondheim on Sondheim.) Sir Paul, Jeff Beck, John Legend & the Roots, Jon Stewart (and company, for the audio book of Earth) and Dave Grohl's passion project Them Crocked Vultures (which features the Foo front man, John Paul Jones and Josh Homme) also took home awards, though I don't think any of their categories were televised, either. You can view the full list of Grammy winners on grammy.com, and I do suggest scrolling through the entire list, just to see how many different way there are to classify music.

  • Aaron Sorkin Coming to 30 Rock!
    The talented writer who is currently working on a pilot for HBO will soon be seen on Tina Fey's 30 Rock. (You may remember that in 2006, both Sorkin and Fey premiered NBC TV shows that took viewers behind the scenes at a late night comedy show. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Sorkin's gem, was canceled after one season (despite being smart, engaging and relevant) and 30 Rock is still making us laugh every Thursday night.) EW.com reports that Sorkin will appear as himself on 30 Rock during an episode to air in either March or April. If an exact air date is announced, I'll let you know!

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